Helmet Optional For Motorcyclist? One Louisiana Legislator Says Yes
Seat belts save lives, it is a law that all drivers and passengers wear one. Motorcycle helmets save lives, it is a law that all riders wear one. To me these seem like two common sense laws that are designed to help "we the people" stay safe. To others, both laws represent an infringement to their personal freedom. What is really strange is I see that point very clearly too. So who is right?
One Louisiana Legislator, Senator Mike Walsworth of Monroe, wants the option to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle to be left up to the rider. Providing that rider meets certain guidelines. Under Walsworth's proposed legislation any rider who is 21 years of age or older and has passed a motorcycle safety class should be able to opt out of wearing a helmet. The rider must also agree to carry a certain amount of insurance on himself.
As you might expect, many in the highway safety community do not agree with Mr. Walsworth's contention that the wind in your hair is worth compromising your personal safety. Walsworth maintains that helmets restrict the ability of the motorcyclist to adequately see his or her surroundings. I guess that's why the professional riders have such a tough time doing what they do.
My personal feeling is this, it's your life. How you choose to live it should be your choice. If riding a bike without a helmet is the way you want to live and it won't hurt anyone else in the process go for it. I do think that you should at least be an organ donor. I personally would wear a helmet. Not because I have a fear of crashing but because I am afraid of some texting teenage driver plowing into me while they aren't paying attention to roadway.
What do you think on this issue? Is it the purpose of government to mandate seat belts but not helmets? Are they both direct infringements on our personal liberty? Is not wearing a seat belt or helmet just one more way to cull the herd and clean the gene pool?