It’s called physics.
In the wake of a tragic accident out on the highway early Sunday, a family faces the hard truth about why we promote and often overdo things when it comes to regulation. And at the same time, why we often overdo things when repealing regulations that have more common sense than political intent.
In my view, there’s a consequence to every action, and erring on the side of safety has always been the intent of any regulation. Seat belts come to mind, and no one really argues that we should rid ourselves of seat belts, or child seats, would we?
Yes, sometimes, we overreach. It’s no secret that SCOTUS will put us again at odds. And personally, I think we should have a good debate on ObamaCare. But if anyone thinks we should repeal the motorcycle helmet law just because they want to ride in the U.P., they’re just plain dumb.
That’s not saying we should just accept regulations just because of anecdotal examples, but we have to practice some form of common sense. Sure, not everyone rolls around trying to enter exit ramps from a sharp angle, but there will be times when someone will do that (every day in the 696 rush in my experience).
So if you’re on a motorcycle, the State of Michigan is “fine” with you not wearing a helmet as you traverse a concrete jungle at 75 mph with trucks and thousands of pounds of steel everywhere. As the Michigan Legislature knows this is a good idea. Straight-ticket voting, or poor primary elections? Maybe they should have helmets for those elections.
See, if you’re on that motorcycle and believe in physics, you’d wear a helmet. People in cars wear helmets, too.
It’s called the car.
And even at low speeds, you can get hurt in an accident. I know someone who liked to chew on pens. They don’t chew on pens anymore in the car.
After all, seat belts are required, and no one complains too much, even when studies show that a fender-bender often doesn’t cause too much trouble when you’re not wearing a seat belt. But when you need it, that one chance in 100 actual accidents that ends up as a big one, it’s good to have it.
So what’s the logic used by lawmakers to repeal helmet laws?
Why did lawmakers think this repeal was such a great idea? Was it more along the lines of a belief that people will do what they want, even though it threatens their lives? Was this just because some legislator wanted to make up some reason to “fight regulation” so they could act like they were about freedom? Or did they just not like motorcycle riders, and wanted to let them risk their lives for organ recipients?
Governor Snyder, what was in your head? I’m not saying this recent accident could have been preventable. In fact, I predict that the individual who was killed gave his helmet to the girl before the accident.
Cuts and bruises. Wear a helmet, and you will live. She lives because of one helmet with two riders.
We often think that people may do these things just because they are reckless. And we take regulations at half-measure, because 99 times out of 100, we don’t need to worry about it.
But that 1 time of a 100, it happens. I lost a friend because he only had lap belts on a convertible Mustang. The 1964 1/2 was not capable of sustaining the impact that killed him. Sometimes, you can’t control these things, but you can take steps afterwards to prevent it from happening again.
A traffic light was all they needed to do, too.
So when I read, “The woman, who is from Georgia, had a helmet on and was taken to Beaumont Hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises,” I get sick to my stomach.
She wore a helmet, she lives. He probably gave her the helmet before they left. And despite what seems to be an operator error by cutting across the rumble strips to the exit ramp, I have to stay positive. He knew the risks of motorcycle operation, and likely chose to give her the helmet. Motorcycles don’t have much space to store a spare helmet, do they?
We should be honest, no law would’ve stopped them from going out that night, and a law would never prevent people from doing silly things across the board in life.
But a law might’ve prevented two riders with one helmet, just in case the police were out, a deterrent that we seem so focused on creating for all sorts of other “problems” in our political world today. A deterrent for drunk driving, seat belt laws, and other “important” laws are salivated over. Deterrents to illegal immigration like giant fences are just fine…Judges contract out “camps” for DUI offenders, and our local cops spend hours sitting on the curbs staring at drivers’ shoulders, hoping someone would contribute to the city general fund.
But helmets? Apparently not.
And that’s what we should consider. It’s one thing to repeal a law from regulation that has no purpose. This motorcycle law is more about physics and bones than bureaucracy or politics.
I’d rather not wear a helmet on an ATV or dirtbike when tooling around a field of grass. But a motorcycle on 696 without a helmet? As well, it’s not just deterrent, but education about what our State believes about physics and 45 feet of concrete.
So when the State of Michigan implies that a repeal of the motorcycle helmet law was a “good idea”, it’s just a lack of common sense in my book. I want to save money, but having a law is far more than just shaving costs on liability. If we were so concerned with that, we’d repeal seat belts, child seats, rollover bars, air bags, etc.
Why not? It’s the same stupid logic.
My thoughts for the family and friends of the victims.