Motorcycle Helmets Should Be Required By Law

Easy Rider Helmets

Helmet Laws! Always a controversial topic among motorcyclists. We live in America baby and we should have the right to choose! Except one thing, too many of our peeps don’t have enough sense to make the right decision. If you don’t wear a helmet and you have a reason, please don’t be offended. I’m talking about about our young and upcoming bikers who don’t give it any thought. The teens and twenty somethings that think they are gonna live foreva! They’re just running with the cool crowd. More concerned with image than anything else. Not to mention there are plenty of newbies and unskilled riders out there in their thirties or older that should be protecting their head as well; but aren’t. 

Here in Delaware I see riders wearing no helmets most of the time. There are some riders wearing helmets, but no other protective gear! The kids are riding those rocket bikes at triple digits with top of the line helmets, a wife beata, baggy jeans and sneaks! They pass me on the highway like I’m standing still! We have tons of people riding all summer in beach attire! It’s crazy I tell you! They might as well ride naked! Do you value your head? Do you value your skin? Do you think you will never dump your bike? Do you have a protective force field that goes on automatically when a dumb ass cager cuts you off?! Have you ever lost a friend who wasn’t wearing his helmet or had a shitty helmet on?

Motorcyclists are dying from head injuries all the time. I don’t like to read about it and I wish we could do something about it. Is it fair to the friends and family of those who made a conscience decision not to wear their helmet and died because of it? What about those of us left to mourn the passing of loved ones? Is it worth it?!

A young soldier can go to Iraq and do a tour of duty and come home safely. After war his confidence and risk level is higher than your average person. He goes out and buys the fastest motorcycle he can get his hands on even though he has no riding experience. You know what happens next? He dies right here at home! It happens!

I would take away your freedom of choice if I could. The lives that would be saved would be worth the inconvenience to you my friend. I know these are fight’n words for those lucky enough to live in a state where you still have a choice. I just want you around as long as possible my friends. Protect your noggin! Do it for me, your friends and your family.

34 Responses to “Motorcycle Helmets Should Be Required By Law”

  1. Look here Mr Road Captain! You are a LOSER white trash idiot. I know your wife and where you live. You are a joke! Everyone is laughing at you and not with you. You and your forty something blogging buddies must be going through a midlife crisis writing all this useless garbage on the Internet. Get a real life! I can’t believe you would take away the freedom of choice for your fellow american red blooded biker friends. You must be communist or just plain chicken shit you helmet wearing wannabe! You suck! What kind of captain are you anyway? I’m gonna kick your butt you unamerican yellow belly piece of crap!

  2. comment deleted by author

  3. Hmm, I’m thinking anonymous is either someone you know messing around, or a real fucking idiot!
    I’ll go with the latter just for fun. I’m not forty something you know nothing twit. And I’m definatley not going through a midlife crisis. My life is wonderful, thanks for asking. And if you think this isn’t real life, why the hell are you here? I can speak only for myself and say that I for one do not laugh at RC, so please don’t speak for those of us you do not know. “I’m gonna kick your butt” What? Are you in middle school moron?
    Hey, that’s fun! So if you are someone just messing with Jay, then it was fun playing with you. And if you’re not, well, I said my peace and I won’t give you another moment of my thoughts. Because contrary to what you think you know, I do have a life!

    Ok, sorry for taking up so much of your space Road Captain. As for the helmets, I have to wear one by law, but I would wear one anyways. I think it gets complicated when you start trying to regulate what people can and cannot do with their own safety. However, as someone who has loved ones who ride, I would be devestated if I lost one when it could’ve been avoided. Another thing I wonder about is the financial impact it has on taxpayers when one of these riders is a vegetable for the rest of their life and their families can no longer pay for the burden they have caused. I think I’m going to do some research on that angle and see if I can get some statistics. Thanks for getting the wheels going.

  4. My first paper for college was on helmet laws, the pros and the cons. We live in a state where we can still choose to wear or not to wear. I believe everyone knows that I choose not to wear a helmet. I’m glad that’s my choice. I hear your argument, but I disagree. The freedom of choice is quite powerful. People go to great lengths to protect this freedom. I feel that the government (local and national) has too much power already. We don’t need another law…

    As for Anonymous: Why is it that when people need to say something assinine they are ‘Anonymous’? If I have something to say, I say it. AND I SIGN MY OWN NAME TO IT. I think our Anonymous friend here either has identity issues, or maybe he’s just a LOSER white trash idiot. 🙂

  5. most of my posts are written in fun and humor, for I have enough stress issues within my everyday routines, my riding is my outlet, its where I make my mind go when its just too hard to think about one more issue that presents itself. Helmets……yes they are lifesavers, and I do beleive that those who wear them are entitled to thier choices, as should we who do not choose to wear them. I have lost friends who have worn helmets and some who have not, in the 30plus years that I have swung a leg over a bike, I have dumped, layed down and even fell asleep while riding my various bikes. each time it has been without a helmet and I am still here to write about it…fate??? dumb luck??? who knows. Jay, I have quickly come to call you a good friend, and would never do anything to hurt you or any of my friends, but if I did happen to have an accident snd something happened, remember this……I love riding my bike with you, the group, my lady, and myself……and I like to ride without a helmet, I resent any power that causes me to do otherwise, but am not so naive that laws must be followed. so….helmet laws……my answer now, yesterday, 30 years ago and 30 years from now will always be……LET THOSE WHO RIDE DECIDE!

    Oh and Anonymous……….Grow up!

    ride safe, ride often and let those who ride decide

    Skip AKA “Diesel”

  6. Ann- I was wondering if you would be willing to post your paper that you wrote for school. I would be interested in reading the pros and cons you listed, other than the obvious one of making your own decisions regarding your own safety. I have never ridden without a helmet so I only have my own experience to draw from, it would be nice to understand the other perspective. If you feel up to it, I can’t say that I would want to share any of my papers I’ve written for school. 🙂

  7. Jay, I agree with you to a degree. I always have and always will wear a helmet when I ride, and I will always encourage my friends put a lid on it! To me, it’s a gamble with fate to do otherwise.

    But I live in America, and I love being able to think for myself and decide what is best for me. Therefore, I cannot bring myself to agree with you that we should be able to take someone else’s right to decide away from them, because they did not feel the same way you and I do.

    I know you feel passionate about this because, in your heart, you know this is the smart and safe thing to do. I won’t argue that point. But think about this. What if the powers that be decided to make it a law that you CANNOT wear a helmet when you ride. (just go with me on this for a minute) Even though you would feel more comfortable wearing your helmet, you may get arrested and thrown in jail, just because someone else thinks it’s absurd. I think it would bring home to you, the fact that you should be able to do what the f*%K you want and wear it anyway.

    This brings me to the conclusion that the states that have helmet laws are no big deal to me because I comply anyway. The states that do not have helmet laws are no big deal to me because I can wear one anyway if I want to.

    I am pretty tolerant of others and realize that we can’t all like the same thing. One of my favorite responses to this is, “That’s why they have chocolate and vanilla!

    As for the anonymous responder. Why don’t you come out from hiding and discuss it like a grown up? Kicking the shit out of someone may get you in trouble and a hurt hand, especially if they are wearing their helmet. Something tells me the RC has plenty of friends in spite of what you think, and besides, he’s too sexy for his vest! LOL!

  8. Well, you know that a helmet saved my life. I know this without a doubt. I wear a helmet but I don’t believe that we need more laws to protect people from themselves or to save money. There is more chance of being killed crossing the street than on a motorcycle from statistics.

    However, YOU DO HAVE A RIGHT TO VOICE YOUR THOUGHTS. (One of the last true freedom’s) Anony-puss gets to voice their opinion too. Awesome!. So I guess I get to voice mine.

    ANONY-PUSS – Midlife crisis rocks! Hope you get to enjoy yours when it comes around, but somehow I suspect yours will be miserable. Kicking the shit out of someone for speaking their mind? WHO IS THE COMMUNIST HERE yah dillweed. If you really think your anonymous, think again. Obviously you don’t understand how I.P.’s are tracked. (Thank you patriot act!) Find out what a M.A.C. address is. Whats worse, putting out useless garbage or sitting around reading it, then commenting on it with even more useless, rank garbage. So I figure that I have nothing to live for now I’m 40 something and don’t have a life. I figure your smart enough to figure out that it is exactly the kind of folks you don’t go pissing off because we have nothing to lose from here on out. LOL! Hell, I wouldn’t mind going out in a blaze of glory! beats dying from cancer. Don’t mess around with R/C, “I’m your huckleberry” Hold on,….ah yes, I’m printing your comment,…. just a minute…here it is,…I’m gonna go wipe my ass with it now…. Go away kid, your bothering us old folks. Run along now.

    Sorry R/C, hope I didn’t disrespect your comment space here.

  9. Consider this. if we had a universal helmet law.
    My riding would probably be over.
    Due to the extensive neck injury I had ,My doctor made it perfectly clear NO Helmet.
    Nothing I do stops your ability to ride.
    But yet…your advocating that a rder with over 30 years experience without evenso much as tipping the bike over at a stop sign .
    be outlawed from the road.
    I’m not saying an accident won’t happen. I’m sure my day is coming.
    as for the youngguns. helmets are rared to 13 miles an hour per DOT specs. the speeds you were describing. a helmet will just keep the face pretty for the funeral.
    In fact over the years I have seen at least two accidents where the helmet took the riders head clean off. wether they would have survived without one is I agree questionable.
    yet I have also seen high speed crashes where the rider survived. albiet ugly as sin. but they healed.
    The taxpayer angle?
    well lets outlaw golf clubs made of metal and all golfers should wear a ground strap spread out in a net fashion toi distrabute the lightning strikes they always seem to be having.
    losing life and linb to chase a ball you hit away from you. is costing my taxpayer dollars.
    I could cite numerous analogys But I ‘m sure you get the point.
    All life is a risk
    As I have stated many times before
    Don’t tell others how to live or think….it gives them the right to do it right back. and you may not like what they come up with.

  10. Hmmm. Big D. very good points. With my tax angle I was trying to make a point about how our actions, as personal as they may be, affect others. However, if I stick to my guns on that one, I would be hypocritical considering the fact that I’m a smoker. I know that affects others. And when you think about it, if nobody did anything because it would affect somebody, then nobody would ever do anything. So, I guess my angle wasn’t that well thought out, but I can admit when I’m wrong.

  11. BB, I’ll consider posting my paper on helmet laws. Let me mull it over for a few days. If I decide not to post it publicly, I will email it to you. 🙂

  12. Cool, thanks Ann.

  13. A helmet saved my life or at the very least saved my face from looking like hamburger for life.

    But I am a HUGE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY person, so to each their own. I don’t bang people regarding their gear etc.

    BTW to the coward who posted the first post. why not use your name, loser? ..and PS motard, you are here reading our garbage so what does that make you?

  14. I had to shake my head to see if I was actually reading what I thought I was. Then I realized just how deeply stereotypes become entrenched. A HOG Road Captain publicly supporting a helmet law? I like it, mind you.

    Never thought I’d get sucked into these stereotypes myself but I guess I was wrong.

    What amazes me is how hot this topic remains. “Freedom” is a huge issue. Sometimes the question is, “the freedom to do what?”

  15. Thanks for taking a stand on such a hot topic Jay!

  16. Why stop at helmets? Why not ban riding motorcycles entirely? If your primary goal is to protect people from the consequences of their two-wheeled actions, then you have to go whole hog if you’re serious and ban riding entirely. Anything less is hypocritical and half-assed.

  17. Got to say you are the man. Way to stand up for what you believe and still be able to print and disregard anonymous comments. With public blogs being the rage you are going to get those but when you have the guts to let them be seen tells us that you have the confidence needed to stand up. Don’t understand people who publish only anonymous that agree with their thinking. Won’t go far in the real world. Good writing and keep the issues up front. Red

  18. DOT helmets are only good for up to speeds of 30mph. So after that speed, they are useless. Bang your head on the ground over 30 mph and your neck will snap. Either way your dead.
    Simple Biker Saying: Let those who Ride, Decide!
    Been riding 37 years now and I hold to that!


  19. Well Jay, you wanted the Anonymous asshole over here to run up your comment count and YOU GOT HIM! Congratulations. Did you see Sons of Anarchy the other night? There was a squirrelly little bastard in the episode who had a disorder where he couldn’t stop masturbating – a perfect picture of our spineless commenter I thought.

    Anyway, on to the helmets. First, I have to say I really LIKED Lady R’s way of turning the issue around. That certainly makes you think. As those of you who know me are used to by now, I’m big on facts first and opinions second. There’s a fact here nobody has mentioned, and that is none of us has a “right” to operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle. Unlike guns, there’s nothing in the Constitution that says we have that right, although I’m sure Joe Biden doesn’t realize that’s because there were no motorized vehicles at the time the document was written. Still, there’s been no such amendment either.

    I hate to say this folks, but like them or not, we live in a nation of laws. Sure, I think the rider should decide personally. The reason I think so is that their life is the only one they are putting at risk. But, I also believe in safety. So, I’ll go in the middle of the road here with some common sense. Instead of saying “Helmet Laws Suck,” lets try to change them so they make sense. It’s simple, and here’s how I’d do it:

    All new riders regardless of age should have to wear a helmet for a minimum of their first 10,000 miles, verified by the recorded numbers from their own odometer, and the local DMV. After that, they can apply for an Experienced Rider’s Course. Upon successful completion of that ERC, you get the endorsement allowing you to ride helmet-free NATIONWIDE. Now, you’ve EARNED the right to NOT wear a helmet, and satisfied the actuarial tables with the insurance companies to boot.

    Passengers on a bike I think should always be required to wear a helmet, simply because they are not in control of their own destiny, unless that passenger also rides their own, and has met the above criteria.

    Of course, all of this goes out the window without one more does of sense. What is a helmet? Should they all be DOT? Is a skid lid OK? What about that other type someone posted about recently? MASS has a helmet law. Almost every member of Blackstone wears a skid lid instead of a real helmet. Not one of them has ever been stopped by the cops. For that reason alone, the existing helmet “law” is bullshit. I bet I could wear one of those yarmulkes – the skull caps worn by Jewish folks in Temple – while riding my bike and get away with it as long as it didn’t blow off my head. As long as their is no clear definition of what actually is a “legal” helmet, the “law” is invalid as far as I’m concerned.

    I say either have the law make sense, or don’t have the law. There is one other thing that surprises me. Cops, who in my experience suck at leading by example, always wear helmets if they are motor officers. I have never seen a motorcycle cop, even in a State with no helmet law, not wearing a helmet. As much as I hate to admit it, that says something too.

    Bottom line, once you’ve done your time in the saddle, you should be able to lose the brain bucket if you want. I wore mine during the whole Milwaukee trip, even though out there I didn’t have to. On the other hand, I’ve taken mine off while riding in Maine and RI, and I have to say it was nice to have a “choice.”

    This is like any other issue. It can’t be solved with silly mandates that are full of holes and inconsistencies. It can be solved with good old fashioned common sense. I’m all for choice to a point, but I’m not an anarchist. I suppose the trick is to find the middle ground between the two. I have a feeling we’ll all be beetlejuice long before humans ever figure it out.

  20. Well I didn’t hit 34 comments Joker and I expected you to be one of the first to jump in here and call me on the joke I had set up for you. Anyhow, these are the best twenty comments ever! Now I’m going to draft up my “loud pipes DON’T save lives” post to stir up more trouble. I’m glad you finally dropped in, Mrs RC was becoming concerned that you were giving us the cold shoulder. Now that you graced us with your comment I will post our next article today. We were just waiting for you to stop in and add your wisdom before going on to the next.

  21. I LOVE it when you stir the pot, Jay!

  22. I try very hard not to offend anyone and I think my posts tend to be a little hum drum, so when I do stir… I stir it good!

  23. I’m sorry, but I just can’t let one of the comments go by unanswered. Someone stated that helmets offer no protection over 30 mph and break necks. That is outright false information and I don’t want people really believing that.

    Notable organizations, including Snell itself, clearly state the opposite. Here is a link to Snell’s statements.

    None other than Harry Hurt himself state the same thing. He is on the board of directors for the Head Protection Research Laboratory. I’m sure nobody can dispute the experience Dr. Hurt has in helmet research. Here’s a link to the HPRL site.

    I’m okay with people making their own choices. I just wish they would be honest. For once I’d like to hear someone come up to me and say:

    “I full well know that wearing no helmet, a novelty helmet, or a flimsy half shell helmet will greatly increase my chances of death, debilitating brain injuries, or huge facial disfigurement that I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. I’ve thought if over very carefully, though, and I’ve decided to take the risk.”

    That’s at least honest. To propogate myths and lies to justify no gear or less than optimal gear just makes the person making the statements appear stupid. Or worse. See the note at the end of the comment.

    Here’s an interesting quote from an article in the October 2008 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine. Jim Miller is talking about riders returning to the sport after a long time away. This is totally worth thinking about. People need to make choices based on intelligent reasoning, not peer pressure or misinformation.

    “Finally, peer pressure doesn’t end with high school. Even emergent geezers are subject to it every day. So if you’re looking to ride with a bunch that considers it “uncool” to wear proper riding gear, find another group. That goes double for cruiser riders who dress up in designer leather–chaps, conchos, tassels, and all–and then don’t wear a helmet. Wearing that much leather without a helmet is like wearing a condom with the tip cut off. Same thing applies to those riders who spend thousands on apparel and then top it off with one of those goofy plastic yarmulkes. Get a real helmet and wear it–always– even if you didn’t think about when you were younger”

    End of quotation.

    Like I say, this is from a national motorcycle magazine. I’m all about choice. Just do it intelligently without stupid excuses. Something else to think about is that you may be doing a newer rider who trusts you a great disservice.

  24. There are lots of great reasons for wearing a helmet. As far as I am concerned, there are not many good reasons not to wear one. HOWEVER–whether or not the government has the right to make the decision for us is an entirely different question altogether! Wouldn’t it be much more effective if we spent all of our time, energy, and resources educating people on the real facts about helmet use so that they are inclined to make a decision of safety for themselves?

  25. Ok here it is.
    “I full well know that wearing no helmet, a novelty helmet, or a flimsy half shell helmet will greatly increase my chances of death, debilitating brain injuries, or huge facial disfigurement that I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. I’ve thought if over very carefully, though, and I’ve decided to take the risk.”
    Big Daddy Nelson

  26. Ok here it is:
    When I am elected to office as the Grand Puba of this great country I will pass Jay’s Road Safety Law. This law will require helmets on motorcyclists and bicyclists unless you have a note from your doctor or Juan Epsteins mother excusing you from wearing said safety device. Automoble drivers and passengers will have to wear seat belts at all times. Furthermore it will be against the law to use a cell phone or text message while driving a vehicle. This part of the law will be strictly enforced. Multi tasking while driving will also be against the law and tickets will be given out for applying make up and whatever else those crazy people are doing out there besides paying attention to what they are doing. Any automobile or truck driver involved in an accident with a motorcyclist will automatically be found at fault and must do jail time with a minimum of 24 hours. They will also have to pay damages and medical bills to the injured motorcyclist. All drivers convicted of DUI will lose license for 5 years. All motorcyclists or anyone wearing a black leather vest will receive 1 free beer at all drinking establishments as long as they promise they will not be driving after drinking. Make that two free beers! Everyone who commented on this post will be entitled to one case of their favorite beverage. If you were in agreement with me then you get a free pass to do whatever you want whenever you please including posting a picture on your blog at no particularly scheduled time. Those who did not agree with me will be sent to Alaska to drill for oil, watch the polar caps melt and wave across the ocean to our friends in Russia who don’t wear helmets either.

  27. Big Daddy,
    This post has ushered in a couple of firsts for me. A tip of my full face helmet to you!

  28. Awesome, we can disagree and still be friends. Bikers Rule! Politicians should learn from our example here today.

  29. Oh Please, save me from myself! Take away my freedom of choice, make me live every day in a cage, take away my motorcycle so my legs won’t get broken, my ribs won’t get crushed, take away my car so I won’t drive across that rusted out interstate highway bridge that will collapse as soon as I drive across it, take away my hair dryer and my bathroom sink because I don’t know that they don’t go together! Oh please remove my bicycle from my garage, my skateboard, my rollerskates, my running sneakers for I will surely fall and suffer a head trama! It happens every day! And Please save me from death! Please remove my father from my mother so they will not conceive me… The ONLY way to prevent Death is to prevent Life. That’s the way it works… learn to take care of yourself, teach me to take care of myself and let me enjoy my days of life before my day of death arrives. You are not my God, and you shouldn’t act like you are.

  30. One thing most people fail to realize, is that driving / riding is a privilege, not a right. The state determines who has the privilege to ride (usually by the individual passing a test). Because it is a privilege the state can (and does) place conditions and restrictions. This can be requirements to wear seat belts or wear helmets etc.

    If you wish to not follow the states conditions you will probably face anything from financial loss (fines) all the way up to death, disfigurement, or vegetative state.

  31. I wear one.It’s the law here. Since 1969 it has been. I started riding in 65. Had the law not changed maybe I’d still not wear one. Can’t say. But it did. In the late 70’s and 80’s I bounced part time in a biker bar. It was known as a fighting bar. I’m here to tell ya a fist,wrist,elbow,and body along with a jaw,neck and body again all give in limbo. A curb,tree,street sign and such do not. I wear it out of state too. It’s my right. Look at Gary Busey. He’s not the same. Curb no helmet.

  32. OK I wear a helmet, it is the law down under and in my opinion a good one. I recently went from a sports bike to a night rod and must say that the HOG crowd did give me a hard time for insisting on wearing a full face helmet, I have seen what happens when someone rubs there face along the road at 10 miles an hour and mate it was not nice!

    So would I wear a helmet if it wasn’t law? YEP, my 9 year old son rides dirt bikes and what kind of father would I be if I insist on him wearing one and not me! What kind of father would I be if I had no chin, from a low side slide?

    I have worn no helmet at a biker funeral or two and yes it feels great, but so does chewing my own food.

    I do not like government interference in my life but sometimes the greater good and all that comes into play.

  33. Thanks Down Under Rider. Great comment. I’m very excited to draw comments from outside the US. Please come back soon. Better yet, come visit the US and take that V-Rod for a coast to coast tour of our country. Bring your helmet of course.

  34. No worries Jay, would love to ride in the US of A, have been to LA and NY before for a visit and loved it but riding from one to the other! That would be awesome.

    Back on topic, I guess my view is based on my experience, helmets have been law for a long time along with seatbelts and 0.05 alcohol blood limits, so I am used to it. When seatbelts first became mandatory my dad and his mates complained about it for ages but now it is rare to see someone without one on.

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