Libertarians are anti-helmet?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Libertarians are anti-helmet?

    I’ll assume that most cyclists are “pro-helmet.” Evidently libertarians are not. According to their view, a purposed Colorado Law requiring children to wear helmets violates a person’s constitutional right to practice religion. Consider this:

    “This child, along with her parents, believes Jesus does not want her wearing a helmet today. We believe Jesus (you can substitute this with ‘Allah,’ ‘Buddha,’ or ‘The Flying Spaghetti Monster’) will protect her, but only if we have faith enough to forgo a helmet while she learns to pedal. Thank you again, officer, but we’ll pass on this law for now.”

    I get it, Libertarians do not want government to tell them what to do. But ridding without a helmet, especially for children, is dangerous and can have consequences for society in the event a person becomes disabled for life. Even to claim to disagree in principle, from a legal perspective, but agree that wearing a helmet is the right thing to do is nonsense. If wearing a helmet is pragmatically correct, how can it be philosophically incorrect?

    Read the Libertarian opinion here:
    http://www.gazette.com/opinion/cops-...house-law.html

  2. #2
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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say those are asinine Libertarians.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman
    I’ll assume that most American cyclists are “pro-helmet.”
    Fixed your wrong assumption.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  4. #4
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    I'm not anti-helmet. I'm pro-natural selection!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say those are asinine Libertarians.
    It's actually an elaborate false-flag operation designed to make libertarians look bad. Infowars has the dirt.

    (/sarc ICYMI)
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  6. #6
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    Why must everything that is a good idea be a law?

  7. #7
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    The dead giveaway was the fact that it was a ColSpgs newspaper. Frothers down there...

  8. #8
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    Wearing a helmet need not be legislated. Parents should do parenting, not have government do it for them. When stuff like this gets legislated its then moves it away from common sense and self realization. No longer is a helmet being worn to protect but rather because you have to. Same thing with motorcyclists and seat belts. You aren't required to wear a seat belt when you sit in the back seat. But I prefer it then being splattered all over the pavement in the event of a car accident. Common sense should not and cannot be legislated.
    Its called travel rights!

  9. #9
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    I think there is a place for people to stand up for their freedoms, but if thats the way they want it, don't come asking for help when something bad happens.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokefork
    I think there is a place for people to stand up for their freedoms, but if thats the way they want it, don't come asking for help when something bad happens.
    Yup - make 'em sign something to the effect that if their kid gets a head injury then they will be FORCED to let the Jeebus take care of it... not the hospital.

  11. #11
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    Or you could get rid of the idea universal health care and deregulate the health care system so that the family would have to pay for trauma care (would be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as now) if their un-helmeted "spawn of satan" ate crap. Maybe then the parents would make their kid put a helmet on. hmmm how bout them apples.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoMtb20
    Wearing a helmet need not be legislated. Parents should do parenting, not have government do it for them. When stuff like this gets legislated its then moves it away from common sense and self realization. No longer is a helmet being worn to protect but rather because you have to. Same thing with motorcyclists and seat belts. You aren't required to wear a seat belt when you sit in the back seat. But I prefer it then being splattered all over the pavement in the event of a car accident. Common sense should not and cannot be legislated.
    Its called travel rights!
    you could say this was a law protecting kids from bad parents then.

  13. #13
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    I agree that common sense can not be legislated. But as I understand it, this law is not indented to be punitive, it is proactive. Violators, however low the probability of being caught, will receive a citation and not a fine. Fundamentally, the function is to encourage a cultural attitude that values safety. Frequently, the libertarian attitude “that everyone has a constitutional right to be unsafe/follow your conscious/die, etc.” is entrapped in an ideology claiming that responsibility is an individual proposition and not a societal one. As a community, isn’t there a higher standard than accepting that death or brain injuries are the only enforceable motivators for safety?

  14. #14
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    Libertarians believe in what is called the "harm principle" In a nut shell if I am not harming anyone, aka infringing on someone else's liberties, then I should be able to do what I want. So therefore yes helmet laws are a no go, so are seatbelts, and the war on drugs.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoMtb20
    Or you could get rid of the idea universal health care and deregulate the health care system so that the family would have to pay for trauma care (would be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as now) if their un-helmeted "spawn of satan" ate crap. Maybe then the parents would make their kid put a helmet on. hmmm how bout them apples.
    And curse (potentially) good kids to brain damage and life long dependency on society? I know what you are getting at, and it is a tempting argument. But children are individuals, you cannot fairly equate them with the idiocy of their parents (and vice versa!!).

    In a responsible world we are responsible for our actions. But the world is so complex, I have no idea if my eating one more Whopper at Burger King means that some farmer in Brazil has to chop down another little piece of the rain forest for BK beef.

    The world is complex. Sometimes we have to pay the way for others that are less responsible than ourselves, even to assure our own benefit. In medicine, this is most clearly seen with free vaccinations for children, and the poor. As luck would have it, it is cheaper for the rest of us, if we pass laws, like safety belts, airbags, and motorcycle/bicycle helmet laws, than to let those that do not see the wisdom of trying to protect themselves...well, from trying to kill themselves through ignorance.

    Philosophically, I say do whatever the hell you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. But that is the problem, it does. None of us live in a vacuum.
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  16. #16
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    Should we really need helmet laws? No, even for kids. There are plenty of dumbass parents out there that still don't protect their kids, despite what the law says.
    Should us libertarians be fighting helmet laws? Hell no! Despite the fact that it is contrary to our beliefs in freedom and self-responsibility it is a waste of time and effort. There are way bigger fish to fry than b*tching about helmet laws, and it makes other people look at libertarians as petty and not to be taken seriously.

  17. #17
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    If we really want to keep our kids safe helmets are the least of our worries right now.

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    I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that if a kid of a co-worker takes a dive and causes my employer's health-care rate to increase next year . . .

    I could sloppily make the case that my economic liberties are being infringed by that kid his parents and can therefore justify a helmet law under this liberwhatzit principle.

    Also: I don't consider bike helmets to be tyranny.

  19. #19
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    Aren't kids' bones/skulls softer?

    Us elder folks have brittle bones, so we're the ones that need helmets & armor laws.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest3070
    I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that if a kid of a co-worker takes a dive and causes my employer's health-care rate to increase next year . . .

    I could sloppily make the case that my economic liberties are being infringed by that kid his parents and can therefore justify a helmet law under this liberwhatzit principle.

    Also: I don't consider bike helmets to be tyranny.
    Mandated benefits are against a libertarians point of view so its your choice to have the insurance or not. If it goes up you have the choice to dump it or keep it. Not the greatest argument but I am not libertarian just trying to make conversation.

    We should repeal all government policies that increase health costs and decrease the availability of medical services. For example, every state has laws that mandate coverage of specific disabilities and diseases. These laws reduce consumer choice and increase the cost of health insurance. By making insurance more expensive, mandated benefits increase the number of uninsured American workers. From lp.org

    I guess you could also make the argument that healthcare is not a right so therefore is not protected.

  21. #21
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    I wonder what influence Ritter’s bike accident will have?

  22. #22
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    Heard he broke some ribs I guess we will see an armor bill here shortly.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinkerjuarez
    I guess you could also make the argument that healthcare is not a right so therefore is not protected.
    I guess you could try.

  24. #24
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    Almost every activity can have some impact on society. For example, eating fast food impacts your health which increases insurance rates. Does this mean that society has the right to interfere in every choice you make?

  25. #25
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    laws, laws and more laws - always the right answer - not.

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    I'll never understand why the people who want to mandate helmet use stop at bicycles.

    MANY more people suffer brain injuries every year in cars than on bicycles, including children. Why is there no clamor for mandatory helmet use while in vehicles, including school buses? The child whose life is saved MAY BE YOURS.

    For that matter, EVERY person supporting mandatory helmet use for any activity is a hypocrite if they don't actually wear a helmet while driving a car. It is all a matter of degree of risk, and why is *your* line the correct one, and the one that needs to be imposed on *me*? Don't give me your "the odds are greater" bullshite, either. The gross numbers tell the story: more lives would be saved with a mandatory universal helmet law in all moving vehicles than almost any other legislation that could be passed.

    Why do you cowards hold back? Helmet hair?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    I'll never understand why the people who want to mandate helmet use stop at bicycles.

    MANY more people suffer brain injuries every year in cars than on bicycles, including children. Why is there no clamor for mandatory helmet use while in vehicles, including school buses? The child whose life is saved MAY BE YOURS.

    For that matter, EVERY person supporting mandatory helmet use for any activity is a hypocrite if they don't actually wear a helmet while driving a car. It is all a matter of degree of risk, and why is *your* line the correct one, and the one that needs to be imposed on *me*? Don't give me your "the odds are greater" bullshite, either. The gross numbers tell the story: more lives would be saved with a mandatory universal helmet law in all moving vehicles than almost any other legislation that could be passed.

    Why do you cowards hold back? Helmet hair?
    I am all for it. If we are going to legislate safety might as well cover all the bases.


  28. #28
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    There was an actress (Liam Neesons wife?) who died of a snowboarding or skiing head injury, about a year ago, and ski areas started talking about mandatory helmets. I don't know of any that adopted a rule like that, however.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman
    If wearing a helmet is pragmatically correct, how can it be philosophically incorrect?
    What can't you justify with an argument like that? As someone else said, why not helmets on buses or even in bed? I mean if you should fall out of bed and land on your head, you could be disabled and be a burden to society, as well.

    Plus, who is to say what i pragmatically correct? I can show you studies that would indicate that smoking should be banned entirely, probably a few that show drinking should be, too.

    I know smoking is bad for me but it's my choice. I know drinking too much can do bad things to me, but again, my choice. Now, i understand the differences between adults making choices and children making choices, but we don't have laws that protect kids from other bad ideas of parents, so why helmets?

    Should children wear helmets... it's safe to say they probably should. Should they eat three meals a day consisting of the proper amount of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains... it's safe to say they probably should, as well. But we don't require that by law. We'd all agree kids would be healthier if they were forced onto a strict diet of health food, but i don't think anyone wants the government mandating it.

  30. #30
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    We don't need another $%&*! law created by the nanny state. What we need are responsible people with common sense. If junior turns himself into a veggie because his folks didn't make him wear a helmet, tough cookies, it is called natural selection and maybe someone else will learn from it, and his folks can pay for life support or get a DNR. Someone needs to be the grownup and be responsible.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertH
    What we need are responsible people with common sense... Someone needs to be the grownup and be responsible.

    Sounds good. I'd also like to quit my job and travel the world, riding my bike and board with my own fluffing team.

    I think we need to accept the fact that most (99.99999%) people make poor decisions on a more or less continuous basis. These poor decisions have a negative affect on themselves, and many times people around them too (society), in an indirect manner.

    It is in our own best interest to help people when they are suffering from the consequences of their poor decisions, although it is debatable to what degree of help produces the greatest benefit.

    A great majority of our poor choices do not directly injure another persons body or property, and should not be controlled by society. I believe it is that simple.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Sounds good. I'd also like to quit my job and travel the world, riding my bike and board with my own fluffing team.
    Dude, no! No one is going to be hiring a fluffer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertH
    We don't need another $%&*! law created by the nanny state. What we need are responsible people with common sense. If junior turns himself into a veggie because his folks didn't make him wear a helmet, tough cookies, it is called natural selection and maybe someone else will learn from it, and his folks can pay for life support or get a DNR. Someone needs to be the grownup and be responsible.

    The problem is, when mom and dad run out of money, you and I pay for the rest of the person's life.

  34. #34
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    What's all this nonsense I keep hearing about Librarians being anti-helmet?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman
    I’ll assume that most cyclists are “pro-helmet.” Evidently libertarians are not. According to their view, a purposed Colorado Law requiring children to wear helmets violates a person’s constitutional right to practice religion. Consider this:
    A libertarian who doesn't stand up to government intervention is not being a good libertarian. It's that simple. That is the essence of libertarianism.

    Because a libertarian is against a law requiring helmets does not imply that they are against helmets,

    That is flawed logic.

    And your example is someone's opinion, just like you are expressing yours, not a proof of anything.
    Last edited by lidarman; 03-02-2010 at 09:34 PM.

  36. #36
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    I have bad news for you

    [quote=ColoMtb20]You aren't required to wear a seat belt when you sit in the back seat. But I prefer it then being splattered all over the pavement in the event of a car accident. quote]

    Think you need to look at the law again, all occupants in a moving vehicle must wear seat belts, or driver can be ticketed under the law.

    By the way I agree with your common sense comment, the problem is we have done nothing to stop the lawyers, filing suit against parties even if stupidity was the cause.

    Two words: Tort Reform

    Stupid is as stupid does.

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Sounds good. I'd also like to quit my job and travel the world, riding my bike and board with my own fluffing team.
    I feel like this would just be really frustrating.
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  38. #38
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    I haven't looked at the law for years now. But I do remember when it was that way back in grade school. My bad. I thought that it was only front seat occupants that still needed them. Anyways It makes no difference to me cause I make all passengers throw on a seatbelt whether law or not. Just being responsible.

    And your second point can be turned toward the lack of regulation in the court rooms. Constitutional regulations that is. Such as claims caps. For example, suing for damaged emotions is b.s. because it has no earthly value. You should only be able to sue for lost property and assets based on a particular event.

    Too bad juries are made up of the common people, of which most don't know diddly squat about constitutional law.

  39. #39
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    You know, if they are this worried about safety, we should outlaw motocycles and every car on the road except volvos.
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  40. #40
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    bikes!
    Last edited by mtbkid; 03-03-2010 at 09:09 PM.

  41. #41
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    who forced you to read it?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    You know, if they are this worried about safety, we should outlaw motocycles and every car on the road except volvos.
    Volvo needs all the help it can get maybe this will help boost their sales. The thing that has kept Volvo's safe is that they make cars no one wants and there aren't enough on the road to get any statistics on so they have stayed off of the radar.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokefork
    The problem is, when mom and dad run out of money, you and I pay for the rest of the person's life.
    And at a minimum of $35,000/year per person for basic care. Add in day-care programs and the figure continues to rise.

    If we could guarantee that the state would not have to pay for the parent's neglect to enforce their children's safety, I am all for the natural selection argument.

    However, if GOP pop (or libertarian, or democrat dad, whatever) says
    "Gawd-damn government isn't telling me what to do. No helmet for my son!"
    So sonny does a curb check with his melon, hopefully, it's over right then and there. But what if he merely vegetizes himself? Good on you pop. Enjoy that lifetime of care bills. But the second his funds or desire to pay those bills runs out, don't come to the gawd-damn government for help.

    We need a natural selection waiver bill. Parents; you don't want the government telling you and your spawn what to do? Sign the waiver. And the second you can't, or won't pay the bill for your decision, you have to finish the natural selection process.

  44. #44
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    Question....

    There is a guy in my neighborhood teaching his very young kids to ride in front of my house latley. No helmets on the kids, I feel like saying something about wearing helmets but haven't.

    Who would say something and who would not for what reasons ?

    Thx.......

  45. #45
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    I wouldn't say anything about it. Really none of our business it's his kid and he really isn't putting the kid in "real" danger or neglecting the kid of anything so no one has the right to step in and tell him what to do. I am for kids wearing helmets all the way when my kid gets to that age he will always have a helmet on his head, but it doesn't give me the right to tell someone they are a bad parent because their kid doesn't have one on.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinkerjuarez
    Really none of our business
    agreed - people need to stop worrying what everyone else is doing wrong and just lead by example.

  47. #47
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    heads were a lot stronger when I was a kid...

  48. #48
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    Why is everyone picking on librarians . . . oh, wait.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    heads were a lot stronger when I was a kid...
    Exactly. I don't think bike helmets for kids were even invented when I was zooming around the neighborhood on my stingray.

  50. #50
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    Libertarians

    Yeah, the original post is not indicative of libertarians on the whole.

    For one, not all libertarians are religious by any stretch of the imagination although many people of faith do subscribe to their ideals based on many of the free principles found in the Bible. (Where all ideals of the personal freedoms and the current free society we enjoy come from.)

    Regardless, less government in your life is the basic idea.

    So, as far as helmet laws, well, even if you can make a case for children needing protection from their parents...helmet laws in general are a bad idea due to the threat they pose on freedoms. It's overreaching by the government and common sense should prevail. We don't need to legislate everything as is the mantra of the day right now.

    But, this thread does bring up an interesting point in light of current events. Let's say government-run healthcare is instituted. The government LOVES to keep and use statistics. Well, a few years in they realize that they are spending too much on accidents by people not wearing helmets. Well then we're going to have to have a law about that. Also, why stop there? We see that diabetes is increasing due to high sugar foods so, at a minimum, we better tax those...to help pay for what we are spending treating diabetes (but never mind that the money never goes to that anyway but get's siphoned off on other pet projects.) Then, fatty foods are leading to obesity so we had best tax McDonald's and Krispy Kreme as well or maybe even just outlaw those foods. And so it goes. Socialism at it's core. A way for the government to at very least generate more taxes...and at worst, to limit freedoms and propagate whatever lifestyle, message, and political messages they want. And if you think it's fiction, just look at the laws...they're already looking into this stuff.

    So, in 2010, vote Libertarian, or vote for the other two...but vote the professional politicians out! ALL of them! Send a message to Washington. Let's get a bunch of the commoners back in there.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco
    Question....

    There is a guy in my neighborhood teaching his very young kids to ride in front of my house latley. No helmets on the kids, I feel like saying something about wearing helmets but haven't.

    Who would say something and who would not for what reasons ?

    Thx.......
    .

    If you have a genuine concern for the child, express it. I would...and I do. Nicely of course. Maybe you have a cracked lid at home you can show off. Know a story where a kid hit a car on their first trip around the block w/o training wheels (I've got two)? You probably know where he can get a good deal on a lid right? Maybe he went to the store and saw an $80 helmet and didn't have the cash. I'd offer to loan him one of my kids helmets. Heck, I even offer to adjust a helmet that's clearly not properly adjusted. Why? because I have a genuine concern for the kids safety.

    Does that make me pro helmet law? No.
    Last edited by JackJr; 03-03-2010 at 12:07 PM.

  52. #52
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    Here's an idea, how about the government actually takes a proactive approach and tells cops to talk to kids about wearing helmets? No fines, no arrests, no using the law to generate revenue for the city. Just friendly reminders. Why aren't cops more useful that way?

    One time, I was driving into Guaymas, Sonora MX, and cops were sitting on the side of the road, gesturing with their hands for people to slow down. No attempt to harrass people or take their money for failing to obey a sign they didn't see. It really made me think about how we accept so much sh*t from cops who could be doing their jobs in much more effective and friendly ways....

  53. #53
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    Speaking of helmet protection for kids (and anyone)...I have been getting ready to do a review of some helmets, and while researching I have found a couple of interesting things. Foremost is that helmets are tested using a fake head that is a solid headform. The problem is that our heads (and especially kids) are soft and malleable, and the brain itself moves around inside a gelatinous ooze (cerebrospinal fluid), so the testing is not very appropriate for the human skull. While broken helmets (the foam absorbing the blow by disintegration) are seen, the vast majority of foam does not show any compression from impacts during accidents. Now I have landed plenty of times at slow speeds on my noggin and have been glad the helmet offered protection, but how safe are they really? Is using the current EPS (expanded polystyrene) to stiff?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    And at a minimum of $35,000/year per person for basic care. Add in day-care programs and the figure continues to rise.

    If we could guarantee that the state would not have to pay for the parent's neglect to enforce their children's safety, I am all for the natural selection argument.

    However, if GOP pop (or libertarian, or democrat dad, whatever) says
    "Gawd-damn government isn't telling me what to do. No helmet for my son!"
    So sonny does a curb check with his melon, hopefully, it's over right then and there. But what if he merely vegetizes himself? Good on you pop. Enjoy that lifetime of care bills. But the second his funds or desire to pay those bills runs out, don't come to the gawd-damn government for help.

    We need a natural selection waiver bill. Parents; you don't want the government telling you and your spawn what to do? Sign the waiver. And the second you can't, or won't pay the bill for your decision, you have to finish the natural selection process.


    What helmet do you wear when you drive your car? Because I sure as hell don't want to pay for your Gawd-damn head injury when some illegal in a stolen car T-bones you. How much uninsured motorist coverage do you carry? I hope it is several million.

    For that matter, when are you hanging up your bike, because the fact that you ride makes you much more likely to need long term hospital care, even if you wear a helmet. Society can't bear the risk just so you can get your jollies, especially now with budget deficits and all......

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet
    Speaking of helmet protection for kids (and anyone)...I have been getting ready to do a review of some helmets, and while researching I have found a couple of interesting things. Foremost is that helmets are tested using a fake head that is a solid headform. The problem is that our heads (and especially kids) are soft and malleable, and the brain itself moves around inside a gelatinous ooze (cerebrospinal fluid), so the testing is not very appropriate for the human skull. While broken helmets (the foam absorbing the blow by disintegration) are seen, the vast majority of foam does not show any compression from impacts during accidents. Now I have landed plenty of times at slow speeds on my noggin and have been glad the helmet offered protection, but how safe are they really? Is using the current EPS (expanded polystyrene) to stiff?
    As a test, have a friend hit you in the head with a baseball bat. Then, do it again with a helmet on.
    I think you will find that the first blow is more painful (if you can remeber it).
    styrofoam is a common impact resistant padding for all kinds of fragile shipping like lightbulbs and other glass items.
    All the foam does is:
    -Spread the area of impact. instead of the entire force of the baseball bat concentrating on the small line of impact between the curve of the bat and your head, the force is spread out to the whole contact area between helmet and head.
    - Distribute the impact over time, and slow it down. Transferring 10 pounds of force to your head in 1/100th of a second is a lot more energy than transferring the same 10 pound force to your head over 1 second. (force = momentum/time) Also, the energy of an object hitting your head is proportional to its mass, and to the square of its speed.

    Compared to football or motorcycle helmets, bike helmets seem crappy, but they are designed really, for one impact, not multiple football games. They are also designed to be much lighter.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    heads were a lot stronger when I was a kid...
    are you any relation to "shrederland"?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    As a test, have a friend hit you in the head with a baseball bat. Then, do it again with a helmet on.
    I think you will find that the first blow is more painful (if you can remeber it).
    styrofoam is a common impact resistant padding for all kinds of fragile shipping like lightbulbs and other glass items.
    All the foam does is:
    -Spread the area of impact. instead of the entire force of the baseball bat concentrating on the small line of impact between the curve of the bat and your head, the force is spread out to the whole contact area between helmet and head.
    - Distribute the impact over time, and slow it down. Transferring 10 pounds of force to your head in 1/100th of a second is a lot more energy than transferring the same 10 pound force to your head over 1 second. (force = momentum/time) Also, the energy of an object hitting your head is proportional to its mass, and to the square of its speed.

    Compared to football or motorcycle helmets, bike helmets seem crappy, but they are designed really, for one impact, not multiple football games. They are also designed to be much lighter.
    The question should be, if the bat is swung with enough force to kill you will a helmet make any difference? So far anecdotes say yes and statistics say no.

    EDIT. To date all statistical analysis of the effectiveness of helmets is based on road or commuter use. I've not found any research on the effectiveness of helmets for mountain bikers when offroad.Even the standards to which helmets are tested are based on road type accidents, flat surfaces and kerbstones.
    Last edited by marzjennings; 03-03-2010 at 02:23 PM.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings
    The question should be, if the bat is swung with enough force to kill you will a helmet make any difference? So far anecdotes say yes and statistics say no.

    EDIT. To date all statistical analysis of the effectiveness of helmets is based on road or commuter use. I've not found any research on the effectiveness of helmets for mountain bikers when offroad.Even the standards to which helmets are tested are based on road type accidents, flat surfaces and kerbstones.
    What stats are you talking about? Here is what I found: The table doesn't copy over very well, but it shows number of bicycle deaths, year by year, and the breakdown of helmet or no helmet. The columns from left to right are YEAR, Number of no helmet deaths, percent of total, number of deaths with helmets, percent of total, and the number of total deaths. It sure looks to me like the stats show that helmets make a HUGE difference.

    Year No Helmet Helmet Total*

    1994 776 (97%) 19 (2%) 796
    1995 783 (95%) 34 (4%) 8 28
    1996 731 (96%) 27 (4%) 761
    1997 785 (97%) 23 (3%) 811
    1998 741 (98%) 16 (2%) 757
    1999 698 (93%) 42 (6%) 750
    2000 622 (90%) 50 (7%) 689
    2001 616 (84%) 60 (8%) 729
    2002 589 (89%) 54 (8%) 663
    2003 535 (85%) 58 (9%) 626
    2004 602 (83%) 87 (12%) 722
    2005 676 (86%) 77 (10%) 784
    2006 730 (95%) 37 (5%) 770


    http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest3070
    I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that if a kid of a co-worker takes a dive and causes my employer's health-care rate to increase next year . . .

    I could sloppily make the case that my economic liberties are being infringed by that kid his parents and can therefore justify a helmet law under this liberwhatzit principle.

    Also: I don't consider bike helmets to be tyranny.
    So should there be a law against people at risk of heart disease from eating fast food? My ins. premiums went up at work the year after a co-worker had a quad-bypass. He was eating taco bell just a short time later.

    As you said it would be a sloppy case.

  60. #60
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    I think that brain damage precedes belief in the flying spaghetti monster.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet
    Speaking of helmet protection for kids (and anyone)...I have been getting ready to do a review of some helmets, and while researching I have found a couple of interesting things. Foremost is that helmets are tested using a fake head that is a solid headform. The problem is that our heads (and especially kids) are soft and malleable, and the brain itself moves around inside a gelatinous ooze (cerebrospinal fluid), so the testing is not very appropriate for the human skull. While broken helmets (the foam absorbing the blow by disintegration) are seen, the vast majority of foam does not show any compression from impacts during accidents. Now I have landed plenty of times at slow speeds on my noggin and have been glad the helmet offered protection, but how safe are they really? Is using the current EPS (expanded polystyrene) to stiff?
    Construction varies a lot.

    Most helmets use 1 layer of EPS at a constant density. XC helmets have almost no shell, so they seem like they break apart before the foam compresses much... DJ and FF helmets have fiberglass shells that don't break apart, so the foam is more likely to compress and probably (???) do a better job absorbing and distributing impact forces.

    On FF MX helmets, some use 2 EPS layers, a softer inner layer and a harder outer layer. Other helmets vary density of the EPS liner according to size, so smaller helmets get softer foam than larger ones. The Shoei I just got uses 2 layers as well as being size dependent. It also uses a different sized shell for each size, a lot of helmet makers vary the EPS or padding thickness to vary sizes while using the same shell.

    I think there is a lot of room for improvement in bike helmets, but they would get more expensive. A top of the line MX helmet is over $500. I'd pay half that or more for a scaled down, open face xc helmet that fit better than most xc helmets and didn't rely on a glorified zip-tie to fit it to my head.

    Also, you should check out the controversy over whether snell certification is actually reasonable. A lot of helmet designers don't think it is a good thing, but you need it to sell helmets in the US. The Euro version of my mx helmet weighs 200g less because it is not snell certified. I don't know enough to comment, but I wish I had the Euro version weighing almost 1/2 lb less.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    As a test, have a friend hit you in the head with a baseball bat. Then, do it again with a helmet on.
    I think you will find that the first blow is more painful (if you can remeber it).
    styrofoam is a common impact resistant padding for all kinds of fragile shipping like lightbulbs and other glass items.
    All the foam does is:
    -Spread the area of impact. instead of the entire force of the baseball bat concentrating on the small line of impact between the curve of the bat and your head, the force is spread out to the whole contact area between helmet and head.
    - Distribute the impact over time, and slow it down. Transferring 10 pounds of force to your head in 1/100th of a second is a lot more energy than transferring the same 10 pound force to your head over 1 second. (force = momentum/time) Also, the energy of an object hitting your head is proportional to its mass, and to the square of its speed.

    Compared to football or motorcycle helmets, bike helmets seem crappy, but they are designed really, for one impact, not multiple football games. They are also designed to be much lighter.

    Hmmm, never stated anything about not wearing a helmet?

    Most of our bike helmets are made with EPS not XPS (Styrofoam), although they do perform the same thing.

    The EPS foam is supposed to help prevent or reduce brain injury by absorbing the energy of an impact through its own compression or destruction, and it does that by converting a small part of the crash energy to heat (and as noted over a larger surface area). And secondly it slows the stopping process so that the head slows down during its inertial of the impact (deceleration).

    Current helmets are good at hard landings but not soft landings.

    Taking a impact with the hard, slightly incompressible XPS, then try it with a helmet that uses EVA (or EPP) foam and EPS together (much as a motorcycle helmet does), that is maybe a better scenario. "A rate-sensitive foam would probably permit better protection against the mild concussions that today's bike helmets just have to accept to provide protection against catastrophic brain injury in very hard impacts, but has other drawbacks." The stats don't show any long term damage that may result from head trauma, concussions, and rotational shock?

    The main issue is that to pass standards the helmet manufacturers use a hard headform that does not mimic the human brain. The standard is to keep the g forces registered inside the headform below 300 g.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    What helmet do you wear when you drive your car? Because I sure as hell don't want to pay for your Gawd-damn head injury when some illegal in a stolen car T-bones you. How much uninsured motorist coverage do you carry? I hope it is several million.

    For that matter, when are you hanging up your bike, because the fact that you ride makes you much more likely to need long term hospital care, even if you wear a helmet. Society can't bear the risk just so you can get your jollies, especially now with budget deficits and all......

    Actually, I have a very large umbrella policy that covers about every conceivable accident, but more importantly, I also have health insurance. So when that illegal t-bones me into vegetative bliss, the government won't have any financial obligations and my insurance co-op will only be penalized for the time it takes my wife to pull the plug.

    I plan on taking care of my responsibilities, so you can leave me out of your argument.

    But if slack-ass parents don't care enough to ensure the safety of their children, what makes you think they would have any qualms about dumping them on the system when they are veggies?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman
    I think that brain damage precedes belief in a bearded old man in the sky that watches over everything and everyone.

    Fixed it for you

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet
    Hmmm, never stated anything about not wearing a helmet?
    I didn't mean to imply that, My example was just a silly way of illustrating that a bike helmet, in a very obvious way, offers significant protection.

    Most of our bike helmets are made with EPS not XPS (Styrofoam), although they do perform the same thing.
    Styrofoam is commonly used in a generic way for both. Chemically they are the same polystyrene molecule..

    The EPS foam is supposed to help prevent or reduce brain injury by absorbing the energy of an impact through its own compression or destruction, and it does that by converting a small part of the crash energy to heat (and as noted over a larger surface area). And secondly it slows the stopping process so that the head slows down during its inertial of the impact (deceleration).
    Yes...
    Current helmets are good at hard landings but not soft landings.

    Taking a impact with the hard, slightly incompressible XPS, then try it with a helmet that uses EVA (or EPP) foam and EPS together (much as a motorcycle helmet does), that is maybe a better scenario. "A rate-sensitive foam would probably permit better protection against the mild concussions that today's bike helmets just have to accept to provide protection against catastrophic brain injury in very hard impacts, but has other drawbacks." The stats don't show any long term damage that may result from head trauma, concussions, and rotational shock?
    I don't doubt that there could be better helmets. Its always a compromise of weight, price and performance.

    The main issue is that to pass standards the helmet manufacturers use a hard headform that does not mimic the human brain. The standard is to keep the g forces registered inside the headform below 300 g.
    Wouldn't that be a worst case test, compared to a fluid cushioned brain?

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyguy1
    Why must everything that is a good idea be a law?
    Because we here in the good 'ol United States cater to the lowest common denominator. If there isn't a road sign at every corner of the streets, everyone who happens upon the intersection will die! Actually, I'm thinking that by putting sign-age at every corner, we've been dumb'd down...kind of like Mac users

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    We need a natural selection waiver bill. Parents; you don't want the government telling you and your spawn what to do? Sign the waiver. And the second you can't, or won't pay the bill for your decision, you have to finish the natural selection process.
    I love you!

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco
    Question....

    There is a guy in my neighborhood teaching his very young kids to ride in front of my house latley. No helmets on the kids, I feel like saying something about wearing helmets but haven't.

    Who would say something and who would not for what reasons ?

    Thx.......
    Repeat verbatim to said parent: "HEY, get a helmet on that little bastard before you turn him/her into a turnip and decide to sue me for your Rain Man bike lesson in front of my house!"

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    What stats are you talking about? Here is what I found: The table doesn't copy over very well, but it shows number of bicycle deaths, year by year, and the breakdown of helmet or no helmet. The columns from left to right are YEAR, Number of no helmet deaths, percent of total, number of deaths with helmets, percent of total, and the number of total deaths. It sure looks to me like the stats show that helmets make a HUGE difference.

    Year No Helmet Helmet Total*

    1994 776 (97%) 19 (2%) 796
    1995 783 (95%) 34 (4%) 8 28
    1996 731 (96%) 27 (4%) 761
    1997 785 (97%) 23 (3%) 811
    1998 741 (98%) 16 (2%) 757
    1999 698 (93%) 42 (6%) 750
    2000 622 (90%) 50 (7%) 689
    2001 616 (84%) 60 (8%) 729
    2002 589 (89%) 54 (8%) 663
    2003 535 (85%) 58 (9%) 626
    2004 602 (83%) 87 (12%) 722
    2005 676 (86%) 77 (10%) 784
    2006 730 (95%) 37 (5%) 770


    http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm
    It seems bhsi also 'found' these stats but admitted...

    BHSI Note: We don't know where the numbers in the bullet point above and the chart below originated. The data to make that determination is not usually collected in the field.

    BHSI also claims that helmet usage has increased over the years while documenting that the number of cyclists has remained pretty flat. So from the numbers above, cyclist deaths have remained constant regardless of increases in helmet usage and in fact the percentage of deaths involving helmet riders has increased. Possibly highlighting their uselessness in traffic incidents.

    BUT and again these numbers are from traffic accidents on the road. What I would like to see is some research done on the effectiveness of helmets for mtbers where I see a helmet as a positive piece of protective gear. Which could lead to an improvement in how helmets are tested for mtbers maybe even a better bike helmet.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  70. #70
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    I think I can use this thread as a random number generator.

    There is no real topic here.

    just random tangents of peoples soapbox issues.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    I think I can use this thread as a random number generator.

    There is no real topic here.

    just random tangents of peoples soapbox issues.
    Really? It looks to me that every post is in some way related to helmet safety, helmet laws, head injuries from bike accidents etc.
    Every post except yours, that is. Thanks for the critique.

  72. #72
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    You can read the purposed House Bill http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLI...le=1147_01.pdf
    If you believe that the flying spaghetti monster doesn’t want your child to wear a helmet then you are exempt from this law. This law is simply a formal statement that encourages parents to protect children from brain injury by wearing a helmet. How can it be considred a volation of one's civil liberties?

    A few years ago I was fined $50 for kayaking without a PFD. A park ranger saw me coming downstream, hid behind a bush and then jumped out when I pulled to the river bank and demanded that I show him my PFD (by law I wasn’t required to wear a PFD, only that I have one stored in my kayak). by comparison, helmet laws are not a strict as laws that require a PFD.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    Actually, I have a very large umbrella policy that covers about every conceivable accident, but more importantly, I also have health insurance. So when that illegal t-bones me into vegetative bliss, the government won't have any financial obligations and my insurance co-op will only be penalized for the time it takes my wife to pull the plug.

    I plan on taking care of my responsibilities, so you can leave me out of your argument.

    But if slack-ass parents don't care enough to ensure the safety of their children, what makes you think they would have any qualms about dumping them on the system when they are veggies?

    So, you plan on sticking the others in your insurance pool with your costs when you get veggied because you weren't wearing a helmet while driving?

    Nice.

    Why is your argument any different than the guy who doesn't care if his kids wear a helmet? What you are saying is that if you have insurance, you don't need a helmet. So, if the kid is covered, he doesn't read a helmet? Maybe the kid is covered by his father's huge insurance policy.

    Think it through.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman
    I’ll assume that most cyclists are “pro-helmet.” Evidently libertarians are not. According to their view, a purposed Colorado Law requiring children to wear helmets violates a person’s constitutional right to practice religion. Consider this:

    “This child, along with her parents, believes Jesus does not want her wearing a helmet today. We believe Jesus (you can substitute this with ‘Allah,’ ‘Buddha,’ or ‘The Flying Spaghetti Monster’) will protect her, but only if we have faith enough to forgo a helmet while she learns to pedal. Thank you again, officer, but we’ll pass on this law for now.”

    I get it, Libertarians do not want government to tell them what to do. But ridding without a helmet, especially for children, is dangerous and can have consequences for society in the event a person becomes disabled for life. Even to claim to disagree in principle, from a legal perspective, but agree that wearing a helmet is the right thing to do is nonsense. If wearing a helmet is pragmatically correct, how can it be philosophically incorrect?

    Read the Libertarian opinion here:
    http://www.gazette.com/opinion/cops-...house-law.html
    I am libertarian, without a doubt, and I am pro-helmet. I am not for fining or forcing you to wear a helmet, but I will encourage you to. In fact, I will not ride with you if you do not wear a helmet.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    <snip> we've been dumb'd down...kind of like Mac users
    Oh no you didn't!!

  76. #76
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    If wearing a helmet is pragmatically correct, how can it be philosophically incorrect?
    Unless I misread it, there is nothing in the article discussing if wearing a helmet is correct ... either pragmatically or philosophically. The article discusses the legality ... and by implication the role of government in mandating helmet usage.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    So, you plan on sticking the others in your insurance pool with your costs when you get veggied because you weren't wearing a helmet while driving?

    Nice.

    Why is your argument any different than the guy who doesn't care if his kids wear a helmet? What you are saying is that if you have insurance, you don't need a helmet. So, if the kid is covered, he doesn't read a helmet? Maybe the kid is covered by his father's huge insurance policy.

    Think it through.

    Man, you are dense.

    Reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit. I never said any of the things you are attributing to me. The argument is that some anti-helmet/neglectful parents may end up saddling the government with medical bills due to this negligence.

    All I said (now follow along slowly) was that the father that refuses to helmet-up his offspring and then refuses to pay for his medical bills when he is injured, better not come running to the government (that he wanted out of his business) to help with the care of his rug-rat, doorstop.

    The argument about increased insurance rates for any accident is another argument entirely. In theory, anyone who pays for insurance has done their due diligence in taking care of their societal obligations. They are essentially ensuring that any decision they make that ends in an injury is pre-paid with their insurance premium.

    Someone makes a decision to drive 80 miles round trip to work every day has made a decision that their extra time on the dangerous roads are worth the risk... and guess what; they pay for it in higher insurance premiums compared to the guy that drives 80 miles per week. You bring up mtn biking; well some of us pay that same higher life insurance premium because the insurance company knows we engage in "dangerous hobbies".

    edit: And oh yeah, if dad has a huge insurance policy and allows/encourages his kid to ride without a helmet; by all means let natural selection take them all. Isn't that what those who oppose the helmet law are saying? Those who are for it are trying to protect kids who maybe can't make a thoughtful decision about whether or not to don the dome by forcing the parents to be held accountable. Or maybe we should just let insurance companies recoup their payouts for those who are negligent.

  78. #78
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    Not just health insurance.
    If liabilty (on public grounds) is shifted to the person, not the entity (if say, the entity was the owner(s) of a bike/skate park), then we will see more of the parks popping up, and progressing.
    If a parks owner is affraid of a liabilty suit, we will have dumbed down parks.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    Man, you are dense.

    Reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit. I never said any of the things you are attributing to me. The argument is that some anti-helmet/neglectful parents may end up saddling the government with medical bills due to this negligence.

    All I said (now follow along slowly) was that the father that refuses to helmet-up his offspring and then refuses to pay for his medical bills when he is injured, better not come running to the government (that he wanted out of his business) to help with the care of his rug-rat, doorstop.

    The argument about increased insurance rates for any accident is another argument entirely. In theory, anyone who pays for insurance has done their due diligence in taking care of their societal obligations. They are essentially ensuring that any decision they make that ends in an injury is pre-paid with their insurance premium.

    Someone makes a decision to drive 80 miles round trip to work every day has made a decision that their extra time on the dangerous roads are worth the risk... and guess what; they pay for it in higher insurance premiums compared to the guy that drives 80 miles per week. You bring up mtn biking; well some of us pay that same higher life insurance premium because the insurance company knows we engage in "dangerous hobbies".

    edit: And oh yeah, if dad has a huge insurance policy and allows/encourages his kid to ride without a helmet; by all means let natural selection take them all. Isn't that what those who oppose the helmet law are saying? Those who are for it are trying to protect kids who maybe can't make a thoughtful decision about whether or not to don the dome by forcing the parents to be held accountable. Or maybe we should just let insurance companies recoup their payouts for those who are negligent.
    The people who are opposed to helmet laws are generally arguing that there needs to exist the right to take personal risk, and that line needs to be very close to total freedom.

    "Personal" risk includes the right to decide what is best for their children.

    As soon as actuarial arguments are used to dictate personal freedoms, there is virtually no activity that cannot be argued against. There would be a lot fewer broken necks if ladders were outlawed except for use by professional ladder climbers, for example. What reasonable argument can be made for a right to climb a ladder? No argument that can't be countered with a dollars and cents actuarial analysis. I know two people who were seriously injured in the past few years falling off of ladders. Both incurred over $100,000 in medical bills, and both are permanently disabled, one to the point he can no longer work his previous job. Let's ban ladders.

    You seem favor the government dictating helmet use. Why stop at children on bicycles? Why not adults? Why not children in cars? Why not adults in cars? Why not ban ladder climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing, skydiving and every other activity that might have risk?

    The bottom line is that *you * have a personal view that *you* want to force on everyone else, using the actuarial analysis. That is one of the very best examples of the slippery slope that will come back and bite you (or your children) in the ass.

    1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451. We get closer by the hour.

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    As soon as actuarial arguments are used to dictate personal freedoms, there is virtually no activity that cannot be argued against. There would be a lot fewer broken necks if ladders were outlawed except for use by professional ladder climbers, for example. What reasonable argument can be made for a right to climb a ladder? No argument that can't be countered with a dollars and cents actuarial analysis. I know two people who were seriously injured in the past few years falling off of ladders. Both incurred over $100,000 in medical bills, and both are permanently disabled, one to the point he can no longer work his previous job. Let's ban ladders.

    You seem favor the government dictating helmet use. Why stop at children on bicycles? Why not adults? Why not children in cars? Why not adults in cars? Why not ban ladder climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing, skydiving and every other activity that might have risk?

    The bottom line is that *you * have a personal view that *you* want to force on everyone else, using the actuarial analysis. That is one of the very best examples of the slippery slope that will come back and bite you (or your children) in the ass.

    1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451. We get closer by the hour.
    Or the matrix pod people. (Well said, BTW.)

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    The people who are opposed to helmet laws are generally arguing that there needs to exist the right to take personal risk, and that line needs to be very close to total freedom.

    "Personal" risk includes the right to decide what is best for their children.

    As soon as actuarial arguments are used to dictate personal freedoms, there is virtually no activity that cannot be argued against. There would be a lot fewer broken necks if ladders were outlawed except for use by professional ladder climbers, for example. What reasonable argument can be made for a right to climb a ladder? No argument that can't be countered with a dollars and cents actuarial analysis. I know two people who were seriously injured in the past few years falling off of ladders. Both incurred over $100,000 in medical bills, and both are permanently disabled, one to the point he can no longer work his previous job. Let's ban ladders.

    You seem favor the government dictating helmet use. Why stop at children on bicycles? Why not adults? Why not children in cars? Why not adults in cars? Why not ban ladder climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing, skydiving and every other activity that might have risk?

    The bottom line is that *you * have a personal view that *you* want to force on everyone else, using the actuarial analysis. That is one of the very best examples of the slippery slope that will come back and bite you (or your children) in the ass.

    1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451. We get closer by the hour.

    Look back. I never said I had ANY opinion on the law at all. In fact, I offered up a tongue-in-cheek alternative to the law in a "natural selection waiver" that states if you refuse to do everything reasonably expected to protect your children (like making them where a helmet while riding their bike), then you are obligated to either pay the bills for the consequences of your decision, or finish the job if you cannot. (ps; I was only sort of joking)

    And as long as we are on the subject of personal freedoms, I will state right now I am all for them and getting the government out of our personal business. Let's legalize and/or regulate all of it; drugs, prostitution, gay marriage, stop f'en with abortion, etc. However, just because I want them out of every adults business, does not mean that I think that children are as able or should be allowed to make all of the same decisions as adults.

    We don't allow them to decide to take up smoking or drinking alcohol do we? Why not? Doesn't there need to exist the right to take personal risk, and shouldn't that line need to be very close to total freedom? "Personal" risk includes the right to decide what is best for their children, so why not let parents decide that it is ok for their children to engage in these personal freedoms?

    Where is that line of protecting those who can't make informed and intelligent decisions for themselves?

    PS: Last summer, two girls died biking in Ft Collins (a 9 yr-old and a 14 yr-old) and they may have been helped by a helmet. If it were a law, would kids be more likely to wear it?
    Last edited by mtn hack; 03-05-2010 at 10:09 AM.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    If it were a law, would kids be more likely to wear it?
    Yes, but possibly even more kids won't bother to ride at all.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings
    Yes, but possibly even more kids won't bother to ride at all.
    Seriously?

    I would guess that 10x's as many kids would ignore the law entirely rather than choose to abstain just because of it.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    Seriously?

    I would guess that 10x's as many kids would ignore the law entirely rather than choose to abstain just because of it.
    True if the law isn't enforced, but both Australia and New Zealand saw cyclist numbers drop following introduction of helmet laws.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings
    True if the law isn't enforced, but both Australia and New Zealand saw cyclist numbers drop following introduction of helmet laws.
    These are the numbers I found on an anti-helmet law website for the Australian law:

    Weekday cyclist flows on Narrows and Causeway bridges combined

    ~10% annual cycling growth in Perth from 1983 to 1989 Bridge surveys begin Oct 91

    Oct 91 - Jun 92 - 2021
    (helmet law enforced July 92)

    Oct 92 - Jun 93 - 1575
    Oct 93 - Jun 94 - 1547
    Oct 94 - Jun 95 - 1340
    Oct 95 - Jun 96 - 1422
    Oct 96 - Jun 97 - 1791
    Oct 97 - Jun 98 - 1678
    Oct 98 - Jun 99 - 2405
    Oct 99 - Jun 00 - ****
    Oct 00 - Jun 01 - 2445
    Oct 01 - Jun 02 - 2382
    Oct 02 - Jun 03 - 2563
    Oct 03 - Jun 04 - 2169
    Oct 04 - Jun 05 - 2052
    Oct 05 - Jun 06 - 2158

    For one, there is clearly no statistical significance to this "trend" of decreased bikers.
    And two, notice there are no numbers for the time period previous to Oct '91; we are just to accept the 10% annual growth figure. How do we know they didn't look like this;

    Oct 83 - Jun 84 - 1837
    Oct 84 - Jun 85 - 1940
    Oct 85 - Jun 86 - 2150
    Oct 86 - Jun 87 - 2450
    Oct 87 - Jun 88 - 2678
    Oct 88 - Jun 89 - 2405
    Oct 91 - Jun 92 - 2021
    This would show the ~10% gain over the time period they state, but also show the decline was well under way before the helmet law went into action.

    And then look at this statement;

    As reported in March 2007 and based on data from Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, the number of Australian children walking or riding a bicycle to school has plunged from about 80% in 1977 to the current level around 5%. The data on this website and on this page confirms that in Western Australia, the massive decline in cycling (and children's health and safety) began in 1991 when the helmet law was enacted.

    So they state total numbers back to 1977, but don't ever show the actual data.
    These statistics are presented with one objective in mind.

    They may actually support the argument, but who would know? The fact that they are presented in this manner is very suspect. The correlation between the helmet law and the number of cyclists seems a stretch at best.

  86. #86
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    As a League Cycling Instructor, EMT-B, Daily Commuter Cyclist, and active supporter of Colorado bicycle education, I have this to say:
    No matter the skill of the cyclist, it only takes one {texting, drunk, distracted, unaware} driver to cut in front of you or swerve into you to cause an accident. I believe the new helmet law is a great step towards encouraging cyclists to protect themselves from injury or death. If you start the requirement of helmets at a young age (2-17 as the law suggests), it becomes as much a part of their cycling routine as anything else. I hope this passes, and the Governor being involved in a bicycle accident, with a helmet keeping him from the hospital today, should definitely help the helmet law pass.
    However, why should there be a law to tell people to do the sensible thing... maybe wheelchairs really are comfortable...
    Bike to Work,
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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Really? It looks to me that every post is in some way related to helmet safety, helmet laws, head injuries from bike accidents etc.
    Every post except yours, that is. Thanks for the critique.
    You make it even more funny. If you don't see it, read again. Good luck. If you still don't see it, did you have a bike crash with a head injury?

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrabikerepair
    As a League Cycling Instructor, EMT-B, Daily Commuter Cyclist, and active supporter of Colorado bicycle education, I have this to say:
    No matter the skill of the cyclist, it only takes one {texting, drunk, distracted, unaware} driver to cut in front of you or swerve into you to cause an accident. I believe the new helmet law is a great step towards encouraging cyclists to protect themselves from injury or death. If you start the requirement of helmets at a young age (2-17 as the law suggests), it becomes as much a part of their cycling routine as anything else. I hope this passes, and the Governor being involved in a bicycle accident, with a helmet keeping him from the hospital today, should definitely help the helmet law pass.
    However, why should there be a law to tell people to do the sensible thing... maybe wheelchairs really are comfortable...

    Ritter's helmet didn't keep him from the hospital. He broke five ribs and is still in there. Should we mandate body armor?

    The most obvious impact of this law would be to cut in half bicycle use by kids and teens. About the third time your kid's loses their helmet or it gets stolen while he is at the park or the mall, you are going to tell him to quit riding his bike and get a ride from someone. Kids are NOT going to carry their helmet around. Furthermore, kids are not stupid, and they are going to look at neighbor Buster roaring off helmetless on his Harley and realize the law is bullcrap.

    I also know that when I was a kid pre helmet days), the bike I hauled out of the spring cleanup trash was what I had. I didn't HAVE the money to buy a freaking helmet. 25% of kids live below the poverty line in this state. If they can dig up a bike, having to find a helmet is enough to keep them from actually riding it. Hell, I know a lot of low income parents who are seriously cramped to come up with a carseat for their kids, but at least there are plenty of programs to get one free. Are there going to be free helmet programs?

    This is another misguided attempt to save us from ourselves. These kinds of laws always come down from people who won't be affected one iota. They can't see any perspective other than their own.

  89. #89
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    As far as I know there are literally thousands of free helmet programs, but I only know of a few dozen here in the western states, most are run by local sheriff and police dept's.

    If kids are so smart, maybe you should take a bit of advice from them regarding their interpretation of the things they see. For example, seeing a guy 'Buster' you called him, roaring off on his Harley can be taken many different ways. I have seen several kids ask their parent's " Why is he not wearing a helmet?" This shows many things. One, that the parent has already impressed upon their child the importance of helmets for safety, and two, the bewilderment of the child in recognizing this is a dangerous thing. How this is answered depends upon the savy wit or experience of the parent. The parent could engage a discussion about self-determination, and free will, with its inherent consequences. Or, the roll of government to serve the people, and the right people have to overthrow said government if they do not do so. Or reiteration of the data on helmet safety, parallels with seatbelt use, or airbag, or crumple zones etc, etc. At least that is how I speak to the children in my family. After all, if they learn these things when they are 8 years old, they dont sound like such an idiot when they are 30 and post equally idiotic things on MTBR.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought
    After all, if they learn these things when they are 8 years old, they dont sound like such an idiot when they are 30 and post equally idiotic things on MTBR.
    Unlike idiots like you who seem to believe that bicycle helmets actually save lives in traffic.

    You can lie to your kids as much as you like, you can wear or not wear a helmet, but supporting a law for which there is no supporting data is idiotic.

    I get so vehement about helmet laws because as far as I can see the law will do only one thing. Reduce liability for drivers and for insurance companies. Drivers will claim almost zero liability in causing a cyclist death if they're not wearing a helmet and likewise insurance companies will pay reduced compensation if an injured riding is not wearing a helmet. All because some dump law says you should, not because any science says helmets help.

    Wanting to wear a helmet to saves lives is cool, I just feel that the current standard cycle helmet is not up to nor designed for the job.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  91. #91
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    Several I know have crashed and hit their heads hard enough crack the standard modern cycling helmet in half or severely damaged it. In my case, if I had hit my helmetless head on the rock, I have no doubt I would have been dead. My buddy hit his on a rock, cracked it in half and was unconscious. He is certain he would have died. Another crack his on the curb while trying to avoid a car. Cracked it in half and had a mild cuncussion. No helmet, he would have been severely f'd up.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings
    Unlike idiots like you who seem to believe that bicycle helmets actually save lives in traffic.
    .
    By any measure you care to describe, I am not an idiot. But enough name calling. A piece of leather (serving as a helmet), or a wool hat could, would and has saved lives.

    Until you understand the basics of medicine, closed head injuries, contracoup injuries and the like, you really have no box to stand on. I have direct experience with TBI and SCI, both in the ER and OR. So, I 'spose it is time to take back my former statement and just say STFU. Your pithy arguments won't change my mind.

    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
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  93. #93
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    I am vehemently anti-helmet.

    My wife's an RN, and I consider this issue to be vital to her job security. ;-)

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought
    By any measure you care to describe, I am not an idiot. But enough name calling. A piece of leather (serving as a helmet), or a wool hat could, would and has saved lives.

    Until you understand the basics of medicine, closed head injuries, contracoup injuries and the like, you really have no box to stand on. I have direct experience with TBI and SCI, both in the ER and OR. So, I 'spose it is time to take back my former statement and just say STFU. Your pithy arguments won't change my mind.

    No it's always hard to change an idiot's mind, but sometimes important to try.

    Yes a helmet can help in preventing some closed head injuries and open head injuries. Something I think is within a helmet's design spec and one of the reasons I wear one offroad. But I don't think they offer enough deceleration to prevent major contrecoup injuries that could lead to concussion or brain damage. Here's some info on the subject...

    http://www.mrf.org/archive/pdf/White...hHelmetUse.pdf

    Until a helmet can be designed that can save lives I don't want laws that say you must wear a helmet as it might save your live.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  95. #95
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    This is the solution, people who don't use common sense and allow their children to ride without a helmet need to suffer the consequences of their inaction, they need to suffer the financial and emotional costs by themselves unless someone wants to CHOOSE to help them using their own resources and NOT the resources of the rest of society.

    Overall, we as a society need to step up and insist that society not be held responsible in any manner for the consequences of the actions and inactions of individuals. The buck must stop with the individual and the family of the individual if the individual is a child.

    Scenario, Dick lets his kid bike w/o a helmet, kid suffers a brain injury, Dick is responsible for all costs of the care and treatment of his kid. If Dick loses his house that's too bad but thems the breaks, if Dick has to work 2 or 3 jobs, that's too bad, thems the breaks. If we as a society allow the above scenario to work the way it is supposed to then other Joes will learn from Dick's mistake. The end result is that there is no law impeding freedom of choice but there ARE a whole bunch of people using common sense and there are less Dicks out in society.

    Unfortunately some people (the elitists, the smartest people in the room - I prefer to call them choice four letter words) just have to meddle and when they don't get their way they try to use the government to force their own mis-guided values on the rest of the population.

  96. #96
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    No one proselytizing for a helmet law has touched my original argument, how about it?

    How can you reasonably argue for a helmet law of any kind, when you DON'T wear a helmet in a car? How can you not at least lobby for helmet use by children under 18 while in a motor vehicle? Every single argument for helmet use on a bicycle can be applied to helmet use in motor vehicles. Every single one. If you look at gross numbers, MORE children suffer head injuries in motor vehicle accidents than in bicycle accidents. If you really CARED, why wouldn't you put your efforts toward motor vehicle helmet laws? More lives saved, and for those of you so concerned about monetary costs to society, more MONEY would be saved.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    No one proselytizing for a helmet law has touched my original argument, how about it?

    How can you reasonably argue for a helmet law of any kind, when you DON'T wear a helmet in a car? How can you not at least lobby for helmet use by children under 18 while in a motor vehicle? Every single argument for helmet use on a bicycle can be applied to helmet use in motor vehicles. Every single one. If you look at gross numbers, MORE children suffer head injuries in motor vehicle accidents than in bicycle accidents. If you really CARED, why wouldn't you put your efforts toward motor vehicle helmet laws? More lives saved, and for those of you so concerned about monetary costs to society, more MONEY would be saved.
    Because everyone wearing a helmet in a car would look retarded?

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    Nope, no helmet laws for anyone or anything. Freedom of choice trumps all.

    How about this, since you can get a head injury doing so many different things we'll just make it illegal to do all those different things. That will save lots of money, no cars, no bicycles, no planes, no trains, no bathtub, no stairs, you name it. There, the nanny state has saved you, feel better?

    /sarc on
    Think of the children!
    /sarc off

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Because everyone wearing a helmet in a car would look retarded?



    This was my second bike helmet, my first was a leather hairnet that was actually made out of vinyl. We got over the "retarded" thing.

    Ten years ago people said ski helmets looked "retarded". There would eventually be an acceptance.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit



    This was my second bike helmet, my first was a leather hairnet that was actually made out of vinyl. We got over the "retarded" thing.

    Ten years ago people said ski helmets looked "retarded". There would eventually be an acceptance.
    Let's face it... helmets look retarded pretty much universally.

    They're still a good idea.


  101. #101
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    Liberals.....

    Want to protect people from themselves.

    Libertarians want to protect themselves from people

    Or: Liberal philosophy- You can do anything you want as long as it's mandatory

    Libertarian Philosophy- You can do anything you want as long as I don't have to pay
    for it.

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    I find it interesting that almost nobody who has posted has actually read any of the text of the law, despite the fact that a link to a summary was posted. It seems to me that the main goal of this law is to allow police to stop children (and their parents) if they are not wearing a helmet so as to distribute information on biking safety. Specifically, they would provide information as to where people can get cheap or free helmets. Furthermore, the law specifically prevents helmet violations from being admitted in court as evidence in favor of a driver involved in an accident with a cyclist. While I generally don't like the government to act as a "nanny state," as many have put it, I also don't have much of a problem with this law.

    Feel free to disagree with me, but at least take the time to find out what the actual content of the law is before you complain about it.

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by slushhead
    I find it interesting that almost nobody who has posted has actually read any of the text of the law, despite the fact that a link to a summary was posted. It seems to me that the main goal of this law is to allow police to stop children (and their parents) if they are not wearing a helmet so as to distribute information on biking safety. Specifically, they would provide information as to where people can get cheap or free helmets. Furthermore, the law specifically prevents helmet violations from being admitted in court as evidence in favor of a driver involved in an accident with a cyclist. While I generally don't like the government to act as a "nanny state," as many have put it, I also don't have much of a problem with this law.

    Feel free to disagree with me, but at least take the time to find out what the actual content of the law is before you complain about it.
    Now that's downright UNAMERICAN!!

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by slushhead
    I find it interesting that almost nobody who has posted has actually read any of the text of the law, despite the fact that a link to a summary was posted. It seems to me that the main goal of this law is to allow police to stop children (and their parents) if they are not wearing a helmet so as to distribute information on biking safety. Specifically, they would provide information as to where people can get cheap or free helmets. Furthermore, the law specifically prevents helmet violations from being admitted in court as evidence in favor of a driver involved in an accident with a cyclist. While I generally don't like the government to act as a "nanny state," as many have put it, I also don't have much of a problem with this law.

    Feel free to disagree with me, but at least take the time to find out what the actual content of the law is before you complain about it.
    It doesn't matter what the actual text states; these guys are arguing that any slope is the slippery one that will lead to a police state.

    In fact, I am sure they are against education as well. After all, that would fall under protectionism too, right?

  105. #105
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    What a great function for law enforcement.....

    ...handing out bike safety literature and apparel advice after taking the time to stop a helmetless rider. Maybe the cops can monitor fast food drive throughs and hand out heart health brochures as well.

  106. #106
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    To protect and serve
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    HB 1147 passed

    HB 1147 passed. Youth bicycling in Colorado are expected to wear helmets…and youth have fewer civil liberties than adults. Both outcomes support the status quo.

    In my view, we live in an unpredictable and, at times, dangerous world. Yet, the better aspects of life are achieved when people care for and protect one another.

  108. #108
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    [quote=Wyoman:

    In my view, we live in an unpredictable and, at times, dangerous world. Yet, the better aspects of life are achieved when people care for and protect one another.[/quote]

    The question then would be:

    Do you want to care for and protect one another voluntarily...or do you want to care for and protect one another as a government mandate?

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