Helmet law...your choice or the goverments??

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Lt J.A. Moss, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Lt J.A. Moss

    Lt J.A. Moss New Member

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    The following article brings up an interesting point.
    Not many will argue that wearing a helmet offers a degree of safety in a crash but who makes the decision to wear one, you or big brother??
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    N.S. cyclist ponders helmet appeal
    Provincial court judge upholds bicycle helmet law


    CANADIAN PRESS

    HALIFAX - A provincial court judge has upheld Nova Scotia's bicycle helmet law, saying personal safety overides a cyclist's claim that wearing the helmet is an infringement of his constitutional rights.
    Judge William Digby rejected John Davis' arguments that helmets do little to enhance safety, and said today that the Halifax photographer should pay his fine.

    Davis, who's been cycling for 35 years, had argued before the court that he believes the law interferes with his constitutional rights to liberty and freedom of expression.

    The veteran rider, who wrote a book on the subject in 1998, said there was little evidence to show helmets promoted public health and safety.

    He challenged the law after he got a ticket in August 2001.

    But in his decision, Digby accepted expert testimony that the law prevents head injuries.

    Davis, 53, said he hasn't decided if he will pay the $128 fine or appeal the case. He has 30 days to decide.

    "I think the battle is worthwhile because it brings the matter to the attention of the public," said Davis.

    He said the court's decision could cause some people to stop riding bicycles in Halifax and throughout the province, leading to a decline in fitness levels.

    "If they start enforcing the law the way it was when it was originally brought in, it will drive another nail in the coffin of bicycling in Nova Scotia."

    He said he is considering whether he will continue to cycle any longer in Halifax.

    Kevin Finch, a spokesman for the Department of Municipal Relations, said the government is pleased its law is intact.

    "We're happy the law was upheld. We expected it would be. There've been similar challenges to seatbelt laws and helmet laws on motorcycles over the years," he said.

    "Those laws have withstood these challenges."
     
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  2. mrs dalloway

    mrs dalloway New Member

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    I agree with them mostly since our Canadian Provincial governments pay our medical expenses with our tax dollars. If you don't want to wear a helmet that's fine. But if you take a spill and turn your brains to useless, your estate funds should take care of all your needs along with your own medical insurance which you should have purchased since you didn't want to wear a helmet. I think any institution which is going to fork out dollars to protect you or cover you in time of ill health or injury is going to want all the reasonable protection possible to be used. What should Workman's Compensation (Canada) tell a cop who got shot in the torso and now needs time off and financial coverage only because he refused to wear his Service issued bullet resistant vest? Similarly if you get drunk and decide to go for a drive and subsequently whack a tree, ending up in a wheelchair, you should be responsible for your own future. Not welfare (my tax dollars), not Provincial health coverage (my tax dollars) and not the insurance companies. You made the decision to increase your personal risk......you live with it. I've been a motorcycle and bike rider a long long time and I've never had a problem wearing a helmet. I've investigated enough collisions to know that helmets aren't going to save you in a high speed or high impact collision but that is not the true spirit of the design of the helmets. Like a seat belt or air bag, there are limitations. But we should be using them to give us at least as much protection as they were designed to give. Final word: don't want to wear it? don't use my taxes for your health insurance.
     
  3. ouzo

    ouzo New Member

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    after seeing my mate come down at 60km/h and crack his helmet I've never riden without one. It's just not work it. Takes a couple of seconds to put it on so why risk it.
     
  4. ozintokyo

    ozintokyo New Member

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    Hmmm, I can see arguments for both sides of course. I must say that when I go for a decent ride I always wear a helmet.

    I never bother if it is a quick 5-10 minute ride to work though, but I really think I probably should - it is just lazy not to.

    I came off my motorbike about 9 years ago and cracked my skull - with my helmet on - I get the feeling that I would not be here if I wasn't wearing it at the time. Oh - how fast was I going? I hit an oil slick coming to a stop at traffic lights - about 30 km/h.

    mrs dalloway sure does have a good point about it being the government that usually picks up the lions share of the bill if you do injur yourself.
     
  5. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    LOL !! And how about all the overweight ,drunken crack addicts and other poor lifestyle choices you are paying for too? Why single out helmets?
     
  6. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Hooey. The Govt picks up a MUCH BIGGER tab for an endless list of poor lifestyle choices.
     
  7. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    If your not smart enough to wear a helmet then i guess the gov needs to make you.
     
  8. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Then the Govt. should make you loose weight,stop smoking,drinking, drugs and eating too much pizza and donuts?
     
  9. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Weight,no
    smoking,yes
    drinking,tax the hell out of it
    drugs,of course
    pizza and donuts,you must be the one not wanting to wear a helmet.
    Difference in fast death and long death. You cant shoot a gun in public{wonder why?} but you can at a range.
     
  10. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    If the Govt is going to be concerned about you health safety and death it should cover all bases.Cyclists and helmets are just an easy target.And apparnetly it's even easier in Canada.
     
  11. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    I remember being at the CO. river,many years ago and the helmet law was just passed for motorcycles. The cops would'nt let the hells angels go through so they went back into town and came back all together,maybe a couple of hundred and had everything you can think of on the heads,frypans,hardhats,plastic hats,everything and the police,way out numbered let them go. That was funny but crashing on yor head without one isnt. If you to figure it out,then somebody needs to help.
     
  12. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Curious about how the 'well intended' mortocycle helmet law has been overturned in Colorado,Texas and a number of other states. Personal choice, not Govt. choice. Simple enough concept.
     
  13. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Sometimes,even if you dont want it,need big brothers help. I have bigger problems like keeping my cadence around 95,lol.
     
  14. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Without laws, safety issues tend to resolve themself, perhaps with a little assistance from Charlie Darwin. Smart people choose to protect themself appropriately, dumb people do not, and die, or become crippled. So in the absence of helmet laws, the majority of cyclists (who seem to be smart people) would still wear helmets.

    Personally, I never ride without a helmet - feel naked without one. But, when you start letting the government, or the insurance companies (here in the US) dictate your activities based on health care costs, you open the door to some real unpleasant side effects.

    Today they decide to mandate helmets to keep health care costs down. Sounds reasonable.

    Tomorrow, they look a little further. Lots of people are getting injured on mountain bikes. That costs us a lot of money, so perhaps we can just ban all off road cycling to reduce health care costs.

    Boy, those pesky motorcycles are sure filling up the hospitals. Get rid of them, too.

    What? You're a rock climber? We just spent a fortune patching up the last one. Too expensive - rock climbing is now officially banned, to cut health care costs.

    Hang gliding, now there's a quick ride to the ICU. Too dangerous.

    So you can see where that line of thought leads. When you start giving the government a mandate to restrict activity based on health care costs, you're opening Pandora's box. You sure you want to do that?
     
  15. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    In Cambridge, MA where I live, law says children under 12 must wear a helmet. Everyone else can choose to be stupid if they want.

    Seems sensible enough to me.
     
  16. bryanquinn

    bryanquinn New Member

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    The point here is not whether you are stupid for not wearing a helmet. Yes I should and I do wear my helmet. BUT OPEN YOUR FREAKIN EYES PEOPLE! How long before major changes are made to OUR CONSTITUTION! We are gladly giving up our rights as human beings and thanking big bro for every one that we loose. If you can't govern your own life and take responsibility for it thats sad. Kid not wearing a helmet? your fault if he breaks his head. You smoke your the dumb a**. But don't tell me how to live my life I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT. I don't want to loose what my fore fathers shed their blood for. Anyone remember the Boston tea party? BTW I don't floss my teeth when I should. To cut on dental costs do you think we can get a law passed for that. Maybe we can set up check points at local shopping stores to see who needs to be fined for not flossing.
    BQ
    P.S. the Sesame Street word ,for the day is RESPONSIBILITY.
     
  17. bryanquinn

    bryanquinn New Member

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    BTW I'm not saying I don't respect our government because I do. I would not want the job that the higher level officials have. Without them there would be anarchy. I am a big stickler for abiding by the law, if my state adopts such a law I will abide by it, but I don't want to loose my ability to make my own decisions. We have to be a people that will take responsibility for their actions. There has to be a stopping point.
     
  18. ozintokyo

    ozintokyo New Member

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    I think the focus is a little off.

    I choose to wear a helmet (er, mostly!) - but I think it should remain a choice.

    I think that there should be reductions in the level of government funded care provided in the event you choose not to wear your helmet and are then subsequently injured.
     
  19. mrs dalloway

    mrs dalloway New Member

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    Some interesting points about "big brother" and too much gov't control. My last thoughts:
    I would like to see the gov't put a cap on how much they will pay to people who don't think (athletic or couch potato). Let the person who is not willing to reduce health and safety risk by using proper equipment at least prepare to cover him/herself with the majority of his/her own insurance. Simple enough. If you want the wind in your hair on your motorcycle or the freedom to fly on silent gliders that's great. Just call your "good hands" people on your way out the door so my taxes don't continue to climb. I'd love to see a monetary cap applied to the slovenly individuals who belly up to a bar or all night buffet as well and then finish the evening off with a deck of smokes on the couch. Over here they get their free surgeries and transplants etc and there is no money coming out of their wallets. So, if you want independance from the government to ensure your freedom of choice, and your freedom to self destruct; then start by cutting the purse strings.
    OK I'm done. I'm going off to talk about triathlons........
     
  20. Kona_Blue

    Kona_Blue New Member

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    You must think you're living a democracy. Western countries (Australia included) are ruled by accountants, ambulance chasing lawyers and insurance companies. You don't get a say, you are only made to think you do.
    As for helmets......you'd be mad to go riding without one.
     
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