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Motorcycle safety course instructor Greg Williams speaks to riders at PCC Saturday afternoon. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflector)

Motorcycle safety course instructor Greg Williams speaks to riders at PCC Saturday afternoon. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflector)

Editorial: Helmet law freedom not free

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It goes without saying that motorcycle helmets save lives. Decades of clear evidence and experience on the subject have removed any need to advance that argument, right?


Republican North Carolina lawmakers, bolstered by House and Senate majorities in Raleigh, are pushing a bill to repeal the state’s helmet laws for adult riders of motorcycles. The message from the bill’s proponents is that freedom of choice should outweigh concerns about safety and expense. That brand of freedom afforded to some, however, can have a nasty way of limiting the freedoms and choices of others.

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I think it's great

More organ donors. Someday I may need a new liver!

Helmets do not save lives...

And helmets do not prevent injuries. There is not one motorcycle helmet manufacturer that makes the claim "helmets save lives", nor do they claim "helmets prevent injuries". Practically every motorcyclist whom died on the road in North Carolina since the late 1960s, died wearing a helmet. Motor vehicle laws are enacted for public safety. A motorcyclist wearing a helmet does nothing toward protecting the safety of other motorist. Conversely, wearing a seat belt can keep the driver at the controls, steering wheel and brakes, allowing opportunity to protect other motorist. The new helmet law will not legislate a person not to wear a helmet. The law will allow freedom of choice. The same freedom of choice everyone has now when they get into their automobile. You even have race car drivers as your role model. Sadly, many people believe a seat belt will prevent a head injury. There are plenty of things you can bang your head on while strapped in your automobile's seat belt. I am surprised Dr. Herb Garrison is not telling the truth about head injuries. The leading cause of head injuries (35.2%) is simply falling down. Slips, trips and falls while walking. The second leading cause is from motor vehicles (17.3%). If Dr. Herb Garrison wasn't such a hypocrite, he would wear a helmet in his automobile. Of all people, Dr. Herb Garrison knows he is dealing with far more head injuries from multi-wheeled vehicles than motorcycles.

One saved my life

Head hit the pavement. It saved me.

Why Not Helmets For Auto Drivers?

nightrain nailed it........I could go on about personal liberty and government hypocrisy ( NC has seat belt laws but doesn't use 'em in the public school buses for children, for example ), but the quickest way to checkmate the mandatory helmet nazis is to ask 'em why not in cars, as well?

As someone who was recently

rear ended by a motorcycle, I'm glad helmets are required. Instead of picking hair and skull out of my rear window, I'm just dealing with and uninsured motorist claim. Before this happened I said let anyone who is dumb enough to ride without a helmet do it. Now I'm rethinking that because it saved me from having a constant reminder of someone's elses negligence.

my choice

Remember that North Carolina is in the minority when it comes to helmet laws. I believe we are one of 19 states with this level of restrictions. Statistics are statistics. They can be molded to fit whatever argument you want to present. The writer mentions Florida and Michigan. What about the other 29 states that have less restrictive laws? But, if we are going to continue to have motorcyclist wear helmets, lets make everyone in any vehicle wear one also. Who can argue that wearing helmets in cars would save some lives? How many head-injury deaths are there in cars each year?

I would equate seat belt laws

I would equate seat belt laws in cars with helmet laws on motorcycles. Furthermore, anyone who doesn't wear a helmet on a motorcycle is just stupid. A helmet on a motorcycle has saved my life twice.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart