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'The Case for Helmets' for Motorcyclists

August 29, 1987

I am a businessman who rides my motorcycle to and from work five days a week. I also use the motorcycle as my principle form of transportation every day. I enjoy riding it. I am 36 years old and have had various motorcycles off and on since I was 17 years old.

I would much rather never have an accident while not wearing a helmet than to have an accident while I am wearing one. There is much less chance that I will ever have an accident as long as I continue to be a skilled driver who doesn't wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. The reason for this is quite simple. I can hear and see much better without that helmet on. That allows me to avoid all of the idiots out there. I can recall three times in the last week when automobiles on my right side on the freeway out of the blue decided to come over to the left into the lane where I was, and my anticipation of them saved my life as I slowed down enough to avoid collisions. You can call for the state to try and force a helmet on me, but you may cost me my life by doing so.

People wear helmets and people wear seat belts and those people still die. You cannot protect everyone from everything. We motorcycle riders should be allowed to choose our own fate just as mountain climbers, tight rope walkers, race-car drivers and automobile drivers too.

If you want to propose some good laws to cut down on motorcycle fatalities, then make them illegal to drive for anyone under 25.

JAMES HAMILTON MOORE

Rolling Hills Estates

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