Here's an imaginary conversation between a 'concerned' legislator (CL) and a well-intentioned motorcycle rights activist (MC), pondering the depths of AB1412:
CL: So, you can ride without a helmet if you have med insurance?
CL: Doesn't that imply that there is the possibility that you may go down and get injured?
MC: Well, yes.
CL: Is the probability of a motorcyclist going down related to whether or not he/she is wearing a helmet?
MC: Not necessarily . . . though many riders do believe that they would better avoid accidents all together without the helmet "in their way" to begin with.
CL: So, it is arguable that one is safer without the helmet.
MC: Yes, it is arguable.
CL: Then, let's say, for the sake of argument, that one has just as much a chance of "going down" -- regardless of helmet. Would that person more than likely get injured?
MC: Most likely, depending of course on the severity of the accident.
CL: Only his head would sustain an injury?
MC: Every accident is different. Many people go down and never hit their head. It all depends on the individual circumstances. A cruiser, hit head-on will toss the rider over the handle bars, and that person could land on his head, or forward roll on the ground without a scratch [happened to me]. Now, a rider on a "crotch-rocket" coming to a suddenly abrupt stop will split his legs apart at the groin like a wishbone as he heads straight into the tank [seen that]. Of course, there are side collisions, where the rider's legs would sustain the brunt of the impact, and a variety of other instances that can trap or throw a rider in any number of ways.
CL: Sounds dangerous.
MC: That's why we believe that it's best to avoid the accident all together in the first place.
CL: But, if you can't avoid it, a helmet isn't necessarily going to be the only thing that can save you, so you probably will be hurt no matter what.
MC: It's a good chance.
CL: So why isn't EVERY RIDER required to have medical insurance?
MC: Well, most of us have it anyway.
CL: But there are those who don't, and should have - it's for their own good, as well as for the good of the non-riding public, who should not have to pay for the motorcyclist's misfortune.
MC: BUT WAIT, that's not what AB1412 is about, it's about PERSONAL FREEDOMS, it's about MAKING OUR OWN CHOICES AS ADULTS, we are NOT a LIABILITY, we only agreed to the medical insurance so we can keep the bill ALIVE!
CL: Too late. Why protect society's pocketbook from just a few motorcyclist when we can insure that NO ONE will be a burden to the rest of us. Case closed. Thank you for your assistance in this matter, you may leave now.
I am just so miffed that so many are going along with this farce just because it's "ABATE's choice and we should support them". What they just don't realize is that if ABATE "wins", we all lose - why is that so hard to see?
Thomas H. Keyworth