Watson On: CDC Proposal For Mandatory Helmet Laws Across The U.S.

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The latest news that a federal task force is preparing to recommend mandatory helmet laws across the U.S. shouldn’t have really surprised me. But it did and now when I consider it, I think it’s a done deal. Very soon we’re all going to have to wear a crash helmet whenever we get on a bike and ride anywhere in the U.S.

RideApart recently ran the story outlining what the current situation is and we are all now waiting for the Community Preventive Service Task Force (try saying that out loud in a full ace crash helmet) to put forward its final recommendation, which is promised sooner rather than later.

There is no way that I can see the 15 members of this committee, who were appointed by the director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), making any other proposal to U.S. Congress than recommending that all of us who ride motorcycles wear a crash helmet at all times.

The CDC is based in Atlanta, GA, and its role is to “protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the United States.” I’m not entirely sure why the CDC gets to make this proposal to Congress and who precisely the 15 members of the committee are, or if they ride or have any motorcycling background.

This though is an age-long argument that has raged from the very first days that helmets became mandatory in some states. It began way back in 1966 when Congress passed the Highway Safety Act and initially it provided financial incentives for States to started making the wearing of helmets compulsory. Prior to this there were no laws, no requirements and you could choose whether you rode with a helmet or without one.

But less than two years later, 38 states had passed mandatory helmet laws thanks to cash incentives from the government. Those that didn’t follow suit were subjected to a withholding of federal funds until a law was passed. By 1975, 47 states (including the District of Columbia) had adopted the policy.

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  • Blu E Milew

    What will the AMA protest now?

    • Mark D

      With this absurd debate off the table, fingers crossed it’s lane splitting.

      • John Tiedjens

        Yay lane splitting!!

        • Davidabl2

          ..in your D.O.T. (or better) full face helmets etc.etc.

    • Eric Shay
      • zion

        That’s what he was saying, that the AMA is pro choice I.e. protesting mandates for helmets. However, I’m pretty sure the AMA has always held that stance so as not to alienate a large portion of riders. They are, after all, pro-safety. So, I’m sure deep down, if a national mandate did really happen, that the AMA would probably not lead the charge too heavily against it.

      • Kr Tong

        You can’t even say that about AMA. They don’t fight for more trails in places that need it, lane splitting, or providing more choices in any other aspect to the motorcycle community. They’re flying their flag on this issue to the death and will spend every dollar of membership funds to do it.

        • Stuki

          In practice, lots of people wouldn’t ride nearly as much if they had to mess up their hair to do so. I have witnessed this first hand in Cali vs surrounding states. And while this is primarily true for the “ride to the bar” crowd often poopoohed here, those guys are motorcyclists as well, and a large portion of AMA members.

          As a principle matter, motorcyclists will always remain a minority, in an age where the only remaining piece of “education” drilled into the once at least decent Nation of now nothing more than dumb drones, is that they are now so edumecated that they know a fancy Greek word that means whomever scumbag has, at any given time, the biggest lynch mob cheering for him; gets to run the lives of others completely and unencumbered. Motorcyclists should speak for the needs of motorcyclists. Not a bunch of fear mongering tax feeders.

        • John

          Lanesplitting is dangerous and should be illegal. Also riding at night or motos over 25 hp.

          • Craig Wixon

            Classic joke from John. Hilarious!

  • I Have the Hat

    I never have and never would ride without a helmet, but damn, it’s kind of sad to see more and more rules governing how individuals lead their own lives. I know, I know, it’s in the best interest of the general welfare and lots of other reasons. I am a knuckle dragging “‘Mericun” (I’ve learned from the RideApartariate that United States citizenship is a pejorative). I will be flamed. But can’t people, even stupid ones, just be left the f’ alone?

    • timdnml .

      I’m all for freedom of choice…as long as I don’t have to pay for their head injuries.

      • Stuki

        Then lets fight the pay part. I don’t particularly want to pay for the head injuries of people with helmets either. Or the heart injuries of fatsos. Or the heart injuries of healthnuts for that matter. And certainly not for the limb injuries of kids (or AK47 wielding grown men) in Pakistani villages.

        That’s where the problem is. It’s not like some paraplegic with his head smashed in is going to come force you to pay for his injuries. The goons in DC and state Capitals are the ones doing all the forcing. Unfortunately successfully blameshifting onto Pakistani kids and some hapless motorcyclist. It’s sad.

    • Tiberiuswise

      What part of “Its bad for you so it must be banned” don’t you get you stupid American. After all, that’s why alcohol, tobacco and bacon are all illegal. ;-)

      • Lee Scuppers

        And motorcycles.

        • Davidabl2

          I’d assume that you don’t “ride your bacon” on public roads. (said in jest)

    • NOCHnoch

      Drivers have to wear seatbelts, too. Riding a motorcycle (or using any vehicle, for that matter, on public roads) is a privilege, not a right. Nut up and wear a helmet or don’t ride at all.

      • Stuki

        And Gypsies have to register with the Authorities too. So why not Jews. After all, living in the Fatherland is a privilege, not a right……

        All of this, is nothing more that babble from a bunch of scum living large off the toil of others. God, nor evolution, did not specify that “driving is a privilege.” Just, in the former case, to do onto others…… As in, unless Mr. Tax Feeder genuinely wants me to tell him what headgear he must wear when he plays golf on taxpayers tab……..

        • NOCHnoch

          this is satire right?

    • Piglet2010

      An American is anyone from the Americas, i.e. all of North and South America. Therefore, the term should not be appropriated solely for the use by those from one country, i.e. the USians.

  • Zachary Church

    May I ask what kind of helmet is in the picture and where I might buy one like that? Also, the kind of goggles that would fit snug with the helmet?

    • EchoZero

      Biltwell Gringo. I believe Biltwell also sells goggles.

    • Hnasty

      Don’t buy Biltwell junk

      • Davidabl2

        Unlike some of their other helmets, It’s D.O.T. So don’t hate on it.

  • John

    I didn’t know that not wearing a helmet was a disease. What’s next? Masturbation ban?

    • runnermatt

      I wasn’t aware masturbation ever caused a person to get seriously injured or die.

      • John

        Can’t be too careful. After all, what you do is now a disease. I hear it can make you go blind, so the agency tasked with viruses and bacterias should obvioiusly step in as this is clearly within their jurisdiction.

        • runnermatt

          Your sarcasm is legendary. It is curious that this is being proposed by the CDC instead of the NHTSA.

          • John

            My sarcasm is, indeed, legendary.

            • runnermatt

              Reading through your other comments I’m starting to think you actually believe masturbation can make you go blind and that you were, in fact, not being sarcastic.

              • John

                Your sarcasm is improving. Good for you.

                • runnermatt

                  I actually wasn’t being sarcastic there.

                • John

                  Ohh, ^^^ that’s actually like 2nd degree black belt sarcasm. I’m impressed, grasshopper.

      • Stuki

        Ever tried it on a motorcycle?

        • runnermatt

          No, my hands would be busy on the handlebars. However, female passengers would have free hands.

          I’m kidding of course. I can’t get my girlfriend to ride pillon. “It’s too dangerous” according to her.

  • carbureted

    I wear a helmet every day as my own personal preference. I can’t say as I believe firmly in either side of this issue. If you don’t want to wear a helmet, fine. I’m not you. I get why so many (even those who DO wear helmets every day) are enraged–it’s a violation of your freedom.

    When it comes down to it though, a motorcycle helmet law seems like the equivalent of the nationwide seatbelt law. So, I gotta ask; how many of you are enraged by the fact that you need to buckle up?

    Just wondering.

    • Riedl

      I am, well maybe not enraged but I think its a stupid law. I love cruising the interstate in my pickup with no seat belt on, two hands on the wheel, eyes on the road with the radio off – I get passed by a lady doing 10 over, doing her make up while she texts and drinks coffee with her seat belt on and I’m the outlaw.

      • Piglet2010

        We also need to defend our right to ride in the back of pick-up trucks.

      • carbureted

        Isn’t she an outlaw for doing 10 over? I’m confused.

        • Riedl

          Not sure if you’ve ever driven in a city before but even cops do 10 over around here.

          • runnermatt

            Cops don’t generally get punished for breaking the laws that they are supposed to enforce, even when they do get caught.

    • John

      I’m enraged when someone gets a ticket for it. Why does someone risking their life validate government harassment and theft of the fruits of their labor? By this standard, anything you do could be subject to a fine. Making coffee without gloves and eye protection? Too dangerous! So we must break down your door and fine you.

      When government chooses tyranny over education and information, then you are in a very bad place.

      • runnermatt

        I think government chooses tyranny because they view it to be simpler than teaching and educating people.

        In reality, a person can be provided with all the evidence for something, but because of preconceived notions and all the political propaganda it has become increasingly difficult to get people to accept the correct answer.

        • John

          Maybe people should be left to be wrong. After all, the government is never 100% right.

          For example, government bureaucrats fought like crazy against fat and got people to lower their fat intake fairly dramatically through a smear campaign against dairy foods, meat, eggs, and other foods, oils, etc. As it turns out, they were very, very wrong and it is not the fat that gets you, but the carbohydrates.

          Same government just told us that the ACA would lower health care insurance costs. They were wrong…again. The Dept of Ed was supposed to improve education. Never happened. Gun laws to make us safe. Didn’t work. Drug laws to save lives. Another failure.

          So, what’s your argument that they should be the ones who decide, and not the individual given that they often don’t have the “correct” answer at all.

          • Piglet2010

            Never attribute to incompetence what can be attributed to malevolence, when governments are concerned.

            • John

              I like to ask big government people “Are you evil? Or just stupid? Because I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not evil.”

              I mean, the argument is that YOU are too stupid to make decisions because you’re human. However, we have, I don’t know, some sort of super human bureaucrats, who don’t know anything about the subject at all, but are better judges about things than you are as an enthusiast and so we should value their stupid decisions, but not yours.

              • Andrew Karmy

                The rules get made because of SCIENCE. You crash your car. You will be more likely to DIE if you are not wearing a seatbelt. Lets say, you, as a consenting adult want to face the certainty of your death in some otherwise minor traffic collision. That sir, is fine by me. But will you, or the incompetent neighbor of yours, be buckling up their children who can’t possibly understand or be expected to make such life altering choices like, to buckle up or not buckle up. No they can’t be expected to do that if it’s not in their own personal driving habit. You know it, I know it. So how about we leave the world of tyranny behind when it comes to basic safety.

                I mean, why is your freedom be taken away when we just want to eliminate traffic deaths. How can saving lives be viewed as tyranny? How can making laws that are morally right, and scientifically right, be tyranny? Seriously dude, GTFO.

                • John

                  It’s really none of your business? Were you born a control freak or did you get it from your mommy?

                  You have no moral right to tell me how to live. By your standard, motorcycles should be completely eliminated. Absolutely. Scientifically, they’re defective when it comes to protecting you in a crash. Bicycles too.

                • runnermatt

                  Scientifically a motorcycle is better able to avoid a crash and therefore doesn’t need to provide as much crash protection as a car. Bicycles travel slower and again require even less protection because other than cars and mountain cliffs injuries are typically minor. Better educate drivers about motorcycles, I dare say even require them to get a two-wheeler license BEFORE they get a car license and that education will sink in.

                • John

                  Not necessarily. A bike is more likely to lose control in a panic braking and more likely to cause serious injury when a car driver would have little to no injury. This happened to my brother in law a few months ago. He didn’t break well and lost control, caused major shoulder damage. And he was lucky since the guy behind him fared even less well. It should be illegal to ride in packs. One person. Any more, make it illegal for their own safety. If we’re serious about it. Also, no riding on curvy roads. And take away people’s motorcycle license if caught speeding. Because it would absolutely save lives. Banning motorcycles would save 5000 lives per year.

                  Slippery slopes have always proven themselves to exist.

                • runnermatt

                  Maybe we should ban cars too? My point is that bikes weigh less and are narrower than cars making it easier for them to avoid the crash in the first place. That said bikes require more skill than cars to control well. I’m sure the difference balances out some, but as bikes gain ABS and other electronic rider aids that cars already have that gap will widen more.

                • John

                  Sure, better to avoid the crash, but when you don’t, it can be pretty bad. I would say that there is no such thing as taking the safety argument too far to some people. Banning cars is on some people’s agendas.

                • runnermatt

                  Agreed. I respected Ralph Nadar until I read a recent interview with him in Car & Driver. He said something along the lines of, “even the Roman Chariots had padded dash boards and everyone else was screaming about the nut behind the wheel”. And I thought he is reason we have so many bad drivers now, the government spent money researching and mandating safety features rather than driver training. I guess that isn’t much different than mandating motorcycle helmets, so I think maybe I just became a convert to not mandating them for that reason.

                  That said I’ll always wear my helmet for the reasons I already listed. I also always wear my seatbelt, but mainly that is to keep me in the seat while cornering or hard braking.

                • John

                  Remember,if you’re driving slower than me, you’re a goddamned moron and if you’re driving faster than me you’re a F*^&ng idiot!

                • runnermatt

                  Yeah, I’m pretty confident in my driving skills and pretty confident in the lack of driving skills of most other people. The two things that get most people into trouble is driving beyond their/their cars limit and panicking when things go wrong. The brake pedal is not the panic button. I know my limits and my cars limits and when I exceed them, while sometimes uncomfortable I don’t panic, let the car do its thing and make smooth gradually adjustments to steering, throttle or brakes.

                  I don’t yet know my or my bikes limits. I haven’t been riding long enough. I’ll eventually do a track day so I know where the are better.

                • VTR1

                  Today’s science is tomorrow’s fallacy and you are having two completely separate arguments. I have 3 Arai’s sitting on my shelf but don’t think others should be forced or fined regarding their use. You’re in possession of the typical liberal though process that nobody can ever be injured or killed and that YOU are going to be the one to prevent all the pain in the world with YOUR government edicts. It don’t work that way son. Sometimes you gotta just let Darwin do his thing. That’s life. Morally right? That’s just insanity from a control freak. I’m sorry to be so blunt.

              • runnermatt

                The argument isn’t that YOU are too stupid to make decisions. It is that YOU have been misled, ill informed, poorly educated, or simply not taught anything to begin with. Bureaucrats are people too and make the “best” decisions they know how too. That said they do the best they can with what knowledge and pre-conceived notions that they have. Unfortunately, because they are human and interact with other humans many of their pre-conceived notions may be incorrect.

                If you want to argue against mandatory helmet laws don’t simply yell “FREEDOM” look at the statistics to see where greater improvements can be made, argue for better rider AND driver education. Being an person who autocrosses my car if I wrote the driver’s license test for cars I imagine 90% of people would fail the first time.

                Oh, and again stop insulting people. It doesn’t win them over to your arguement, it just makes them angry and less willing to see your point of view.

                • John

                  So why not just say “helmets save lives” instead of pulling over people and fining them?

                  The difference is, when a person makes a bad decision, it affects them. When a bureaucrat does it, it affects thousands or millions of people. Bureaucrats said Iraq had WMD. Turns out, it was a bluff.

                  I’m not arguing against mandatory helmet laws, I’m arguing that there is zero authority to implement them and the Feds know this. But they will use extralegal means with illegal witholding of road funds as extorsion.

                  I’ll stop insulting people when they stop deserving it.

                • runnermatt

                  I no problems with just saying “helmets save lives”. Maybe we can create the same stigma with riding without a helmet as there is for smoking cigarettes and drinking and driving. I will be really happy when that stigma extends to texting and cell phone use while driving.

                  Heck that bad stigma would likely be more effective than a law mandating it.

                • John

                  Why should people be stigmatized, taunted, insulted, sneered at, etc, for making a decision that only affects them, short of extraordinary circumstances. I don’t need to be so judgmental. What bothers me more is when people try to force things on me. I think that deserves stigma.

                  I am looking at getting another motorcycle and it’s important to think about it because now I have two kids. Before, no biggie. But wearing a helmet won’t stop me from being crippled or killed. Nor will much of anything in many circumstances. Being in a car isn’t even a guarantee.

                • runnermatt

                  All valid points. I don’t think people should be stigmatized, taunted, insulted, sneered at, etc. either. However, society as a whole will stigmatize certain activities, i.e. smoking a cigarette or drunk driving; which acts as a deterrent to people doing it because they don’t want the bad reactions of society. Some stigmas are deserved, others are not because of misinformation (what I said about society not always being correct in my other post).

                • John

                  Ever see South Park’s Death Camp of Tolerance?

                • runnermatt

                  Unfortunately I have not. I love South Park, but in the past 11 years I’ve only had good cable or satellite TV for something like a combined time of 2 years.

          • runnermatt

            I will agree that the government is never 100% right, probably far from it. I disagree with idea that people should be left to be wrong. Some things don’t matter whether a person is right or wrong (the reality of “reality” TV, for one). Other things do matter whether a person is right or wrong, like the safety standards of a nuclear power plant. I would argue that correcting people about eating unhealthy foods and exercising is more important than forcing people to wear helmets for the simple reason that exercise and eating properly affects a far greater percentage of people. That said I wouldn’t presume to ban bacon and cupcakes, simply provide them with the correct information. That said, working out and eating properly can take far more effort than strapping on a bike helmet.

            • John

              You know what being wrong used to be called? A learning experience.

              Nuclear regulations have killed a lot of people because coal and other forms of energy production are dirtier and less safe to provide. Not a lot of people die in uranium mines. A whole lot die in coal mines. Regulations against DDT killed millions of people due to malaria. Turns out, DDT isn’t nearly as dangerous as the left said and most of it was simply made up.

              The Feds told people that eggs, dairy, fats were all deadly. It took 20 years to undo most of that incorrect information, causing lots of premature death and heart disease in the meantime, seriously damaging many industries and causing heavy price increases on healthy food that are low in empty carbohydrates. So, yeah, more of that. Grandma was right, but government was too “smart” for grandma and 100,000 years of human tradition and wisdom.

              • runnermatt

                If you simply let someone continue to believe the wrong things it is never a “learning experience”. Learning experience is stupid catch phase anyway, probably made up by a politician.

                • John

                  Okay, but if believing the wrong thing never hurts you and never teaches you anything, how is that a big deal? If I believe the earth is flat and there’s never any downside to my belief in it, how has it hurt me?

                • runnermatt

                  Believing something that the vast majority of people believe to be wrong can make a person look dumb, which can hurt them in job interviews, loan applications, etc. any situation where a lack of intelligence is seen as a bad thing. The thing is a person may never know how they were hurt by believing the wrong thing. Sure the flatness or roundness of earth may not come up in a job interview, but that doesn’t mean that the interviewer didn’t see their public post on Facebook or Reddit, etc.

                  I’m sure there are times when believing the wrong thing never hurts a person and it never teaches them anything. Those aren’t a big deal. The frequency of how often it hurts someone (physically, mentally, emotionally, financially) is a good question to ask and I’m sure it varies depending on the subject.

                  Lastly, the “truth” that is accepted by the majority of people isn’t always the actual truth. Sometimes the majority believes it because that they were told and they never actually researched the subject any further. Some people hear something once and believe it to be true forevermore.

                • John

                  Yeah, I suppose, but people say all kinds of other things too, like “increasing the minimum wage will create jobs!” And then we try to correct that and they get upset. It’s hard to mess with beliefs, so I say let people look stupid for the most part. It’s like the global warming thing. People “don’t believe in it” not because they are stupid or uneducated but because they know that if they DO, then the government will start implementing taxes and regulations and fines and make them drive around in go karts.

                • runnermatt

                  What’s wrong with driving around in go-karts? I’d never heard that as a reason why people don’t believe in global warming, I’ll keep that in mind the next time I meet someone who “doesn’t believe” and adjust my side of the conversation accordingly. It should make for a more productive conversation.

      • Andrew Karmy

        Because, take a step back with me for a minute, look at the culture you create. When you don’t have to buckle up, many people won’t. Their kids will learn this habit of convenience and perpetuate the problem. Do you like traffic deaths? No. Is driving a mandatory part of living in ~80% of the USA, Yes. So then it stands to reason that not everyone on the road, has either calculated the risks they are comfortable taking or been trained a professional driver who will dedicate their FULL attention to the task of driving.

        And before I leave, The government isn’t breaking down your door to fine you for your lack of a seatbelt. No sir, you are out on the public road system with the rest of us, and there are rules you have to abide by if you want to play with everyone else. Grow up. Or build your own private, no rules, highway system….

        • John

          Who pays for the roads? Government? Or the people that use it?

          • runnermatt

            Judging by the condition of the roads not enough people are paying or people are not paying enough for the roads they use.

            • John

              The amount spent is approximately equal to the amount taxed. I’d be glad to double the gas taxes to have near perfect roads, at the expense of almost anything else government does. It is 2% of expenditure and probably should be 3%. However, infrastructure is actually improving, not falling apart as people have suggested. More high speed, limited access roads would save lives, energy, time.

              • runnermatt

                I agree. My dad suspects that some of the damage to roads here is from trucking companies loading their trucks up with more items in order to save fuel by reducing the number of trips.

                • John

                  Could be, but that’s why they have weigh stations.

                • runnermatt

                  Weigh stations are pretty much only on the interstates here in Virginia and even those are sparse. But he was more thinking that they were just loading to 80,000 lbs capacity more often rather than make several trips at 20,000 lbs.

            • VTR1

              You obviously have never seen how state DOT’s spend money…. or should I say waste. There are those who have seen it…. and those who are ignorant about it. Period

              • runnermatt

                Are you are talking about the workers standing on the side of the road watching someone else work? If so then you have never done manual labor in a group. With large projects with multiple people assigned inevitably some of the people have to wait for someone else to finish their work before they can start their own. Many times the waiting is so short that their is no point for them to start another task because they would waste a lot of time switching back and forth. The per hour operating cost of large machinery is a lot higher than 3 guys with shovels. Those three guys with shovels are there to reduce the amount of time the large piece of machinery has to be used.

      • enzomedici

        When making coffee deaths = motorcycle deaths you will have a point. They have been trying to education morons for years to wear a helmet, but that clearly isn’t working. A brain too stupid to protect itself doesn’t really deserve to live because it doesn’t want to live. The only reason people don’t want to wear a helmet is because they want to be cool. That’s it. That’s the argument. It is the same reason people don’t want to wear other proper gear either, they want to be cool in their little skully helmet, t-shirt, jeans and wallet with the chain…gotta have that wallet with the chain bro. Should fireman not wear proper gear and just run into a burning house with a t-shirt and jeans? Should soldiers just jump into battle with flip flops and a t-shirt? Freedom man! No, because that’s idiotic and so is riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Actually, not riding ATGATT is really stupid too, but we can’t even get morons to wear a helmet yet.

        • John

          Hey, when you can show how the drug war has eliminated death due to drugs, you’ll have a point too!

  • ThinkingInImages

    I suspect it will pass – and there will be some uproar. That’s fine. It will keep the topic open and more data and information will come in. In the end it’s about informed decisions.

    I’ve always worn a helmet by choice, even in places it’s an option. I’m more comfortable with one on. Perhaps it’s because I prefer sports motorcycles. I also like the look of the the things. It’s really that simple for me.

  • Davidabl2

    Things will get interesting if (or as I suspect,when) it turns out that you need a Leatt neck brace to get the full safety benefit of wearing a helmet. Since they seem to reduce ancillary neck injuries.
    Personally, I’m selfishly anticipating a flood of used bikes coming on the market…I might finally end up with some bargain American iron in the garage ;-)

    • NOCHnoch

      I’m saving up for a Leatt and a roadcrafter. Not sure why anyone who can afford neck protection wouldn’t have it.

      • Davidabl2

        I took a look at Leatt’s site..and I’d consider one of their jackets that fits over the Leatt instead of a RoadCrafter. I think I’m gonna order a pair of their knee protectors to replace the ones I use now..Like most it’ll take me awhile to adjust to the idea of a Leatt on the street.

        • NOCHnoch

          Why is that? For looks or for safety?

          I ride in inclement weather pretty regularly, and I ride to work, making a Roadcrafter a pretty good choice for someone in my situation.

          • Davidabl2

            Both. I prefer to have an abrasion layer over the protective gear because I think it won’t slide around as much in an unfortunate event (think kneepads in particular)
            And vanity as well.

      • Justin McClintock

        Then it comes back to the same issue that some would use against wearing a helmet to begin with. That is, if you’re so concerned about the activity that you feel that need for that amount of protective gear, why are you doing the activity to begin with? Because it would seem that fear has become the driver at that point, not enjoyment of the activity to begin with.

        For the record, I always wear a full faced helmet. I’m not about to don a Leatt neck brace for a trip to the grocery store. If it really came to that, I’d just take the car.

        • NOCHnoch

          What a ridiculous thing to say, for a number of reasons:

          If you always wear a full-face helmet, why do the activity to begin with?

          I ride because it’s fun, cheap, efficient, and quick. Wearing the best protective gear doesn’t diminish any of those factors for me. There are real risks to operating a motor vehicle, and for the same reason that many people want cars with the best crash ratings and wear seatbelts, I wear the best gear I can afford. I don’t need to wear shorts and flipflops to enjoy myself on a motorcycle. If that’s what it takes for you, best of luck.

          A neck brace might not become part of my daily riding gear, but for track days and more spirited riding, I’m not sure what the problem is.

          Lastly, due to the difficulty of driving, parking, and maintaining a car in NYC, I don’t own a car. Some people actually use their motorcycles as more than toys.

          • Justin McClintock

            NOCHnoch, you’re actually agreeing with my point of view here without realizing it. Yes, if I were to do a track day, I’d have a neck brace. But like you, it’s not something I’m about to don as part of my daily riding gear…which begs the question as to why it was mentioned alongside a Roadcrafter to begin with.

            But my point is, many feel the exact same way about a helmet to begin with. And while you’ll never catch me on my motorcycle without a full face helmet, or even my bicycle without a helmet, there is some merit to their argument, and I myself am proof. Despite 3 motorcycle wrecks on the street and more bicycle wrecks than I can even begin to count, I’ve never hit my head (or my helmet) on the ground in an accident. Ever. That doesn’t mean I’m about to stop wearing a helmet. But I don’t carry an oxygen tank in my car in case I drive it into a lake either, despite the fact that it’s a possibility. You have to draw the line between safety and getting on with life somewhere. Not everybody is going to put it in the same spot.

            • NOCHnoch

              It was mentioned alongside the Roadcrafter because those are the big two pieces of gear that I’m saving up for. Not sure why you equate that with using a neck brace for a 5 minute jaunt.

              That said, I’m not sure why you feel the need to advise against using a neck brace for daily riding, as if someone who did use one every time they rode shouldn’t ride altogether.

              Finally, just because you’ve never hit your head in a crash (I have, on my jaw, which is another reason to go full face) doesn’t mean a thing in the face of overwhelming statistical evidence that helmets save lives. We all use protective gear hoping we never actually need it, but if I have never come back from a ride thinking, “I didn’t crash, I wish I hadn’t worn a helmet.”

              P.S: Many individuals keep seatbelt cutters and window breakers in their cars for exactly the scenario you laughed off. It’s kind of hard to “get on with life” while you’re fighting to keep yours.

              • Justin McClintock

                And your P.S. exemplifies my point. I’d love to venture a guess at what percentage of people who keep a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker in their car will ever actually find the need to use one in a life or death situation. In fact I will venture such a guess, as I’d be willing to bet it’s FAR below 1%.

                It’s a question of where do you draw the line, and who gets to draw it. Should we take every ’57 Chevy off the road? They’re extremely dangerous in an accident. Why are seatbelt cutters not mandatory? Why isn’t a neck brace mandatory? Why doesn’t my car have a full roll cage? Where’s the line? Who’s drawing the line?

                • NOCHnoch

                  Those who kept the seatbelt cutters probably don’t regret it, whereas those who didn’t own them perhaps do.
                  Where to draw the line is a tricky issue, but what the anti-helmeters seem to be arguing is that the only response is to draw no line at all. I see that as irresponsible and reckless.

                • Justin McClintock

                  No, those anti-helmeters are simply arguing that nobody else should be drawing their line for them, least of all somebody or some people who may or may not even know them and may or may not even have any experience on a motorcycle. When Prius drivers start governing motorcycle specific laws, we’re all pretty much hosed.

          • Piglet2010

            Well, I am not going to wear MotoGP level gear for riding my scooter (which is governed at 50-mph) to work. A Bell Revolver EVO lid, a mesh jacket, Kevlar reinforced jeans, knee armor, Aerostich Vegan gloves, and SiDi Air Strada boots will do just fine for me in hot weather, and at the speeds I might crash at, will provide almost as much protection as race gear.

            Apply reductio ad absurdum to your argument – no one should be allowed to ride on the street on a moped without MotoGP level gear, including the air-bag suit and neck brace. And people should not drive cars unless they have a full roll-cage, 6-point belts, fuel cell, fire-retardant suit, full-face lid with HANS device, etc.

  • Richard Gozinya

    I’m really sick of people acting like helmet laws are some egregious violation of their freedoms. It’s not. The federal government has had the authority to regulate all kinds of vehicle safety codes for decades. If you want to operate your vehicle on the interstate, you, and your vehicle, have to abide by certain federal rules. Cities and states can also apply whatever rules they want, or you don’t get to operate your vehicle on the roads. You can’t even park a vehicle on the street unless it’s got the proper tags.

    As for your freedom, grow up. Most of you have very likely supported the violations of someone else’s freedoms at one point or another, whether it’s marriage equality, gun control, freedom of speech, 4th Amendment, or 8th Amendment rights, to name but a few. Chances are every last one of us is guilty of supporting some law violating someone else’s rights. So whining about a helmet law now just makes us all look like whiny little children.

    • runnermatt

      Well said.

    • John

      Can you please show me this authority in the Constituiton? Thanks.

      • runnermatt

        “Article 1 Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

        http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

        • runnermatt

          Specifically the parts, “The Congress shall have Power To… provide for the common defence and general welfare….”

          • John

            Again, “provide for” means to put money in the bank. Not to spend. Not to “provide with” Provide FOR and provide WITH have two entirely different meanings and the people who wrote it knew the difference. Sadly, you do not.

            • Kr Tong

              “Provide for” means to supply, not stockpile.

              McGraw Hill dictionary of American Idioms and phrasal verbs:
              to supply the needs of someone or something. ‘Don’t worry, we will provide for you. We will provide for the committee in the budget.’

              • John

                This is why I love uneducated people. Here’s the dictionary from the time of the Constitution. Notice the difference in meaning only when used with “with” at the end. –

                PROVI’DE, v.t. [L. provideo,literally to see before; pro and video, to see.]

                1. To procure beforehand; to get, collect or make ready for future use; to prepare.

                2. To furnish; to supply; followed by with.

                There is a power to tax for the general funds of government, there is no power stipulated in that phrase to spend money for “the general welfare”. If you don’t like it, argue it with James Madison, Father of the Constitution, who said you were confused 200 years before you were born.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Not a definition for “provide for.”

                • John

                  Provide only means to give something if it is “provide with”. It is specific in the original American definition as used by the people who wrote the Constitution.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Well I guess we’ll never know what “provide for” means if there’s no definition.

                  Oh wait there is.

                  From some random dictionary called “Oxford English Dictionary”
                  provide
                  Pronunciation: /prəˈvʌɪd/ verb

                  1 [with object] make available for use; supply:these clubs provide a much appreciated service for this area

                  (provide someone with) equip or supply someone with (something useful or necessary):we were provided with a map of the area

                  present or yield (something useful):neither will provide answers to these problems

                  2 [no object] (provide for) make adequate preparation for (a possible event):new qualifications must provide for changes in technology

                  supply sufficient money to ensure the maintenance of (someone):Emma was handsomely provided for in Frannie’s will

                  (of a law) enable or allow (something to be done):the Bill provides for the setting of guaranteed service standards

                  3 [with clause] stipulate in a will or other legal document:the order should be varied to provide that there would be no contact with the father

                  4 [with object] (provide someone to) Christian Church, historical appoint an incumbent to (a benefice).

                • John

                  James Madison says you labor under misconstructions –

                  “Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.

                  Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms “to raise money for the general welfare.”

                  But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.

                  The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are “their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare.” The terms of article eighth are still more identical: “All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,” etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!”

                • John

                  Notice the distinction between “provide” and “provide with” from 1828, which would be the dictionary closest to the writing of the Constitution –

                  provide

                  PROVI’DE, v.t. [L. provideo,literally to see before; pro and video, to see.]

                  1. To procure beforehand; to get, collect or make ready for future use; to prepare.

                  Abraham said, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering. Gen.22.

                  Provide neither gold nor silver nor brass in your purses. Matt.10.

                  Provide things honest in the sight of all men. Rom.12.

                  2. To furnish; to supply; followed by with.

                  Rome, by the care of the magistrates, was well provided with corn.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Why don’t you understand that a LACK of definition is not a definition?

                • John

                  Are you blind or have a problem with language?

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  God you’re dumb.

                  2 [no object] (provide for) make adequate preparation for (a possible event):new qualifications must provide for changes in technology

                  supply sufficient money to ensure the maintenance of (someone):Emma was handsomely provided for in Frannie’s will

                  (of a law) enable or allow (something to be done):the Bill provides for the setting of guaranteed service standards

                • John

                  Yes, well, all the intelligent people from history agree with me –

                  http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/content/quotes-general-welfare

                  “The other General Welfare Clause is in the first of the authorities given to the Congress and it’s not a grant, it’s a restriction. By which I mean it doesn’t say Congress can legislate for the general welfare, it means that everything Congress must do has to enhance the general welfare of the United States of America. It can’t grant things to individuals, it can only legislate for the government.”

                  Judge Andrew Napolitano

                • John

                  “2 [no object] (provide for) make adequate preparation for (a possible event):new qualifications must provide for changes in technology”

                  What do you think preparation means? It means to get ready for future use. To prepare or provide for war is not the same as going to war.

                  Also, “gay” does not mean “homosexual” 200 years ago, so pulling out a modern dictionary for a contract that was written and signed then is just a typical leftist ploy to say “look, we changed the meaning, it says so right here!” That might work on 5 year olds.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  This is what you’ve tried to defend for the last thirty posts.

                  “Again, “provide for” means to put money in the bank. Not to spend. Not to “provide with” Provide FOR and provide WITH have two entirely different meanings and the people who wrote it knew the difference. Sadly, you do not.”

                  You don’t get to change that now. Both provide with and provide for use the definition “to supply.” and “to make possible.” Your statement is wrong. You lose. Good bye.

                  Oh and “gay” is new because it’s slang. “provide for” has been around forever. IF you disagree with this, find proof.

                • John

                  Right, I posted it several times but you’re too unintelligent to get it.

                  If I provide FOR an army, I start to gather the things I need for an army, even if I never actually create an army. Food, guns, tanks.

                  If I provide WITH an army, I am giving someone an army.

                  So tax to provide FOR the general welfare is to set aside funds for that purposes

                  To provide WITH the general welfare is to give some sort of “welfare” to others.

                  I also provided you WITH the link that quotes some of the smartest people from that time about what it means, but you were too lazy to read it or too unintelligent to understand it. God provided for human intelligence, but didn’t provide you with any.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  In both of those examples you are providing support. In one example you are supporting with an object. The other you are supporting the object itself.This is a difference in grammar, not definition.

                • John

                  Ummm, no. Provide for and provide with have two entirely different defintions, they are explained in the dictionary and “provide for” means something different than what you thought in the Constitution, so I’m not the one that lost, dunce.

                  Also, I never said “and that “support” was only in the definition of “provide with.”" So don’t build strawmen. I said one means to set aside, save, the other means to provide to, give give to. Both are a type of support, but who and what the way it is supported is entirely different.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Both definitions include “to give to”

                • John

                  WRONG. “Provide for” only means getting ready for, setting aside for, saving for a purpose. It has nothing directly to do with giving anything to anyone.

                  I can provide for a marathon, without giving anything to the runners.

                  But as English is obviously your second language, I can see how you might not get these kinds of subtleties that my 5 year old gets.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Grammar error. Try again.
                  You can’t provide for a marathon without giving to the marathon.
                  You can’t provide for runners without giving to the runners.
                  It’s right there in the dictionary. Go argue with that for a while.

                • John

                  Right, and general Welfare of the United States is the same or different from the individual welfare of people?

                  There was never an intention to provide anything TO individual runners, but only provide FOR a marathon.

                  I have zero need to admit I’m wrong just because these concepts are above your head.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  “There was never an intention to provide anything TO individual runners, but only provide FOR a marathon.”
                  I said “give to,” not “provide to.” Because YOU said give to. Here’s what you wrote.

                  “I can provide for a marathon, without giving anything to the runners.”

                  Since you didnt understand anything i just wrote I’ll explain it to you.
                  “I can provide for a Y, without giving anything to X.”
                  but if you said “I can provide for a marathon, without giving anything to a marathon.” You would be wrong.

                  And stop blabbing about welfare, constitution, and “concepts.” None of that matters. You made a huge lexical error. Focus on that.

                • John

                  I made no errorl, it’s just that you don’t understand basic English and you’re backpeddling to strawmen accusations.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Oh okay. Well if you say so (when it’s all right there.)

                • John

                  No, because you’re simply not understanding it. Providing for my child’s future might be putting money in the bank. The act of giving her the money is a different act that will happen at a different time. I also might just by a sports car instead, because I threw a fit because she didn’t wear a helmet, because well, maybe not because that’s what control freaks do.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Totally irrelevant because this again is grammar, not showing any difference in definition between with and for. You are providing for you kid with a bank account. You are providing your kid with a bank account.

                • John

                  “Provide for” does not transfer title or possession.
                  “Provide with” does.

                  It’s very simple, but simple is beyond you apparently.

                  To provide for an army means to create, store, fund, to make ready for the needs of an army.
                  To provide with an army means to give someone an army.

                  My wife has more experience with special ed students so I can put her on if you can’t get this.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Still a difference in grammar.

                • John

                  Not at all. Setting aside money for my child’s future is not giving money to my child. It is like putting money in escrow. The money is provided, but not used. Providing is not using. Further, the power is to tax…to provide for the general welfare. The purpose of the tax must fall into one of the three uses to be valid. Not to punish people, not to make the political class rich.

                  Given that my father and wife are both English teachers and I was a Comm major, I think I am on pretty solid ground, but thanks for your concern.

                  Also, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison agree with me – “To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.” For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Cool story, but it’s still grammar.

                • _dc

                  This post was John’s most succinct description of the difference in meaning of “provide for” and “provide with” that Guest repeatedly failed to parse, for those at home keeping score. :P

                  You can only lead a horse to water, not force it to drink. Or in more relevant terms, you can only provide for water to the horse, not provide it with water.

                  I knew this topic would garner some heated debate. :)

                • John

                  Also, Thomas Jefferson doesn’t think much of your argument either –

                  “To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.” For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

                  It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.

                  It is an established rule of construction where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers, and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” Thomas Jefferson

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Stop fillibustering. show one dictionary that says “provide for” means stockpile, not supply, or shut up.

                • Mark D

                  Dude, these battles were already fought and decided centuries ago, but far, far more intelligent men than us. Art. III powers are quite broad, and include the power to regulate anything with a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Vehicles, by their very nature, affect interstate commerce. They are meant to travel between states! Conservative jurisprudence gives laws passed by democratically elected members of congress wide deference.

                • John

                  Right. They were decided by intelligent men, and then altered by stupid and/or evil men in a power grab. FDR, primarily. But from Wilson on forward and a few others before even that.

                  I’ll give you $1B if you can find “affect” in the Commerce Clause. Everything “affects” commerce, which is why they were far more specific. Jurisprudence is just what judges say it is, but there is no authority for Congress to make a single unconstituitonal law for any reason at all.

                • Mark D

                  What are you advocating for is essentially a return to Lochner-era jurisprudence, which has widely been considered one of the most embarrassingly activist and wrong-headed line of cases in S. Ct. history.

                  Current interpretation of the Commerce Clause hardly allows congress to pass any law they want. Recently, laws against guns on school campuses and against domestic abuse, passed by Congress, were overturned as not having a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

                • John

                  It doesn’t matter if they have an effect on commerce or not. You’re basically saying that government gets to break the Constitution because…….they say they’re not breaking it. Even though they obviously are.

                  Interpretation, BTW, means “to understand”. There is only one correct interpretation, the manual was written on how to understand it by the people that wrote it, it’s clear, it’s obvious and they say the government is wrong. So I choose not to accept it.

                • Mark D

                  Lol, armchair constitutional theorists are adorable. So you are basically saying the US should not be a common law country, but rather a Civil Law country, like those SOCIALISTS in FRANCE. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT USA USA USA!

                • John

                  Ummm, no…. Common law is limited by the Constitution. It can’t exceed it. Congress has no power to make unconstitutional law and SCOTUS has no power to approve unconstitutional laws. This is why there is an oath to the Constitution, even though everyone obviously ignores it.

                  I am not a “theorist”, I simply understand the document more than you are willing or able to understand it.

                • runnermatt

                  So when the Supreme Court ruled that Money is speech they did not make a unconstitutional ruling that essentially gave Billionaires more Freedom of Speech than someone who works at the gun counter in Walmart.

                • John

                  SCOTUS has never ruled that money is speech. Ever.

                  It has ruled that trying to stop free speech by preventing the voluntary exchange of money for that purpose is a clear attempt at violating freedom of speech. Especially telling people that they cannot run specific kinds of adds 60-90 days in front of an election. If you think billionaires have too much speech, simply join a group and donate $100 or whatever, and you will counteract them.

                  Also, if the Feds followed the Constitution, what use would be the money of a billionaire? What favors could it buy them? It’s not a coincidence that money started flowing when it was realized that politicians could and would violate the Constitution for them. We have a crime problem in DC, not a freedom of speech problem.

                • runnermatt

                  SCOTUS also ruled that lying is protected under the 1st Amendment. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United had the affect of giving the Billionaires a rock concert sound stage while the normal citizen only has the own voice and no method to amplify it. You are correct that if you get enough people together they will be louder than the Billionaires sound stage, but the challenge is getting enough people together. For the the person who has $1,000,000,000 in assets $10,000 is equivalent to $0.01 for someone who has $100k in assets. So in order to have same percentage financial expenditures per person you would need to have 1,000,000 people with $100k and each pay one penny to offset the Billionaires $10,000 expense. However, Billionaires rarely spend only $10k, in the last presidential election several billionaires spent tens of millions of dollars each, for both sides I might add. I don’t want to do the math to figure out how many sub-$50k dollar workers would be needed to offset that kind of spending.

                  The previous regulations were not there to limit the freedom of speech of the rich, but instead to protect the freedom of speech of everyone else. The billionaires are the bully on the playground that is yelling overtop of everyone else who has their own opinion and values to spread. I’m not going to get started on the misleading and false ads that they are paying for with the intention of purposefully misleading the public so that the person they want in office gets elected or the law they want passed passes.

                  Being rich doesn’t make a person bad. But it does afford them the opportunity to be heard more than the average person. Does a rich person have more of a right to free speech than a poor person? Because that is what the Citizens United ruling implies.

                • John

                  Of course lying is protected. Congress can’t make a law against it. That doesn’t mean you can’t sue someone. I lie to my daughter about Santa Clause. `Should I go to jail?

                  Keep in mind that billionaires don’t want to just throw away their riches. They have little motivation as they’re billionaires. It’s why the Kochs are Republicans that parade as libertarians. They talk libertarian, but give to fascist and neo-socialist causes.

                  Also, so what? You think I’m going to do what a billionaire tells me? I’ll vote for whomever I want. Most do. Most money on ads is wasted. UNLESS there’s something really to it. People rarely win running false ads. Also, the Founders knew this. Jefferson called the most accurate part of a newspaper the advertising section, because newspapers just made up crap whereas businesses at least had some desire to be truthful.

                  The problems is, the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law”. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

                • runnermatt

                  Interpretation does not mean “to understand” it means “the way in which something is understood” If someone understands something the wrong way it means their understanding is incorrect. From what I can gather from your comment your interpretation of the constitution is either outdated or simply incorrect and you likely heard these interpretations from someone who intended to mislead you, someone you believed you could trust.

                  Oh and here is a link to the definition of interpretation: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interpretation

                • John

                  There is no such thing as “understanding something the wrong way”. You either undertand it or you don’t. There is only one understanding, the rest are simply rationalizations for breaking the law. $1B if you can find “affects commerce” in the Commerce Clause. Also, no power over immigration there either. Or drugs. Or education. Or space travel.

                  How can my understanding be outdated when the document has been updated 27 times over the past 220 years?

                • runnermatt

                  “Misunderstanding: failure to understand correctly; mistake as to meaning or intent” definition from: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/misunderstanding?s=t

                  There is only one correct understanding, the rest are misunderstandings. The specific phase “affects commerce” is not within the Commerce Clause, otherwise you wouldn’t wager $1,000,000,000 dollars. However, “To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” is there. Whether or not motorcycles helmets requirements fall under regulate good question, but the argument for mandating them is being made by the CDC in the name of public safety, i.e. “general welfare”; therefore the argument of it being mandated due to interstate commerce is not being used. I believe the general welfare argument is much stronger than the interstate commerce one and I expect that the interstate commerce argument would fail in the court system as not many people use motorcycles to transport goods across state lines.

                  Also, I wouldn’t consider the 27 Amendments to be updates, but instead additions, some of which supersede previous constitutional provisions. Supreme Courts rulings could be considered footnotes that describe how to correctly interpret the constitution. One of the Supreme Court’s primary function is to interpret the Constitutionality of laws and the Constitution names the Supreme Court as the top legal authority for making Constitutional interpretations. As such, any law that the Supreme Court has upheld is interpreted as Constitutional. Anyone else’s interpretation is considered invalid until the Supreme Court makes a ruling that agrees or a Constitutional Amendment is passed that supports the individual’s interpretation.

                • John

                  Well, it helps to understand the purpose and predicted use of the Commerce Clause.

                  The Commerce Clause was there to prevent trade wars between the states or for the states to make their own trade pacts with other nations that would undermine the unity of the States and could have eventually torn the country apart. Further, the idea was that it would be used reactively, to trade disputes, and that the “regulation” would be to regulate state laws concerning interstate trade, not to actually tell business what they could or could not do. It was meant to maximize trade, not restrict it. It was made to keep states from fighting, not to tell them what to do. It was almost never used, until the 1900s and even then was next to nothing until Wickard v Filburn which was the most ludicrous SCOTUS decision since Dred Scott. But, hey, I believe there were 7-9 handpicked FDR justices on the bench, so, easy peasy.

                  But also, let’s say you go to Colorado, and you buy a t-shirt. You didn’t engage in interstate commerce. Even when you bring it back. Interstate commerce is calling up Colorado and having them send the shirt to you.

                  Some of the Amendments are distinct updates that change or nullify specific portions of the Constitution. All of it is updatable, every part. Let’s have that battle, but let’s not cheat. Because, if you break it to “help” someone else, someone else can break it to “help” you. Like to make you go to church. Don’t laugh, the ACA ruling pretty much opens the door for it. Go to church or get a fine. And a mandatory helmet law could lead to mandatory knight armor to cross the street. You laugh, but it could happen. Once you take away the limits just to pass one thing, you take away limits on a whole bunch of other things government might do some day.

                  Again, SCOTUS has no power to rule something that is against the Constitution “constitutional”. No power at all. We have the natural power to resist.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  This is the greatest thing you’ve written so far. America was founded as a power grab. Go read “land of promise” by Michael Lind.

                • John

                  If you feel so strongly about it, feel free to move back to your ancestral home.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  God you’re dumb. I’m the one who ‘s okay with it. You’re the one in denial.

                • runnermatt

                  Here you go insulting others again. Insulting others isn’t going to make them more likely to “switch” to your viewpoint. It will instead have the opposite effect and make them more resistant to it and more engrained in their own opinion.

                • John

                  People are resistent to logic and reason regardless of how it is put. However, I find that they are not so resistent to being made to look a fool or to look an evil, selfish controlling wretch of a human being.

                • runnermatt

                  I’ll agree that most people are resistant to anything that disagrees with what they already “know”. People can be more or less open to new things though. People that believe everything they hear we would call gullible. The second part of your statement I have no experience with because I rarely, if ever, am insulting to others. Most of the time they don’t deserve it. If I have been insulting with any of my comments I apologize.

                • John

                  Yeah, me too, sorry. I get pretty defensive about the Constitution since it’s under attack by basically everyone. I mean, hey, I love NASA. But it’s not Constitutional. My hairbrained idea is to offer up amendments for everythign illegal the government now does, and those that pass keep getting funded and those that don’t need to be transitioned, replaced or shut down. I am often insulting to others, but I do try to limit to those who started it. Not always, but I try.

                • runnermatt

                  I’ll vote that up!

            • runnermatt

              By your definition the government isn’t supposed to provide us WITH a military for defense, WITH police for security, WITH fire departments for fires, or WITH EMS services when the asshole text messenger runs you over because they weren’t looking at the road. The government is only supposed to provide the money FOR these services. I suppose we can hire Blackwater for a military force and get rid of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. I suppose we can hire the private prison companies to provide our security. I suppose we can hire the health insurance companies to provide EMS services. I don’t know of any organization we could hire for fire protection. I guess the country I spent five years defending in the Marines can just burn to the ground, it already seems to be going that way anyway.

              Maybe if you stopped assuming everything you hear in your narrow minded little subculture was right and stopped insulting people you disagree with we might actually consider what you have to say to actually be credible.

              I don’t necessarily disagree with your viewpoint that the government shouldn’t mandate motorcycle helmets. I grew up not wearing bicycle helmets. Now, after mountain biking with helmets I don’t feel comfortable riding without one. Riding without a motorcycle helmet is illegal here in Virginia, but even if it wasn’t I wouldn’t because doing so would be so psychologically discomforting that I wouldn’t enjoy it, even if I was using my freedom. I can’t fathom why a person would NOT want to not wear a full face helmet much less, no helmet. On my previous commute I would hit so many bugs that I would have to clean my visor before I left for work in the morning and again before I left work to go home. I also like my teeth, eyes, nose and general facial structure and would hate to see what would happen when a rock thrown by a truck hits someone on a motorcycle in the face.

              Another reason the government, especially the CDC, shouldn’t be worried about mandating motorcycle helmets can be shown statistically. I was looking in the October 2013 issue of Popular Mechanics (the same issue with articles on Self-Driving cars and the NSA surveillance) and they had a section on accidental deaths. Page 70 has a chart showing percentages of the different types of fatalities among U.S. men ages 18 to 50. 56% OF DEATHS IN THAT RANGE COME FROM DISEASE. Only 25% come from accidental causes and among the accidental causes only 38% are in the AUTO category, a category that includes Passenger Cars, Light Trucks, Large Trucks and Motorcycles. So percentage wise motorcycle deaths are a very, very, very small percentage of all deaths in the U.S. So if you want to go and ride your motorcycle without a helmet I say go right ahead. When you crash and die or become a bed-ridden vegetable that your family has to feed through a tube and change your bed pans I won’t care one bit.

              Your argument against mandatory helmet laws is a waste of time, effort and bandwidth. THERE ARE FAR MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES TO ARGUE AGAINST AND THIS IS NOT A SUBJECT WHERE IF YOU TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS THE BIG THINGS WITH TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. How about arguing against the fact that all of the major “News” organizations are in bed with the government and only report what the government wants them to. How about against the U.S. government’s violations of multiple Constitutional rights granted to its citizens. How about arguing against the fact that the vast majority of “representative” are bought and paid for by the legalized bribery known as campaign contributions. How about gerrymandering? There are a lot more important issues to argue about that motorcycle helmet laws. And you know what if Congress passes a law mandating helmets those congress members were sent there by the people of this nation to enact the “will of the people” so in reality you need to blame your fellow citizens not some made up entity known as government. If you want to help fix this country stop wasting your time arguing on a blog about Motorcycle helmet laws and instead volunteer to a meaningful organization. I seriously doubt you will read my whole comment before you spout of some stupid insulting reply.

              • John

                1. The Feds are specifically tasked with creating and funding a military in multiple areas of A1S8. By the leftist definition, it wouldn’t be necessary as it is all covered in Clause 1. But it isn’t, it wasn’t and never was intended to be read that way. See Federalist 41. It explains it in great detail in the last 4 paragraphs. – http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa41.htm

                The Power to Tax is the power to tax and nothing more. It puts three LIMITATIONS on the power. They are not meant to be seen as a power to spend. You can’t, for instance, tax someone to punish them, but only to raise money for the treasury. Also, see Jefferson’s argument on the unconstitutionality of the Federal banking system. He also explains it. Smartest, most educated man in the history of the US. I’ll side with him, thanks.

                “I can’t fathom why a person would NOT want to not wear a full face helmet much less, no helmet.” There you go. Plenty of motivation to wear a helmet without force.

                It’s never a waste of time to fight tyranny, especially that which is illegal and unconstitutional according to the rules by which the government must play. I don’t usually bother fighting state helmet laws, as that is within the power of state government to enforce and it’s up to popular vote. Though even then, there are some times when I want to ride down the street to get some milk or pay a bill without getting all suited up.

                • runnermatt

                  Thank you! Excellent comment and response! I sincerely do mean that.

        • John

          What exactly do you think “provide for” means? I’ll give you three guesses before I have Thomas Jefferson and James Madison explain what it means for your edification.

      • eddi

        commerce clause,
        in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, section 8), the authorization of
        the Congress “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the
        several States, and with Indian Tribes.” It is the legal foundation of
        much of the U.S. government’s regulatory authority.

        Happy now?

        • John

          How does riding around the block fall undee interstate commerce?

          • eddi

            The Supreme Court says the government can control not only what travels (goods) but HOW they travel. All the laws that control how a vehicle is built and how a driver is required to act-speed limits for obvious example-are based on this clause. The “several States” have all written constitutions and laws that “me too” the clause. Not that the state’s rights are in question. In this case they have none. If the Feds say “It wears it’s helmet or it gets the hose again”, no organization will have a legal leg to stand on to claim unConstitutional “you’re smothering my freedom”.

            • John

              SCOTUS can say what it wants, but that doesn’t change what the Constitution says. Interstate commerce means that money flows across a state line, and a product or service is returned across a state line. Riding down the street is not commerce, let alone interstate anything. Congress could arguably set laws for truck drivers that are the carriers of interstate commerce, or for banks handling the money, but that is it.

              Also, states don’t have rights, they have powers. There is no such thing as “states rights”, let alone “government rights”.

              I go by what the Constitution says, not what some tells me it says. I can read and understand just fine. Actually, I do that clearly better than at least 7 out of 9 justices. I give Thomas and Alito the benefit of the doubt.

              • Kr Tong

                Rather than watching you derail my favorite motorcycle comments section time and time again with your asinine questions: Here’s this:

                http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/25/economists-argue-over-the-cost-of-caring-for-the-uninsured.html

                There’s a comments section on that article too. Have fun.

              • eddi

                Truly, I don’t like it any more than you. But unless some lobby persuades Congress they really have a dog in this fight, it will pass apatheticly unopposed. And the court fight will be between your argument and mine generally. So I hope you’re right and I’m not.

              • Piglet2010

                Clarance Thomas? “What Scalia said” is hardly a learned legal opinion.

                But a classic case of affirmative action promoting an incompetent person into a position.

                • John

                  I assume you mean Barack Obama.

                  Clarence Thomas is absolutely the best SCJ we have right now. He is the only one that truly understands what the Constitution says and means. Scalia is a neo-con rationalizer and he’s the 3rd best we have after Alito. The democrat ones don’t even look at the Constitution when making decisions.

                  Thomas’ dissent in Gonzales v Raich was classic and absolutely correct.

                • Piglet2010

                  Thomas has by far provided the least amount of legal opinion normalized to his time on the bench of any member of SCOTUS – if they needed a token black conservative, they could have at least found someone with something to say.

                • runnermatt

                  How is it that Affirmative Action got Barack Obama elected? Oh, because Affirmative Action forced a majority of the country to vote for the black man against their will. I understand entirely now.

                • John

                  No it’s internal AA. People desperately wanted to vote for a black man to feel good about themselves, to say “I voted for the first black president, see, I’m NOT a racist!” Rather than voting based on who was most qualified. And well, let’s see how proud people are now. As I said back then, he may one day be a great president, but he’s not ready, hasn’t the experience, doesn’t even have a real platform outside of “hopey changey” and simply shouldn’t be rushed into office just to alleviate white guilt.

                • runnermatt

                  I think you overestimate the number of white people who voted for Obama just because they wanted to Vote for the Black man to alleviate their guilt. Non-racist people don’t feel guilty and most don’t think there is a racism problem. However, I think having our first black president has displayed just how much racism is still a problem in this country.

                • Piglet2010

                  Running against “Hanoi John” McCain and Caribou Barbie had nothing whatsoever to do with Obama being elected the first time, or Mitt “Bain Capital” Romney the second time.

                • John

                  Well, yeah, that was like a gift from heaven. But still, if he had been just a regular white guy, he probably would have lost either election. Both were close enough to be thrown by race. Most of my left friends wanted him, but couldn’t say WHY without talking about him being black. They’d dance around it like “he’s so NEW, so REFRESHING, so DIFFERENT”. But, yeah, Republicans were stupid to vote for someone they didn’t even want the first time. Both of them.

                • John

                  BTW, you’re downvoting is really childish, but feel free to be that fetus.

                • runnermatt

                  From what I saw all or most of your comments had several down votes. I actually u up voted some of your comments. I’ll attribute your “fetus” comment to the thought that you hadn’t gotten to my comments calling you out on being insulting.

                • John

                  To be fair, you’re great at implying the insult without being black and white about it :D

                • VTR1

                  It’s almost impossible to believe that anyone could disagree with what you wrote. They’d have to be in about as much denial of reality as the liberal justices are in denial of the Constitution. You’ve got justices that clearly make decisions based on their “feelings” when, plane and simple, that is not their job.

                • John

                  Thanks, though I believe it more these days. The ironic thing is that the same people who think government should be able to be as flexible about the Constitution as it likes are the same who think that there should be absolute fealty to and support for whatever law the government makes. Why not demand that the government obeys the law first?

                  Also, I love the fact that the left thinks Clarence Thomas, a black man, is stupid because he doesn’t ask stupid redundant, meaningless questions that have no effect on what the Constitution says. Most court challenges are decidable before they even make it to SCOTUS. The trick is making a decision that somehow gels with all of the arbitrary anti-constitution decisions that have come before and doesn’t accidentally destroy 100 years of “jurisprudence” (AKA “making it up as we go along”). Of course, they also call him a “race traitor” and “Uncle Tom” for putting what the Constitution says over what a lawyer says it says or what some dead white men said it says.

              • runnermatt

                The SCOTUS doesn’t change what the Constitution says but settles disputes about interpretations of what the Constitution says, which in effect alters how the Constitution is used. Doing that they may as well be able to change what the constitution says.

                • John

                  Actually, it has absolutely changed what the Constitution says, by claiming that anything that affects commerce is covered. Or that “provide FOR the general welfare” by funding the treasure means to “provide WITH the general welfare” through social programs. Not even Alexander Hamilton believed in that.

                • runnermatt

                  Essentially we agree here, we just state it differently.

                • John

                  I just solve it by asking people to make their argument based on what the Constitution actually says. That way we’re not arguing fiction.

    • KeithB

      I was going to post more but you pretty much said it for me.
      This whole argument about “freedom” to wear a helmet pales in comparison to some real freedoms that the governments of both our countries are eroding.
      It’s like arguing about the deck chair arrangement on the Titanic.
      LET IT GO ALREADY!

    • Ben W

      I’d rather we address and learn from our past mistakes, laws that unjustly violate the rights of others, than continue the trend. Some of the other mistakes you’ve mentioned are far more important than a helmet law, to be sure.

      It would be easier for me to get on board If the evidence regarding social impacts was compelling. What does society risk by allowing this particular freedom? What does society stand to gain by denying it?

    • appliance5000

      I’d definitely be more concerned with things like for profit prisons and the NSA.

  • Kr Tong

    It boils down to this:

    Any experienced motorcyclist knows it’s not IF they cut you off, it’s WHEN they cut you off. So WHEN you get hit, it’s your personal responsibility to be protected, but some people just don’t get that. Being out on the road in any vehicle is a gamble, and just like gambling at a casino, people are so bad at calculating their odds that the government needs to step in and regulate it.

    • John

      Why? Why should my desire to see someone be safe trump their desire to see themselves safe?

      • NOCHnoch

        Because lawmakers use motorcycle fatality rates to continue to pass over legislation that would do real good for bikers, like lanesplitting and parking laws.
        Because our tax dollars go to pay for the medical bills for the uninsured, bareheaded rider who needs to get scraped off the pavement and our health insurance premiums go up for the insured rider who does the same.

        Like it or not, we’re part of a society.

        • John

          Right, so your excuse for controlling someone is that you will force yourself to do good for someone who got hurt, therefore you get to control their lives.

          It sounds like you’d make a great mother, until your kids flee to the opposite side of the country to get you of their lives.

          • NOCHnoch

            I take it you believe motorists shouldn’t have to wear seatbelts, building codes shouldn’t exist, and airbags are a choice best left up to the individual?

            • John

              Basically correct. What I would say is that people should be liable for their actions, so if you don’t wear a seatbelt or have airbags and you die, well, there you go. If you ride like a maniac and you die, there you go. If you build a house and you can’t document its design and safety features well, good luck selling it, and if it burns down and catches someone else on fire, then you should be liable.

              For instance, if we had private fire companies, they could charge you based on how well your house is built and if it’s obviously a danger, then you’ll get charged more, unless you fix it. There are plenty of homes that are grandfathered in and quite dangerous BUT….if you fix anything in your house or make your house better in any way, and don’t update the old parts, they shut you down. So many people simply don’t update their homes and live in a more dangerous home for it. Many fires have happened because people can’t update the really dangerous issue without having to update everything from top to bottom. So they die. That’s government.

              Libertarians believe in a muscular, quick and efficient court system, not arbitrary laws and regulations, most of which have no effect on their intended target and often make things substantially worse.

              I bought the last car you could buy without airbags. It saved me $1500 and I never crashed it, in over 120,000 miles, because I drive well.

              • NOCHnoch

                I got the feeling I was talking to a libertarian :) Might as well quit now because I doubt either of us will bring the other over to the “dark side,” but if I may part with one last question:

                Since we don’t live in a libertarian paradise, and instead the idiocy of one person impacts others in society, wouldn’t you want to limit that impact as much as possible via, say, safety requirements? It’s certainly not perfect (few societies are), but I would argue that mandating the use of basic safety equipment as a requirement to earn the privilege of owning and operating a motor vehicle is far better than the alternative, since the alternative will certainly cause both loss of lives and lots of money instead of inconvenience and a little money.

                • John

                  I’m not sure how it is a “privilege” to own and operate a vehicle. I would call that a right. Now on the street, it is sort of a privilege, but since people are actually the ones paying for it, how can it be declared off use UNLESS you have been proven in a court of law to be a danger to others. This is our system. Innocent until proven guilty. Our schools should teach kids to drive and they should have the civil right to drive on the roads until they are proven to be a menace. Not simply a menace because they fit a profile or because someone says so. I think many, if not most accidents could be prevented through technology or improved roads that people actually want and will willingly buy or fund rather than being forced to buy.

                  I mean, I do basically agree that your driving does risk others, but they being on the road also risks themselves. It’s a tough balancing act, and that’s why it’s best left to the people of the states and localities to determine through public debate, rather than having it decided for them by people who don’t even live there. See what I mean?

              • Piglet2010

                I did not buy the last car one could buy without airbags, because it would have been equipped with automatic seat belts, which I hate (no objection to regular belts, just the inferior automatic ones).

                • John

                  Hah, I did because the 93 1/2 model didn’t have the auto seatbelts that the 94 model had. $1500 less, plus an extra discount for it being a “leftover”. My decision, my risk. Well played for my purposes.

              • runnermatt

                Have fun when someone builds their own car and then runs over you at 80 mph because they didn’t put the throttle body in correctly and it sticks open and they didn’t bother with brakes because they cost money and who needs them anyway. I’m sure that will end well while you are enjoying your freedom to ride your bike without a helmet.

                • John

                  If someone knows how to build their own car, I really have little to fear from them.

                • runnermatt

                  I was implying that they didn’t know how to or want to build it “right”.

            • John

              I think it’s entirely out of bounds for the Federal government to enforce without an Amendment, per the Constitution and the 10th Amendment.

              If the local governments want to do these sort of proactive things, that is fine, to a point, but they should have to demonstrate both a real danger, that there is no other alternative, and demonstrate effectiveness of the law. And allow people to move away from that area if they disagree. Such as in the country. I don’t think that there should be building codes for sure in the country. I don’t think I should have to get permission from somoene who lives 20 miles away to build a house or a barn or anything else. I have my own incentives for not wanting them to burn down which are more immediate than theirs. But I want freedom to do my implementation, my way.

              • Piglet2010

                I would be fine with that, as long as anyone who is about to enter the house or barn is notified that it was not built to code, and if sold, the title deed would show it was not built to code. And that the house or barn not be rented or leased. Very similar to the rules for home-built “Experimental” aircraft.

                • John

                  Also, there are private companies that can do the inspections and have their own standards which are very often far more logical. For instance, random codes like “electrical outlets every 6′” often put outlets where they are useless, behind a cabinet, which is more dangerous than being where they are useful. But I’ve seen houses stopped over it. The quality and execution was fine, but an outlet was 1ft away from where they wanted it, in a place where it made sense. So they had to move it and call for a new inspection. That doesn’t add to safety in any way, shape or form.

              • runnermatt

                Ah, there it is tentherism. Most of the people who represented your position lost their elections, meaning “The People” don’t believe in your viewpoint. The 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” But this power is delegated to the Federal Government under Article 1 Section 3 as I mentioned and linked to in other comments. Your interpretation of the constitution is outdated and not supported by Supreme Court rulings which themselves are the legal interpretation of the Constitution. If you want to change the legal interpretation of the Constitution then you need to take your case to the SCOTUS and win. Good Luck with that.

                Here is the link to the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

                • John

                  “Tentherism”. So, if I believe that the 10th Amendment is a working, practical, functional part of the Constitution, I’m some sort of wacko extremist?

                  If most of the people disagree with me, it shouldn’t be a problem removing the 10th Amendment. Please try. You guys always claim an incredible majority, and you think that makes it okay to break the law. I suggest you change the Constitution and prove yourself right. Put up or shut up. Until then the 10th Amendment is in force. But, of course, it needn’t be, since even Jefferson and Madison called it redundant since it simply restated how federal compacts work, rather than create any new rule for government to follow.

                  Imagine, also….The 10th Amendment. Part of the Bill of Rights. Why do you think that is? Why isn’t in “The Bill of Federal Powers that Allow Us to Bully The States and People”?

                  What specific power do you believe gives government authority to ban helmets? Please quote. I don’t see it, as I don’t have your copy of the Constitution. Mine is clearly different being the original and all.

                • NOCHnoch

                  ron paul 2012!

                • John

                  Gary Johnson 2016. I’ve never been much of a Ron Paul fan. I think he kinda makes libertarian sound crazy, but it’s really him. Rand Paul hasn’t been bad though. He’s getting his legs. Or Justin Amash.

                • runnermatt

                  Tenthers believe the 10th Amendments strips the federal government of any power they don’t like and give that power to the states. Most haven’t read the Constitution to know that certain powers are still given. If elected Congress, elected President, and Supreme Court that has been appointed by the President and the Senate all agree that the Constitution gives the federal government, then the Federal Government has that power until one of three disagrees or enough of the branches overturn that power. The exception to that is enough states band together and pass an amendment to the Constitution that changes that.

                • John

                  Ummm, no, that’s totally backasswards.

                  A “tenther” is just someone who believes the 10th Amendment means exactly what it says, which is unless the power has been actually delegated, it REMAINS with the states. No one is taking anything from the Feds that is legitimate.

                  By your believe, a “tenther” wants to take away the power over the military or interstate commerce from the Feds. NO ONE has suggested this. No one.

                  Where is the Amendment for helmet laws? What is the delegated authority? None? Okay, what does the 10th say now?

      • Kr Tong

        Because if they don’t have enough insurance and go broke paying their medical bills, the taxpayers end up paying them.

        • John

          That sounds like a government problem, not a freedom problem.

          So, you’re saying it upsets you when the government takes money from you to give to someone else. Good for you. Let it sink in a bit more.

          • Kr Tong

            That’s not what I said at all.

          • Andrew Karmy

            What he is saying is that, we AS A SOCIETY have decided to due the humane thing and treat patients even when they don’t have health insurance. Our dear friend the helmet less rider hurts the rest of society by either incurring unpaid bills or driving up our insurance rates. Frankly this is no different then being required to have insurance on your car. It’s good for you, and good for me.

            • John

              Do you have a mouse in your pocket? No one asked me and I don’t want to be part of any society that has you as a member. In Mexico, people don’t have to have insurance and their system is far more efficient at dealing with crashes.

              • Kr Tong

                I would love to know how long you’ve ridden, what you ride, and where I can meet someone so ignorant about this stuff as you. If you live by me, please pick a track or a road because I want to knock some common sense into you. Your comments in every section are argumentative about the dumbest things and not once have you struck me as someone who even remotely understands motorcycling.

                • John

                  I liked your original over the top comment better.

                  In any case, an emergency room shouldn’t be able to assume you can’t pay, that’s ludicrous. How would they know if someone has money or not? I took to my wife to the hospital for an emergency and paid cash. If someone can’t pay, that should be between the hospital and the patient. Further, a hospital should have no ability to just charge whatever they want for something after not informing the patient. If you take your car for a repair and they fix it and charge you $50K for a $1K cost to them? And the government will make you go bankrupt if you can’t pay? The problem with hospitals is that it is a neo-socialist system rather than a free market system which would automatically respond to people’s ability to pay.

                • Kr Tong

                  Lol. You want hospitals to admit your wife whether you can afford that hospital or not, and then you say you want non-socialist, private hospitals that could turn her away.

                  How dumb are you?

                • John

                  If it wasn’t against the law to kick people out, what would happen is that enterprising doctors would create night time and emergency care clinics that would have tons of customers paying cash or working out payments at prices that were affordable, rather than the ridiculous money hospitals charge to give you an aspirin. Did you know that insurance companies make contracts with hospitals that give them an enormous discount off of “retail” but of course, the hospitals have to charge “retail” to anyone paying cash. Cash discount? Nope, cash PENALTY. OTOH, some hospitals and private clincs circumvent this by having special packages or under the table services, like the time I paid 1/3rd the price for some tests cash, or when I paid $3000 for the birth of my child instead of the $17,500 it would have cost normally, simply by looking around a little. I simply agreed to pay the $3000, they delivered the baby, and I followed through.

                  BTW, the libertarian position IS the educated position. And I think I’ve had plenty of motorcycles and plenty of mileage to count as not a “wannabe”.

                • Kr Tong

                  Miles don’t equate directly to experience. You can be high mileage and never see a corner in your life. I shouldn’t have to explain this to you. I also shouldn’t have to explain to you that not everything is a jumping off point for you to rant about your wacky libertarian utopia that exists nowhere on the planet and yet is “clearly” the best. That’s not being educated. That’s just reverberating some bill o’rielly obamacare hatred and ron paul’s “i have a dream” speech. You on PERSONAL LEVEL are still uneducated.

                  And in this utopia you’ve described doctors will have their own practices and will buy their own MRI machines, X-ray machines, and staff a fully operating ER room just sitting around hoping that someone will pick them over a hospital. And even though they had to buy all this equipment themselves they’re going to charge everybody less.

                  Lets take a couple examples for a second. My friend died yesterday. A car came into his lane and hit him because they were trying to drift a front drive car. How long should the ambulance that was rushing him to the hospital wait to find a cheaper practice to take him to? How far from the hospital should they be willing to drive to save how much money? See the difference between your baby example (which is TOTALLY relevant to head injuries on motorcycles, btw. Good job for that) and a head injury, is that you don’t know you know a baby’s coming NINE MONTHS AHEAD. That gives you some time to be a good little consumer and shop around.

                  Second example, three days before that I was hit by an oncoming car on my way to work. While the doctor was artfully stiching up my five inch leg vagina she wasn’t exactly thrilled by the way it was coming together. She walked down the hallway, grabbed another doctor who came in and showed her some very intricate stichwork that worked perfectly on my big floppy vagina and it all came together very neatly. With your super awesome libertarian future, was that other doctor supposed to show the stitch work over the phone? Or because this is clearly a made-up fantasy, can doctors teleport?

                • John

                  Ah, okay, so your squid friend gets killed and you’re running around letting yourself get hit by cars and you’re going to lecture me about me being a wannabe?!? Some riders you guys are. So how about we take the motorcycle from anyone who can’t prove they are doing anything more than racing around corners at high rates of speed for “fun” because they’re just asking to become a grease patch, so the rest of us can enjoy our motorcycles in peace. Or maybe we should just make race bikes illegal on the street.

                  Though, to be honest, I really don’t care that your friend died. It means nothing to me. Given your personality, he’s probably in a better place. As you can see, motorcycling is so dangerous, especially “sport riding” that a helmet won’t always save your life and it really should be outlawed and the bikes confiscated. If that had been the case, your friend would be alive and I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for the gash in your leg with my insurance.

                • Kr Tong

                  Does this look like a squid to you?

                  Come find me m-fer. I’m waiting for you.

                • John

                  Looks like a squid to me.

                • Kr Tong

                  Exactly what i thought you’d say. His name is Lloyd Devaraj. He was a real person. Not some internet troll who’s willing to sink to the lowest level to try to win an internet argument.

                • John

                  We should have banned motorcycles, I guess. Obviously motorcycling is dangerous and must be stopped.

                • Kr Tong

                  Good idea.

                • VTR1

                  wow you are a total douche

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Cool thanks for being a tool because I talk about real things that happened in real life. What’s your contribution?

                • Piglet2010

                  But cars kill far more non-drivers than motorcycles do, so we should ban private use of these cages of death.

                • runnermatt

                  +1 for effective use of sarcasm.

              • runnermatt

                And that is why the guy from OneWheelDrive.org choose to fly back to Canada with a broken collar bone rather than have a very affordable surgery in Baja Mexico.

    • Andrew Karmy

      Exactly. And being out on the roads isn’t a choice for most people. A large portion of us live in places where we have to ride/drive to do just about anything. Why even risk it. Why let others risk it and run up unpaid hospital bills. Helmets. They just make sense.

      • John

        Again, by that standard, anyone who rides at night is a menace to themselves, as is anyone who rides at all. All motorcycles should be banned for your own good.

        • runnermatt

          Realistically a motorcycle is safer at night than during the day. At night drivers are looking for headlights. During the day they are looking for empty road lanes, cars fill the road lane, bikes don’t.

          • John

            Well, I would expect any motorcyclist with any experience to tell you that this is incorrect. Night time is extremely dangerous and while by far, most motorcycle miles are during the day, probably over 80%, 60% of deaths occur at night. A single light is very confusing to a driver and provides no depth perception, but that isn’t so much the danger. It is an animal, a stick, a rock, a patch of stones that you didn’t see. I almost hit a logging truck with its lights out because I couldnt’ see it until it was too late. I could never have stopped, but I managed to get into the other lane or I’d be dead. Had another car been coming, I’d be dead. For that and several other smaller mishaps, I don’t ride at night and would advise, though not rule, that anyone else should avoid it when possible.

    • Justin McClintock

      Should the government then regulate that all cars without airbags be retrofitted with them or removed from the road? That would be a similar argument.

      • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

        Really? You’re going to skip over motor sports, contact sports, construction sites, road work, polo, and every other more relatable one for a technology that requires the installation of high tech sensors, computers to determine the direction of impact and airbags which, if they go off in a car at the wrong moment can cause more harm than good.

        • Justin McClintock

          Fair enough. There’s plenty of stuff you could argue we should be protected from subjecting ourselves to. But (and I don’t support this argument, but I’ve heard it from anti-helmet folks before, so it’s out there), what about helmets and their interference with peripheral vision? If you have an accident because you couldn’t catch something in your peripheral vision, a helmet, in that case, would be causing more harm than good.

          My basic point is simply that it’s not the government’s place to be protecting us from ourselves. As soon as we let them start doing that, pretty much everything that has any component of fun in it at all is subject to being outlawed, whether it relates to motorcycles or anything else.

          • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

            You should go to a store and try on helmets. I can’t see the corners of an agv or shoei helmet if I tried.

            • Justin McClintock

              You’re preaching to the choir here. I’m never on a bike without a full face helmet. My point is, I’ve heard that argument before, and while I don’t support it, it’s there.

              • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                If only there was a way to know if an argument was valid or not…

          • runnermatt

            My car’s side-airbag equiped, rollover protected, extra stiff, A-pillars interfere with my sight lines far more than my motorcycle helmet.

            • Justin McClintock

              No doubt. The outward visibility of cars has gotten significantly worse in the last 20 years in the name of style and safety. But that’s a completely different argument (although one worth having in its own right).

            • John

              There have been many times where I’ve not seen a pedestrian until the last minute at a stop sign because they are hiding in my thick A-pillars. No harm no foul (yet) but gave them a bit of a scare each time as I started to pull out before seeing them. But, hey, *I* am safer……..

  • Mykola

    So….. How about a federal Community Commuting and Productivity Task Force to study the benefits of Lanesplitting and traffic filtering?

    • John

      Ugh. Bureaucrats.

  • Hooligan

    Perhaps the anti’s can take some comfort from the fact that a far eastern country (maybe Thailand?) There is talk of making full face helmets illegal as the Police say that “criminals” can hide their identity with them.

    As a European I cannot even believe America is having this debate. But then we have swopped the right to walk around carrying a fully automatic assault rifle to be able to filter/lane split. Win Win.

    • John

      Europe never had the foundation of liberty that the US does and we have ended up with a government that is dramatically more anti-freedom than the one against we rebelled.

      • Hooligan

        Europe is not a country. It is a continental landmass with a large number of different countries in it. Just thought I’d clear that up for you.

        • John

          Exactly, so let’s clear this up even further. England isn’t like the US. France isn’t like the US. The EUROPEAN UNION is like the US. Now, imagine if the EU tells all its member states that they MUST have seat belt laws, MUST have helmet laws, MUST ban drugs, MUST adhere to specific centralized education standards, MUST give up 30% of every person’s income in EU taxation, and the EU will decide where that money goes. The road to tyranny is long and arduous sometimes, but congrats, you’re on it. But do let me know when the EU starts telling you want to do and how excited you are about it.

          • Piglet2010

            Many things are already being imposed on all Europeans by the bureaucrats in Brussels, such as tiered licensing schemes that encourage automobile use over motorcycle use.

            • John

              They’ll soon find out how much they love socialism when the reality sets in. France won’t be France, but just another state in Europe.

              • runnermatt

                France is already a socialist country. They like it that way. I don’t think you know what the word socialism means.

                • John

                  They’re among the most socialist, though neo-socialist is probably a better term since I’m pretty sure I can still get a private industry meal. So I think maybe you need to get a dictionary.

                  But, hey, socialists love telling other people what to do. We’ll see how much they enjoy it when someone else is telling THEM what to do.

                • runnermatt

                  I think you are confusing communist with socialist. Socialist is a system where the government owns some to most industries in a country. Communist is where the government owns all industries.

          • Andrew Karmy

            Uh… you might want to google your statements before you shoot your uneducated mouth off like a two year-old. The EU does levy taxes, and make rules that member states must abide by. Ranging from emissions regs. and crash testing standards to trade laws.

            • John

              Good. I’m glad to see their going to get their long overdue taste of what centralized tyranny is, with people who live thousands of miles away telling you how to live. Awesome.

        • NOCHnoch

          Sorry about our morons. Hopefully they’ll get a few more years of helmetless riding and get drained out of the gene pool.

          • John

            Actually wishing for someone’s death is a bit much, even for a leftist.

          • VTR1

            still having trouble discerning between doing something and forcing people to do something I see….

        • Piglet2010

          There is nothing in John’s statement saying that Europe is country. Just thought I would clear that up for you.

      • appliance5000

        Yeah Canada suffers horribly from British occupation.

  • Piglet2010

    If they were really interested in safety, they would make it a felony to use a mobile phone (including hands free) or text while driving.

    Oh wait, that is not politically feasible.

    • Jai S.

      A felony? Seriously?

      You are talking about jail for at least a year, and taking away someone’s voting rights, firearm rights, and taking away their ability to be hired at many jobs.

      I use my phone while driving, whether to change music, look at directions, or use Siri to make calls or send text messages hands free. I am not dead to the world, and I continue to pay attention why doing so. For the (very) limited amount my eyes are off the road it’s really no different than adjusting my A/C, or changing my radio.

      • appliance5000

        I hope I’m not around when you’re around.

        • Jai S.

          Why?

          • Piglet2010

            appliance5000 does not want to hit by you while you are distracted from driving by your phone.

            Repeated drunk driving is a felony, and being moderately over the 0.08% BAC limit has now been shown to be less detrimental to driving ability than texting.

            • John

              I can definitely drive better drunk than texting. If you’re drunk, you can still concentrate. And .08% is just a light buzz. Plus, if I have a buzz from a drink, I tend to drive perfectly, rather than not caring. I used to have cops follow me home regularly because of where I lived and because they were always looking for a mark, and I drove them crazy because I could be pretty buzzed and drive exactly the speed limit for miles, not one mph above or below. They hated that. Sometimes they’d flip their lights on as an intimidation move to try to get me to run. Never bit. That’s a pretty big tactic the cops use, if you’ve never had them try it on you. Tailgating or flipping the lights on to make them think they’re going to pull you over, so you’ll hopefully run from them. The police are now more dangerous than the criminals in many ways.

              • Kr Tong

                You just admitted to driving drunk and driving while texting.

                • John

                  So? Sue me.

                • Kr Tong

                  No thanks.
                  We’ve already established you’re a terrible person. Now just determining the depth.

                • John

                  I had to sink to your level. Your hypocrisy on the issue is outstanding. If you had any integrity, you’d give up motorcycling and run to government to demand the banning of motorcycles everywhere.

                • Kr Tong

                  Cars too dude. Dont forget banning cars. And busses. I saw a bus run over a pedestrian once. You ever heard a skull pop? Also planes, trains, etc. All way too dangerous. God you’re so smart. Oh and bicycles. Those things are more dangerous than motorcycles.

                • John

                  Now, at least, you’re being a coherent socialist and safetynik.

                  Fortunately, you’ve never broken any speeding laws or passed anyone on a double yellow line. Because you’re all about safety and responsibility and obeying the law.

                • Kr Tong

                  That would be sarcasm.

                  Never said i wasnt a hipocrite. Eating a powerbar is a form of hipocricy. Im pretending i care about my health while eating a candybar.

                  And no i dont cross DY’s. Never. Not in a million years. If you can’t pass a car without crossing a DY you’re pretty bad at riding.

                • John

                  Yeah, you really shouldn’t put videos of yourself doing that on the internet then.

                • Kr Tong

                  Oh you mean the video where I sat behind a car and waited for them to turn out then went around them on a clear straight? You’re stupid.

                • John

                  It’s illegal. So maybe you could drop the sanctimony. And, no, the one where you just illegally passed, clearly above the speed limit as well. One of the best signs of a squid is how they love to video themselves “in action”. So immature.

                • Kr Tong

                  So what you’re saying is waiting for a car to signal you to pass, then passing them on a clear straight is on the same level as you driving drunk? You looking for a pass? Try harder.

                • Kr Tong

                  I can read your comment that’s awaiting moderation so I’ll respond to it anyway.

                  IT doesn’t matter whether you think you can drink and drive. You’re going to crash. Not while drinking and driving, but inevitably, we all do. And I hope you’re carrying health insurance when you do, because that child’s future of yours is going up in a puff of smoke if you don’t. And even if by some miracle you scrape by living like you do without a scratch, which statistically is impossible, there’s a thousand other duplicates of you out there doing the same thing you’re doing, thinking they’re special and immune, who will end up crashing without insurance.

                  And here’s the thing, even if you think you’re a genius and figured out how to drink and drive, when that other idiot comes around the corner and hits you, it’ll be your fault because you’re inebriated.

                  That’s why you’re a terrible person. Not because of the risk you put on yourself, but because of the debt you put on others. Wear a helmet.

                • John

                  I love it when control freaks call other people terrible for resisting their foolishness. I’ll wear a helmet because I want to, not because you’re a control freak.

                • runnermatt

                  Provide a link or it didn’t happen.

                • John

                  It’s on YouTube if he hasn’t pulled it. Just google it. I’m not in the habit of posting other people’s lawless activities.

                  Thanks happen all the time without links. I assume you’re being purposefully illogical.

                • Piglet2010

                  Powerbars taste like cardboard, in my opinion.

          • appliance5000

            Here’s a hint – you’re on a motorcycle blog and cars are bigger than motorcycles. At least a drunk knows they’re drunk and tries to focus to compensate. Phone users think they’re fine until they hit someone – I don’t want it to be me.

          • Davidabl2

            The scientific experiment has been done-and the results were terrible.
            Very few people are actually able to multitask well enough to drive un-impaired while phoning, much less texting.

            • Jai S.

              Source?

              I’m not talking about using a phone continuously while driving or even for many seconds, but glances under a second, long enough to look at a the next turn on a map, or activate the the hands free.

              If that’s unacceptably dangerous, than we shouldn’t have things like radio, or air conditioning that can be changed by the driver. Those distractions would be just as severe.

              • Davidabl2

                “Source” This’ll do as a beginning-I can’t remember the name of the study, but the accident stats indicate pretty much the same thing

              • Piglet2010

                Nonsense, and you know it – unless you really have not thought it through. Unless you are one of those people who talks back to the radio and thinks the DJ can hear you.

        • Piglet2010

          I do not even like having passengers in a car distracting me.

          Oh, I tried to pay attention to traffic and the road while using a phone (while riding as a passenger) and could not do it. The idea that people can truly multi-task is male bovine excrement.

      • Piglet2010

        Gee, if I was trying to shoot a gun and use a smart phone or tablet at the same time, would you approve? No difference, other than the car/truck/SUV is arguably more dangerous than the gun.

        The reason for making it a felony offense is that a misdemeanor is not enough deterrence.

        Oh, and make injuring or killing someone while driving and using a mobile device assault with a deadly weapon and 2nd degree murder.

        • Jai S.

          I think you mean manslaughter. Murder requires the intent to kill someone. Assault also requires intent.

          Words like felony and murder have actual meaning and are not just gradients of bad.

          • Piglet2010

            No, I meant murder. In legal terms, murder is defined by statute, not the dictionary.

    • appliance5000

      I’d surely advocate taking away their license for at least 6 months. Plenty of texting time then.

    • Davidabl2

      Except just maybe a “use a cellphone-go to jail law” -i.e. if you have a bodily injury accident while texting/phoning you go to jail

      • Piglet2010

        Use a cell phone, go to jail. Cause bodily injury while using a cell phone, go to prison for life with no parole.

        • Davidabl2

          For better or worse,the nation can’t afford it. The system’s set up to railroad people who can’t defend themselves, but plenty of middle-class and upper-class people would get caught up by the law. People who’d get good lawyers…

        • John

          That seems a bit extreme. What about all the people that get into accidents without needing a cell phone to do it? Why shouldn’t they go to jail for life?

          • Piglet2010

            The mobile device needs to be singled out, both because the popularity of its use, and the danger it poses.

            The ironic thing is that many of the MADD and “law and order” types are offenders.

          • runnermatt

            Because using a cell phone while driving is conscious decision, same as drinking while driving.

            • John

              I’d have to drink a 6 pack to be as bad as the typical US driver.

              • runnermatt

                You might be right. I always say I would rather be on the road with someone who has been drinking rather than someone that is texting because at least the drunk is watching the road.

    • John

      They are working on systems that will deactivate your cell phone when in motion.

      • forking
      • runnermatt

        No, need to work on it. Almost all phones have some sort of GPS tracking that can sense motion. With that all you need is a line of software code. “They” don’t even need you to take your phone somewhere to install the code, it can be done over the data network.

        • John

          Sure, but let’s say they make a law. Guaranteed the government would first exempt itself because they know there are times when it’s absolutely necessary to take or make a phone call in motion. Further, how can they tell if someone is driving or not? But there was one law a guy introduced that would have mandated that anyone who died riding without a helmet got harvested for organs. That’s not a terrible thing to do, but it’s terrible to mandate it.

          • runnermatt

            Everyone in the passenger seat would have to suffer. I would argue that it is never absolutely necessary to take or make a phone call while moving at more than 15 mph.

            • John

              Okay, let’s say you’re being followed by people who want to car jack you or kidnap your child and you need to call the police. You’d think these things never happen, but they do.

              • runnermatt

                I would say those situations are exceedingly rare, but there was that recent incident in New York with the bikers and the Range Rover, so valid point.

    • runnermatt

      It would be far easier to have the FCC regulate cell phone transmission while in motion.

  • John

    I think we should just ban motorycles and be done with it. I see clear evidence on this board that no one here knows the risks of motorcycling and they must be saved from themselves. Motorcycles are dangerous and stupid.

  • di0genes

    Hmmm. Sometimes wearing a helmet can be a pain. Riding an MC in the city you may never go faster than you could on a bicycle. How about tying helmet wearing to speed? No helmet, you can’t go faster than 30 mph or whatever. Easier to verify than whether the rider has 20K worth of health insurance.

    • Davidabl2

      Not by much–a law that’d require you to get that kind of insurance before riding helmet less,and issues you a special Darwin plate wouldn’t be too much more difficult to enforce than any other licensing requirements.

  • Allen Gates

    If you look at CDC it sounds like they are trying to reduce mototrcycle use
    U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) is asking the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention whether it is trying to reduce motorcycle ridership by pursuing a federal mandatory motorcycle helmet law, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

    • John

      It would just be a matter of time. Although, the left is conflicted on this. They would like to see less humans and less energy use. But they want everyone to be “safe”.

      • runnermatt

        One could argue that global warming will be far more dangerous than not wearing a bike helmet.

        • John

          They could argue it, but they’d sound silly.

        • VTR1

          unfortunately there is not much we can do about climate change as it has been occurring since the planet was formed roughly 4-5 billion years ago. Just something we have to deal with as the creatures who were alive did with the coming and passing of various ice ages.

          • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

            Since you already think I’m a total douche i have no problem telling you that the reason we’re not all cooked alive right now is because the oceans can absorb a lot of carbon dioxide, that this is the first time the oceans have ever risen three degrees centigrade in less than a hundred years, and that if you’re going to be around for the next forty years you’ll live to see everything nearest to the equator die. Including the people who contributed the least to global warming.

            You mentioned in another comment “sometimes you just gotta let darwinism do its thing.” I hope you enjoy the irony.

          • runnermatt

            Did you know that the CEO of ExxonMobil gave a statement last year and in that statement he admitted that Global warming is caused by humans and said that it was too late to do anything about it and we just needed to adapt. Do you know that ExxonMobil has spent millions of dollars to cast doubt about Climate Change, because they can’t scientifically disprove it.

            http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/11/28/meet-the-climate-denial-machine/191545

  • Stuki

    The only upside to this, is that it is one more overreach from the Feds; hence moving us one step closer to some states getting more serious about secession, or at least disassociation.

  • runnermatt

    New helmet technology is a lot better than it was back in the 70′s. Maybe if everyone is required to wear helmets again the resultant reduction in fatalities will move the public perception of motorcycles away from “murdercycles” and toward efficient and practical transportation.

  • Adrian Black

    I think you should just get on board with the rest of the world and wear a lid. I don’t see US Riders protesting wearing a lid in MotoGP (for example) as a “violation of their liberty” … I mean, have you actually watched a motorcycle crash? Seen the benefits they provide?

    Seriously people, having mandatory helmet laws is the right thing to do … it not only increases your chance of survival if you crash (most of the time not our fault, but we always come off second best), but also increases the chance that you don’t come home as a vegetable to the people that now need to care for you (remember, the consequences impact people other than yourself).

    What mandatory helmet laws don’t do is stop idiots riding in t-shirts, shorts and thongs (or flip-flops for you non-Aussies) while wearing a helmet. Yes, you may not beat your skull to a pulp in an accident because of the helmet, but the rest of your body will not be pretty.

    Jump on a bike and ride with the right safety gear … we are not invincible, and you never know what can happen …

    • Piglet2010

      You are confusing the effects of wearing a helmet for the individual with the effects on society. I am against mandatory helmet and seat belt laws, as they reduce a needed thinning of the herd of its least qualified members.

  • Andrew Karmy

    Why, is everyone, from the AMA to Rideapart acting either passive, or actively anti-helmet? What/Who are you afraid of, exactly? This is like saying, “Oh well… We aren’t saying you should wear a seatbelt, because you know, freedom and ‘murica….” Can the community not hear how absurd it sounds. It should be illegal not to wear a helmet. There I said it, that was easy, now how about you try it Rideapart… How can we expect the rest of the car driving zombies to take us even a little bit serious when we talk about the fun, freedom, and frugality of the moto lifestyle. When all they see is a bashed head on the pavement on the evening news… This is dark chapter of motorcycle history has gone on too long. We are willfully ignoring the genocide of our fellow riders because of some 20th century remembrances. . . the leather caps are gone ladies and gents. Wake up, we can make our community safer and happier in the long run.

    /snark out.

    But seriously. Rideapart, how can you be a credible source of information and DENY the science of helmets… What’s next, “Rideapart says, world is flat, because super-slab is flat!”

    • Tim Watson

      Maybe try reading what I wrote before flaming RideApart, Then I’ll take your response seriously.

      • Andrew Karmy

        I based by flame out on the second half of the quote below, where you hedged your endorsement. Telling us what bike to ride, or where to go, is not equivalent to definitively saying that helmets save lives. If wearing an ECE/Snell approved helmet is the very minimum you can do, they why not advocate it? The passive stance and hedging of statements, belies the importance of being safely dressed and protected.

        Furthermore, as this subculture is allowed to fester, it hurts motorcycling’s credibility with the public. The very people we need to bring on board this two-wheeled boat for the next generation. Why do my friends think motorcycles are dangerous? Because their parents, who were riding in the 70s as kids, all know someone who was seriously injured due to a lack of safety gear, braking ability, and ABS.

        “…But we don’t tell you which bike you should ride or where you should go on it, or what you choose to wear on your head. We’re all adults and have to make our own decisions in life.”

        • Tim Watson

          No. I still don’t understand your argument. You have omitted once sentence where I state we (RA) recommend you wear all your gear all the time. I think you are are being disingenuous.

    • John

      No one is anti-helmet, last I checked. Anti-nanny state, perhaps. Nothing makes me feel more vulnerable than going over about 25mph without a helmet. But I don’t need a nanny state to tell me what to do. If you do, great, have the law apply to you and you only.

    • Davidabl2

      Whoa, first it’s helmets, next it’ll be unsightly Leatt neck braces and $1500 airbag jackets..
      a slippery slope to motorcycle safety.. ;-)

  • eddi

    Looks like the only thing that will stop this now is the fact Congress won’t pass anything until after 2016. It’s the safest move to keep their jobs. And even then it will have such a low priority it could be years more until it gets signed into law. Who knows what might happen between then and now?

  • Von

    Growing up racing motocross, you never threw a leg over your bike without wearing at the very least a helmet. I can’t imagine riding on the freeway without one, crazy! Even in California with mandatory helmet law, guys still wear the stupid novelty helmets that wouldn’t do anything in a crash. Not wearing a helmet on a bike is like driving without a seat belt or in the back of a pickup truck, it’s not 1970 anymore.

    • John

      Riding in the back of a pickup is about as safe as riding a motorcycle.

      • Piglet2010

        And almost as much fun.

  • John

    I’m curious if anyone can muster a good safety argument as to why motorcycles shouldn’t be banned entirely? Or, for instance, I believe riding at night is extremely dangerous. I don’t do it. Too many risks that can’t be seen until it’s too late. All of my accidents were at night. My near death experience was a night. YET, I bet a lot of the pro-helmet law people ride at night. What if that is the next thing to be banned?

    • runnermatt

      “There are two types of people. Those who fear the dark and those who take comfort in it.” – Riddick

      • John

        I dont’ fear the dark, I respect the unseeable.

        I suspect you are one of those ill-informed people who make dangerous decisions based on poor information and a simple desire to do what they want. Good for you. I support you 100%.

        • runnermatt

          I was quoting the character Riddick from the series “The Chronicles of Riddick”. And I think you were trying to be insultingly sarcastic.

          Apparently, you didn’t see my comment from the Ride Apart story “Community: How Comfortable are you with risk”. Here is the link: http://rideapart.com/2013/11/how-comfortable-are-you-with-risk/#comment-1120270192

          Below is my comment.

          When I was 3 I was playing tag with my older brother and while climbing on my grandmother’s loose cinder block compost pile I pulled the top cinder block off. It was about 4 feet off the ground and it landed on my lower leg, breaking both bones. I am 33 now and I can still remember that incident clearly. The cinder block landed perpendicular to my leg and its width covered my leg from my knee to my ankle. I can remember sitting there on the ground screaming with my leg pinned to the ground by the weight of the cinder block waiting for my Mom to come get me because my older brother who was only 6 wasn’t strong enough to lift it off of my leg. I can remember getting x-rayed and the cast, which went from my hip to my toes, being applied to my leg. It wasn’t until the past year that my mom told me that I basically yelled at the doctors and nurses because they kept asking me how it happened and I was getting frustrated because I thought they were starting to annoy me with the same questions over and over (they were thinking child abuse because they couldn’t comprehend how a 3 year old could break their leg that bad and child abuses cases were all over the news at the time).

          I’ve come to the conclusion that this very traumatic event has colored my psychology. I’m always looking at my situation and asking how can this go bad. I do this a naturally as breathing. Sometimes I’ll be doing something that my girlfriend will think is dangerous and while she has just started to identify the risk I’ve already played out most, if not all of the possibilities in my head. That said I still slip up and hurt myself sometimes, but not often.

          The first time I rode my bike 45 mph was scary.

          • John

            Okay, partly sarcastic. But I do support people doing dangerous things, if that’s what they want to do.

            But you can see how we could quickly escalate to banning riding at night. Or riding with a passenger. Being forced into kevlar suits. Maximum engine sizes. Speed limiters. Monitoring by a central computer system.

            • runnermatt

              Yes, I do see how things could quickly escalate. The government and society has a history of doing so.

              • John

                That’s kind of the thing. We give them the green light to regulate us and they just run with it. Life is too short as it is, no need to make it insufferably controlled.

  • William Connor

    Lot’s of comments about absurdity and freedom and etc… The Government has not and cannot make a sensible regulation any more, of they ever could. I believe in helmets, I also believe that we are over regulated, have way too many laws on the books, and everything the Government mandates costs the taxpayer about 4 times the estimated cost. So they mandate helmets, to what standard, how is testing done, who pays for it (this ones easy, you and me somehow), and finally who decides what is safe? If the CDC gets to run the show expect the helmet to be heavy, with aerodynamics that barely work, cost twice as much as an Arai, and one size will fit all. I only wish I was joking about this but let’s be honest Government does not understand people, or motorcycles at all.

  • Kr Tong

    I just want to reply to this so you can’t edit this comment. This is priceless: the man angry at hipocrites, while at the same time arguing that men can make rational decisions without government intervention, AND at the same time arguing that you’re perfectly capable of drinking and driving.

    • John

      I can and do make rational decisions about how much I can drink safely. The government’s position is that .07% is fine and .08% is a menace. That’s stupid. I dared to drink a beer with my tacos the other night and drove home. And if the government is so serious about it, why do bars all have parking lots?

      • Kr Tong

        gold. you’re a winner.

        • John

          And your friend is dead because he rides like you do. I won’t miss you when you’re gone.

          • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

            Cool thanks.

      • Piglet2010

        “The government’s position is that .07% is fine and .08% is a menace.”

        Not quite – in many states you can be arrested for DUI at less than 0.08% BAC (0.04% if you have a CDL) if the cop believes you are impaired, and convicted if the jury (or judge in a bench trial) believes the same.

        • John

          Well, sure, the natural tendency of government is to find aways around their own rules if they think they missed anyone. They especially hate anyone that follows the law to the T and purposely ducks under it.

          • Piglet2010

            No, that is the way the rules (i.e. Statutes) are written.

            • John

              Yes, but they are constantly tweaking rules to attempt to get anyone that they think are getting around “the spirit of the law”. They use that term a lot when making the patches too. So you start off with a simple law and at the end, it’s a devastatingly bad leviathan.

  • runnermatt

    Never wrecking a car is not a sign of a good driver. My Mom’s driving and record is proof of that.

    • John

      Well, it seems she must be a whole lot better than some other people who wreck all the time because they run around like it’s their personal race track.

      • runnermatt

        It’s a game of chance. She doesn’t speed much on the divided highway, but she does 45 on main street which has a 25 mph limit. Her vision isn’t the greatest anymore either and she knows it and just hasn’t bothered get an appointment. I suppose it is just a matter of time before has one now.

        • John

          It’s amazing how we are so safety conscious but no one wants to take old people off the road for fear of a voting backlash. I’ve seen people who can barely walk or see where the vision test machine is or even hear instructions come in and pass.

  • Chris Davis

    As a group of humans who operate in a society we have compassion even for those who have made decisions we disagree with. We do not effectively end their lives by refusing them medical care because we are not savages. It is our social contract. As a result we each shoulde the burden, mainly through increases in health care prices.

    Requiring by law that people follow what the *public* deem to be prudent guidelines, either in the form of mandatory protective gear or sufficient insurance for their recovery care, while operating on *public* roads is in effect a use tax. As such it more fairly distributes the economic impacts those who put themselves at greatest risk.

    The argument that helmet or insurance laws violate our freedom could also be seen either as a socialist view in the sense that society must share the cost of individual healthcare for all (as is the current state of affairs) or unfettered capitalism in that we should repeal the aforementioned social contract so that only those who can afford health care should receive it – effectively leaving the injured to die in the street. Neither view is particularly American in nature.

    The question government(s) should honestly ask themselves is ‘who should be responsible for the medical costs?’ Should it fall on all people equally through higher health care costs (effectively a regressive tax) or should it fall on the riders themselves?

    Seen this way I am comfortable with either mandatory helmet laws or a mandatory minimum insurance concept (see Michigan) as each requires me as a rider to be accountable for my decisions, either by taking precautionary measures or by ensuring that I am not a burden on society.

    Put into practice, it would seem that the helmet law is more easily enforced as it is plainly visible to police. However the mandatory insurance is likely more politically viable — we Americans love to have a choice. Two keys to the insurance concept are 1) establishing the value of the dollar figure so that it fairly reflects actual costs and 2) increasing the visibility of a rider’s insurance status perhaps through unique tabs or some other solution to improve enforcement. Here’s a thought: a ticket for lack of both helmet and insurance is $200. Of that, $100 goes to the government and $100 goes to an insurance trust for the rider.

    In short, freedom, like power, requires great responsibility. If you are responsible enough to provide for your own healthcare costs as a result of your decision to ride without a helmet, ride on.

    • Piglet2010

      You missed the memorandum that Social Darwinism is the new standard of society in the US.

  • Warren Massey

    I looked at most of the comments regarding this issue….you are missing the point!

    There is a reason that this came from the CDC and not the DOT or the NHTSA. It is not about helmet laws it is about labeling our activity as a health risk just like cigarettes, soda and Trans fats! If they can label motorcycles as a health risk then higher taxes and heavy restrictions will soon follow. If you have time tke a look at my posts on my ijustwant2ride.wordpress.com

  • brian fleenor

    I live in WI where helmets aren’t mandatory. I wear a full-face every single time I get on my bike for the same reasons I don’t tailgate and I use my blinkers religiously: You need to protect yourself from other people on the road.

    Someone asked me about my riding gear, which I had back when I rode a scooter before I bought a motorcycle. I simply stated: “I know I’m a good driver, that’s not what I’m worried about; it’s everyone ELSE on the road I’m worried about.” Not to say I’ll never crash of my own accord, but there are A LOT of bad drivers with terrible habits out there.