I like your helmet. Please don’t worry about wearing it in “MERICA.”
Nebraska is one of the states that periodically take up this fight of “personal freedom” as an excuse to repeal its helmet laws. In every state where this repeal has taken place, it usually starts with a small vocal minority who pester their local representatives. Republican state majorities bring these bills forth with a Republican governor ready and willing to sign these bills into law to free their citizenry from these onerous helmet laws that restrict personal freedom.
Now to the British, European, and other riders from around the world, this sounds insane, and it is!
Why would lawmakers vote to pass a bill which knowingly endangers their own constituents? Welcome to “MERICA.” (The “a” is silent.) Sane global citizen, slow your roll, because in The United States of America, all common sense can often go out the window. Nebraska wants to give “mature” riders the free choice to go without a helmet.
In Connecticut, this privilege has been around since 1976. In my youth, I rode without a helmet on numerous occasions. Riding without a helmet is a very different experience. You get to where you are going – almost deaf from the wind noise, hair akimbo, and eyes blood shot from crying. If you really want to scare yourself, try it at night. I gained wisdom when I hit a carpenter bee at 50 mph under my left eye. That literally knocked some sense into me. I now regret every time I rode helmetless.
To the British, European, and other riders from around the world, this sounds insane, and it is!
The fact is that helmets save lives. In recent repeal states Texas, Florida and Minnesota motorcycle deaths rose dramatically. The human carnage from traumatic brain injuries is substantiated, and the long expensive rehabilitation (both physical and mental) can extend from months to years, or even decades. These traumatic injuries affect more than just the rider. The families of the injured suffer trauma from expense and uncertainty.
They say that the states are the laboratories of democracy; nationally my fellow riders are the guinea pigs for this failed experiment in personal freedom, which is causing real harm. Motorcycling is best when you live to ride another day. Every ride is a chance to feel alive with the risks and rewards that motorcycling provides. Having said that, is it so much to ask our community to value their own health and safety by wearing a helmet?
State helmet laws sway back and forth like summer wheat on the plains of Nebraska.
A national helmet law is the combine needed to thresh this field of madness and put an end to the argument of personal freedom vs. safety.
Source: Herald Courier