A different angle on helmet law - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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A different angle on helmet law

Every once in awhile, legally mandated helmet use comes up on this forum, as I imagine it does on every m/c board. Since I don't spend much time on other fora, I've become accustomed to both the views of the members here, and how divisive issues are (generally) treated. The comments under this article over at Motorcycledaily (which, as arguments around hot-button issues go, relatively speaking, aren't bad at all) really make one appreciate the prevailing mode of discourse around here.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 09:14 AM
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Whenever I watch an old motorcycle movie where they are riding free in the wind I think about how great that would be. Of course that is only the movies. When I was in my teens I would ride a bike with just a half helmet and sun glasses. I've been stung by blowing beach sand at 40 MPH. I've had to lay on the fuel tank looking between the tach and speedo to keep the swarms of luv bugs off my face. I've been pinged by beetles that made my eyes tear up. I've had blocked pores from all the road grime on my skin.

Give me a full face helmet because I am more about comfort now than style. The new Bell Star is comfortable and flows a good about of air for this deep south summers.

An open mesh jacket and open mesh gloves are definitely more comfortable than a T-shirt and no gloves.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 09:29 AM
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When i was younger I rode wearing a helmet most of the time but there were somedays i just had to enjoy the ride without one.Now I always wear a helmet because i realize what can happen if you don't.I have a nice reminder from my wreck last month i would have never known my head hit the pavement if it wasn't for the nasty gash on the side of my helmet.Its great with all the helmet choices now.Can't stand wearing a full face or open face but love my modular best of both worlds.Had to retire the Scorpion EXO-900 for a new Nolan N90 thats on the way from Santa. Good to see my girlfriends son has taken the helmet issue serious. He bought a Bell Star then got an Arai Corsair V which he is in love with.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 10:31 AM
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So your girlfriends son got the Triumph? Curious to know as that is a really, really nice moto!
BTW...been wearing an AGV argon full face for many years now. before that, a long line of various full face helmets. I always liked this phrase from back in my Harley days "You got a twenty dollar head?....buy a twenty dollar helmet"
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 10:40 AM
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I remember riding with a girl-friend on the back, in the '60s. She was wearing my helmet so I was bare-headed with sunglasses when (at highway speed) I caught a 'bumble-bee' RIGHT between my eyes which ALMOST knocked me off my Triumph!

I am ATGATT, and think anyone on a bike without a helmet is NUTS, but I do NOT support helmet laws. By the time it matters whether or not you're wearing one, the accident has ALREADY occurred, so IMHO helmets WILL NOT stop an accident from happening probably 99.999% of the time, so IF you want to die it's YOUR choice!

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Rik View Post
So your girlfriends son got the Triumph? Curious to know as that is a really, really nice moto!
BTW...been wearing an AGV argon full face for many years now. before that, a long line of various full face helmets. I always liked this phrase from back in my Harley days "You got a twenty dollar head?....buy a twenty dollar helmet"

He changed his mind and is going to get the Suzuki GSXR 750 instead. I got him hooked up with Dairyland Insurance and through them the insurance is cheaper than the Triumph. He's bought everything for the bike except for the bike itself. But it will be soon the deal is no bike till he gets rid of a couple of his import project cars and clean out all the extra car stuff out of the garage.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I remember riding with a girl-friend on the back, in the '60s. She was wearing my helmet so I was bare-headed with sunglasses when (at highway speed) I caught a 'bumble-bee' RIGHT between my eyes which ALMOST knocked me off my Triumph!

I am ATGATT, and think anyone on a bike without a helmet is NUTS, but I do NOT support helmet laws. By the time it matters whether or not you're wearing one, the accident has ALREADY occurred, so IMHO helmets WILL NOT stop an accident from happening probably 99.999% of the time, so IF you want to die it's YOUR choice!

I agree don't want to be told to wear a helmet. It should be a choice and as is life. you usally live longer by making the right choices

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
I agree don't want to be told to wear a helmet. It should be a choice and as is life. you usally live longer by making the right choices
I too agree it should be a choice. If I want to move my bike from my campsite to the parking lot or tour a national battlefield where I am getting on and off the bike constantly I don't want to have to put the helmet on to move the bike 100 feet.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 02:26 PM
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S"You got a twenty dollar head?....buy a twenty dollar helmet"
When I bought my first helmet back in 87, that was one of the slogans Bell Helmets had. I actually bought the Bell because of that advertisement. It was shown with a rider in flight about to hit the ground.....
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 02:40 PM
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Issue to consider: Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. They are also the leading cause of serious, life impacting injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Besides the obvious safety issues my eyes tear up over 30mph when I have my visor up and bugs hitting your face sting and are kinda gross. Also there is the issue of staying warm. Sorry but I don't really see any upside to not wearing a helmet.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Issue to consider: Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. They are also the leading cause of serious, life impacting injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Besides the obvious safety issues my eyes tear up over 30mph when I have my visor up and bugs hitting your face sting and are kinda gross. Also there is the issue of staying warm. Sorry but I don't really see any upside to not wearing a helmet.
The benefits of helmet use are rarely the point of contention. The issue is whether the government should force you to wear one. The riders here who have piped up seem to be on the libertarian side of things regarding choice, but overwhelmingly choose helmet use themselves, usually a full-face if mentioned. I haven't kept rigorous track, but that's the impression. Contrast the responses at MD, where there looks to be lots of support for mandated use, and a larger proportion of helmetless folks as well. Again, only people who comment are represented, obviously.

Also, wasn't really trying to open up this discussion again; I suppose I should have realized the near inevitability of that happening and left it lie.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 07:02 AM
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The issue is whether the government should force you to wear one.
Helmet laws suck! But I choose to wear one!
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 07:54 AM
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No helmet law here! Ride with a swim suit on if you want!
Personally i am a freedom seeker. But totally understand the risk.
I wear gear now in part to this forum, and becoming more informed. Thanks again to all who share in this forum! Happy holidays!





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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 01:32 PM
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I live in a locale with a non profit, public health care system. While a public non profit system is cheaper per person to operate, it also means tax payers would have to pick up the increased medical costs associated with repealing the helmet law. After all I'll be helping to pay for their medical care and perhaps long term care if they crash. As such I have no issues with helmet or seat belt legislation to keep those with bad judgement from unnecessarily further burdening the health care system.

Since good judgement is a factor of age and intelligence I suspect those that choose to not wear helmets, where it is allowed, are also the people least able to pay for their own health care if they injure themselves.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-25-2011, 06:32 AM
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Helmet laws

I can't say a helmet has saved my life in an accident, but when I count up all the scars my helmets have accumulated........you have to be an idiot not to realize that could have been your skull. I have not ridden without one ever (abt 4 decades) but that is my choice. Let darwin have his way and leave me out of the nanny state.

steve
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-25-2011, 02:19 PM
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I live in a locale with a non profit, public health care system. While a public non profit system is cheaper per person to operate, it also means tax payers would have to pick up the increased medical costs associated with repealing the helmet law. After all I'll be helping to pay for their medical care and perhaps long term care if they crash. As such I have no issues with helmet or seat belt legislation to keep those with bad judgement from unnecessarily further burdening the health care system.

Since good judgement is a factor of age and intelligence I suspect those that choose to not wear helmets, where it is allowed, are also the people least able to pay for their own health care if they injure themselves.
Carrying on with your reasoning - you don't smoke do you? Or drink to excess occasionally? Or ski, snow-board, rock-climb, hike in bear country, etc, etc?

The minute you allow your GOVERNMENT to decide who should be sanctioned for their personal choices in life, you're starting down a slippery-slope with no end in sight.

As for helmet-less riders being poor - sure do see a lot on pretty expensive looking H-Ds down here in AZ!

Ed
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-26-2011, 07:44 AM
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Here in Michigan, there's a law in the pipe line that will repeal the helmet law BUT....if you choose to ride without you must carry a certain level of personal insurance protection!!!
("...and I i2011 House Bill 4008 (Allow helmetless motorcycle operation )* Introduced by Rep. Richard LeBlanc (D) on January 13, 2011, to repeal the mandatory motorcycle helmet requirement for a motorcycle operator who purchases extra insurance with $20,000 personal injury
coverage". I imagine it will be easy enough to fake unless cops can check that too when they run your plate).
Anyway....I'm all for it!!!! If passed it will help to reduce the surplus population and increase the quality of the gene-pool here in the Great State of Michigan.


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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-26-2011, 07:48 AM
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AND>>>>>This is kinda funny....Our legal system in action! (OMG but americans EVERYWHERE and on both sides of the law are STUPID!

Legal Loophole in Helmet Law

Detroit Now News
Friday, March 17, 2000
Police in metro Detroit are baffled over an old state law. Michigan law requires those driving motorcycles to always wear helmets, but police are concerned about a loophole in the law that won't allow them to pull over motorcyclists without helmets.

This has become a huge problem for police. They were hoping that this would not leak out to the public so soon, but as it stands now, Michigan's mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists is being called legally invalid.

"I didn't know," said one motorcyclist.

If longtime bikers are surprised, police are dumbfounded.

"This law has been in effect for years. No one to our knowledge ever even caught this. This is something recently caught by an attorney," said Chief Emery Price of the Westland Police Department.

Police stumbled upon what's being called a legal loophole of disastrous proportions. A motorcyclist who had been ticketed for riding without a helmet challenged the law and won.

"Being that there are no established requirements as to the type of helmets, there's a lack of notice, so therefore the ordinance fails," said Westland Attorney Angelo Plakas.

Michigan's law mandating helmets was approved when it went into effect years ago. But a judge was recently forced to drop the fines against the biker who wasn't wearing a helmet.

After further investigation, Westland police found 19 other courts throughout Michigan have recently been forced to do the same.

"With the warm weather coming, there's going to be some problems," said Chief Price. "There's going to be some serious injury or death caused by some of these people out here not wearing their helmet."

Westland police and other jurisdictions have reluctantly sent memos to their officers, saying do not pull over bikers who are not wearing helmets because according to the ruling it's against law.

"I still have the helmet on always," said one motorcyclist.

The Westland police have been in contact with the Michigan Attorney General's Office. The attorney general still believes that this law is valid, however they are going to check into this and find out for certain next week.

If necessary, they will make immediate corrections. In the meantime, police are asking bikers to please wear helmets.

Press Release...


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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-26-2011, 07:54 AM
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I can see it now....cause of death; impact by 'june-bug' at 70 mph!
Act of nature....dismissed!


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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-26-2011, 05:13 PM
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From the summary of the Hurt Report

43. Seventy-three percent of the accident-involved motorcycle riders used no eye protection, and it is likely that the wind on the unprotected eyes contributed an impairment of vision which delayed hazard detection.

44. Approximately 50% of the motorcycle riders in traffic were using safety helmets but only 40% of the accident-involved motorcycle riders were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

45. Voluntary safety helmet use by those accident-involved motorcycle riders was lowest for untrained, uneducated. young motorcycle riders on hot days and short trips.

46. The most deadly Injuries to the accident victims were injuries to the chest and head.

47. The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the prevention or reduction of head injury; the safety helmet which complies with FMVSS 218 is a significantly effective injury countermeasure.

48. Safety helmet use caused no attenuation of critical traffic sounds, no limitation of pre-crash visual field, and no fatigue or loss of attention; no element of accident causation was related to helmet use,

49. DOT (FMVSS 218) provides a high level of protection in traffic accidents, and needs modification only to increase coverage at the back of the head and demonstrate impact protection of the front of full facial coverage helmets, and insure all adult sizes for traffic use are covered by the standard.

50. Helmeted riders and passengers showed significantly lower head and neck injury for all types of injury, at all levels of injury severity.

51. The increased coverage of the full facial coverage helmet increases protection, and significantly reduces face injuries.

52. There is no liability for neck injury by wearing a safety helmet; helmeted riders had fewer neck injuries than unhelmeted riders. Only four minor injuries were attributable to helmet use, and in each case the helmet prevented possible critical or fatal head injury,

53. Sixty percent of the motorcyclists were not wearing safety helmets at the time of the accident. Of this group, 26% said they did not wear helmets because they were uncomfortable and inconvenient, and 53% simply had no expectation of accident involvement.

54. Valid motorcycle exposure data can be obtained only from collection at the traffic site, Motor vehicle or driver license data presents information which is completely unrelated to actual use,

55. Less than 10% of the motorcycle riders involved in these accidents had insurance of any kind to provide medical care or replace property.
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