Readers: Helmets save lives, but car drivers kill

Posted March 19, 2009, at 6:20 p.m.

Editorial page readers were sharply divided on the proposal to require those riding motorcycles to wear helmets, though some who disagree with the idea conceded helmets would save lives.

Should helmets be required for motorcyclists?

Wearing a helmet should be the law for everyone, not just those under 18. The reducing visibility argument doesn’t justify the risk.

— julieh777

No it should not be mandatory. There are greater risks of neck injury with a helmet than without. The biggest cause of death on a motorcycle has nothing to do with helmets; it has to do with inattention of other drivers. I drive a motorcycle and several times a year people pull out right in front of me. Comparing seat belts to helmets is an apples to oranges comparison. Now if they wanted to force car drivers to wear helmets, then that would be comparable.

There is no safety benefit to wearing a helmet. Cars come with seat belts. To make me spend $300 on something that I feel endangers my life is unconstitutional and should not be a law. I can see having younger drivers wear helmets because in low speed accidents they do protect people and new drivers are much more likely to be in a low speed accident.

— mAineAc

[Some] may “feel” such a law is unconstitutional but, unless they have rehabilitation insurance coverage in excess of $1 million, we taxpayers have a right to require such a law. After all, it’s us who will have to pick up the tab for his long-term health care costs when a rider spreads his brain and body parts all over the roadway. As to people pulling out in front of you, try driving slower and in the middle of the lane so car drivers can see you in enough time to avoid hitting you — and don’t weave between traffic lanes just because you enjoy the thrill. There’s no right-of-way or “between the lanes” roadway for motorcyclists.

— glenna

Why not impose a “bare brain” tax? Let anyone ride without a helmet if they pay an extra $10,000 per year, with the funds dedicated to helping all brain-damaged motorcyclists meet their medical bills.

— Fausto

There is little question that helmets will protect your skull to a certain extent. They will in fact protect your head when/if you fall off your bike. The arguments made regarding the limited visibility and possible neck injuries you can get from wearing them are not well supported, and I don’t agree with them. The honest fact of the matter is I personally don’t like to wear a helmet when I’m on my bike. I have many reasons for not wanting to wear them, but none of the reasons can be considered justified if you apply the consequences in the event of an accident. So my reason for not wearing a helmet is that I simply don’t like wearing one.

— Betterdays

To see more ClickBack comments, go to bangordailynews.com and look for the Opinion menu. Another version of ClickBack will appear on Tuesday’s editorial page.

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