Using your head, and a helmet -

Using your head, and a helmet -

There are 18 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Jul 23, 2007, titled Using your head, and a helmet -. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

It's hardly news that motorcyclists have a somewhat scruffy image. It's unfair to most of them.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Baltimore Sun.

MD Resident

Baltimore, MD

#1 Jul 23, 2007
I couldn't agree more with not repealing the helmet law. My father in law lost his life riding without a helmet overseas in a country that didnt require helmets. If he had been wearing one, he would have had minor injuries and would have lived to see his son's wedding and birth of his grandson. The "freedom to choose" is only worthwhile if you're living.
Red Barron

San Diego, CA

#2 Jul 23, 2007
Helmet laws have nothing to do with safety, they are about control. If you want to wear a helmet, then wear a helmet, but don't tell me what to do!
Douglas Findlay

Washington, DC

#3 Jul 23, 2007
Seniors in nursing homes can't be forced to wear helmets, despite the fact that they conk their heads in droves. Why? Federal guidelines say this would violate their dignity.

Bikers don't rate such treatment in our society. They must be stripped of their identities and made into disposable bubble-heads. So bend over and put on your helmet.
ratrider

East New Market, MD

#4 Jul 23, 2007
The statistics do not support the position of "increased saftey". That is how and why most states have repealed helmet laws. When Maryland repealed its helmet law the carnage predicted by those (who dont ride) never materialized and the overall number of accidents and resulting injuries decreased. The helmet law was reinstated by then gov shaefer because of insurance industry pressure and through secret backroom deals and arm twisting,....much like what was just attempted by congress with illegal alien amnesty! Impairing my vision and hearing does not make me a safer rider just like someone driving their car with the windows up, stereo blaring, on the phone and programming your gps does nothing to improve the safety of the rest of us trying to survive on the roads of Md.
Kathleen Loerich

Hagerstown, MD

#5 Jul 23, 2007
I believe that it is a sorry state of affairs that a simple message, “Look for Motorcycles”, asking folks to look out for one another on the road has been turned into a slug-fest akin to an internet flame war. Whether you ride a motorcycle, drive car or truck, or ride a bicycle, try courtesy and caution on the roads.
Cory

AOL

#6 Jul 23, 2007
I too am a "saved by the helmet" member. I use the helmet in class during show and tell. Although we do try to stay away from the negative, we also have a duty to tell the truth to our students, lest we do them a disservice.

Also, I never joined ABATE for the very reasons pointed out in the article. Judging by their actions, thier meetings are no more than an excuse to drink and ride.

As for the 'go faster" riders, you just can't fix stupid.
Rudy

Pendleton, IN

#7 Jul 23, 2007
Since the vast majority of fatal auto accidents are head injuries, why limit the protections a helmet can offer to a small minority of motor vehicles?
We should have a law that mandates helmets for all drivers and passengers of ALL motor vehicles. That would save far more lives than just mandating for motorcycles.

While we're at it, eating fatty foods causes far more deaths than ALL motor vehicles combined. Perhaps the government should take away our freedom to make our own informed decision on this as well? How about tobacco? Alcohol? Mountain climbing? Horse back riding? Skate boarding?

In the end, once you start limiting individual freedom of choice, you are on a slippery slope.

This is still America, isn't it?
Jim Pomper

United States

#8 Jul 23, 2007
I agree that helmets save lives and that the arguments against wearing them - obstructed hearing, vision, and the like - are rationalizations rather than rationales, but I do NOT subscribe to the paternalistic notion that people require "looking after". That is for children and, perhaps, those of diminshed capacity.

I am 54 and have been riding snce age 19 and I have been lucky. Lucky in that I have never had a serious accident. Lucky in that I have never had a helmet save my life. I wear one, maybe because I must, but also, maybe, because I'm snart enough(not taking bets there).

I survived my kamikaze youth, where it was imperative that I be the fastest thing on 2 (or 4) wheels. Now I enjoy the ride for what it is: a soothing balm for my soul.

Still, while I would counsel the use of a good helmet, I would NOT support a "mandatory" law. Education has always been the best method by which to ensure lasting change. As reasoning beings, we only grow when challenged to do so. All laws accomplish is the ceding of decision-making to others.
JB Fields

Vienna, VA

#9 Jul 24, 2007
There are more than a few bikers who belly up to the bar at Daniels (and elsewhere) and drink soda.
Tony Spinnato

Pelion, SC

#10 Jul 24, 2007
Hi my name is Tony originally from MD now in SC and I have been riding since I was 5 year old and now I ride 03 Train and dont wear a helmet unless in state were they have taken my freedom of choice away !!! I have taken a few spills over years none serious [thank the man ] and it is not about wearing helments its about the right to DECIDE soon you will have no rights left !! I have seen quite a few accidents were the helmet did not matter body shots , lost limbs from vechicles WHATS NEXT FULL SUIT ARMOUR and if Gov't tells you got to wear it you will because your right to DECIDE has been taken away !!! As far as ABATE goes we stand for our rights as bikers to DECIDE !!!
Tony
G-Town Chapter Coordinator
ABATE of SC
FLHTrider

Philadelphia, PA

#11 Jul 24, 2007
Many have said it before me. I will not laugh or stop you from wearing your helmet. I want you to feel free to do whatever you would like. It is true that IF people wore helmts in cars, there would be even LESS cage injuries..

It is truly a decision of letting me do what I want, not what YOU or society says I have to do.

I do not drink and drive, I get ice tea at my ABATE meetings...I have over 200,000 miles on my bike and take the advanced training every year. Training is the answer, not a 3 pound bowling ball on your head....Oh and that would be biker training and Cager training..
gad

Lindenhurst, NY

#12 Jul 24, 2007
It's sad to see that some editors are irresponsible with the context of their editorials.Here it is 40 years later and we are still debating this issue.30 states including Connecticut where I am from allow most adults the freedom of choice of helmet usage.Helmet laws are nothing more than certain people trying to control the lives of its citizens they care nothing about safety.Most helmet law proponents i.e politicians(the ones that make the laws)often cite erroneous statistics from nhsta and other bureaucratic agencies.Never has one helmet law proponent voted for rider training programs which ultimately save lives.The reasons why motorcycle deaths have risen the past few years is yes the so called "baby boomers are hitting the roads again but probably the biggest reason is the huge jump in gas prices.Who wants to pay 90.00 dollars to fill up an suv when it costs maybe 7.00 dollars to fill a motorcycle.The point here is that there are many factors in accidents deaths injuries etc etc.The government cannot solve all of our "problems" we as americans can make certain decisions without government intervention and I for one believe I am capable in making certain decisions for myself
Hambone

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#13 Jul 26, 2007
In my opinion Safty is Safty! It does not matter what you are driving, towing, haulling or riding. If they find it saves lives on the Highway they they put it into effect. Just like air bags seat belts ect.
Eric

Yulee, FL

#14 Jul 26, 2007
You not wearing a helmet causes my insurance and healthcare costs to go up. That is why you must wear a helmet.
gary parkinson

Easton, MD

#15 Jul 26, 2007
I have been reading and following alot of Mr. Dressers attacks on the motorcycle group ABATE lately, and it is very clear that Mr. Dresser is not very informed or knowledgeable about ABATE and what they do. Yes ABATE does try to change legislation on the helmet use in Maryland and it would be nice if he really got the facts before he started running his month to the public which obviously he hasn't, he also runs his month and makes assumptions that there is a over whelming amount of ABATE members using alcohol at their meetings. how many meeting has he attended and seen this, its awful funny that on one of the previous attacks on ABATE ran the same week the SUN ran an article about business men of the Baltimore area having get togethers to discuss business and I believe they said there was a wine glass in one hand a business card and the other and how great this was.And those same business men after their fun time and many glass of wine are getting behind the wheel and making the roads very safe. Two other ABATE members and myself went to the TAWES crab and clam feast in Crisfield last week which in the state of Maryland is one of the largest political get togethers for the public and there was more alcohol being severed there then I've ever seen at a ABATE function and I'm happy to say that the three of us did not consume alcohol but were able to talk to alot of law makers about safety and even the helmet. Most of the ABATE members haven't been writing in because its a well known fact that the SUN holds the right to edit and use just the parts they want to use to get their message across.I've had a lot of people tell me they are stopping the Sun Paper because of the biased reporting and I know for sure I will never buy it again.

P.S. NTSA has reported that Maryland is lower then the national average for motorcycle in alcohol incidents, my option ABATE does have some of the credit for this statistic .

Thanks Gary Lee Parkinson
Hammbone

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#16 Jul 27, 2007
Gee do you think the news people put a spin on the story?
I'm SURE they would never do that!
I thihnk they are the downfall of this country!
Howard Brooks

AOL

#17 Sep 26, 2007
Did you go to Camp Gulliver in 1963/1964?
Jim Pomper wrote:
I agree that helmets save lives and that the arguments against wearing them - obstructed hearing, vision, and the like - are rationalizations rather than rationales, but I do NOT subscribe to the paternalistic notion that people require "looking after". That is for children and, perhaps, those of diminshed capacity.
I am 54 and have been riding snce age 19 and I have been lucky. Lucky in that I have never had a serious accident. Lucky in that I have never had a helmet save my life. I wear one, maybe because I must, but also, maybe, because I'm snart enough(not taking bets there).
I survived my kamikaze youth, where it was imperative that I be the fastest thing on 2 (or 4) wheels. Now I enjoy the ride for what it is: a soothing balm for my soul.
Still, while I would counsel the use of a good helmet, I would NOT support a "mandatory" law. Education has always been the best method by which to ensure lasting change. As reasoning beings, we only grow when challenged to do so. All laws accomplish is the ceding of decision-making to others.
Firefighter Steve

Bethesda, MD

#18 Oct 2, 2007
Well, my thoughts and views on this....For starters, I am a firefighter/EMT and I work the 95/Route 1/ Route 100 corridor in Howard County. In some cases that I have personally seen, they are few and far between, helmets actually help save lives by avoiding severe head trauma that would have resulted from minor accidents where the rider would have struck their heads. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the motor cycle drivers are going way to fast and a helmet is only going to in some cases allow for an open casket.
I believe, the last time I checked, 1 out of every 10 motor cycle accidents is a fatal wreck. Probably why the insurance is so low because the insurance company doesn't have to pay your life insurance bill.
As a first responder that runs an average of six motor cycle wrecks a week, I think that it is a great idea to keep the helmet law. it is a protective measure that will give you a chance in some cases.
Personally, I would love to see more a requirement to restrict the speeds and output of motor cycles. To many times I have been called to a scene of a wreck to find a body smashed to hell after hitting a tractor trailer at 120 miles an hour, or the accident that they caused after buzzing by a startled motorist at 150mph.

Cars have restrictions and governors on the motors, why don't motor cycles? That and extremely stiffer penalties....First citation for over 100mph and your license should be revoked, indefinately. Driving that fast only proves that you are not mature enough to handle the responsibility of a vehicle. To many breaks are given by judges, of those breaks, how many repeat offenders cause deadly accidents....I would love to see the stats...unfortunately, they are not available to us......

Be safe, drive to survive. You only get one shot at life.

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