Here we go again…

by Azreel | September 23rd, 2007

The NTSB is recommending mandatory helmet laws again.

The problem is that their logic and reasoning are severely flawed, and their interpretation of the statistics is completely WRONG.

Bruce Arnold from AutoRacingDaily.com puts it succinctly:

In 2005, 4,553 motorcyclists died on our highways… 2,521 (55%) of them were wearing helmets AND DIED ANYWAY… and of the 2,032 remaining, quoting NHTSA, only “… 728 more [lives] could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. “ Applying those same percentages to the 2006 death toll of 4,810, the maximum number of lives that MIGHT have been saved by helmet laws is only 769, not even 16 percent of the 4,810 you implied. In other words, Mr. Rosenker:

IF THE NTSB MOTORCYCLE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS RELEASED ON TUESDAY HAD BEEN IN EFFECT NATIONWIDE FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR OF 2006, ONLY 769 LIVES MIGHT HAVE BEEN SAVED, WHILE EIGHTY-FOUR PERCENT (84%) OF THE 4,810 MOTORCYCLISTS WHO DIED ON OUR ROADWAYS WOULD PROBABLY HAVE DIED ANYWAY.

They also ignore the fact that the number of motorcyclists on the roadways increased at a rate that is very similar to the percentage rate increase in fatalities. With soaring gas prices and record sales of motorcycles, is it any wonder that there are more riders on the road, and consequently more fatal accidents?

And spurious statistics aside… where does the Federal Government get the right to legislate whether or not I can cruise with the wind in my hair or with a brain bucket on? It’s no business of uncle sam, or anyone else really, what level of safety apparel I choose to wear.

I’m sick and tired of the Gummint sticking it’s nose where it doesn’t belong. IF we’re truly going to legislate what you can and can’t do based on the chance that you MAY become hospitalized and become a burden to society, then I’ve got a HUGE long list of things that need to be banned. Ban smoking, ban drinking, ban driving a car or truck without a helmet and HANS device. Ban cellphones in cars. Heck, ban radios in cars too. Ban trans fats, saturated fats, white bread, sugary drinks and sodas. Heck, lets lower the speed limit to 30 mph. Imagine how many lives that’ll save!

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to ban sex. Heaven forbid you get pregnant WITHOUT INSURANCE!

The point is, you cannot legislate risk out of existance.

It started with seat belts. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are great at reducing injuries in a wreck. I just don’t see the point in ticketing people who choose not to wear them.

Next we have cities dictating how and where I can run my business if I want to allow smoking indoors. It’s MY business, I OWN it, and if you don’t like cigarette smoke, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

And now it’s motorcycle helmets.

I’ve HEARD the argument that “If you’re injured in a wreck and hospitalized without insurance, we all have to pay through taxes in order to care for you.” That’s a chance that we as society take. You already pay for indigent health care for the poor as well as for the masses of illegal immigrants. If I trip on the sidewalk and break my neck, you’ll STILL have to pay for my health care anyway.

You pay for the medical bills of every pregnancy of someone who is indigent, and yet we’re not making it illegal if you have sex without a “helmet.”

Accidents happen, and people will continue to do stupid things. And when stupid things happen and people get hurt, we’ll continue to care for them as a society.

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