State Should Make Riders Use Their Heads; Wear Helmets


Laws are most often designed to protect people and tax money. If a law does one or the other it can usually be justified and passed. If it saves both lives and tax money, it is even better.

Arizona's seat belt law is a good example. This legislation helps to save lives, avoid unnecessary expense from emergency response units and reduces our insurance premiums. This is a smart law.

The state also enforces another common-sense law that requires all small children traveling in vehicles to be buckled into child safety seats.

These two laws have saved countless lives and millions of our tax dollars.

In a state that has enough intelligent voters to see the value of seat belts and child safety seats, it seems ludicrous that we don't have a motorcycle-helmet law.

Arizona used to have a law that required protective headgear while operating a motorcycle or similar vehicle. Now it seems we are only concerned with the larger vehicles.

Our laws overlook the danger posed to the drivers of these smaller, faster, harder-to-see vehicles, which carry high-injury and mortality rates.

Most non-helmeted motorcycle riders will admit that it is safer to wear a helmet. They also will tell you that to live dangerously is their choice and nobody's business. This might be true if these riders didn't run the risk of running into other drivers or demanding the services of our tax-funded emergency response units.

In reality, riders who make the hair-in-the-wind decision not to wear helmets selfishly run the risk of costing us all money -- from higher taxes to higher insurance premiums.

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