Subj: Re: GOOD JOB!
Date: 9/5/2003 4:26:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent from the Internet (Details)
You stupid morons have just murdered your fellow idiot riders. Keep up the good work, before long you should have gene pool clear of polluteing idiots. What's next? Seatbelts or child carseats?
rider and paramedic
Dear R. Camp:
I'm sorry you feel the need to express your opinion in such strong terms but I respect your right to voice those opinions.
I don't believe that I qualify as a "stupid moron" just because I believe adults should have the freedom to choose whether or not to wear a piece of protective equipment whose protective value has been considered questionable among various respected experts. In fact, my college transcript shows that I not only have degrees in Engineering Science, Environmental Technology, Business Administration, Mathematics and Chemistry, but that I maintained a 4.0 QPA for all of them. No, I am not stupid.
ABATE of PA has doctors, lawyers, police officers and EMTs among it's membership. I doubt that you should consider them as stupid either.
It is my firm belief that in this Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, personal freedoms should be carefully guarded to prevent government from evolving into Big Brother. It is also my firm belief that opponents to freedom of choice should join forces with us to start preventing motorcycle accidents and not hiding behind a mandatory helmet law. A motorcycle helmet has never prevented a single accident. However, I personally know two people who may have survived an accident if their legal helmet had not broken their neck and killed them instantly. I believe that full face helmets are more likely to cause neck and spinal cord injuries but I will probably still wear my smaller helmet.
Regarding the ridiculous "half-naked protest" (link you sent) staged in Pittsburgh yesterday, I would never be stupid enough to consider myself sufficiently protected on my motorcycle wearing little clothing and a full face helmet. Those who take the Motorcycle Safety Course (MSC) learn that you must protect your skin and that many injuries occur from the waist down. Wearing a full face helmet and little else would probably result in leaving more of your skin on the road than on your body if you went down. Do you really consider this safe driving techniques just because they were wearing helmets? Or did you see it as merely the attention-getting ploy that it was?
The new PA helmet law modification provides an incentive for riders to get the training that can truly save their lives. Participation in the MSC has increased and the last I heard, the waiting list can be several weeks. Last year ABATE of PA was responsible for passing a bill to increase our own (motorcyclists) out-of-pocket licensing and permit fees in order to increase funding for the MSC. Thank goodness this extra funding is already in place to increase the availablity of this life-saving training since it is enjoying such an increase in popularity. We've spent decades promoting rider safety through training - the only effective way to PREVENT accidents. We also have another ABATE program called OSAL, "Operation Save A Life" which trains other drivers about motorcycle awareness.
Opponents to freedom of choice often hide behind a mandatory helmet law as a quick and easy fix to the "whole problem" of motorcycle accidents. People who are truly concerned about motorcycle safety should become actively involved in promoting rider safety and not rely on legislation as a means to wash their hands of the issue. We aren't armchair quarterbacks - we spend hours of our own (volunteer) time actively promoting rider safety and have been for decades.
Have you ever considered that some riders don a helmet and instantly drive less carefully because they get a false sense of safety just from wearing the helmet? This false sense of security can be deadly. If you research the facts you will find that helmets are only reliable at speeds of 14 mph and less. I don't know about you but most of my miles ridden are not through a school zone.
Oh, and by the way, I wear my seatbelt. I have more confidence in my seatbelt not causing further injury than I do in helmets.
Thank you for your email.
ABATE PA Webmaster