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'The Case for Helmets' for Motorcyclists

August 29, 1987

I ride a motorcycle about 10,000 miles per year and always wear a full-coverage helmet while riding. It is my observation that the great majority of motorcycle riders do wear helmets, although most of the young motor scooter and bicycle riders do not. Most motorcyclists seem to agree with you that, in an accident, they are better off with a helmet. Almost all probably agree, however, that wearing helmets won't reduce the rate of accidents.

It takes much greater skills to operate a motorcycle safely than it does a car. The vast majority of cyclists learn how to ride from friends who don't have the necessary knowledge or training to properly instruct; it's like the blind leading the blind. Motorcyclists should be adequately educated and trained before they can obtain a license. Putting on a helmet doesn't make a motorcyclist any smarter or more skilled.

Most automobile fatalities result from blows to the head. It therefore stands to reason that in an accident all motorists are better off wearing helmets. Would you have all motorists wear helmets? Should Sacramento pass a law requiring all users of the streets and highways to wear helmets? Think of the money and lives that could be saved!

O. WAYNE SMITH

Glendale

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