Michigan House votes to put Darwinism back into motorcycle riding.

The Michigan House of Representatives today passed legislation that would repeal Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law:

With hundreds of motorcycle riders outside the Capitol, the Michigan state House today passed a controversial repeal of a mandate for riders to wear helmets.

The legislation passed by a 66-37 vote and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Essentially the bill would allow riders 21 and older to go without helmets if they have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years or have taken a safety course. An additional requirement would mandate that riders carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance.

The Governor is expected to veto the measure, which is a shame because I fully support it. I don’t own a motorcycle myself, but if I did I wouldn’t ride it without a helmet on and I don’t need to State to tell me it’s a good idea. If people want to take the risk of riding without a helmet then they should have that option so long as they are willing to accept the consequences of that decision. I feel the same way about seatbelt laws. Riding in a car without a seatbelt on is a form of Natural Selection in action.

I think part of the reason there are so many stupid people around to fuck up the country these days is because we’ve been forcing them to wear seatbelts and helmets and they’ve been surviving their own stupidity as a result. It’s gotten so bad that stupid people have to resort to idiotic stunts they try to capture on video—like setting their own pants on fire or car surfing—as a means of eliminating themselves from the gene pool.

18 thoughts on “Michigan House votes to put Darwinism back into motorcycle riding.

  1. Many motorcyclists feel wearing a helmet, while reducing their chance of head injury if they get in an accident, also increases their chances of getting in one in the first place by occluding their vision and blocking their hearing.  One might disagree with their reasoning or the relative weight they give the hazards and protections but it’s not a slam-dunk (heh) like seat belts are.

  2. An EMT friend of mine once said that an idiot is an idiot with or without a helmet, but at least “the brain container” makes his job easier (and less messy).

  3. Are those who do not wear helmets/seatbelts prepared to stump up the extra costs of the injuries.  I can see insurance companies refusing to pay out for long term care because of contributional negligence, and the families of the thoughtlessly stupid bankrupting themselves to keep them alive

  4. Seatbelts are also different because someone who chooses not to use a seatbelt poses a risk to other passengers in the vehicle if there’s a crash.

  5. Are those who do not wear helmets/seatbelts prepared to stump up the extra costs of the injuries.

    An argument which leads straight into banning all hazardous activities altogether.  As Justice notes, in many cases the medical costs are reduced to zero, and if the non-helmet-wearers are correct, you have to look at the accidents which did not even happen because the experienced rider could see/hear.

    Just sayin, there’s enough doubt I’d rather leave it to the rider.

  6. Les, I agree with your sentiment of letting the innately stupid cull themselves via their own stupidity, but if you lack enough forward thinking and survival skills to protect the most important part of your anatomy while riding a chunk of metal and plastic, I doubt you’ll have the forsight to actually pay for health insurance.  Which means that these same idiots will just require more medical treatment, at the taxpayer’s dime.

      I agree with decripoldfool; seatbelts laws are in place b/c dumbarses exist who otherwise refuse to buckle in their own friggin’ children.  The Libertarian in me think that seatbelts should be optional for competent adults, but mandatory for all persons under 18 years of age.

  7. An argument which leads straight into banning all hazardous activities altogether.

    I see where you are coming from, but this is not what I’m after. I am asking who should bear the extra strain if a darwin award candidate does somingthing that leads to an otherwise preventable accident.  Insurance companies try anything to get out of paying up- it is their profits after all.

    Most health care in the industrialised world is paid for by some form of ‘clubbing together’- be it taxes for a free state system, or health insurance, or a mixture.

    If the ‘pot’ has to pay more due to people demanding their right to be stupid, this means either 1) there is less to spend on other things, or 2) the contributions from every one else must go up.

    If the pot refuses to pay (as I suspect you will argue), I can imagine that loving parents/spouses/children will make themselves broke trying to pay.

    I have some sympathy with the ‘refuse’ option.  I merely ask should we allow the stupid to inflict that on the innocent, when it is easily preventable?  That said- injuries caused by knowingly doing something stupid get no sympathy from me.  If you fall and break your leg, don’t come running to me.

    Seatbelts are also different because someone who chooses not to use a seatbelt poses a risk to other passengers in the vehicle if there’s a crash.

    The Libertarian in me think that seatbelts should be optional for competent adults

    A non seatbealt wearer can kill the person in front during a head on collision, due to the impact of hitting the back of the head.

    That all said, to close on DoF’s comment, the human race is where it is because there were the brave, possibly foolhardy- “whats round that hill?”

  8. Les: Riding in a car without a seatbelt on is a form of Natural Selection in action.

    Even if it wasn’t the law, I don’t get in a car without lashing myself in and nor would I get on a motorbike without a helmet.
    I don’t really care what other people do, except, when I see a car with mum & dad strapped in the front and the kids Unstrapped in the back.
    That, I think, is criminal.
    So, I tend more towards:

    Iolite: The Libertarian in me think that seatbelts should be optional for competent adults, but mandatory for all persons under 18 years of age.

    Of course I question the word ‘competent’. LOL

  9. In my mind, the solution is quite simple.

    When purchasing insurance for your car or motorcycle, you also certify that you will use a seatbelt or helmet, as appropriate.  If you don’t certify, your rates are 5x higher.  If you certify, and are involved in a wreck, and are not using the safety equipment, then you’re not covered.

  10. Ahh, summer-evenings in Normal, IL.  The birds, the cicadas, and the roar of young hotshots on their mega-horsepower, street-racing donor-cycles.  I’ve seen them doing wheelies for a block and a half ahead of traffic on Main St., and hitting probably 80mph on University St.  None of them are old enough to be called ‘experienced’ anything, let alone ‘experienced motorcyclists’.  Sure hope they live to grow up.

    These things are fast – about like a thousand horsepower in a car.

    In my mind, the solution is quite simple.

    Plainly, the majority holds that there is no valid argument for not wearing a helmet.  But that is not correct: many experienced riders hold that a helmet puts them at risk of not seeing or hearing a car until it is too late.  They value the prevention of an accident from ever happening in the first place.

    Doctors, who see far more serious injuries in non-helmet wearers, will tell you that is nonsense.  But ER experience makes no account of an accident that is avoided, where no injury at all occurs and so they never see the rider.

    I am not a doctor, an actuary, or a motorcyclist; I only know that some people with a lot of experience on a motorcycle claim the issue is not as simple as it is made out to be.  In deference to their experience and the fact that it is their ass on the line, I’m inclined to let them choose.  They may, after all, be right.

    Seat belts are a different matter, both because of the flying-body hazard and because they don’t interfere with driving in any way.

    And yes, helmet laws are a few inches down the scale from laws against french fries.  Maybe putting up large, full-color posters in motorcycle shops, of guys in wheelchairs with drool coming off their chins, would be better.  sick

  11. A non seatbealt wearer can kill the person in front during a head on collision, due to the impact of hitting the back of the head.

    Good point, one I originally overlooked in Mick’s post (sorry, dude).

  12. I know this is kinda old but I just had to weigh in on it.

    If there are any pilots here, they know that legally speaking, the operator of the aircraft is the last word in what goes on and the first to be held responsible.  Why should it be any different with a car.  If you don’t want any human projectiles in your car, make everyone wear seatbelts.  If you think you are somehow less safe if the driver doesn’t wear a seatbelt, then don’t get into the car.

    And as for motorcycles, I’ll never wear a helmet unless I’m forced to, and in Wisconsin, luckily the Harley capital, I don’t have to.  Helmets protect the wearer from some things, but there is a higher instance of neck injuries (crippling and fatal) in accidents invloving a rider with a helmet than those without, and there are no statistics that show fatalities go up with unhelmeted riders.  If preventing accidents got half the effort that seat-belt/helmet laws did, we’d be better off.  You can find a poster-boy for either side of the argument.  You might as well show a man in a wheelchair saying “If I’d been in this accident in a car instead of a motorcycle, I’d be walking.”  and that’s total bullshit.  Where are the posters that say “If I hadn’t been a stupid jerk and actually learned how to be safe on a motorcycle, I would be walking today”?  Most accidents, bike or car involve one vehicle with a stupid operator.  It is probably the number one cause of vehicle fatalities too.  why don’twe fix what’s broke and leave the rest to the individual?

  13. Most accidents, bike or car involve one vehicle with a stupid operator.  It is probably the number one cause of vehicle fatalities too.  why don’twe fix what’s broke and leave the rest to the individual?

    Not to be argumentative without cause, but I have to ask: How do you fix stupidity?

    You can’t. There will always be stupid people operating motor vehicles on the road.

    As I said before I’m actually against helmet and seatbelt laws because I believe you shouldn’t have to be protected from yourself. I do think it’s a smart idea to wear helmets and seatbelts—not because you might be an idiot, but because everyone else on the road might be an idiot. And I think minors should be required to wear them until they become adults at which point if people don’t want to wear them they shouldn’t be forced to.

  14. I always wear a seatbelt in the car, but until I have some verifiable evidence that a helmet INCREASES my survival chances in an accident, you can keep them.  It doesn’t do me any good to have my whole body end up a road-smear or have my neck snapped and leave a perfectly preserved head for the coroner to dispose of.  Thanks but no thanks.

    And no… you can’t fix stupid, but we CAN toughen up the laws so that fewer stupid people drive/ride.  If we had to go through the same rigors for driving that I had to go through to get a pilots license, we’d have a LOT less accidents on the road, AND there would be a lot more carpooling and less gasoline use.  I don’t see the downside.

  15. Actually, you can fix stupidity. The university where I work has a motorcycle safety training program.  Many of the alumni of that program have contacted the instructor to tell accounts of accidents avoided due to what they learned in the course.

    Part of the problem is that in this country, it’s inconceivable to pull someone’s driver’s license for being dimwitted.  Most people don’t take driver’s education very seriously, nor most school districts.  That should change.  I’ve heard that some other countries make driver’s ed very rigorous.

  16. As I said before I’m actually against helmet and seatbelt laws because I believe you shouldn’t have to be protected from yourself.

    It’s not about protecting stupid people from themselves, but to keep insurance premiums of the others low.

  17. It’s not about protecting stupid people from themselves, but to keep insurance premiums of the others low.

    But in order for insurance premiums to stay low, insurance companies won’t be forced to pay claims.  If helmets don’t do anything to reduce injuries or deaths, insurance companies aren’t saving any money, and insurance premiums keep going up.  My contention is that helmets just give you different injuries, might even increase the likelyhood you’ll end up dead or crippled for life and judging my some of the people here, actually decrease the chances of avoiding an accident.

    Sorry, but I’m still not inclined to want to wear a helmet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.