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Discussion Starter #1
Tyson's agency recently examined Florida information and concluded motorcyclists' death rates went up 55 percent after the repeal of the helmet law.

Motorcycle deaths rise after repeal of Fla. helmet laws

By Melanie Payne
[email protected]
Published by news-press.com on October 18, 2005

• Tracy Seymour of Fort Myers rides away from Cape Coral's Bike Night on S.E. 47th Terrace on her 1996 Harley Heritage Softail on Oct. 8. She says she always wears her helmet when she is traveling on the interstate, but on local roads, she usually does not. "It restricts your freedom that comes with it," she says. Todd Stubing/The News-Press

One way to increase the number of people who die in motorcycle accidents is to get rid of mandatory helmet laws.

That happened on July 1, 2000, when Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law a bill that essentially made helmets optional for motorcyclists over age 21.

Five years later, motorcycle deaths in the state and Lee County are escalating.

Traffic deaths involving motorcycles account for more than 10 percent of Lee County's 122 fatalities this year although motorcycles make up only 4 percent of passenger vehicles registered in the county.

Of the 13 motorcycle deaths, police say only three riders wore helmets. In one case, it's not known whether the rider had a helmet.

"Every state we look at the pattern is the same," said Rae Tyson, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "People stop wearing helmets and more people get killed."

Tyson's agency recently examined Florida information and concluded motorcyclists' death rates went up 55 percent after the repeal of the helmet law.

"We believe helmets are an effective way to reduce injury and death," Tyson said, "but it's the state's responsibility to get people to use them."

When a similar report came out about Louisiana, the Legislature reinstated helmet laws, Tyson said.

Florida legislators aren't moving to do the same.

On the federal level, bills to require states to have mandatory helmet laws or lose highway money have failed to gain steam.

That was how it worked in the 1970s until states started to repeal their helmet laws, said Judie Stone, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

"States that repealed it saw a huge increase in motorcycle deaths and then saw (the numbers) go back down again after reinstating a mandatory helmet law," Stone said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 19 states require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Only three have no requirements: Colorado, Illinois and Iowa.

Cyclists say other factors, not just helmets, account for the high percentage of riders killed on the road.

They say the rise in popularity of motorcycles among baby boomers such as Norma Eveland translates into more accidents.

"You have a lot more motorcyclists out on the road who are very inexperienced," said Eveland, executive director of the March of Dimes Southwest Coast division.

Eveland, who has been riding for only four years, wears her helmet most of the time, she said.

"I'm beginning to feel that I should wear one. It's foolish not to have one on," she said.

But part of the experience of riding a motorcycle is the sense of freedom it gives, she said. "And there's something about a helmet that squelches that experience."

Riders should have a choice, she said, especially since the value of a helmet is debatable.

"In a lot of the accidents, even if they had a helmet on, it doesn't save them," Eveland said. "And sometimes I think even with a helmet I might not want to live. I don't want to be lying in a bed with a feeding tube."
http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051018/NEWS01/510180476/1002/NEWS01

So it's facts vs 'freedom.' I'll take the facts.
 

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"...part of the experience of riding a motorcycle is the sense of freedom it gives and there's something about a helmet that squelches that experience."
And there's something about crashing WITHOUT a helmet that squelches your head.

What a f*cking moronic statement.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lot of new riders, and lot of them refuse to wear a helmet. I believe it's up to the family to decide whether they wanna pull the feeding tube. You lost your right to choose when you got on the bike.
 

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I've spent a lot of years in colorado and always saw people not wearing helmets. I think that about 7 out of 10 sportbikers had helmets on, and about 1 out of 20 HD and cruiser riders were wearing them
 

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I see the helmet law the same as the seat belt law. You shouldn't tell us to protect our selves. We are grown men and women, we can make educated decissions.

If you stupid enough to ride with out a helmet well I guess that is your choice. If your stupid enough to drive your car w/o your sealt belt on that should be your choice also.
I think its stupid that we have to have laws like this in place.

HEY DUMB ASS PUT YOU SEAT BELT ON,
HEY DUMB ASS PUT ON A HELMET.
 

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EdgeRanger said:
I see the helmet law the same as the seat belt law. You shouldn't tell us to protect our selves. We are grown men and women, we can make educated decissions...
Yeah, and EMS should have the right to not assist injured or dying wankers who choose to not wear a helmet / seatbelt.

Fact remains that these people have a legal duty-of-care to provide such care and, as such, I see it as no big f*cking deal that a law tells me to wear one to help prevent the need for care in the first place.

That morons die every day in accidents they could have survived proves, beyond doubt, that grown men and women don't always make educated decisions.

Build a bridge.
 

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At least it's cheaper for the insurance folks. My 8 hour stay after my accident was close to 6k. Had I not worn my helmet I'm sure my accident would have been a lot cheaper. I don't think it costs a whole lot to scrape a dead body off the street.

I really don't care either way. I will always wear a helmet. I feel completely naked without it.


Off topic: To those who have had a get off. Do you feel like the Hospital staff and rescue squads treated you like shit?
 

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phatkidwit1eye said:
At least it's cheaper for the insurance folks...I don't think it costs a whole lot to scrape a dead body off the street...
Yeah, but it's a sh*tload more expensive for your family who then have to pay to burn / bury your stupid a**e...


Please tell me you were being sarcastic.
 

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If helmets are an effective piece of safety equipment, is it OK to lie about their effectiveness in order to get people to wear them? Or would it be better to tell the truth, lest your lie be discovered, casting doubt even on the real benefit?

Do-gooders in the press, including Ms. Payne, the author of the article at the beginning of this thread, come down in favor of the lying thing. You see, she and the rest of the news media are more intelligent, better educated, and all around more virtuous people than the great unwashed among the general public—i.e., you and me. So it's their job to lie to us—it's for our own good. And the chance that someone would discover the lie in this case is remote. After all, it involves math. And even members of the news media don't understand math, so how could Joe Motorcycle possibly figure it out?

The 55% figure cited in the article refers to total motorcycle deaths and doesn't take into account the skyrocketing popularity of motorcycling in Florida. That is the deception. By ignoring the increase in the number of bikes—which, coincidentally, occurred in the years following helmet law repeal—the news media (and others who think they know what's best for us) attempt to make us think that helmet law repeal caused a far greater number of deaths than it actually did.

Attached is a chart showing the number of motorcycle deaths in Florida per registered motorcycle from 1993 through 2002 (2002 is the latest year for which registrations are available by state). This is exactly the same data NHTSA used in their report, the full text of which is available here (PDF).

Florida's helmet law was repealed on 7/1/2000. Decide for yourself how much effect it had.
 

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DataDan said:
...the news media (and others who think they know what's best for us) attempt to make us think that helmet law repeal caused a far greater number of deaths than it actually did...
Some figures for your perusal...

...New motorcycle registrations in Florida spiked from 219,000 in 2000 to 417,000 last year - a 91 percent jump, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Meanwhile, new car registrations in that period rose only 18 percent.

Some experts say baby boomers are driving the trend. Young or old, though, the study suggests a greater share of those killed in motorcycle accidents are not wearing helmets...

Consider the study's results:

In the three years before the helmet law was repealed on July 1, 2000, 9 percent of the 515 motorcyclists killed in crashes were not wearing a helmet.

In the three years after the repeal, 61 percent of the 933 fatally injured motorcyclists were not helmeted...
Did I read that right???

Before repeal: 9% of 515 m/c'ists killed were not wearing a helmet. That's about 46 people.

AFTER repeal: 61% of 933 m/c'ists killed were not wearing a helmet. That's about 569 people.

So, even though bike rego's jumped 91%, there was a 1137% increase in non-helmeted biker deaths.



To quote you again...

DataDan said:
...Decide for yourself how much effect it had.
 

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I wear gear including a helmet because I want to. I hate the socialistic approach that decides to make laws that requires things like helmets, seatbelts etc. because they assume they have to protect us from ourselves.
Before long they will make a law forbidding a person to run with a pair of scissors or own 150+hp motorcycles.

They idea that EMS will be allowed to avoid giving care to stupid people who hurt themselves is morally bankrupt as is anyone who proposes such.
 

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crazyclimbr said:
...I hate the socialistic approach that decides to make laws that requires things like helmets, seatbelts etc. because they assume they have to protect us from ourselves...

...The idea that EMS will be allowed to avoid giving care to stupid people who hurt themselves is morally bankrupt as is anyone who proposes such.
Oh, please. Socialistic approach?? You wanna dramatise it a bit, or what?

You live in a democracy, right? You voted for people to govern that democracy, right? Now you want to winge and b*tch because those people try to take measures to prevent you from getting your dumb a**e killed.

A government has a duty to its people. Part of that duty is to protect them, from themselves if necessary.


If you want people to have the right to be a d*ckhead and not wear a helmet, why shouldn't the EMS have the right to say, "Tough luck, d*ckhead. Pick yourself up and put a bandaid on it." ??? Or does your democracy not cater for their rights??
 

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cookeetree said:
Oh, please. Socialistic approach?? You wanna dramatise it a bit, or what?

You live in a democracy, right? You voted for people to govern that democracy, right? Now you want to winge and b*tch because those people try to take measures to prevent you from getting your dumb a**e killed.

A government has a duty to its people. Part of that duty is to protect them, from themselves if necessary.


If you want people to have the right to be a d*ckhead and not wear a helmet, why shouldn't the EMS have the right to say, "Tough luck, d*ckhead. Pick yourself up and put a bandaid on it." ??? Or does your democracy not cater for their rights??
Living in a Republic that practices democracy does give me the right to complain about the laws that are @ times foisted on us by the elected idiots.

The government's duty to protect its citizens isn't some broad charter that allows it carte blanche to infringe on an individuals right to engage in activities that while perfectly legal are risky. That idea is a slippery slope into socialism where the "State interests" supersede the individual's interest.

Where do you draw the line for an EMS worker to say they will not help...skate board accidents, surfing in the ocean where sharks are known to live, skiing double black diamond runs, crossing busy streets, fat people with high cholesterol eating fast food and having heart attacks?
In what civilized society would we start to cast people on the debris heap because we disagreed with their right to live a life that involves taking a risk. EMS does have a right to not take the job but once you decide to do the work you do it for everyone.
 

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As a newB I've made the decision to always wear my helmet, even if I have to go to the gas station. I travel about 154 miles round trip everyday to work and I've seen accidents with riders that don't wear their helmets. They got F...ked

I've read a treat, when I first join this forum that states ( Don't be a static). I don't judge anyone that make the decision not to wear, everyone riding are individual that can make their own decision, wheather their are good or bad, that shouldn't be a state decision. :twofinger
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Some people aren't necessarily bright, and only 'mishaps' reminds them of their error. But some aren't lucky to survive the mishap, this is where government steps in when they recognize hazardous pattern. I doubt many soccer moms skate to work or or surf with sharks. But many do take their mini-van to soccer games. If they aren't bright enough to wear seat belts and enforce the rule among the kids, guess what happens when they get a 50 mph fender bender? I myself will even vote for a proposition that bans talking with handheld cell phone or receiving a call if it creates any sort of distraction for the driver.

I don't wanna die because of some absent-minded prick. Following some rules make life worth living.

Anyway, I digress, helmet is the absolute last defense on a motorcycle. Not always effective, but better than nothing. And helmet protection is getting better.
 

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I'm not saying we shouldn't wear helmets or use seat belts and it's my choice to do so but it bugs me to have laws to that effect. As for cell phones or other driving behavior that puts other people @ risk because of a lack of attention to driving I see the need for laws that keep people from placing others @ risk. I believe in seat belt laws for children because the parent who is driving should protect the child who is @ risk of injury/death from their driving decisions.
 

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I got a split opinion on this one. I dont think anyone can argue that helmets save lives. The percantages might be meddled, but helmets help. So nothing ticks me off more, than seing the occassional moron ride around with his helmet strapped on to the sissy bar.
But I am (or at least was) of the opinion that it should be a personal choice to wear a seatbelt or a helmet. If a person chooses to risk their life, it should be their choice right?
Well not exactly. Becouse the conciquences cost all of us. So why should my money be spent on the dumbass who thinks his helmet is better off protecting his sissy bar than his head?
 

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The only compelling argument for helmet use in a free society is about the cost of using or not using a helmet as it relates to others. Remember, you're free to do whatever the hell you want until it starts infringing on the rights of others.

Dan's post was a good one, and it illustrates a really common trick that the media uses, but I think the figures that cookee highlighted do the best job of showing the whole 'helmets save lives' thing. Just like seatbelts it should be mandatory for minors to wear them. In a perfect world this would be punishable under the principles of neglecting parental responsibilities.

What I'm really curious to see would be the cost of helmeted versus non-helmeted accidents. If accidents where riders arent' wearing a helmet turn out to be significantly more expensive, then I think it's pretty obvious that the state should regulate helmet usage, as the lack thereof infringes on my ability to obtain affordable insurance. Of course, the slippery slope argument still applies. Send your legislators some crampons.
 

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cookeetree wrote:
Before repeal: 9% of 515 m/c'ists killed were not wearing a helmet. That's about 46 people.

AFTER repeal: 61% of 933 m/c'ists killed were not wearing a helmet. That's about 569 people.

So, even though bike rego's jumped 91%, there was a 1137% increase in non-helmeted biker deaths.
That's true, but not indicative of the additional deaths caused by repeal. Some of the additional unhelmeted deaths could have been prevented with a helmet, some could not. NHTSA estimates (PDF) that helmets are about 37% effective at saving lives--an excellent advantage, but hardly bulletproof.

The jump in Florida's fatality rate seen in 2000 reverses a general downward trend through the 1990s, and that is undoubtedly due, in part, to helmet law repeal. However, other factors are at work, too. The fatality rate per registered motorcycle increased 17% between 1997 and 2002 in the 45 states that did not repeal helmet laws. Those same factors, along with repeal, undoubtedly helped boost the Florida rate.

Claiming that helmet law repeal caused a 55% increase in Florida motorcycle fatalities—as does Fort Myers News-Press reporter Melanie Payne—is utter crap. It's a complex problem with a lot of causes, and she does a disservice to her readers by leading them to believe there's a simple solution.
 

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LOL... the 37% makes it sound like helmets dont do much.
Lets compare it to a bulletproof vest, that only covers maybe a quater of the body. So one could say that its only 25% effective at stopping bullets :)
 
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