Helmet law protest goes awry


#1


A motorcyclist in New York passed away while participating in a ride to protest the state’s helmet laws this past weekend. Philip Contos, a 55-year-old Harley-Davidson rider, was participating in an American Bikers Aimed for Education (ABATE) ride with over 500 other bikers. According to Associated Press reports, Contos locked up the brakes on his motorcycle, fish-tailed and went over the handlebars. He struck his head on the pavement and was transported to a local hospital before being pronounced dead. State police said that the accident would not have been fatal if Contos had been wearing a helmet.

Even so, the rider’s death hasn’t been enough to deter ABATE, with members saying that helmets shouldn’t be mandatory. Click past the jump to watch an Associated Press report on the incident.


Would this count as irony or karma or both?


#2

Both.

That said, I tend to agree with them - no helmet laws, provided we make as a part of getting the motorcycle license the requirement that they sign a form stating that they agree to re-pay any public dollars used in their rescue and treatment from a wreck if they aren’t wearing a helmet.

Frankly, nature has ways of weeding out the stupid, and I tend to think humans shouldn’t try to interfere with that :wink:


#3

Karma
Life’s lessons which should be heeded by all.

I agree there doesn’t need to be a LAW, perse’ , to have people wearing a helmet. A rider’s choice I believe. But at least this incident will help people choose.

Life’s lessons ;
Like the time I put the safety glasses on my forehead for the back yard weed-eater job and on the way took the weed-eater to a couple of places on the side of the house. Well of course I didn’t put the glasses over my eyes just then so guess what lesson I got ? – Yep, a rock thrown up knocked my cheek bone right at the eye…“hey stupid, what do you think those glasses are for ?”

And the time I was serving up the baked potatoes. I selfishly left the biggest one aside for me. What did I find as I cut into my big prize ?..A massive black rot spot that took up almost half of the big potato leaving me with another life’s lesson about selfishness.

I don’t motorcylce but have learned my seat belt lessons.
My kids have learned as well at my steadfast insistance.
The grand kids are still taken aback a bit as turn off the truck when someone is not belted.


#4

About 25 years ago I was riding with the guy who sold me my first bike. His new bike was a little tall for him. We were in a parking lot getting ready to start out. He was near the edge of the lot and his foot slipped.

I watched as he and the bike slowly fell over. His head was slammed into the asphalt. Fortunately he was wearing a helmet and the only injury was to his ego. The image of his head bouncing off the ground is burned into my memory. I believe the helmet saved him from a skull fracture or worse. I should note that he was an experienced rider.

Ed B.


#5

Neither.


#6

I personally wouldn’t get on a bike, or even a bicycle, without a helmet. But I have mixed emotions about mandating them. Laws should be to protect us from others, not to protect us from ourselves. The only reason I have mixed emotions is because I realize that someone busting their own melon due to ignorance does cost the rest of us.


#7

I never rode with a helmet until a good friend of mine was killed instantly when his head struck a concrete barrier. I bought a helmet that very day. It’s a choice but there are good choices and bad choices in the world. Wearing a helmet is the smart choice.


#8

"I personally wouldn’t get on a bike, or even a bicycle, without a helmet. But I have mixed emotions about mandating them. "

YUP…If you want to ride a bike without a helmet by all means go ahead…I do however object to motor bike riders with kids on the back without helmets…That law I do support.


#9

I don’t want to pay the hospital bills for decades while someone that didn’t wear a helmet wastes away on life support. That, specifically, is the reason to mandate helmets. And not some plastic fake army helmet. It should pass standardized tests, like Snell M2005 or M2010.


#10

These are public roads, we payed for them, we have a right to mandate helmet laws. I hope New York does not cave into the motorcycle lobby the way Tennessee did.

Tennessee had helmet laws, but no seat belt laws. Now we have seatbelt laws, but no helmet laws. And on top of that, motorcycles in Tennessee are no longer required to wait at red lights or stop at stop signs. If they see an opening, they can go because it is hard to hold a bike upright while stopped.

I wonder if I run a red light, can I use the excuse that it is hard to hold the clutch in if I have to stop?


#11

Another question to pose to those guys would be “If you chose not to wear a helmet and die in a wreck, how do you think the person that hit you will feel?”

I could also argue with Mike that if the parent chooses to ride without a helmet or put one on their kids, isn’t that also their choice? Their thinking is probably “I don’t need a helmet, why should I put one on my kid?” And the kid won’t say anything, despite most likely having to wear a helmet for their bicycle, because their parents won’t wear one; “If daddy doesn’t need one, why do I?”

@keith
Seriously? Not even having to wait at a stop light because the bikes are too heavy to hold up? What kinda sissy bike riders live down there?


#12

Mike, you made an excellent point. I’d see that as a child protection law. I’d even go so far as to suggest that, consistant with other laws that recognize youth as needing extra protection, anyone below the age of emancipation be required to wear a helmet on any motorized vehicle whether they’re the driver or a passenger.

Keith, the motorcyclists paid for those roads too. They have as much right legally and morally to work to get laws enacted to ride helmetless as you do to work to get laws enacted to mandate helmets.

I’m having a hard time accepting as fact that any state excepts bikers from waiting at a stop light. And in every state they can go right after stopping at a red light unless otherwise posted. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your post. And the motorcylist doesn’t have to hold up the bike while waiting. The tires do. The cyclist just has to keep it balanced, an easy chore for an able-bodied person.

Unless, of course, the bike is extremely unusual. Jessie James on Monster Garage wanted to make a 2-wheel bike out of a Peterbuilt engine & trans. When they pulled it out of the truck and he discovered it was 4 feet tall and weighed 4000 pounds he changed his mind.

In all states any motorist can go at a stop sign rather than wait when they see a safe opening. And at every 2-way stop intersection if an accident results they’re automatically assumed to not have had the right-of-way, unless it can be proven that the other motorist was violating the law in a way that caused the accident (like driving at high speed).


#13

“motorcycles in Tennessee are no longer required to wait at red lights or stop at stop signs. If they see an opening, they can go because it is hard to hold a bike upright while stopped.”

Bogus.


#14

Obviously anyone riding should wear a helmet. And the State can require it, just like it can make using heroin illegal, make drivers wear seat-belts, require windshield wipers on cars, require that you wear shoes in a public food place.

The idea that riding a motorcycle is so ultra-hazardous that you will get no help with accident medical costs is just silly. What about smoking? What about drinking so much soda and eating piles of fast food so you are obese, with heart disease and diabetes? How about people injured by their guns?


#15

"I don’t want to pay the hospital bills for decades while someone that didn’t wear a helmet wastes away on life support. That, specifically, is the reason to mandate helmets. And not some plastic fake army helmet. It should pass standardized tests, like Snell M2005 or M2010. "

And I don’t want to pay hospital bills for decades because someone who wore a helmet wastes away on life support when he would have been DOA without the helmet and would have only needed a funeral.
Really, all these ‘burden on society’ arguments are based on the flawed premise that everyone who dies of a motorcycle crash, lung cancer, or prematurely of a massive heart attack because of his lifestyle somehow is resurected to die a second time expensively in a nursing home as a drooling alzheimers disease patient soiling his bedclothes daily in the last decade of his life, you know, how the rest of us are going to die.


#16

piter_devries

“Bogus”

Here is just one of many links available.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-06-10-red-light-laws_N.htm


#17

I ride a m/cycle and I always wear a helmet. I rarely ride the fence on issues but on this I do. I am undecided between riders choice and basic safety laws.

I do feel anybody with a lick of common sense would wear one. You never know when someone in the car next to you will want your lane. You do not control all the events in your life.

What I find ironic is that you must belt up in a car and soon every person must belt up. No riders in the bed of a pickup or there will be hefty fines to pay but at the same time one can rocket by on the bike without a helmet.

Also, lets all remember that this person left behind loved ones. When you remember to do so, pray for healing ( or moments of silence/whatever you do ) for this hurting family.


#18

I like the Tennessee law and wish Texas would adopt a similar law. I have lost count of how many times I have had to illegally run a red light simply because the sensor loop would not detect my motorcycle. Other times I have given up and made a right turn and then a U-turn instead of waiting in vain for a certain light to give me a left turn green light.
Fortunately, a lot of the loop sensors are being replaced with camera sensors which seem to be a lot more reliable in detecting motorcycles.


#19

B.L.E…There is a magnet that can be legally purchased to install on the bikes bottom that will activate the sensors.

Legal in all states. Costs about $20.00


#20

Red lights: not bogus. You were right. I was wrong.

Stop signs: still calling bogus. You can proceed from a stop sign after a full stop in any vehicle. What is the exception for motorcycles? You said “motorcycles in Tennessee are no longer required to … stop at stop signs.”