A Heady Issue

I don't ride a motorcycle, but if I did, and decided that I wanted the "freedom" to go sans helmet, I think I'd be cursing that freedom as I was hurdling mid-air after being thrown from my bike.

But that's just me.

And that's the point, I suppose, of Governor Rick Snyder's signing off on a change in the state law that now makes the wearing of a motorcycle helmet optional.

Read: to each his (or her) own.

Personal freedom is a great thing, but you know how that goes: as long as it doesn't infringe on the freedoms of others.

That's why I applaud the removal of virtually all cigarette smoke in public places.

And that's why I'm, ultimately, OK with the new motorcycle helmet thing.

If some nut cares not to wear protective head gear that can save his life, then who am I to tell him he can't? More importantly, who is the state to tell him?

Because, you see, a biker going bare-headed doesn't impact me, really. I venture onto the roads in my car aiming not to get into an accident, anyway. Much less with a motorcycle, and much more less with a motorcycle whose rider has eschewed a helmet.

Get me?

Now, if said bare-headed rider was somehow infringing upon me, or was making me uncomfortable or ruining my good time on the highways and bi-ways, that's a different story.

What about insurance rates, you might ask.

What about them? Seems that they'll raise your premiums for one thing or another, anyway. I don't think I was saving any money by Michigan having a mandatory helmet law, and nor am I expecting my rates to shoot up because of the change.

If my insurance carrier wants to raise my premiums, they'll find a reason. They don't need a change in the motorcycle helmet law to provide it for them.

The funny thing is that both sides on this issue claim the facts are on their side; the pro-helmet people say the law saved money, while the let-me-go-without-a-helmet people say states who have mandatory helmet laws realize no savings whatsoever.

I don't really know who to believe, but the bottom line is I really don't care.

I am tempted to now call for a repeal of the seat belt law, but two things about that: 1) I wear mine all the time anyway; and 2) accidents involving only cars far outnumber those that include a motorcycle. So I do believe that seat belt laws directly influence insurance rates; that makes sense to me.

With motorcycles, not so much.

Personally, I would no sooner hop on a motorcycle without donning a helmet than I would step off the roof of a tall building, but again, that's just me.

So all you motorcyclists out there longing to ride with the wind whipping through your helmet-less hair: more power to you.

Your guts may only be exceeded by your stupidity, but what do I know?

Again, that's just me.


  1. Same goes with jumping out of a perfectly good plane. If you ask me.


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