Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Statistics Show DeVos and ABATE are Wrong on Helmets

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a dramatic increase in motorcycle fatalities is partly due to cyclists not wearing their helmets. The NHTSA noted that of motorcycle fatalities in 2005, "almost half of the people who died were not wearing a helmet". Given that a disproportionate number of fatalities come from helmet-less riders, the statistics show that not wearing a helmet increases the chance of a motorcycle death.

This is contrary to ABATE's assertion that motorcycle helmets have nothing to do with safety. That doesn't matter to Dick DeVos, though.

Claiming that "People are free to do what they want to do," DeVos has framed this as an issue of personal choice. DeVos understands that his support of a repeal of the helmet law, no matter how non-sensical, will earn him support from voters that would otherwise not bother showing up to the polls. Seeing how recently DeVos has gotten into motorcycles, his support of ABATE is purely a political gesture.

I believe strongly that government should not intervene in the personal choices and lives of its citizens. However, the problem with a repeal of the helmet law is that its societal costs are imposed upon all of us, despite the fact that wearing a helmet should be common sense. The "personal choice" argument doesn't apply here because we all pay the price for helmet-less riders. The Saginaw News skewered legislators' repeal of the helmet law today, citing some of these costs:
Riding without a helmet is clearly a higher risk and it costs Michigan taxpayers more for catastrophic health claims -- millions more -- and insurance.

And unlike the disingenuous "personal responsibility" argument used in the helmet debate, there's no clamor in the Legislature to repeal Michigan's mandatory seat-belt law. That's because Congress ties seat-belt use in states to federal highway appropriations. So the state would lose some of its transportation funding if it repealed the seat-belt law.
DeVos has shown that he is willing to endanger peoples' lives and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in catastrophic health claims for his own political gain. On the other hand, Granholm opposes a repeal of the helmet law even though it is politically costly, because she knows its the right thing to do for Michigan. Who would you rather have as your Governor?

(cross-posted on Daily Kos)


At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good posts until this one. this is america. we have freedom here, you want to steal that freedom from me? i am a one-issue voter. anyone who lets my hair fly in the wind while riding my hog gets my vote. you sissy

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous The Disembodied Head of Dick Devos said...

Yeah! Stand up proud for what you believe in Mr. (or Ms.) Anonymous!!

Michigan doesn't need Sissy-bikers! Dick Devos is for manly biking, with nothing between your head and the road but the hair the good lord say fit to put on your head.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous The Disembodied Head of Dick Devos said...

I have reread my comment and think I should say that while I am in favor of manly biking, I am also in favor of womanly biking.

Within the confines of marriage of course.

At 8:02 PM, Anonymous The Disembodied Head of Dick Devos said...

Rereading both those comments, I feel I should say that I don't have any attraction to manly bikers.

Or womanly ones.

Or unmanly bikers.

Dick Devos does not find bikers attractive in the least.

Vote for me please because I can't maintain this sham that I care about you all for much longer.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous John Triscuit said...

Nothing the Head said here represents his policies.

He has no policies. Good night.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger David A Wishinsky said...

wow, who'd of thought my sarcastic comment could start such a large movement! ha!


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