Hard not to admire an exercise in futility when you see one cranking up. So, take a gander at GOP Rep. Ted Weiler, Woods Cross, proposing a mandatory helmet law. (click) for motorcycles.
Yeah, right, dude. Good luck.
These come up every few years. What happens is, the day it comes up for debate in the legislature, motorcyclists clog the capitol with bald heads, leather and chains and so on — all very big and very loud.
It’s fun to watch the Lawmakers’ spines turn to Jell-O (green?) when they see that mob, and that’s the end of that until another go-round.
Mr. Weiler’s argument is that people who get injured on motorcycles often end up on government assistance — and he’s right. But not just that — I’ve long argued that motorcyclists cost us all money if they get hurt because they don’t have a helmet even if they have medical insurance — who do you think pays the money that pays those medical bills?
The rest of the insurance company’s rate payers, that’s who.
This leaves us with a number of options:
– Allow cyclists to ride with no helmets, but say that they can’t have any medical insurance cover them if they get hurt, and say that they won’t qualify for Medicaid. If their motto is “My head, my risk” then they have to accept the full responsibility for that risk.
– Allow them to ride without a helmet, but require mandatory insurance in a “high risk” pool, which is what other people have to pay if they get medical insurance despite a pre-existing condition. Wanting to ride an inherently dangerous vehicle in an admittedly dangerous manner is a pre-existing condition if I ever saw one, so this should work.
– Require all motorcyclists to wear a tag on their bike that says “I have chosen to ride this machine without proper protective gear of my own free will. I acknowledge that it is dangerous. If I get in a wreck I request that I be left to sort things out for myself and no ambulance or medical care be called.”
– Do nothing.
This is what will actually happen, of course. Bikers will point out - correctly - that theirs is only one of many sports that are self-endangering and go unregulated, so why pick on bikers? They will appeal to ideals of freedom and independence and the American way.
And they’ll show up, en masse, at the Legislature and scare the living crud out of that gang of idiots who get real tough with pregnant women, but shrivel at the sight of a 6 foot 6 tall dude in leather and chains, wearing an old World War II helmet if any at all.
I’ve seen those guys crowd in the Legislature and they’re very persuasive.