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NC to vote on change in helmet law in Oct.

Being told I have to warea helmet for me has always seemed to feel like a violation of my cival rights. I come from a State (Maine) where I had the choice to decide weather or not I wanted to wear a helmet.  In Oct. of 2017 the state of North Carolina is going to vote to change their manididtroy helmet law to give Bikers over the age of 21 the choice of weather or not to wear their helmets. Since moving from Maine to North Caolina I can say I now see the concerns on both sides of the fence with a motorcycle law of this nature. however I can say that the responsible bikers are going to make the right choice on their own as well.  this law as always been an issue controvery every where with bikers all over the world. not just here in the states.

So whats every one else think?

Topic:

Motorcycle: 

38 Comments

Helmets are safer. But I think it should be up to the rider. If you feel safe without one then you should have that choice

yea Allen I think that the voters that vote on the bill will agree and vote the change in as well. I know I like to ride with out from time to time. around town or on the interstate I can see a helmet being worn its just good common sense. but when your out on a old county road that don't get enough traffic in a day to say it does its nice to be able to pull over and pop that brain bucket off and enjoy the day with out it and most of those old county roads the speed limits is under 40 mph. any way.

You said it, enjoy the wind in your face

I can remember the days when helmets were not mandatory in Australia ... and I can also remember that wonderful feeling of wind in your face. However with the passage of years , two things worry me about riding without a helmet. If I have an accident and end up with a severe brain injury, I don't want my family to be burdened with looking after a dribbling vegetable for the rest of my life. And second, our health system is under stress. In the event of an accident , I wouldn't want my personal choice to divert scarce health resources away from people whose misfortune and poor health status wasn't caused by their personal choices. But I have to admit, I do like to sneak a little ride around the block without a helmet every now and then .... naughty boys never grow up LOL

I understand that point Vardy and it's very good one. But the same thing can happen even if you are wearing a helmet. Just not as likely

Allen ... I reckon that if we didn't have mandatory helmet laws I'd be following your example most of the time I was slow cruzin on my Harley ;o)

Peter, I understand. I wear mine when I go to states that have that law or the temps are real cold. It keeps the cold wind off my face

We've had the law in California for 10 year now. I hated it but got used to wearing my half helmet. Some Harley dude challenged the law by wearing a bomber helmet which is very thin helmet offering zero protection and he won in court.

But I liked riding with just sunglasses and the wind in my hair. Those days are gone. But for what it's worth, I got in an accident by not slowing down enough when I was pulling off the road for a picture. I hit deep gravel with a pot hole buried beneath it and the front wheel couldn't steer though it and the bike went on its side at about 18 MPH. My head hit the gravel and was no problem due to my helmet. My knee on the other hand stretched a tendon and I was laid up in a hotel room for 3 days waiting for the knee to work again. I wore a knee brace for month. I wear a helmat now even in states that don't have a law to make me. Just saying.

I can't remember how it would feel to ride without wearing a helmet as we have to wear one since long, long time by law. I just think it's good to wear one because it's more safe.

Here in Texas, wearing a helmet is not mandatory for a rider or passenger over the age of 21. Nevertheless, you won't catch me without one. Because even at very slow speeds, when head meets pavement, pavement wins...every time!

Also, I think the argument of not having a choice as a violation of some basic right -- or civil right -- is a bit tenuous at best. First, just to have a driving license to operate a vehicle is a privilege...a privilege that is earned through a series of courses and tests controlled by the states. The states' authority can also very easily take those licenses away. So, if a state says that you have to wear a helmet to get and keep your motorcycle license, then so be it. It's not a matter of "rights" as so many activists would want you to believe.

WOOOOW easy there cowboy, lmao!
I'm glad you have an opinion on the topic.
I'm sure we could both argue the pros and cons of the issue how ever that would get us both now wear. I'll admit that maybe i could have worded things differently. but if I had done that you might not have expressed your opinion by taking my word completely out of context and twisting them to make your point. which is what you did. I'm not an activist as you so clearly hinted at. it's ok I didn't take it personally. after all lets be honest here if it wasn't for opinion's angle soft and Charmem would be out of business..

hey Gert, remember that trip I made to South Carolina last year? SC also gives its riders the no helmet choice. even though I had my helmet with me. I rode on the open road High way with out it.just before we got in to Myrtle Beach I pulled over and put it back on. and kept it on the rest of the day. I may like the feel of the wind in my hair. but I have to admit that sound of a sewing machine on steroid's just got to me..lol

yea remember back in the 80's when you didn't have to wear a helmet in California. a friend of mine made the mistake of crossing the state line over in to Reno Nevada. a cop pulled him over at he bottom of Donner pass on I-80 a and told him in order to avoid a ticket he could walk his shovel head back across the state line to get his helmet.

Peter is about having the choice and everyone has an opinion. from my own point of view on this I can see the pros but at the same time i can see the cons as well. I watch a close friend slide in to an accident where a semi was in the middle of an inter-section at night no light on the truck or the trailer. my friend had a Nolan full face helmet on. and he was doing the speed limit 55 mph. when he came up on the truck and saw it the only thing he could do was try to slide under the truck. he managed to get the bike under the trailer and his body as well but not low enough to get his head under which slammed in to the side of the trailer. they took his helmet off at the scene of the accident. and according to the county Connors office the impact his head took inside the helmet was so intentness that he didn't believe that there was a helmet on the planet that could have saved my friend. So when people tell me that helmets save lives I shake my head and walk away. Another thing to is is some case's it might but every accident and every person is different.I have a 3/4 face and a half face helmet. I weather both depending on the weather conditions if its so cold out my half with a beanie on under it to protect my ears would protect my ears I wear the 3/4 face helmet.which offer better ear protection during the month or two of cold weather we get here in Eastern NC.

Charlie, A guy I used to work with, on hi way to liquor store and a van pulled out in front of him, he hit it and threw him about 30 feet. He was not wearing a helmet. In the crash he broke a arm and his ankle. Not wearing a helmet didn't matter in this accident. But it sure could have. I guess what I'm trying to say is if it's your time, then it's your time. The good Lord has a plan for all of us

Sounds like crashes on a motorcycle are very dangerous when even a helmet couldn't help. Lets agree that riding has it's risks. We take them each time we sit on the saddle. Lets be glad we still can do that if we want. I've seen some pretty serious car accidents where everyone died in a car. Risks abound simply because thats the way it is. Anything we do should be attempted with some apprehension of the worst or something bad might happen, and taken some precautions shouldn't be downplayed. A helmet is a relatively cheap expense and if studies show it will save lives, we shouldn't be too bothered that it is law. Certainly can't blame the politicians for lost lives over this issue.

well put Allen I thin we all have had a near death experience that has made us thin twice about our helmets weather we wear them or not. and these accidents don't always take place in the city or on the interstate at high speeds. A close friend of my dad's back in the 70's on his way to work early one morning with his 3/4 face helmet on in a pea soup fog as he topped a hill. slammed in to the side of a full grown moose. speed limit for this stretch of road is 55 mph. in foggy conditions it dropped to 35. my dads friend caught the left side of the mooses rack head on in the face as he tried to go around the moose. Like you said allen when its your time helmet or not it won;t matter.

Drew you bring up a good point.
race car drivers have to ware a helmet yet family car drivers don't. more family car drivers each year have fatal car accidents than race car drivers or bikers put together. and still the family car driver and their passengers don't need to wear a helmet. I wonder if family car drivers and their passengers had to where a helmet if the fatality rate would drop for them?

I still forget to buckle up and it's the law. Even got a $80 seat belt ticket, "Click it or ticket" campaign. I think the cage is the helmet, and still folks die. I think in wide open little traffic states that a helmet should be optional. Can you imagine how constricting the rules will be in a hundred years with double the population and more issues. I like the world I live in right now regardless whether I have to wear a helmet; I still get pleasure from riding and thats the important thing.

Welcome to my world Drew..lmao.
I was visiting my daughter back in 2003 out in Washington state. Maine didn't have the seat belt law, Washington did. we were in her car my ex son in law was driving. as we pulled up to the stop sign at an intersection we slowly pasted a state trooper. none of use had our seat belts on. the trooper quickly dropped everything he was doing and pulled us over. after checking the tree of us out e look across the car at me and asked me if I knew why he pulled us over. being the smart-ass that I am I could resist and my daughter in the back seat was whispering to me Dad don't say it... please? However I couldn't help my self and I said to the office " your selling tickets to the policeman's ball?"
he did stop before speaking further and than said No its because you didn't have your seat belt on. to which I replied But officer I'm from Maine we don't have the seat belt law. to which he very sarcastically replied. Sir your not in M-a-i-n-e any more. and pinched the three of us for $120.00 each.

If you've ever seen a NASCAR stock car up close or had the chance to sit in one. I'm sure you've noticed their roll cages and roll cages like those have been used in stock cars long before NASCAR was ever heard of. those roll cages are designed to take a beating. and the drivers have to still wear a helmet. yet the every day family car with the so called built in cage from the factory that is suppose to be stronger that the NASCAR cage doesn't need to wear a helmet.the interesting thing is there are more fatal accidents each year from family cars that any other form of transportation. I wonder how many lives could have been saved if the states made everyone in the car wear a helmet.

So now my opinion. This state has had a helmet law for as long as I can remember. Now back in the 60's I had this Rupp Minnie bike. No V twin here. Just a glorified lawn mower engine and 25 MPH tops. It and I covered a lot of ground and having a helmet was unheard of. If you wondering where I'm going with this. There was a number of times I ended up off the bike. for one reason of a nother and rapped my noggin on the street a few times. Witch most likely explains me today. The bottom line is given the choice, I cant imagine going down the road on my VTX with no helmet. This is monkeying around with physics and Mother Nature. The Teenager next door crashed her Sportster and chewed up her helmet real good . all she got was some skinned up knees. at least she didn't get her head bashed in.

Where would I hide the Ipod and ear buds if I didn't use a helmet. I need tunes playing over the bugles of my exhaust , and road engine chatter. A helmet is necessary equipment for my style of riding.

theirs an advantage to being able to hear your engine when your riding.for example some bikes like mine don't have a tachometer. so I have to listen to my engine and mentally determen when its time to shift gears. If I had ear buds blasting away in my ears I wouldn't know when to shift.

That, And firetrucks, trains at unmarked crossings and so on.

I pulled up on a cop directing traffic and I just nodded and looked him in the eye....and he couldn't tell I heard nothing. He point at me and waved me on to go through. If he was yelling, I would have to stick my finger back through the helmet to remove it. Even without the pods, I can't hear much through my helmet. It not like the helmet has holes in it so I can hear. I can see emergency lights and can hear sirens when there close, and I can hear the bugles (loud) to know when to shift. Although I just installed a tachometer, but not for shifting. Railroad crossing usually have lights and barriers that come down...but I suppose I would have to visually check both ways before crossing. I have a louder horn than usual and would honk if the train needs to get out of my way. You need to be very careful of double railroad tracks, as I was in Utah in a car and the caboose of the train was passing. It was a long train and I had been waiting a long time. I was inpatient and crept forward to cross, and just then an Engine appeared going in the opposite direction. If I had gunned it, I would be dead. If I am in unfamiliar areas I would use only one bud or turn volume down a bit. Keeps me calm and not irritated...Drive safe.

http://cruiser.mototribe.com/photo/view-tachomter

Lighted rail crossings are great. Our problem is crossings on back roads with nothing at all. You'll stop to look no matter what. At night much worse !!

I believe it should be your choice as long as you are above 21 years old. Even if I'm riding in a state that does not require it, I still do. I was wearing a bicycle helmet long before they became fairly common. It saved my head several times from being hurt during several crashes. Been in 2 motorcycle wrecks that it again kept my head from getting hurt. Of course there is no guarantee it will save you, Always remember the illustration of the watermelon being dropped from 6 feet and splitting open, but in a helmet dropped from the same height, the watermelon is still intact.

yea I can relate to your train issue. here in downtown New Bern,NC where i live they have a draw bridge for the yacht's that come and go all the time. unfortunately that also use it for any boat that passes under it.there have been several time I was the guy that had to stop when the stop bar dropped across my lane of traffic and I thought to my self how cool it would be to run it and jump from one side to the other. of coarse it would be my luck that about half way between the two ramp point I would suddenly realize that i didn't have the momentum to make it all the way across. and have to swim to shore and explain my actions to the harbor master and the local police officer as they were writing my tickets why I felt the need to try something so dumb in the first place...lmao

I think a lot of states are beginning to realize that there are enough bikers out riding and using enough common seance when it comes to the option when given the choice to wear or not to wear a helmet. South Carolina and Maine both give bikers the choice and its just become a common practice to ride safe and ware the helmet. of course in Maine your going to find more dirt bikers that street bikers because the dirt bikers can also ride the snowmobile trails as well.

yea capt. I have actually gotten to the point that I hate ridding at night. and not because of the lack of reflective surfaces or the traffic. its more because your so limited visually.

I am all for it being your choice if you are 21 or older. At 21 and you have been riding you should have enough experience to know what to look for. But that doesn't make you invincible. Nothing does

A side bar to the train thing. In the last few years they are putting reflective stripes on freight cars. Coal cars and tankers are almost invisible at night at an at grade crossing.

I agree on the invincible. I still want a fighting chance.

Jhlynch, if people are dying at those dark railway crossings you should start a campaign to make them fix the problem or sue them for the deaths. That the way it works, people have to die before things change. It is the same with motorcycle helmets. But I believe in choice, an educated choice, not an ignorant one.

Vardy, I remember the pre-compulsory helmet days too. I generally only wore one if I went out of town and then it was more to be different than the safety factor. I liked the wind in my hair. I can still experience that but Coz gets embarrassed when I ride with my shirt undone to the waist. I do own a full face but prefer the open face except if I'm riding the CBR.

I haven't got any hair to feel the wind in it. Smiley-laughing
For me, I feel safer with a helmet on. The same with seat belts in my car.

Vardy for me it's a no brainer even with the choice I know my riding style. and I know my type of luck. the one time I would chose not to wear it would be the one time some dumbass would pull out in front of me and it would be stick and spoon time for me. and it only take one time. However I do support the option to have the choice.I live in North Carolina it's presently mandatory If I ride south to South Carolina there is a spot 30 feet across the state line where you can pull over and take your helmet off if you want to. however if you're paying attention every biker in South Carolina that values their brain wears their helmet anyway.
Also if you're seriously concerned about how you will be treated in the event of an accident you might want to talk to your doctor about setting up a living will. if you set one up have it notarized and make sure a trusted family member has a copy as well as your doctor and the local hospital. I have one in place in the event I get into a wreck and become a dribbling brain dead veggie. I have DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. when the EMT's show up. if I ain't tickin they can't bring me back to ask if I need help. and that order is sent out statewide the second an a paramedic give my states to a hospital. its also attached to my drivers licence to let police know.

yea I agree with you on that Drew. if there going to give people the choice to ride protected or not educate them first. and do more than make the people watch a movie that was made back in 1930 lol. there are a lot of videos on you tube these days that clearly show the advantages to a helmet. and that reflective issue your talking about its not just tanker cars either. it should be added any place on or along a road that has an obstacleyou or your bike can bounce off of.

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