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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Born to be . . . safe?

Guess this will be a setback for the crusade for a motorcycle helmet law:

Motorcycle traffic fatalities in Indiana declined more than 14 percentage points last year, reflecting a nationwide trend, according to a new study.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that motorcycle traffic fatalities declined at least 10 percentage points nationwide last year, based on preliminary data from 50 states and the District of Columbia. It was the first time motorcycle fatalities have declined in 11 years, according to USA Today.

Indiana is a little ahead of the rest of the country," said Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the association, which is a nonprofit highway safety organization. "That's a good place to be."

Sorry, Sen. Wyss, you'll have to find some other way we harm ourselves that you need to help us stop, preferably something without a loud and aggressive lobby.

I apologize for bringing this up ad nauseam, but Indiana's insane approach to self-inflicted highway injury is my biggest pet peeve about state law (at least since we dumped the "Yes, wink, wink, I'll use these fireworks out of state" joke). Requiring both seat belts and motorcycle helmets can be justified. Requiring neither can be defended. Requiring one but not the other is both indefensible and imcomprehensible.


Bob G.
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 12:15pm

Well, Leo...we "could" venture into this whole "insane approach to Indiana's self-inflicted injury" thing by speaking as to WHY we "need" liquor stores open on SUINDAY, but I think you already got it covered on that one, too.


tim zank
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 12:52pm

It's only a matter of time before Wyss and his fellow band o' babysitters will introduce legislation requiring helmets to be worn in cars. Laugh now, it'll happen.

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 1:59pm

Tim, you make an excellent point. Far more people die in car wrecks than in motorcycle wrecks. In both cases, the fatal injury tends to be to the head (60 percent).
Ipso facto, obligatory helmets in cars would save more lives than helmets on motorcyclists.
(We would have to concede, I suppose, that the reason is that there are far more four-wheelers on the road than two-wheelers. Nonetheless, facts are facts.)
But car drivers would never stand for it on grounds that helmets are hot, uncomfortable and ruin their wives' hairdos. When motorcyclists make the same points, they are disregarded.
That's why I have to disagree that it will happen. The people who make these laws drive cars. They would never do this to themselves.
But your general point is absolutely sound.
BTW, I withdraw my earlier criticism of you, which was made shortly after back surgery. Pain makes me surly. Sorry.

tim zank
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 3:17pm

LittleJohn sez: "But car drivers would never stand for it on grounds that helmets are hot, uncomfortable and ruin their wives

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 5:17pm

Again, Tim, no argument (this is getting weird - we really should argue more). Seatbelts protect only the person wearing them. I always wear mine, because I don't find it uncomfortable and it may keep me from flying through the windshield.
But if other competent adults choose to take their chances, I'm just a tiny bit enough of a libertarian to say let them do it.
We don't prohibit skydiving or bungee jumping.
I think car companies should provide belts and bags, but no adult should be forced to use them.

tim zank
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 5:30pm

There may be a glimmer of hope for you yet Littlejohn. Just a smidgen of common sense peaking through, I find that heartening!

Andrew J.
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 8:05pm

I guess let's get rid of that "flotation device for every person in a boat" rule as well. Sink or swim, I say!

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 7:53am

Tim, are you flirting with me? Goodness!

tim zank
Tue, 04/27/2010 - 4:30pm

Andrew, good idea for non commercial boats. If you're not smart enough to have a life preserver in your boat you deserve to drown.

Natural selection baby, I'm all for it. Cull the frickin herd already.

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 5:16pm

Well, I guess a minor disagreement was inevitable. I think there should be a flotation device for everyone, I just don't think you should be required to use it if you prefer to drown.
I guess that's a sort of limited, modified libertarianism.
There must be a word for that. Leo, you would know. Is there?