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poll: Helmet Laws? Yes or No?(54 posts)

poll: Helmet Laws? Yes or No?shamelessgearwhore
Jun 26, 2003 8:46 AM
Here in Seattle they are about to pass a new helmet law for bicyclists. I always wear one but resent being told to. I am against seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws too. So my vote is NO.
Yes (nm)Alex-in-Evanston
Jun 26, 2003 8:51 AM
Always wear helmet, yes. Laws, no nmDave Hickey
Jun 26, 2003 8:57 AM
I against the government telling me what to do.
No. (nm)onespeed
Jun 26, 2003 9:01 AM
yes always....!marcoxxx
Jun 26, 2003 9:02 AM
our local area tri-guys never wear them...too mancho!

re: poll: Helmet Laws? Yes or No?My Dog Wally
Jun 26, 2003 9:04 AM
Those of us who value our lives will wear helmets, regardless of what the law says. Those who aren't inclined to wear helmets need protection from themselves. Yes on helmet laws. It's a benevolent government that looks after the welfare and safety of its citizens, even those who think they can manage their own welfare and safety.
No., but you assume liability for injurycory
Jun 26, 2003 9:13 AM
I don't go down the driveway without one, but I agree it should be individual choice.
Since you choosing not to wear a helmet could increase my insurance premiums, though, if you get hurt, you're on your own.
If no, then we (society) should leave you splattered on the roadBrooks
Jun 26, 2003 10:08 AM
But, of course, we won't do that. The potentially millions of dollars expended for the medical care needed when you incur massive head trauma, but survive, would rapidly outstrip your ability to pay, insurance included. So the rest of us have to pay for your medical care for the rest of your life. In short, I am all for helmet laws for bikes and motorcycles and seatbelts for cars. Or you should have a big sign that says "Leave me on the road to die."
exactly. nmbill
Jun 26, 2003 10:19 AM
I've had non-cyclists say the same thing about cyclists...Steve_0
Jun 26, 2003 10:39 AM
after all, why should they sustain your life since you CHOSE to partake in a high-risk activity which involves being on a public roadway without the protection of cages and airbags.

Bikes should be limited to MUTs and parks to keep insurance costs down.
If no, then we (society) should (snip) Be realistic!flying
Jun 26, 2003 4:26 PM
Please......This is always blown waaaay out of proportion.
If your line of thinking is such then why not pound the table to outlaw smoking? Perhaps an even better one would be alcohol? I mean the risk from both of those are greater to society than cycling induced head trauma isn't it?
No problem banning smoking, alcohol, guns, too! nmBrooks
Jun 27, 2003 7:13 AM
yes on roads, no on bike paths / sidewalks (nm)KSC
Jun 26, 2003 9:18 AM
bike paths / sidewalks frequently more dangerous! (nm)willem72
Jun 26, 2003 3:49 PM
re: poll: Helmet Laws? Yes or No?brider
Jun 26, 2003 9:54 AM
Interestingly enough, there was a helmet law passed several years ago in King County that exempted Seattle. When it went into effect, I was thinking "what's up with that?"

As for helmet laws, they don't effect me in the least. I've always worn a helmet long before they were "mandatory."
Jun 26, 2003 9:54 AM
With universal health care (in Canada) that taxpayers pay for someone's accident I definately believe it should be law. It's they're choice to risk there well being until I and others have to pay for their foolishness.
Laws for minors, not adults, but I wear one always anyway nmterry b
Jun 26, 2003 9:58 AM
Why not ..!MR_GRUMPY
Jun 26, 2003 10:07 AM
But only if they include motorcycles.
and I resent having to take care of you and your family, andbill
Jun 26, 2003 10:15 AM
paying increased insurance premiums just because you're in my risk pool.
This is such a strawman argument, that you "resent the government's telling [you] what to do." Well, maybe we all resent it some, but the truth is we live in a society where risk is pooled, whether we like it or not, by insurance premiums if you have insurance and, if you don't, by Medicaid or whatever. If you end up with a cracked skull, someone's paying for it. If you don't or can't, personally, it's going to be added to my insurance premium, my tax bill, or my next medical bill. That you personally can pay for it or say you would really doesn't interest me, because society addresses these things with rules that apply generally. Generally speaking, somebody else is going to pay for it.
In one extended debate about this among local riders on a listserve, a guy made the argument that it rarely occurs. Well, maybe it rarely occurs because people are wearing their helmets as they should. The law is not going to change my behavior, but it may change someone else's.
As far as the government's intruding into these decisions -- hell, the government tells me whether I can screw an unmarried woman or a woman married to a different man, how I can screw a woman, whether (until today, how 'bout that?) whether I can screw a man, whether I can smoke pot, take heroin, enter on red even if there's no one for miles, etc., etc. There are ways to try to distinguish some of these issues, but they don't carry a whole lot of logic, sorry. When it's a new issue, people get kind of upset about it, but it's not really because it's a difference in kind.
It's such a low-impact rule. Helmets are cheap (relatively), comfortable, and effective. With the health and financial issues at stake, including the huge imbalance between the social costs of requiring them and not requiring them, why should helmets be an issue? Don't we have more important liberty interests to discuss?
I couldn't agree more...Dwayne Barry
Jun 26, 2003 10:47 AM
in fact, I'm so sick of having to pay for these irresponsible "cyclists" that get injured out on the road, I'm introducing a ban on road cycling in my district. I mean you can get all of the health benefits from running without having to worry about getting hit by car or crashing because of your fellow joggers.
you are equating the cost of requiring helmet use with banningbill
Jun 26, 2003 11:14 AM
a recreational activity around which people's recreational life, businesses, sometimes even economies, are built. If that's not an illogical strawman, I don't know what is.
You know you're absolutely right...Dwayne Barry
Jun 26, 2003 12:01 PM
mine was a poor analogy. But tell me again exactly why should the government tell me if I can or can not ride a bike without a helmet?
Same reason as why they can tell you...CHRoadie
Jun 26, 2003 2:37 PM wear a seatbelt. It's a proven fact that helmets and seatbelts save lives.
I know they CAN do it, I'm asking WHY?Dwayne Barry
Jun 26, 2003 3:22 PM
It's proven that smoking can contribute to killing you any number of ways but that's not illegal. Do you know how many people trip and fall and hit their head resulting in death? Why don't we just legislate everyone wearing one all the time (or maybe for anyone over say 65 when there becomes a much greater chance of falling)?

It's simple, a helmet law is just one more stupid law that doesn't need to be. The government shouldn't be in the business of protecter people from themselves in a free society.
I know they CAN do it, I'm asking WHY?M_Currie
Jun 26, 2003 5:04 PM
Of course there are all sorts of arguments either way, but the usual argument for seatbelt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, and potentially for bicycle helmet laws is that, unlike other activities, these occur on public highways, where the government DOES have business to be, since the government owns, regulates and maintains them at public cost, and users are not presumed to have an inherent right to use them. A seatbelt law is really no different from a law that requires drivers to be sober, or to turn on their headlights at night.

Another argument, less tenable, is "social cost." How much right do we have to make others pay for our stupidity? When serious injuries occur, it usually happens that others pick up much of the tab. It's a free society for the person who crashes and ends up an invalid, but the rest of us who pay taxes, medical costs, and insurance premiums are not really free to say "you were stupid, so we won't pay to keep you alive." The subsidy is borne by everybody.

The social cost argument is fraught with problems, because there is no clear consensus on what constitutes a reasonable risk, but there is at least some sense to a cost-benefit approach: i.e. if helmets can prevent a great deal of harm without causing a great deal of inconvenience or loss of freedom, then perhaps requiring them is a reasonable compromise. Obviously the social cost of smoking is also terribly high, but the argument can be made that the only solution to that is to ban smoking, which would obviously be a far greater alteration of behavior and curbing of freedom than changing the headgear of cyclists, or making drivers buckle the belts they're already sitting on. Though I'm a convinced helmet user, I am not sure myself whether the cost-benefit argument is strong enough for a law, but I don't think it's a simple "stupid law / smart law" kind of issue.
I know they CAN do it, I'm asking WHY?Dwayne Barry
Jun 27, 2003 2:05 AM
"A seatbelt law is really no different from a law that requires drivers to be sober, or to turn on their headlights at night."

No, being sober or turning on headlights should be legislated because they are potential dangerous to OTHER users of the road. Seatbelt laws and helmet laws should not be legislated because they only endanger the person who chooses not to act safely.
Because, where the cost of the law is that much less than thebill
Jun 27, 2003 6:53 AM
cost of not having a law, than we do it because some people need to be protected from themselves. For the greater good. Because they're too stupid or self-centered or something to do it on their own. Because we don't like to think that people can be so stupid to do this to themselves, making this kid grow up without a father or that business have to hire a replacement or pay an increased premium or whatever.
This is the equation, like it or not. We can come up with other justifications for these types of laws, but, at the political bottom, this is what it's about. When the social cost is low, we protect people from themselves.
This is not a novel concept. We like to say that pot is illegal because of the risks of going around stoned or the crimes involved getting the stuff to the table, but we all know in our hearts that that ain't it. Pot is illegal because of legal, political paternalism. Enough people think its devilish to have that much fun being high by smoking some herb. Smoking tobacco, on the other hand, is legal ONLY because of the economics of it. Yes, it's more harmful than lots of things that are illegal, but the economic and, therefore, the political costs of banning it outweigh its harm. So far.
The social cost equation is, I agree, messy, but it's just another way of saying that, if enough people want it and enough don't care, and the harms are real enough to SOMEBODY (and they are -- the insurance premium argument goes only so far, I agree, but the devastation to individuals and families, however unlikely the event, that could be reduced by something like 75% is just too potent to ignore), it's a gonna be.
And the abstract liberty interest in something so minimally inconveniencing as wearing a helmet is so tiny; I mean, come on.
I am an elitist. I think that lots of people are plenty stupid. I know that I am, often enough. Some laws are stupid, too, but that doesn't make them all stupid, and sometimes you just have to look the situation over and say, you know, that's too powerful to ignore. Sometimes it takes the leadership of a law, even if resented, to change perceptions. As a little kid, we not only didn't use car seats, cars didn't have seatbelts, and we used to take naps sprawled across the back deck. I survived, I don't know anyone who didn't, but it was insane and very, very stupid and I'm glad that there are laws that changed all that. And you may be too young to remember but all the while people objected to the seat belt laws on the same arguments being made here.
This is a timely post...Dwayne Barry
Jun 27, 2003 7:22 AM
seeing as it's going to about 95 degrees here today with equally high humidity. So, it will probably be one of the rare occassions I ride without a helmet because I've decided that the exceedingly unlikely occurance of me falling or getting hit AND the helmet being brought into play or being able to do anything about the forces my head experiences are outweighed by the fact that I don't want sweat running into my eyes or encrusting my sunglasses 15 minutes into the ride. Luckily I can still can make such decisions (or at least not have to pay a fine for deciding one way or the other).
of course notSteve_0
Jun 26, 2003 10:34 AM
the silly people citing increased insurance costs, etc, need to take a hard look at statitics.

Pedestrians are killed at a rate 6.5 times above cyclists.
Pedestrians are injured at a rate 1.6 times above cyclists.
More people suffer brain damage falling in their bathtub than do cycling AND pedestrianing (word?).

the medical cost associated with brain damage attributed to cycling without a helmet (not to be confused with brain damaged incurred while cycling without a helmet) is infinitesimal compared to those associated with smoking, obesity, and other 'risks'.

Based upon some of the arguments i've been reading, we need a bill which mandates helmets in all public places and private baths, and places all medical liability on the patients.
there you go again. strawmen, non-sequitors, and red herrings.bill
Jun 26, 2003 11:10 AM
I'm quite sure that you are correct that the number and cost of people who kill themselves cycling without a helmet is less than those that kill themselves by eating or smoking themselves to death. I don't know about the numbers who kill themselves in baths, but an awful lot of people take baths every day (really! I'm not kidding!), with the social cost of wearing a helmet in the bath (can't wash your hair, which some people do daily! really!) high. And, everybody eats, and lots more smoke than ride regularly (I really don't want to apologize for smokers, because, for example, there are fewer reasons to allow cigarette smoking than pot smoking, really, but I digress). So, that the costs of injury by smoking and over-eating and bathtub injuries might be higher should surprise no one. So, what's your point?
But, just by comparing the social cost of requiring helmet use with the social costs of not, requiring helmet use makes sense. The social cost of wearing a helmet is, like, nil. People are not going to stop riding because of helmets. People largely wear them already. The risk (and therefore the social cost) as we all agree, I think, of not wearing a helmet is unacceptably high, as evidenced, if by nothing else, by the number of people, including those who can't see the illogic of their protestations about a helmet law, who wear them without a law.
So, where is the added social cost of requiring them to wear a helmet? Just don't say it's namby-pamby government nannying, because we already have that in spades, on issues that carry the risk of far less social cost.
Make an argument, for heavens sake. Don't just spew.
comprehend an arguement for heavens sake, dont just read.Steve_0
Jun 26, 2003 11:55 AM
"So, that the costs of injury by smoking and over-eating and bathtub injuries might be higher should surprise no one. So, what's your point? "

My point is, quite simply, that I disagree with passing a law under guise of reduced insurance costs, when in reality, there will be a de minimus of fiscal gain. I'm equally against passing a law under the guise of public saftey, when statistically, there are far greater risks inherent to life.

"So, where is the added social cost of requiring them to wear a helmet?"

Again, you missed my point, there is no appreciable social cost associated with NOT wearing helmets. State which HAVE passed helmet laws have realized no socio-fiscal gains.
au contraire, mon frer. States are the wrong macro. If, forbill
Jun 26, 2003 12:34 PM
example, you receive your insurance through your employer, as some majority of folks do, and if you work for a small employer, as some majority of folks do, that is your world. That is your risk pool.
We've got five employees in my office. One of us cracks his head open, the four remainders are paying, and we're paying pretty big.
ok, i'll buy that...Steve_0
Jun 26, 2003 12:37 PM
so I think your employer should mandate employees wear helmets.
A good point, but...M_Currie
Jun 26, 2003 5:30 PM
ARE there any statistics that bear out the conclusion that helmet laws have paid off in social cost or just in occurrence of injuries?

This is not an argumentative question. I really don't know, and would like to.

I've always figured that it's virtually impossible to get reliable statistics on helmets, simply because bicycle accidents aren't usually reported unless someone is badly hurt. You can crack your skull just toppling over at a stop light, but if you didn't crack it, who's going to know? We can't reliably know whether more helmet wearers just dust themselves off and ride home, so we have only a good supply of "helmet broke and I lived" anecdotal tales to back up our suppositions.

But once a law is passed, it seems reasonable that if it is effective, then the effect will be seen as a change in some statistic. If so, I would be very interested to know where. It would give the pro-helmet-law argument more teeth in a hurry.
of course notxxl
Jun 26, 2003 1:40 PM
Just a note; I believe the word you're looking for is "walking." ; )
Lies, damn lies, and statisticsCHRoadie
Jun 26, 2003 2:41 PM
Do your statistics only take into account cyclists that weren't wearing helmets? If not, you're only proving the helmet advocate's point.
Jun 27, 2003 3:44 AM
the stats, to my knowledge, do not take into consideration protective equipment.
I got yer STATS right here*************************TimPlumbee
Jun 27, 2003 8:07 AM
there is a bunch of stats here, as compliled by JHU. It should be interesting to see what different people make of them.
This has me topic has me thinking and these stats kinda support my new idea........
Discuss away
Got More Stats!!! and i reply to myselfTimPlumbee
Jun 27, 2003 8:23 AM
I am sure that replying to yourself is a big no no, but you guys got me thinking..... so here is another link

I was surprised they were able to show a link between bike helmets and car collisions, i would think you are pretty much fawked if you get hit by a car travelling with any speed. But down in the bottom, is a little jewel that i just loved Quote--------
"Other Potential Safety Measures
The risk of crash involvement with motor vehicles may argue for more bicycle paths, but risk remains at points of intersection between bicycle paths and roads. Injuries suffered by younger cyclists suggest that some children may be riding before they are developmentally ready, that their bicycles may not fit their size, or that the sites they ride may be unsafe or poorly supervised.
Injuries occurring to cyclists riding at greater speeds may argue for separate facilities for these riders or for a version of the leather clothing worn by motorcyclists or the neoprene suits worn by ski racers. The number of facial injuries suffered by such high-risk groups as children and young adults suggests the need for additional facial protection on helmets for these cyclists. Fractures and dislocations to the extremities dictates study of the effectiveness of elbow and knee pads and wrist guards.

The number and severity of injuries to the face and body indicate that bicycle helmets alone are not sufficient to prevent injury to cyclists. Multiple approaches to intervention, including educational programs, product modification and regulation, are clearly warranted as strategies in the overall cycling-safety effort."

Its like 135 degrees in Southern Pa, let me go put on my leathers, elbow pads, knee pads, Full face motorcycle helmet, oh the joys....;-)

Discuss among yourselves
I think a particular State's bicycle helmet law shouldpdg60
Jun 26, 2003 11:04 AM
be consistent with that State's motorcycle helmet law.

No motorcycle helmet bike helmet.
Motorcycle helmet helmet required.

That said, my wife and I always wear helmets.

Simple answer, NO.

NO: We need more organ donors! nmBike Nut
Jun 26, 2003 11:17 AM
Yes - it's no more intrusive than laws already in place.Scot_Gore
Jun 26, 2003 11:30 AM
I don't think this is that different from the laws that are already on the books where I live. The government tells me what to do and how to ride every day.

I'm required to run lights and reflectors

>Subd. 6. Bicycle equipment. (a) No person shall
operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle or its
operator is equipped with a lamp which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector of a type approved by the department of public safety which is visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

>No person may operate a bicycle at any time when there is not sufficient light to render persons and vehicles on the highway clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet ahead unless the bicycle or its operator is equipped with reflective surfaces that shall be visible during the hours of darkness from 600 feet when viewed in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. The reflective surfaces shall include reflective materials on each side of each pedal to indicate their presence from the front or the rear and with a minimum of 20 square inches of reflective material on each side of the bicycle or its operator. Any bicycle equipped with side reflectors as required by regulations for new bicycles prescribed by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission shall be considered to meet the requirements for side reflectorization contained in this subdivision. A bicycle may be equipped with a rear lamp that emits a red flashing signal.

I'm required to have brakes

> (b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

I can't have "ape hangers"

> (c) No person shall operate upon a highway any bicycle
equipped with handlebars so raised that the operator must
elevate the hands above the level of the shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.

I can't have a "FrankenBike"

> (d) No person shall operate upon a highway any bicycle
which is of such a size as to prevent the operator from stopping the bicycle, supporting it with at least one foot on the highway surface and restarting in a safe manner.

I have to signal my intentions when altering direction of travel.

> Subd. 8. Turning, lane change. An arm signal to
turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, unless the arm is needed to control the bicycle, and shall be given while the bicycle is stopped waiting to turn.

A helmet law would be just another statue in an already crowded field of regulation regarding use of bicycles on public roadways. I, of course, have the option to disobey the regulations and face the penalties if proscecuted.

My petition for a private cycling reserve is still pending.

my 2 cents.

re: poll: Helmet Laws? Yes or No?Bike Fool
Jun 26, 2003 11:42 AM
I vote no to laws for adults. If you want to ride helmetless, fine, we need more donors. This would just be a nuisance law that would not be enforced and just create more bureaucracy.
Jun 26, 2003 11:49 AM
I don't want to be eating from a straw for the rest of my life, if I fell down and hit my head. Not worth the risk.
Bear in mind....the law itself won't protect your headScot_Gore
Jun 26, 2003 12:01 PM
Only you putting the helmet on will.

Regardless of the law wear a helmet, don't smoke, get lots of excercise, see the dentist twice a year, call your mother on birthday, and don't trust anybody over 30.

(whoops, last one slipped in from days gone by)

I can't believe I'm responding to this...SpecialTater
Jun 26, 2003 12:24 PM
1. If this were a law, how many of you would be back here pissed because you got a ticket the ONE time a policeman caught you without a helmet? Just checking your work riding around a parking lot? Down the drive way and loop out into the street for a quick "feel" check? Not to mention do we really want to raise taxes to pay for this enforcement (considering every state or local govt is struggling to maintain basic services right now). Maybe we should make it a federal law and let Ashcroft deal with it. Or put it under Homeland Security....

2. The insurance market would take care of this if it were an unreasonable cost. They already make exceptions for some extreme sports, piloting and other high-risk activities. You lie about those and have a related claim, it gets denied. Maybe the insurance companies shouldn't have to pay for ANY negligence? Ever had a car accident that's your fault? I don't want MY premiums going to pay for your stupidity talking on a cell phone and rear ending someone.....
One quick correctionCHRoadie
Jun 26, 2003 2:49 PM
Parking lots and drive ways are private property and not subject to enforcement.
True...that's why I saidSpecialTater
Jun 27, 2003 6:57 AM
loop out into the street, but my point is valid.

Also, have any of you "helmet law advocates" been to Europe? I saw 1,000s of people on bikes in Italy without helmets. Most were using city bikes as transportation, which I think most of us agree would be a good thing. A helmet law would be harmful to this possibility IMHO.
re: poll: Helmet Laws? Yes or No?Matt Britter
Jun 26, 2003 2:55 PM
I have seen the above posts about seatbelts/helmets saving lives?
So to all the poeple who what to save other's lives...Do you not think that being overweight leads to medical costs that we all "pay" for, heart attacks, diabetes, etc?

So should not the government pass laws that we get a ticket for being overweight??? or Since you are overweight you should have to pay for your own health care... besides it's your choice to eat the Big Macs, cheese cake and drink 3 liters of "diet" soda, right!

Flame on!
Yes absolutely.willem72
Jun 26, 2003 4:03 PM
We've had compulsory helmet laws in all Australian states for several years now. In general most people just get on with it and wear them. Some ppl ride around with their helmet slung over the handlebar - can't work out what that accomplishes at all!! There are a few diehards that "resent being told what to do" and stand by their "civil rights" or something - I ask: why draw the line at resisting laws which are aimed at increasing your personal safety (admittedly not always entirely successfully), when we do what we're told all the time in other spheres of our lives without a second thought?

As an outsider, I am curious that some Americans have a strong anarchist streak (by this I mean they suspicious of the actions of their governments - "the state" - as distinct from an anarchic streak) in terms of their personal or familial sense of self-determination, yet they are at the same time outspoken and perhaps unquestioning supporters of the actions performed in their names by the same state - which in world terms is the strongest there is at the moment. This is not a criticism, rather an impression I have which sets me to thinking on occasion.

Jun 26, 2003 4:26 PM
I'm an Aussie - we have laws enforcing helmets - I agree with them. I still don't get you people who, "resent being told what to do by government" - Hey, the government already tells you what to do - its their job. You can't just decide in life what you will or won't do when it affects other people as well as yourself. Seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws - these have reduced fatalities - get with the program.
americans, resentment, and the NRATimPlumbee
Jun 26, 2003 5:03 PM
Not to open up a can of worms, but alot of what americans fear or hate is goes like this. Today its Helmets, tomarrow its Shoulder padds. You see these cyclist are always breaking collarbones, so in order to protect themselves, we must all look like downhill MX freaks. This is one of the arguments the NRA likes to use, first assault weapons and rocket launchers, tommarow its bb guns and paintball. Im not passing judgement or saying one is right or wrong, just kinda an explination.

Personally, having broken 1 collar bone (in two places), i do ride w/o a helmet, tho less now that im not in college. Specifically, if you are in a low traffic park, with slow riders, with slow vehicles, give me a break (no pun intended). I also always take my bikes out 'around the block' since i don't own a parking lot or driveway after any adjustment. If it wasn't for cars, i would never wear it. I almost always were it on my MTB, but if i forget it, its not going to end my ride.
"it's their job"Steve_0
Jun 27, 2003 6:06 AM
Maybe in Austrailia; the US government was formed to

"establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty"; not simply to 'tell people what to do'.

It's quite a stretch to claim helmet laws 'promote the general Welfare'. Actually, I perceive such laws as threatening to the common defense. I'd much rather a police force be solving murders and preventing rapes than preventing concussions to ableminded brains. It certainly infringes upon ones liberty.
Jun 27, 2003 6:12 AM
Just to add fuel to the fire...

Personally, I wear a helmet when I go for a road ride or a mountain bike ride. However, if I'm merely riding down the street to the store, or biking to a social event I don't wear it. I think this is a personal decision and should not be mandated by law, regardless of the state's position on motorcycle helments.

In my opinion, enacting helmet laws would decrease the casual use of bicycles by many people - those using them as an alternate form of transportation, such as biking down to the store to pick up a few things, or heading a short distance to a friend's house.