La House Has Good Idea

Here it is:

Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle on Louisiana highways would be optional for anyone over age 18 if legislation approved by a House committee this morning becomes law.

The nanny state opposition:

Dr. Todd Thoma of Shreveport, emergency medicine specialist at the LSU Health Sciences Center and Caddo Parish coroner, told the panel, “I vehemently oppose repealing this law.”

“You’re 32 times more likely to die when you get on a motorcycle,” Thoma said, so riders should want as much protection as they can get. “I ride a motorcycle but I wouldn’t get on one without proper protection.”

And? I would never ride a motorcycle absent a helmet, either, but if I want to endanger my own life, that’s my business. Following the Doc’s argument, I could just as easily ban motorcycles altogether. You are much more likely to escape a car wreck without injury than a motorcycle wreck. Therefore, according to the Doc’s argument, motorcycles ought to be illegal. Give me a break, when the only potential victim of a poor choice is the person making the decision, the government has no business intervening.

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5 Comments on “La House Has Good Idea”

  1. ttownfeen Says:

    Most people do things only because they have to. I don’t see the point of relaxing a relatively unobtrusive law that saves lives.

  2. wheeler Says:

    i think some motorcyclists think this law is obtrusive. there are people who do not want to wear helmets.

    for people like me, the issue is probably mostly symbolic. helmet laws are the perfect example of nanny state government; the idea that some stupid-ass bureaucrat knows better than me how to run my life. regardless of how trivial the government’s interference may seem, unless my actions harm someone other than me, no one has any right to tell me how to behave. i am a free adult.

  3. Himself Says:

    Yes, but these are not minor injuries. Is there a cost borne by society for medical treatment for injuries made more serious becuse the rider did not wear helmet. If there’s no insurance, or when the insurance runs out, do the medical costs migrate to publicly funded programs such as Medicaid? And if you add in the possiblity of rehabilitation expenses and assited living for the most serious head trauma cases, you can make a reasonable case for the state seeking to mitigate future damages.

    I agree that the nanny state is real, but is the only alternative the Ayn Rand state?

  4. Suzy-Q Says:

    Maybe if there wasn’t this massive “nanny state”, and we were actually held accountable for our own actions, people would think twice about doing stupid things because they would finally experience that their are consequences for their actions. There are genuine good people out there, churches and non-profit organizations that will be there for the man who is down on his luck. Living in the shadow of Big Brother handicaps many and only puts a strain on those who do for themselves.

  5. Wheeler Says:

    “you can make a reasonable case for the state seeking to mitigate future damages.”

    i guess the ayn rand answer is that what you’ve said is a reasonable argument for getting rid of medicaid and other public services. in other words, the ease with which the costs of those programs justify interference in private matters is a good reason to get rid of them. given my choice between free public health care and being able to make up my own mind about my own health, i’ll pick the latter.

    the answer with which i’m more comfortable, though, would be to say that helmetless riders bear the costs of their own stupidity: no medicaid coverage for injuries that result from failure to wear the helmet. it sounds harsh, but as long as they knew it ahead of time, it’s perfectly fair.


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