Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<div align="left">Seems that Kentucky couldn't figure it out on their own before hand. Repeal the helmet law and motorcycle death rates will increase.

Here is the link:

http://www.courier-journal.com/localnews/2003/10/30ky/wir-front-motorcycle1030-11361.html

And the article:

-----------------

Motorcycle deaths rise after helmet-law repeal

Federal study finds Kentucky fatalities increased 58 percent

By JAMES R. CARROLL
The Courier-Journal


WASHINGTON - When Mark Key crashed his motorcycle in downtown Louisville on July 23, 2002, he wasn't wearing a helmet. His head injuries were so severe that doctors told his wife, Monica, to prepare for the worst.

"Two doctors predicted to her, `Don't look for him to make it tonight,'" Key said he was told later.

But Key survived, just missing becoming one of the rising number of motorcycle deaths in Kentucky since the state's mandatory helmet law was repealed in 1998.

Motorcycle deaths increased by 58 percent in the two years after the helmet law was scrapped, and use of helmets quickly dropped, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The study focused on Kentucky and Louisiana, which repealed its helmet law in 1999. In that state, motorcycle deaths soared by 111 percent in the two years after repeal, the study said.

"The findings aren't any surprise," said traffic agency spokesman Rae Tyson. "It is pretty consistent with what we see whenever a state repeals its helmet law."

Helmet law opponents, however, disputed the findings.

"What they have failed to take into account is the increased number of riders in the state," said Jay Huber of Union, Ky., president of the Kentucky Motorcycle Association.

Huber also said deaths on motorcycles can't be attributed to whether a rider used a helmet. He said his examination of the statistics showed that half of those killed on motorcycles wore helmets.

The federal study, however, said the rate of fatalities per motorcycle registration in Kentucky increased 37 percent, faster than the increase in the number of registrations, which was 20 percent. The national fatality rate, based on the number of riders killed per 10,000 registered motorcycles, was 6.3 in 2000, compared with 8.2 in Kentucky.

The study did not include 2001 or 2002, but figures obtained from the traffic safety administration show that Kentucky's motorcycle fatality rate increased to 12.77 in 2001.

INDIANA, WHICH repealed its mandatory helmet law in 1977, had a 2001 fatality rate of 5.89.

As of 2000, 44,003 motorcycles were registered in Kentucky, according to administration data, up from 39,901 in 1998 and 36,603 in 1996. Indiana had 118,000 registered motorcycles in 2000, up from 97,000 in 1996.

"More people are getting involved in motorcycling," Tyson said. "But even taking that into account, we can't help but believe there is some correlation between a state repealing its helmet laws and the increase in fatalities."

The federal study said that crash statistics showed motorcycle accidents involving deaths and injuries went up after the helmet law was repealed. For example, in 1997, the year before the repeal, there were 24 motorcycle fatalities and 695 injuries. In 1999, the year after the repeal, there were 40 motorcycle deaths and 934 injuries.

Helmet use in Kentucky changed dramatically after the repeal, the study said.

Before the change, 96 percent of motorcycle riders used helmets. In 1999, the number dropped to 65 percent.

Kentucky had passed its helmet law in 1968. But in July 1998, Sen. Dan Seum, R-Louisville, sponsored legislation to repeal it for people 21 and older.

WHETHER TO wear a helmet should be left to "adults making decisions on their own," Seum said. He said he hadn't seen the new federal study but added, "most of the time, those things are pretty self-serving."

But Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, expects to prefile legislation for the 2004 General Assembly that would restore Kentucky's helmet law.

The new study, she said, "will be very beneficial in hopefully convincing my colleagues that the lives of Kentuckians can be saved with a very simple mechanism, and that's wearing a helmet."

Kentucky's repeal has been part of a national trend.

In 1975, 47 states and the District of Columbia had helmet laws, which Congress had encouraged by threatening to cut federal highway aid for states that refused to go along. But lawmakers that year ended the threat, and half the states subsequently repealed or amended their helmet laws. Indiana, which had enacted a helmet law in 1967, repealed it in 1977 but in 1985 required helmets for riders under 18.

Congress enacted new laws to encourage helmet use in the early 1990s, but then abandoned the idea again. More states repealed their laws, and now only 19 states and the District of Columbia still have sweeping helmet-use laws.

REPEALING THE helmet law was a huge mistake, Key said.

"I would vote on (reinstating) it ASAP," he said.

His injuries required three weeks in the hospital and six months at a rehabilitation facility, plus six more months of daily visits for additional rehabilitation. Key said he couldn't remember the accident and couldn't remember people. Gradually that improved, but he lost his floor-care business.

"It's been rough, but I'm doing OK," Key said. The 40-year-old Middletown, Ky., resident ended his rehabilitation on Oct. 10, and received his new driver's license last Friday.

But he's done with motorcycles.

"Never again," he said.

When he sold his Harley-Davidson, he told the couple buying it he would not go through with the deal unless they purchased helmets. They left to buy them, then came back to pick up the bike.

Key, whose wife owns an advertising company, is thinking of going to college and becoming a teacher. His insurance covered his bills; he has no idea what the total came to.

He tells friends who still ride motorcycles to wear helmets.

"They listen, but I can tell they are barely listening," Key said.

Phil Capito, a 44-year-old computer analyst in Louisville who rides a Kawasaki KZ1000, said he doesn't support reinstating the helmet law, but uses one himself.

"I BELIEVE IT'S a personal choice," he said. "... I've been riding 37 years. I was basically brought up on a motorcycle. I never rode one without a helmet."

He believes the helmet provides some measure of protection, though he's never had to find out. On the other hand, Capito said he once saw an accident in which the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet and died anyway.

Chris Kern, 27, of Sellersburg, Ind., a detail manager at a body shop, said he rides his Suzuki Katana with his helmet on "about 25 percent of the time."

The helmet may protect him in some crashes, he said, but the government should not make him wear it.

"There's a sense of freedom without the helmet on," Kern said.

Huber of the Kentucky Motorcycle Association said helmets "can have good and bad effects."

They can protect in some crashes, he said, but also can inhibit the motorcyclist's vision, impair hearing, and in warm weather produce heat stress.

"It's a freedom issue as well. Does the government need to be playing nanny to us?" Huber said.

If others have to pay for that freedom, the answer is yes, said Dr. Todd Vitaz, assistant professor of neurologic surgery at University Hospital in Louisville and co-director of the hospital's Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit.

Vitaz was one of the authors of a study released last June that found motorcyclists who didn't wear helmets were more than four times as likely to suffer severe brain injuries as those who used helmets.

BETWEEN 1995 and 2000, motorcyclists without helmets who were treated at University Hospital ran up acute-care charges totaling more than $1.97 million, Vitaz found. The costs did not include physicians' fees, rehabilitation and lost time from work.

"Why should society pay for their freedom" not to wear helmets, Vitaz said. "That's a significant burden."

Marzian agreed.

"If they don't want to wear their motorcycle helmets, don't ask the taxpayers to foot the bill," she said.

-----------

Interesting read.

Pardon if it is a repeat.

-Flash</div id="left">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Well I tell ya what, I think helmet laws here in florida are retarded, Florida probably has the worst death rate or it is probably high up there on the list someone should see how many cycleists get killed each year down here, last year in my school 2 kids were killed on their hayabusa's that daddy bought for them. I come close to getting hit almost 4 times on my way to school in the morning and I usually have to speed up or swerve to move outta some old lady or (not to be offensive just the way they are here in boca a.k.a. the largest jewish growing county) some rich jew bitch (again not to be offensive) on a cell phone's way so I dont get ran off the road or get hit and then when you give them the finger they speed up and tail gae you or try to bitch you out (thats why I carry brass knuckles with me, for their windows [}:)] ) . Every sunday I hear of someone getitng ran off the road or something to that nature by some a$$ hole. My point is is that helmets save alotta life's and I think people that never wear them are retarded. I never once bitched about it being hot in a helmet even when its like 90+ degrees out I'd rather wear one, I'm under 21 so I gotta wear a helmet regaurdless. Also the woman who fought to get the florida laws changed for no helmets died 2 weeks after the law was changed on a motorcycle from NO HELMET! Guess that tought the dumb bitch. Thats just my $.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
They need to toughen the driving laws, not the helmet laws. More motorcyclists get killed or nearly killed due to carelessness and inattentiveness on the part of automobile drivers.

Personally I am against somebody telling me to wear a helmet. I think that should be my choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
Today I was behind a lady in a cage, she was drinking a coffee, smoking a cigarette, and talking on her cell phone all at once. She would swerve left to right over the white and yellow lines, speed up then slow down. Twice she pulled out in front of other cars at intersections and almost caused accidents. I got scared driving behind her so I ended up pulling off to the side for a few minutes just so I wouldn't be involved in the aftermath of an accident that she's gonna make happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
Kentucky will never reinstate the helmet law. When it was first repealed, you could only ride without wearing a helmet after you had your license for a year, and then you had to get a special sticker for your license plate. They did away with the stickers shortly thereafter.

I know several guys who are higher-up's in the KBA and the KMA, and they are VERY adamant about their freedom to not wear helmets. I would say that about 75 to 80 percent of KY bikers ride harley's or the japanese equivalent, and they have some serious pull when it comes to bike laws. I used to work with a guy who was very well connected with the KBA, and he used to get invited to State Rep's houses for dinner and parties. No shit. I would be VERY VERY surprised if a bill to reinstate helmet laws was drafted, and even more surprised if it passed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
NO one such force you to wear a helmet. When you dont wear one you just accept the added risk factor. But to FORCE someone to have to wear one is NOT the way to go. And what do you care about some other guys head. I say just worry about your own head. There is a lot more risk in just riding a motorcycle right? So should someone have that banned too because someone died in a crash? Theres like 30,000 car crahes for every one motorcycle crash. Should we ban cars too? What about all pointy objects. I'm willing to bet that more people die ech year from a pointy object then from not wearing a halmet.

Don't get me wrong. I actually am a big advocate for helmet use but to be forced to wear one is a different story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,799 Posts
Here in Germany it's obligatory to:
- wear helmet on a bike
- Use safetybelts in a car
- No cell phones while driving

But there are no speed limits on higways. Actually I feel myself here in Germany more free then driving in USA with 65 mph.[}:)]

Anyway I think with all the so called "freedom of bla bla" illusion you miss the point of these. If someone crashes that causes a cost to tax payers and insurance companies, so the public has to pay it. And the country loses workforce etc. That's why you have laws that tries to minimize this cost. And I think they should do it. One of the most important safety equipment which exists for a motorbike is a helmet.
As long as the others are paying for the cost if you die, you have to wear it, if you want it or not![}:)]
Wear as much as possible safety equipment you can. Save your life so that we don't have to pay to scrape your body from the pavement![}:)]
Drive or ride safely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,606 Posts
I think they should repeal all helmet and seat belt laws. The death rates would go up initially but soon the stupid people would be weeded out and the human gene pool would benefit in the long run. Society has turned the laws of natural selection upside down. Stupid people are out breeding smart ones. Maybe if we gave every welfare slug a GSXR1000 we could straighten this mess out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
It's not rocket science. They save lives. Period.

Whether or not they should be mandated I guess can be left for debate. But to say they don't hurt anybody but themselves is also wrong. Not only are other motorcyclists paying for it by way of increased premiums and a general hit on the image of motorcyclists, but what about family members - parents, children, friends??? They don't suffer because of your choice ???

Anybody who doesn't understand how insurance risk works should maybe have a look. Insurance companies evaluate a risk assessment that involves weighing payouts expected versus premiums collected and adjusts accordingly. If you think laws involving protecting riders don't weigh into that formula, you're sadly mistaken. If the death rate goes way up as this article shows, guess what, so will your premiums. It only makes sense.

I respect people's rights to choose if that's what your state sets up. But advocates of repealed helmet laws better not whine about insurance rates when they get a hike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
What we need to do, is make a drivers license a privliage not a right. I know its not, but we treat it like one in this country. And in doing so we need to truely teach people to drive. The amount of practice time one has in this country before getting a license is minimal. Also we should make people prove why they need the suv they have. Because in my area 95% of the suvs are not even used for the intended purpose. Mom with one kid, she thinks she needs a Suburban. And then can't drive it or park it. Every rider in So Cal I have talked to or heard about getting hurt(or death) at fault of the other driver. It has been an Suv making a turn in front of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
I wouldn't have any teeth and probably wouldn't have a chin if it wasn't for my helmet. HELMETS RULE or something like that. I think you should wear it but noone should tell you to. We don't have to wear seat belts on our bikes why make us wear a helmet. Sounds like the MAN just needs another way to bring us down and make a little more money from tickets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,799 Posts
Originally posted by Kilrrex
What we need to do, is make a drivers license a privliage not a right. I know its not, but we treat it like one in this country. And in doing so we need to truely teach people to drive. The amount of practice time one has in this country before getting a license is minimal. Also we should make people prove why they need the suv they have. Because in my area 95% of the suvs are not even used for the intended purpose. Mom with one kid, she thinks she needs a Suburban. And then can't drive it or park it. Every rider in So Cal I have talked to or heard about getting hurt(or death) at fault of the other driver. It has been an Suv making a turn in front of them.
Yeah. Although I had a driving license from Turkey, I had to take a German one when I moved to here. It was really a hard job to do.

The Germans are pretty serious about it. I failed the written test first(I had 6 years driving with license behind me when I made it), and I had to make somewhat about 10 h of driving with the instructor to pass the practical test. The test was hard ass. You have to be able to drive in real time conditions with no mistakes, even not close to mistakes. You have to obey every rule etc.

My bike license later required like 18 h of riding with instructor following you with a radio connection. I had to switch between three bikes.

At the test you have to ride about 45 mins with no flaws and you need to show 7 additional skills. These are like full braking with no wheelspin, slalom with 50 km/h, slalom on walking speed, changing lines to avoid hittin a car pulling out with different speeds, leaning bike down at a certain speed and ride in circles etc.
They were really valuable which helped me a lot to improve my control on a bike. Thats why I could start straight away with a zx6r. By the way, if you are under 35 you have to ride a 35 hp machine for 2 years until you get the full licence here.
So thats you need to do over there I think.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,306 Posts
I am waiting to see what I will have to do when I get back to the states to my license. I took my test and class here on base in belgium. So I know they will slam me when I get back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
"I think they should repeal all helmet and seat belt laws. The death rates would go up initially but soon the stupid people would be weeded out and the human gene pool would benefit in the long run. Society has turned the laws of natural selection upside down. Stupid people are out breeding smart ones. Maybe if we gave every welfare slug a GSXR1000 we could straighten this mess out."


i agree.... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
My insurance is very expensive in Kentucky because of this no helmet law. The federal government also gives less highway money to states that do not have one. Plus It freaks me out to see pictures of idiots that have wrecked without helmets. I have wrecked over 10 times and all times my helmet to a pretty good blow and it could of been my skull if I wasnt smart enough to wear a helmet. Germany has the road laws down there is no politics involved safe is safe and stupid rides a Harley.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
Originally posted by swjohnsey
I think they should repeal all helmet and seat belt laws. The death rates would go up initially but soon the stupid people would be weeded out and the human gene pool would benefit in the long run. Society has turned the laws of natural selection upside down. Stupid people are out breeding smart ones. Maybe if we gave every welfare slug a GSXR1000 we could straighten this mess out.
I pretty much agree as well. Although every person on welfare isn't necessarily a slug or stupid from what I've witnessed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
Hell, I'd go on welfare just to get that bike, and sell it.
I'd buy a shiny new interceptor in a heartbeat.

BC.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top