's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

its about time..helmets mandatory....(73 posts)

its about time..helmets mandatory....ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 4:54 AM
What took UCI so long to see the obvious...
We'll see how the rider's feel about helmets during the heat...Cima Coppi
Apr 7, 2003 5:32 AM
of July climbing the Alps and the Pyrenees in near 100 degree temps. Not even LA wears a helmet in the mountains during the Tour, but I have not read any comments from him after the UCI announcement was released to the press.

I still don't agree with this decision.

If I can survive, I think they can.DougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 6:16 AM
With a helmet on, I rode 508 miles (almost) continuously, with 35,000 feet of climbing, and over 100 degrees two days in a row, hitting 106 the second. If wimpy old me can handle it, I think Lance can. Besides, they are going twice as fast, so they get more cooling air... ;-)

This has always been a complaint of the riders in Europe...Cima Coppi
Apr 7, 2003 7:04 AM
I don't know if it's tradition they are holding on to, or if there is something to the trapped heat factor while climbing. When one watches the TdF or the Giro or the Vuelta, one can count the number of riders wearing helmet on one hand during a mountain stage. It just does not happen, and the danger of crashing on the descents don't seem to be a factor in their decisions not to wear helmets. It obviously does not faze LA, because he watched Ullrich go over his bars on a descent, and he lost his good friend Casartelli on a descent. Here in the states, its another issue with professional riders. They do not ever complain about the mandatory helmet requirements issued by USCF or other governing bodies of US cycling.

My question is this, and since you are a lawyer Doug, it should be one that is easy to answer. Why does the goverment not pass laws making helmet usage mandatory for cyclists of all ages. Helmet usage on a Motorcycle is required by law in most states. If you are such an advocate of helmets, don't you think the government (either local, state, or federal) should take a stand on the issue?

I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

Alabama has....ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 7:11 AM
everybody 16 and under on public roads on a bicycle is required to have a passed in mid 90s..enforced? nope...
not the government's businessDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 7:37 AM
California has law that minors must wear helmets while cycling. Adults do not. I think the reasoning is that adults can make the decision for themselves, while minors presumeably cannot.

I don't think helmets should be mandated for any adult in any non-competitive activity. I don't buy the argument that there are increased public costs to scrape up or care for those not wearing helmets -- if you stretch that argument just a little further, it would make sense to completely ban motorcycles, bicycles, skiing, hang gliding, etc.

Organized competition is different. Because you are competing, there is at least a perceived slight advantage to not wearing a helmet. Therefore, those choosing to wear one are at a disadvantage, and are somewhat under duress to go without. However, if the organization requires them, then no one is disadvantaged. This does not apply to recreational riding, however. There is no compulsion *not* to wear one, for you have nothing to lose by wearing one.

I don't like the government mandating safety. I like freedom of choice, even to make the wrong choices.

Agree, and bike associations are free for their choices. nmSpunout
Apr 7, 2003 8:45 AM
Re:not the government's businessjtlmd
Apr 7, 2003 5:43 PM
If someone is disabled from a head injury their lifetime care can easily exceed $1,000,000. Unfortunately, this money ends up coming from medicaid, medicare and government disability funds.

I would be fine without helmet laws for motorcycles if anybody not wearing a helmet waives their right to any future government funds for their medical expenses or long term care. I shouldn't be paying for their stupidity. Here in Ohio motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets.
Keeps you cooler...jose_Tex_mex
Apr 7, 2003 7:36 AM
Lance's coach commented on this topic and noted that for the majority of ride time, helmets keep you cooler than none at all. A cooler heads allows you to dump more heat and avoid over-heating.

The exception is steep climbs in mtn stages. I wouldn't be surprised to see the rules not applied herein.
Duh! If riders don't like the heat...Matno
Apr 7, 2003 8:23 AM
...they will shave their heads. Since they already shave their arms and legs, I'm surprised more of them haven't already started shaving their heads. I mean, think of all that wind resistance for the guys with long hair! But seriously, a shaved head under a helmet ought to be at least as cool as a full head of hair without one. (And don't they often wear hats anyway?) I've never really followed professional cycling (mostly because I don't have any way to follow it without cable), but it seems like a viable solution. Maybe I'm just blowing smoke out my butt...
Overall this will be good for the sportMaartin
Apr 7, 2003 5:44 AM
Good for the shops and retailers and save lives at all levels of the sport. Really, head tramas are the worst of injuries.
Overall this will be good for the sportClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 5:52 AM
I have written ESPN, and now OLN, each year for years before the TdF asking them to do public service announcements for people to wear helmets and to ignore the pros not wearing them....people who cycle and dont wear helmets are stupid....and that includes the pros. I suspect they feel they are such superior riders they are impervious..well, they are not..their brains crack open just like ours..
another way it might be good?DougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 6:19 AM
Maybe we'll see further improvement in technology, like carbon fiber 2 ounce helmets and 90% ventilation, with the pros driving the desire for improvement?

Not wearing a helmet is ridiculous!!Ligon
Apr 7, 2003 6:04 AM
I am glad the UCI finally made this mandatory. The decision of some riders to not wear helmets is stupid. Professional riders are role models just like any other athlete. I belive that with being a role model comes responsibilty to promote safety. People watching our sport see all of these proffesional riders without helmets and think that it is the "cool" or "euro" thing to do. Well if you ask me it is just plain dumb!!

Don't give me any crap about it is too hot. I ride in the sweltering southern summer heat and I manage just fine. Granted I may not ride as far and fast as the pros but I will always wear a helmet. The helmets today are far more advanced than the helmets years ago. With all of the vents manufactures are putting in helmets today, the heat difference is negligeble.


Glad I got the vent a little:)

Not wearing a helmet is ridiculous!!al0
Apr 7, 2003 12:22 PM
You belive that with being a role model comes responsibilty to promote safety, and I believe opposite. Safety isn't and SHALL NOT BE the end on itself. Peoples should be able and really have to to take a risk, or any progress would stop. The grown man has to take decisions on itself and nobody - nor goverment, nor sport organization bosses havr a right to dictate him as far as he endangers himself only.

This is matter of principe.

And because there is no provement that non-wearing of helmets improve results there is no reasons to made them mandatory to ensure fair competition.

BTW, I belive that not wear helmet is a quite stupid thing but I don't want to impose this to others.
Making rules to govern this choice - WRONG!sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 6:39 AM
Wear your helmet if you want to - I never leave the house with mine (and bagged a ride a few weeks ago because I forgot to take it with me). BUT, the fact is - they are professionals. They know the risks more than any of us ever will. It should be their choice.

Clyde, I'm surprised you'd feel this way. Aren't you the "governing organization - stay out of my life" type?
no different than any other racingDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 6:47 AM
So, should race car drivers have the option of helmets, fire suits, roll cages, fire suppression systems, minimum weights, etc? I think the point of mandating safety devices is to even the playing field, so that one is not at a disadvantage by utilizing something that someone else may go without. It's almost universal in all forms of racing.

This is not about the government. The government is not mandating anything here. It's about a private organization making a rule for its members. Every private racing or sports organization in existence makes safety rules. This is but one of thousands of similar rules. You don't have to wear a helmet -- you don't have to race.

I think I agree to disagree ... again.sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 9:06 AM
I agree that a private governing body has the right to impose whatever regulations on the participants it wants to. The UCI has shown that with their recent decision. Legally, I suppose that's the answer - the UCI has the power to impose the regulation, they did, end of story. They are, of course, acting in the riders best interest and looking to increase the safety of the sport. Since helmets are so light, comfy, and ventilated, it is a justified action.

Also, I'm not talking about the "government" I said "governing organization". They aren't the same. Please don't put words in my text that weren't there. Dang lawyers and thier plays on words. ;-)

I disagree, however, with your comparison of bicycle racers with race car drivers. You are making the assumption racing a bicycle is as dangerous as driving 180+ mph. In car racers situations, the drivers are wearing a minimum amount of equipment that keeps them from dying in very typical situations. Imposing helmet regulations is not the case with cycling. There are many crashes througout the season, and I'd speculate at least one an event (on average). But only a few of those have resulted in deaths, and in most of those, helmets would have not saved the vicitim (or were worn, and didn't). While death is a horrible thing, and losing people like Andrei is horrible, the facts just don't support the action.

As I said, I agree with helmet use. My concern is people being regulated into safety.
Making rules to govern this choice - WRONG!ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 6:48 AM
In general I am..I am also a person who works in the safety field..we have no right to ride on the roads, be it automobile or bicycle. It is a privelage. Society does pose some restrictions on society as a whole with respect to safety, ie seat belts in cars and helmet on motorcyclists in most states. Does an individual have a right to not wear a helmet? I say yes, if that individual never ventures on public land or property..will legally ensure that if he/she cracks their skull open the public wont have to help pay for medical costs, and that person has no family that will be impacted if that person is a vegetable, for, if you hurt your family and friends also if you do that to yourself. Being on public roads/lands places also certain responsibilities on oneself, and one of those should be a minimum of common sense safety protection, ie seatbelts, shoulder harnesses, helmets for cyclists, working lights/brakes/wipers etc for autos....
The above post is so wrong I need to respondeddie m
Apr 7, 2003 8:13 AM
The right to travel freely is not merely a privilege. The idea that travel is a "privilege" is something the safety fascists repeat so often that people begin to believe it. Every American citizen has the right to travel the public right-of-way, (there's that word "right")subject to reasonable rules to protect public safety and convenience. The "privilege" of holding a driver's license is actually a right that cannot be withheld from any qualified person. If you abuse that right it can only be taken away by due process of law. Of course, the police want you to believe that simply by driving a car you have somehow forfeited the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, but they are wrong.

Rant over
Remind me ...sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 9:15 AM
... of some cases where a person got injured in a car/motorcyle/cycling accident while riding on public roads and the government had to compensate for it. As I have only been in one auto accident (nearly 15 years ago), I might be a little naive here ... but as I understand it, when you venture out on public roads, you do so knowing there is a risk and accepting that risk.

I disagree with your argument on how your actions impact your family / friends. You can't regulate someone because of how their actions will effect someone else.

Also, racing in Europe is different in the States. When those guys are on the road, the whole road is closed. THere's no yellow line rule, and there's little contact with autos (and those are mostly support vehicles).

I don't think the 5 or so professional cycling deaths in the last 20 years, given the number of accidents in cycling events, has enough incident backing to impose the regulation.
Remind me ...ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 9:46 AM
If you go out riding..and crack your head open..and your insurance doesnt cover it..the rest of do..and even if your insurance does cover it..when you run hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost..our insurance goes up
your insurance goes up ...sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 10:11 AM
... whether I crack my head open or not (well, not me since I do have a helmet, right?).

There are so many things driving insurance costs up (including, but not limited to, arbitrary increases for pro-insurance Congressional lobbying, CEO bonuses, and other management perks) that the number of severe head trauma cycling accidents resulting in exhorbinant costs is a drop in the bucket.

If that's your motive, why don't you direct your efforts towards malpractice suits, and ambulance chasing type lawsuits and leave the poor European Professional cyclist (who, by the way, will have no impact on your premiums) alone?
I do favor Tort Reform..more...ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 10:19 AM
now watch out for Doug Sloan other lawyers to flame me...Compensatory damages are fine, but there should be a limit, what I dont know, to punitive damages...
Apr 7, 2003 10:35 AM
Punitive damages are to punish the defendant so that it and others similarly situated are deterred from the conduct. Part of the equation is basing the amount on what it would take to punish the particular party. Obviously, it will take more to punish a Bill Gates or General Motors than it would Doug Sloan or you local used car dealer.

With known limits, corporate number crunchers start factoring in the amount of risk for putting out a defective product, and may make a decision to go ahead, as they can bear the cost of litigation and the risk that someone might hit at the courthouse. With no known cap, they are at least less likely to do this.

Not sure of the answer to this. We need to balance deterrence and unjust awards. By the way, some states take a percentage of punitive awards (like 60% in Oregon), and give it to criminal victims compensation funds. Does that make punitives more tolerable.

Also, insurance almost never covers punitives.

I'll go you one better -- other than in commercial cases,bill
Apr 7, 2003 10:43 AM
punitive damages are almost never awarded. Almost never. They are a great whipping boy, and they have caused some havoc in asbestos and pharmocology cases, and now tobacco litigation, but there is a whole lot less of that stuff out there than the media will have you believe. I've been practicing law almost seventeen years, and I've had one case that carried punitive damages. Back when I was a pretty new lawyer, a guy smashed another guy in the face and broke his nose. He got $3,000 in compensatory and $4,000 in punitive damages. Maybe it was the other way around.
There is so much bad information around about this.
oh, boy. do some research, because you need to. Ibill
Apr 7, 2003 10:28 AM
agree that helmet wear is not going to make a significant difference in your health care premiums IF you don't work at, say, a ten-person company where a non-helmet wearing jackass cracks his head open. Then your risk-pool has seen "significant increases in health care costs, causing us to need to raise your rates [blah, blah, blah]." You will feel the sting then, my friend, I assure you, IF you can keep coverage at all.
Compare that, please, to what difference in premiums malpractice suits cost. The insurance industry's own studies show that capping awards as was passed in the house and is being contemplated in the Senate as we speak may affect premiums as much as ... get this ... are you ready? ... 0.4%. Did you catch that? 0.4%. That's their own figures. Let me say it again. 0.4%. This means that your insurance, which might be, like $300 month, might be reduced as much as $1.20.
People are so ignorant about this stuff.
Oops. I just checked my source. The figure of .4% comesbill
Apr 7, 2003 10:56 AM
from the Congressional Budget Office, not the insurance industry. In fact, I don't think that, as hard as they have fought for so-called "reform," the insurance industry ever publicly has put a number on the expected savings. Which should tell you something right there.
helmet ...sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 11:59 AM
IF you work in a 10 person company AND have a history of high medical expenses, I agree. I also agree that you can loose your coverage with an expense that high. On the other side, as the husband of a health insurance underwriter, there are many more factors that are considered on top of the current accident. As an underwriter, you assess the cost and frequency of the unit you are writing, you assess the chances of said accident happening again, you also look at the other claims for the organization. If you are then considered a risk to the insurance company, your premiums will rise and/or you will be cancelled.

My point was more on the industry average that initial premiums are gauged. If you are an actuary and are developing one of your wonderful, exciting tables, where is a major trauma for a non-helmet wearing cyclist going to show up in comparison with that premium difference I'm so ignorant about?

On average, how many cyclists are involved in high expense accidents in comparison with auto accidents? Other non auto accidents? Or diagnosed with a chronic condition?

According to my wife, cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic renal failure, alcoholism, and gunshot wounds are the the claims that raise your insurance the most ... and bike accidents "[when they show up are mostly brushed off as an isolated incident]"

Also, regarding the malpractice insurance - I disagree, and I think the insurance companies have a reason to keep malpractice suits high. My friends that are doctors claim they pay 45% of their expenses in malpractice insurance. That, in turn, raises the cost to the insurance company who then raises the cost to the consumer - the insurance industry is profiting in two areas. Where I agree that the amount of money going in, minus administration expenses, plus investment return, minus payout might be a .4% change in rates, I think the realized savings to the consumer would be greater. But that's just the opinion of one ignorant guy.
if you're interested, check this out. It is one of the morebill
Apr 7, 2003 12:14 PM
balanced things I've seen on the subject, and it actually contains facts.
There are certain high-risk areas of practice where the premiums might be relatively that high, but in most areas (practice and geographic) it's much less -- in the low single digits as a percentage of revenues. The idea that there won't be doctors left is wrong, wrong, wrong. What's just as distressing is that some doctors are just plain lying about it. "Pain and suffering" awards have NOT increased. What has increased is the cost of future medical expenses for medical wrongs, which is driven largely by technology.
Much of what has driven up the increases in premiums recently is that the industry held down premiums for years to gain market share. Now that the investment returns aren't what they were, they are bringing rates in line with historical increases.
I don't mean to be churlish, but if you accept that the end result would be a .4% change in rates, how would the "realized savings to the consumer" be greater? Is it not what it is?
Good article.sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 12:37 PM
The realized savings that I was talking about ... I think it is possible to skew the same findings to support either side of an argument. My point was (being the skeptical person I am), that insurance companies might be claiming a .4% savings in health care costs at their end, but a result of reducing medical costs across the board might end up being more savings for the individual insured.

Since the insurance industry is collecting revenue from the sale of premiums on both sides of the issue (meaning the doctors are paying for malpractice, and the insureds are paying more to cover the malpractice insurance), the insurance industry wins on both sides. If the doctors' percentage amounts they are paying into the general insurance pool decreases, they can decrease the cost to the patient. It will cost less to serve each individual, thus reducing the cost for each insured by more than .4%.

Does this make sense?
I know what you're saying -- although if malpractice premiumsbill
Apr 7, 2003 1:14 PM
represent an expenditure of 4% of the doctor's revenues, and they are cut in half (instead of, as predicted, the 25% to 30% decrease that is predicted in the states where no cap currently exists -- with an overall decrease of 5-7%), that still only means that the expense represents a 2% share of revenues instead of 4%. Does anyone really think that that difference will make a difference in the overall costs of health care? Some, but nothing to write home about for sure.
More savings in high-risk practices? The average ob-gyn pays 6.7% of revenues for premiums, instead of 3.7%. We're still in niggling differences.
premium costsDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 12:40 PM
As you probably argue in every insurance bad faith suit, insurance companies make most of their money investing; the longer they hold on to the premium dollars, the more they can make.

I don't have any data, but we are all well aware that in the 90's everyone was making money on investments, including insurance companies. Now that investment income is down, even at loss levels, insurance companies don't have the revenue, either. So, regardless of loss experience, premiums would be expected to rise in the last couple of years, right?

(I guess we are getting fairly astray of the point...)

Individual's choice is fine. But sanctioned events differ..Spunout
Apr 7, 2003 6:54 AM
with insurance speculations considered by the UCI, race organisers, promoters, why not?!

We can ride around town without a helmet, big deal. But, to win some prize money, I'll have to follow some rules.

I bet the insurance rates for pro races in Europe skyrocketed after Kivilev. The teams' life/health insurance premiums are probably through the roof.
If everyone wears it,performance will be equalshamelessgearwhore
Apr 7, 2003 7:15 AM
by requiring everyone to wear one, the argument that it will adversely affect performance is negated since it would be felt by all competitors.

On another note, maybe this will help the Euros to accept the helmet. You can travel in Europe for a month and never see anyone wear a helmet. It's a silly fashion thing.
Things can change in one generation. When I was a kid NO ONE EVER would have been caught dead wearing a helmet. These days its pretty rare to see someone w/o one.
when I was a kid..ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 7:16 AM
bicycle helmets didnt exist..they made their debut when? late 70s? early 80s? by Bell Helmets?
If everyone wears it,performance will be equalal0
Apr 7, 2003 12:36 PM
I am living in Germany that is europe (or not?) and I can sworh that there on roads at least 3/4 of cyclist worn helmets (including myself(. But this isn't a reason to make them obligatory.
how does this affect time trial gear?JS Haiku Shop
Apr 7, 2003 7:18 AM
apologies if this was covered in the article or already discussed.

it's my understanding that TT helmets used in euro racing have little or no protective value--only aero. does this new UCI rule mean *all* helmets will be required to meet a certain safety standard?
how does this affect time trial gear?ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 7:21 AM
if they dont apply a recongnized intl standard to the helmets..rule would be worthless...and I too have read that most time trial helmets do not pass safety standards in existance..they have time to re-engineer them...
unsure, but there are approved onesDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 7:39 AM
Approved aero gear? Or, mass-starts only helmet rule? nmSpunout
Apr 7, 2003 7:22 AM
The only sport where safety equipment's optionalretro
Apr 7, 2003 7:59 AM
Football players can't choose whether they wear pads or helmets, baseball players can't leave the batting helmets on the bench, racing drivers have to wear Nomex...what's the problem with just saying, "Wear a helmet or don't ride"?
sorry, but your wrong about football...Joe Connell
Apr 7, 2003 11:41 AM
I see football players not wearing knee pads all the time. Baseball players can choose to wear that armor at the plate, but they actually reduced the allowable size last year; to many people standing on the plate. Having said that, I like the new rule.

The idea that there is no public interest in a person's safetybill
Apr 7, 2003 8:15 AM
is ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it is. Society pays for incapacitated people in all sorts of ways. We are not islands. Selectively choosing whether the government has a right to govern this aspect of our lives but not this other aspect is usually bereft of logic based on what the chooser likes and doesn't rather than on any principled basis.
Helmets save lives. They save health costs. They save insurance costs. They save hospital bed space, and other health care resources. They save children from growing up without parents. When you choose to endanger yourself unnecessarily because of something so simple and stupid like not wearing a helmet in the interest of lliberty, it's silly. These are not individual choices.
I guess "freedom" means you are free to do as I say, thenDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 8:32 AM
Whatever happened to this being considered a "free country?" What, you are free to do what you want, as long as it's not considered dangerous or a potential burden on society? That's a crock.

My parents, my wife, and at least half my office think it's "silly and stupid" to even consider riding bikes around cars, helmet or not. I think it's "silly and stupid" to go hang gliding, helmet or not. I think it's "silly and stupid" to bungy jump. Your list of "silly and stupid" is probably not going to be the same as mine, and I certainly don't want some socialist government bureaucrat deciding what is "silly and stupid" for me.

"Give me liberty, or give me death (with or without a helmet)!"

Yes, I choose to wear one. But I also choose to plunge down mountains at 60 mph on about 2 square inches of contact patch. "Silly and stupid?" Probably. Riding next to 80,000 pound rigs going by at 55 mph is probably stupid, too. Ban bikes from highways.

I absolute hate the attitude that the government safety nazis think they know better what's for me and can run my life. They get a foothold, and then they incrementally destroy what's left of our freedoms. Give them an inch, and then they take your life (yes, life without freedom is death) away.


Apr 7, 2003 8:39 AM
Please remove this Doug Sloan from posting here..I am a safety professional...this Doug Sloan equates us to Nazi's, a group of people who committed unbelievable attrocities. This is slander, libel, and slur upon a group of this not against the rules of this message forum? :~)
if you can suggest a better term, I'll substitute :-)DougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 8:46 AM
I think the ball got rolling on this usage in the Seinfeld "soup nazi" episode. Small "n".

Nothing personal.

if you can suggest a better term, I'll substitute :-)eddie m
Apr 7, 2003 8:57 AM
I agree we should avoid the casual use of the term "nazi." I used the term "fascist" in a post (above). "Fascist" refers to several European political parties which supported authoritarian government. The Nazis were a fascist party that committed atrocities, but not all Fascists were Nazis. BTW, I read that either Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David (I forget which) later regretted the term "soup nazi."
ok, I'll stick with "fascist" nmDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 9:00 AM
in our profession...ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 9:44 AM
we use the term "safety weenie"....
Wait - is this the SAME ClydeTri ...sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 9:24 AM
... that stops at nothing to bash people for their political beliefs, their own opinion / stance on a subject, and most people who disagree with him?

Is he requesting the some action being taken on someone that is guilty of the exact same actions he is guilty of?

Is he doing this to an upstanding member of the board who is a moderator in another group?

Wow. This liberal-commie-pig who has been told several times to leave Clyde's country is shocked ... to say the least.
geesh..did you ...ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 9:48 AM
did you not notice the :~) at the end????? I knew he was the is called HUMOR
no, I missed it.sacheson
Apr 7, 2003 10:04 AM
This is just the sort of non-debate that I'm talking about.bill
Apr 7, 2003 10:05 AM
You claim a liberty interest in not wearing a helmet, based on individual choice. I give you reasons why it's not really an individual choice -- that your choice has ramifications for me, for society, that I would rather not choose, thank you very much. Your response is to claim a liberty interest in wearing a helmet. That's not a debate, that's a conclusion -- yours.
Liberty interest in choosing to have a child? Sure. In using birth control? Sure. In learning about birth control? Sure. In who I sleep with? Sure. In choosing not to pledge an oath to a piece of cloth on a flagpole? Sure. In not being subjected to religious invocation in a public space? Sure. Even though these things can have ramifications for others if, for example, I then choose not to take care of my children, I'm happy to live with those ramifications because these choices strike so much closer to what I think it means to be a human being and a citizen of a free society. Have I injected some value system in here? Of course. No argument ever relies solely on logic; we always have to set certain premises which involve reference to subjective values. I'm comfortable with these, thank you.
But, liberty not to wear a helmet? C'mon. A little perspective is in order here. If you think I'm wrong, at least give me a reason. I see helmet wearing as something simple and non-invasive that can make a huge difference in the ramifications for society in your choices to descend at 60 mph, etc. Such as, wear a helmet and preserve your freedom to ride your friggin bike the way you want.
Have a debate, not a slogan-fest.
freedom needs explanation?DougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 10:24 AM
Lots of issues are decided on the freedom/liberty issue. I wouldn't think it would require much debate. The scary thing is when it requires argument to convince another American of the freedom is a good reason for something so simple.

Let's see, some want the freedom to terminate a life (no intention of getting into that here -- and I'm not necessarily attributing this to you), but are ok with being denied the simple freedom to choose whether to wear a helmet? That is so bizarre thinking it's difficult to resond.

The slippery-slope is a valid concern. The more and more we accept the government taking away our freedoms, the more it becomes justifiable to do it.

Some may trivialize a freedom as simple as wearing a helmet. I oppose the entire concept of mandated personal safety, no matter how trivial a particular example may seem to you. It is far too easy to be too invasive once the door it opened.

Part of my reasoning is consistency, too. If you can justify mandating bicycle helmets, then I'd think you need to ban motorcycles entirely, in addition to dozens of other activities. No one "needs" to ride a motorcycle, do they? It's "simple" and "reasonable" to drive a car instead.

Yes, I do wear a helmet. I'm not stupid.

But doug...ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 10:29 AM
then, should auto companies be mandated to build cars with shoulder harnesses if passengers arent required to wear them? If not, you know lawyers would sue the first auto company who built an auto without one and that contributed to the injuries/death of a passenger..
that's a little differentDougSloan
Apr 7, 2003 10:44 AM
While I'd like to say the the government should not interfere there, either, it's a little bit different.

First, wearing a belt can *prevent* and accident, by staying in control. Not much of an argument, but there's something there.

Second, mandating the equipment to be installed is different than mandating its use. The government is saying "make it available," but not necessarily requiring people to use it. That makes some sense, too. While I'd prefer a free market in which we can buy any car with any safety features we want, we have gone well down that road, and there won't be any turning back. Not use in arguing a moot point.

Doug, the whole point is that one man's liberty is another man'sbill
Apr 7, 2003 10:34 AM
burden, like it or not, because we all live together on this planet, and comparing these interests requires some analysis. I don't see any here. If someone does something stupid and betters the gene pool, I don't really have a problem with that in the abstract, as far as that goes, but often enough there are ramifications. Of course it needs analysis.
You know what? Liberty not to wear a little piece of styrofoam on your head that can save society scads of money if you just wore the damn thing ain't much of a liberty interest.
freedom needs explanation?flying
Apr 7, 2003 11:04 AM
Yeah its funny I don't agree but I respect the UCI decision because it is a sporting body. They make rules for their games. To play you follow their rules period.
But things like State or Fed government with laws such as seat belts where we don't even have a helmet law in this state?
Makes me wonder why? Because driving without one is a danger to my health? Why not make cigarettes illegal too? They are a danger to those who smoke & even those who have to suffer the second hand smoke. What about alcohol? Where does it end?
freedom needs explanation?ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 11:11 AM
too much tax money in tobacco, and labor money and all kinds of money....and the proverbial genie is out of the bottle...just as with alcohol...
Too True.Tobacco = $$ (nm)flying
Apr 7, 2003 11:17 AM
I get a kick out of all this.Mel Erickson
Apr 7, 2003 9:59 AM
Compare this to professional hockey. Sound familiar? Just the other night, while frustratingly trying to find cycling on OLN, I spent a few minutes watching bull riding. What to my wondering eyes did appear? A bull riding COWBOY wearing a helmet. Is nothing sacred? The last bastion of individualism and true american spirit has now disappeared!

When all is said and done (20 years from now) we'll look back at this for what it is. A tempest in a teapot.
I get a kick out of all this.ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 10:10 AM
and they wear kevlar flack jackets also....
you're right, of course. very succinct, too. well done.bill
Apr 7, 2003 10:59 AM
The horror!TWD
Apr 7, 2003 11:02 AM
Was this so called "COWBOY" wearing the same model Briko helmet the Cippo wears?

You think he would have had the class to wear one of those cowboy hat shaped hard hats!
and a cippoClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 11:12 AM
and a cippo like zebra suit!
No, one betterMel Erickson
Apr 7, 2003 1:22 PM
Chaps the size of Texas, with gold lamee fringes to boot! And a flak jacket. After his ride he proceeded to do two pirouettes and the announcers commentated that he was the only bull rider with enough guts to wear a helmet and do pirouettes after his ride. Must have a rep.
Matter of fact....Mel Erickson
Apr 7, 2003 1:17 PM
No. Looked like a dorky hockey helmet! No accounting for taste. Ya gotta remember, though, it was a COWBOY.
ban stupidityhinaults dog
Apr 7, 2003 12:23 PM
I know im asking for it but
this was brought to a head by
kivilevs death -who according to
a french rider who saw the crash
had both hands in his rear
pockets when he went
ban stupidityClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 12:35 PM
and according to the doctor who treated him..might have lived had he had a helmet death is one too many in this case.
Here's one reason why the UCI ruling is good.peter1
Apr 7, 2003 2:26 PM
While there is no definitive proof that Casartelli and Kvilev would have lived had they been wearing a helmet, I strongly suspect they would have. I'm sad that their deaths were probably easily avoidable.

And because the UCI hasn't had the guts to impose a helmet rule before, I won't ever get to see them race again, and their families have lost someone they love.

This has nothing to do with recreational riding, as Doug Sloan pointed out.

It's not just pro cycling. What if Dale Earnhardt Sr. had worn a full-face helmet with neck restraint? He might have lived, too. I really liked his racing style.

I'm not going to argue the legal/moral points of the debate, purely the emotional ones.
Apr 7, 2003 11:36 PM
Casartelli was wearing a helmet when he crashed, admittedly one of the 'old-school' leather hair net types. As I recall, his temple was crushed by a curb stone on the corner he slid out on. It's debatable whether a hard shell helmet would have made a difference.
Everybody supposes that wearing a helmet makes a difference in these cases but is any helmet designed to withstand the impact resulting from a somersault over the bars at 40KmH plus as in Kivilev's case?
You can't ever say for certain, merely speculate.
As far as I am concerned the pro's are all big boys who can make their own minds up regarding helmet usage, except that now the UCI has done it for them.
A simple answerMel Erickson
Apr 8, 2003 5:46 AM
Yes, helmets are designed to protect your noggin when you go over the bars at 40kph. Doesn't mean no injury but probably not death. Yep, they're big boys but because they participate in an organized professional sport they don't get to make the rules. Just like any other business, management/owners make the rules. Safety rules are often made to protect the business as well as the employee and that's the case here. It's no different than a business requiring safety glasses, steel toed boots and chainsaw chaps.