Helmet Safety Info


Government commanding what is and is not safe for Motorcyclists....
What's wrong with this picture?


Politicians and bureaucrats would have you believe that before mandatory motorcycle helmet laws came along, Motorcyclists were dying like flies because they are simply too dumb to know how to take care of themselves without Government stepping in.

Once mandatory helmet laws are enacted though, Voila! Motorcyclists are transformed into virtually indestructible beings...more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings with a single bound..... and so on.

There is a never-ending flood of "facts" being churned out by "Experts" who have never even been near a motorcycle in their entire lives. Law Makers are being told that unhelmeted Motorcyclists cost "Society" Billions each year and that unhelmeted Motorcyclists' funeral processions are so frequent that they are starting to really screw up Downtown traffic.

What crap!

Let's look at this logically for a second, shall we?

Who do you think is more interested in my safety? Me or some Bureaucrat?

Who do you think is going to do all of the bleeding and suffering and paying if I clobber something on my motorcycle? Me or some Bureaucrat?

Who do you think knows more about motorcycle operation and safety? Me (35 years at it) or some Bureaucrat?

As far as I am concerned, it's my butt (literally) that's on the line here. Given Government's less than stellar track record solving problems, I respectfully suggest that I may have a slightly better perspective on this issue than some Clod who spends his days sitting on his brain churning out paper.

I've had a lot of conversations with a lot of people about this whole "Big Brother knows best" concept of mandatory helmet laws. People who don't know me tell me, "Gee, you speak and write very well [for a Biker...]". Not surprising since I have a college education and everything!

I think that most Law Makers really want to do the right thing and I think that the vast majority of them really are concerned about death on the highways. Unfortunately, Agency Bureaucrats manipulate this sincerity by providing misleading, biased, filtered and downright incorrect information in an effort to get Law Makers to protect Motorcyclists against their own stupidity. The only stupidity I see here are Bureaucrats who continue to collect a paycheck for manufacturing unscientific data and misrepresenting it to teh Legislature as fact.

By far, the most off base "fact" that Government Agencies communicate to Law Makers is the concept that Motorcyclists are undereducated, irresponsible, low IQ Morons who would probably injure themselves if left alone too long with a box of Q-tips. While Motorcyclists fall into several broad categories, let me educate you about me.

I'm a big guy and I ride big motorcycles. I go on long trips all over North America. I used to race on the enduro and hill climb circuit but I'm way too old to be doing that kind of stuff now. I've been riding motorcycles since I was 15 (I'm 50 now). I'm sure I've ridden well over a half a million miles on motorcycles in my lifetime. I do my own repairs and I know my motorcycles better than I know the birth dates of all of my children.

The least expensive motorcycle I own is worth somewhere around $15,000. Big motorcycles are a major financial expenditure. The implication by Bureaucrats that I couldn't or wouldn't carry ample insurance is not only insulting, it's outrageous. I am a dyed in the wool conservative republican (I could probably get invited to the caucuses if I cut my hair) and I have a very strong New England Yankee work ethic and values. I don't accept handouts from anyone and have always worked and paid my own way for everything I have in life. The concept of taking Government handouts is so foreign to me that it's incomprehensible. To demonstrate just how little interest I have in Government "help", social security income isn't even part of my retirement plan. I am and always have been an asset to Society, not a liability.

I've never been arrested, I've never had a traffic ticket, I've never used drugs, I don't smoke, I don't drink and I don't spit on the sidewalk. I own my own business, I own my own home and I have most of the requisite toys and trophies of success that are expected of me.

While I often wear blue jeans and black T-shirts, I am about as far away from the stereotypical Marlon Brando or Lee Marvin "Wild Ones" Hollywood characters as you can possibly get. I can't speak for other Motorcyclists, but I suspect that you will find them to be a lot more intelligent and affluent than Government Bureaucrats give them credit for.

As far as I can see, this perceived lack of intelligence and responsibility is at the core of this issue, not motorcycle head injuries per se. In Oregon, there are way more dangerous hobbies and activities to get involved with, if splitting your skull in two is the objective. What's the difference between skiing head injuries, white water rafting head injuries, jet ski head injuries, roller blading head injuries and so on? Is the US Government on a mission to make sure that each and every one of it's Citizens lives to a ripe old age? I tend to doubt it, seeing as how Government doesn't seem to find 500,000 American deaths each year from cigarette smoking to be significant enough to actually do anything about. How did Motorcyclists get to be so lucky to be singled out for all of this special attention?

As an experienced Motorcyclist, I have zero confidence that a motorcycle helmet will keep me from being injured. I have less than zero confidence that some Government Bureaucrat is privy to well hidden secrets about motorcycle helmets that I may not be aware of. Additionally, I am completely unwilling to let someone who knows nothing about motorcycles dictate to me what is and is not safe.

Experience, skill, paying attention, riding sober, operating defensively, wearing gloves, boots and leathers are my safety plan. The motorcycle helmet that I am being forced to wear is nothing more than a sword of Damocles waiting to break my neck and put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Had Bureaucrats spent their time working with Motorcyclists instead of shuffling papers in the office for the past several decades, they would know that motorcycle helmets have been proven over and over to be a menace. Drop into rec.motorcycles.harley sometime to see who this week's quadriplegic charity case is.

Personally, I wish Government would go away and bother someone else.

Easyrider (tm)


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Last modified May 11,1997
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