Monday, June 12, 2006

Helmets and Personal Freedoms

So by now most people have heard about the Rothlesburger incident. He rides a motorcycle. He does not wear a helmet. He says (said) that he is very cautious/careful, and since there are no helmet laws, his not wearing one is ok. He is a complete and utter moron. They are called "accidents" for a reason. If he doesn't want to wear a helmet, then fine, but he can not then say that he is careful or safe or not patently stupid. Now people are saying that there should have been a helmet law. There are such laws in much of this country. There are also seat belt laws. Neither of them should exist.

Not as they are anyway. Seat belt/helmet laws should only apply to minors in the car/on the bike who are not licensed to drive/ride it. It's a issue of personal freedom. If people want to be dumbasses, they are more than welcome to do so. If the government is going to start protecting people (of right mind) from themselves, then where does it stop? No rock climbing without a minimum of 3 anchors and one other person? No running down stairs without pads and appropriate shoes (or ankle braces)? No cutting vegetables without wearing a chain link or otherwise cutproof glove on your off hand? No keeping your head under water for more than 30 seconds... Sounds rediculous right? So are helmet and seatbelt laws.

What about the lawsuit issue? Simple: people who choose not to use said safety equipment forfeit the right to sue if they are injured in an accident, even if they are not at fault (if that equipment would have, likely, reduced or eliminated their injuries). The role of laws is to prevent people (or companies) from impinging on other's rights, not to protect an individual from their own stupidity. In dealing with personal safety issues, someone not wearing a helmet is not even being deprived of their right to some measure of safety. It's a choice, and the government should stay the hell away from it. It's Rothlesburger's own fault his head got so beat up. Even if the other driver is found to be at fault, Ben chose not to wear a helmet. Dumbass.

1 comment:

Michael L. Heien said...

I totally agree. What makes me mad is the "Click it or Ticket" add campaign. They are wasting tax payer money to tell me that I should wear a seat belt!?! Why is that?