"Motorcycle helmets don't stop accidents." Remember hearing that quote a few times in the past year? To remind you, it came from two of our most illustrious politicians here in California. The first to make such a statement was Clint Eastwood, then the mayor of Carmel. The second time you heard it was by Gov. George Deukmejian, as he vetoed the hard-fought bill sponsored by Assemblyman Richard E. Floyd (D-Carson) to require all motorcycle riders to wear safety helmets.
At the time, I thought that was the most irresponsible statement I had ever heard. Where does it state that a helmet can stop an accident? Webster's definition of an accident: "an unexpected and undesirable event," and in this case we are dealing with a motorcycle and/or body in motion coming to a sudden stop against another object.
Now, there are those who will say, "Aw, they didn't mean it in that context." Well, if they didn't mean it, then why allow themselves to be quoted? If they meant to say "a helmet doesn't stop injuries" then we all know they are suffering from the "RTBS" (right to be stupid) syndrome!
Our governor seemed to think he knew more than the experts. I feel I'm one of those experts by the fact that I rode a motorcycle for the Los Angeles Police Department for over 25 years. I've observed too many heads opened up like a watermelon dropped on the sidewalk to recall. But, I've never seen a dead person with a helmet unless he had suffered injuries to the body that would have been fatal.