The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 8, 2014

Motorcycle helmet law not necessary

Illinois is one of a growing number of states that do not have helmet laws for motorcycle riders.

The state has seen motorcycle fatalities increase — up seven in 2013 compared with the previous year, when the total accounted for more than 15 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities despite motorcycles accounting for only about 4 percent of all vehicle registrations in Illinois. ...

The question that is often posed when talking about motorcycle safety is whether there should be a helmet law in Illinois.

Riders long have held that the choice to wear a helmet is a part of the freedom and experience of the open road. That freedom is one of the reasons some people buy a motorcycle in the first place.

While we strongly encourage all motorcycle riders to use common sense and wear a helmet, we don’t see a need for the state Legislature to step in and force the issue.

This isn’t a mass public safety concern that requires government oversight. The onus should be on the riders to exercise personal responsibility, but it should be their choice. A state law isn’t necessary.

In the meantime, riders and drivers need to be on the lookout for each other. Drive and ride defensively, check your blind spots, don’t text while driving, signal when turning/changing lanes, etc. Riders should take safety and training classes and understand the power of what they ride.

And no matter what you drive, don’t do it impaired. Scott Haas, project coordinator with the Motorcycle Safety Project at Northern Illinois University, noted that the drug-and-alcohol culture in the motorcycle world causes the most safety problems.

That’s something we should focus on fixing, rather than taking away a personal choice.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • What it was like as a teen

    Ten years ago today, I’d like to think I was checking out educational books to prepare myself for my upcoming journey through college.

    In reality, I was probably playing video games and thinking of ways to have fun, while trying not to get into too much trouble.

    July 20, 2014

  • Randy Meier Spoofing practices resurface Spoofing is the practice deliberately falsifying a telephone number and/or name relayed to the caller ID feature of a phone. This type of call right now is the number one phone scam I receive. Many people report receiving calls appearing on caller ID

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Impeaching the president Sarah Palin is right about impeaching President Obama.No, not that the president should be impeached. But Palin is correct in arguing that, for those who assert that Obama has grievously abused his executive authority, impeachment is the proper cours

    July 18, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook