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Old 01-15-2002, 06:02 AM   #21
BBD_Racing
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Default Re: AMA Challenges Recent IIHS Report

When dealing with helmet laws, many people default to the "public good" argument. It usually goes like this: the risk you are taking impacts the lives of your loved ones and the pocketbooks of everybody, hence society mandates your wearing a helmet.



This reasoning has a serious flaw in that it can be directly extended to many other behaviors. Shall we make bacon double cheesburgers illegal? How about smoking? Unprotected sex? All of these things have a greater societal cost than helmetless riders.



These may seem like ridiculous extentions, but they are only the next logical step. In fact, many of them are being attempted already.



More insiduously, we have the issue of dumbing down. If we continue to proceed along the idea that the gov't will do the risk analysis for you, we will systematically breed a society of idiots. If we examine recent history, it is rather obvious that this is already occurring and it is a real problem.



Ask yourself these questions: "At what point do I think people should be required to think for themselves? What is the eventual price of the policy of having the government make numerous logical decisions for individuals?"
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Old 01-15-2002, 06:10 AM   #22
das
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Default Re: Recent IIHS Report

T-bird_Vinnie... I forgot something... to say thanks. Thanks.



If I was as far from reality as your reading of my post implied, I would appreciate someone pointing me back to reality.



Oh, and, of course, I agree with pretty much all of the rest of your post, too (except as noted in my first reply). I'd love to see the gov't (at some level) funding research into what the big problems with motorcycle safety really are, and then taking steps to educate the people so that we can take steps to solve those problems.



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Old 01-15-2002, 06:42 AM   #23
das
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Default Re: AMA Challenges Recent IIHS Report

I, for one, couldn't agree with you more on this issue. As the quote goes:



"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of their folly is to fill the world with fools," Herbert Spenser (1820-1903), English philosopher.
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Old 01-15-2002, 08:13 AM   #24
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Default Constitutionally.....

If we might restrict our definition of "government" to the federal government for a moment, since that is the agency producing the report at hand......



The federal government does NOT have the right to restrict our personal choices in regard to our own safety. The Constitution was written to restrict the federal government to a few specific powers, and the rest were to be "reserved to the states and the people". If it isn't listed, the federal government legally has no say in it. Of course, no wrinkled 225 year-old piece of paper is going to stop the social engineers in Congress from having their way with us anyway, and since about 75% of the federal government's activites are not sanctioned by the constitution, it obviously hasn't. It has gotten to the point that when a new bill or piece of regulation is introduced, the question of Constitutionality is simply ignored. The debate centers on money or taxes or whether the poor people are getting the shaft from big business or the environment and so on and so forth, but the very first question that should be raised never is: does the constitution give us the power to do this?
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Old 01-15-2002, 08:15 AM   #25
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Default re: inform me, please..

Does the report attempt to control in any way for the number of riders that wear helmets vs. those that don't? If more vehicle miles were travelled by helmeted riders than non-helmeted riders, and the absolute number of deaths were the same, the rate of death for helmeted riders would still be lower.



As others have noted, I would also like to see reports on severity of injuries in addition to death statistics. If the choice is vegetable vs. death...



I also second those calling for a real study. Let's hope that recent efforts lead to a national study that actually tells us something.

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Old 01-15-2002, 08:27 AM   #26
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Default Re: AMA Challenges Recent IIHS Report

I've skimmed over this study, and it seems to say that no matter the situation, motorcyclists are going to die. A number of classic reasons attributed to fatal crashes on motorcycles have declined in percentage terms, such helmetlessness, drunkeness, and riding at night. Yet the actual number of crashes has increased. One cause that is implied: the number of fatalities on 1001-1500cc bikes has increased fairly dramatically, suggesting that the number of inexperienced riders running out and buying big cruisers has something to do with it. XX's, ZX-12's, and Busa's probably jack the numbers slightly too.



All in all, it would seem that as a percentage, people are drinking less, wearing helmets more, and riding during the day more. My guesses are: More inexperienced older people are buying cruisers, like my 50-something neighbor (a woman), who has dropped her bike in the driveway twice and couldn't get it started because the fuel was off; and younger riders on sportbikes who have become more safety conscious, yet continue to buy higher and higher performing motorcycles and attempt to do their best Wayne Rainey imitation.
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Old 01-15-2002, 08:27 AM   #27
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Default Re: Constitutionally.....

Though there are several clauses that open up the powers for the federal government, among them the elastic clause (necessary and proper clause). In addition, the way the federal government normally functions on matters like this is the same way it at once regulated speed limits and now regulates drinking age/legal alcohol limits. It does this by highway funding: you want federal funds, you pass the necessary laws.



All of that is pointless. The constraints on government aren't contraints on government's rights anyway. They are structural constraints on ourselves. To speak of "rights" of the government is to think of it as an entity separate from ourselves. What we do with our government is, theoretically, up to us and our elected representatives. It is a matter of what we should do through government, not what government does to us.



In international documents, states are considered to have certain rights (e.g. sovereignty), but most rights, even on the international level, can be thought of in terms of the individual or culture, not the state.



Enough philosophical diatribe. One could argue that we should have the right to be free from government interference and the use of the government to pass helmet laws is an infringement of those rights (something I am still debating in my own mind). However, to speak of the government's right to do or not do something ignores our role as citizens in the governing process. If you aren't happy with what's going on, get involved. Not just by voting, but by writing letters to your congressmen, contributing to PACs and lobbying organizations with whom you agree.
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Old 01-15-2002, 10:26 AM   #28
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Default Re: AMA Challenges Recent IIHS Report

I would hold you up as a poster boy for birth control for one. If that didn't work, maybe the lack of a helmet laws would kill off the obviously mentally deficient such as yourself, and ease your small mind from the burdon of attempting thought.
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Old 01-15-2002, 12:39 PM   #29
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Default The slippery slope..

Ahhh, the slippery slope argument. If you let the government do one little thing, no matter how reasonable, suddenly, they WILL start to do retarded things that are in some way related to the reasonable thing they did before.



For instance, if we could inact background checks at gun shows, like the ones already used at gun stores, ALL HUNTERS WOULD GET ALL THEIR GUNS CONFISCATED AND DESTROYED WITHIN A WEEK, because, since we slightly tightened gun control laws, THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE ALL YOUR GUNS. It's a slippery slope, and we must avoid it. ( I have no intent to turn this into a gun control argument. I belive in gun ownership, along with reasonable gun control laws. Just an example of a situation where the "slippery slope" argument has been used to perfection)



Never mind that the people making the laws are elected by us. And if they passed a retarded law right as they left office, the next elected official can repeal it.



Maybe there is something I'm missing, but I'm not afraid of the slippery slope. We have seatbelt laws, but I'm not required to wear a helmet when driving a car. How is that possible? I thought when the government made us wear seatbelts, it "opened the door" for the government to control what we do in our cars, and thus, "they" would probably make us wear helmets (and full body armor!). It's the next logical step down the slippery slope, afterall. Totalitarian state, here we come! Wheeeeeee!





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Old 01-16-2002, 08:37 AM   #30
das
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Default Re: The slippery slope..

I think what you're missing is that (1) it doesn't happen over the course of a few weeks, but it does happen over the course of several years/decades, and (2) it's not restricted to the government and law makers.



Take smoking as an example. People used to do it anywhere and everywhere. Then certain places started putting restrictions in place, like airplanes and restaurants. Office buildings started having designated smoking rooms. Then you started seeing airplance flights and restaurants with absolutely no smoking, and businesses would only let you smoke outside. And today it's more restictive than ever before.



Most of these restrictions weren't motivated by lawmakers, most of them started with "the people" and their slowly changing attitudes toward smoking. The laws changed to reflect the attitudes.



But just because a large portion of the population thinks that something is bad or unnecessary, doesn't mean that the gov't should or has the right to pass laws mandating that opinion. To paraphrase: Democracy should be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.



I don't smoke, so it doesn't affect me directly, and I'm not lamenting the loss of smoking areas, but it's a good example of the slippery slope in effect.



Anyhow, my point is that most controversial issues (like helmet laws, gun control, etc) are affected by the slippery slope. It is my opinion that the best defense against making stupid decisions in cases like these are unbiased research, followed by education, although that almost never happens.
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