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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 12:43 am Thread Starter
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New Riders, beware

I'm posting this in order to get others to encourage less experienced riders to apply common sense to riding, ATGATT, wear a helmet, etc..

I am an AMA member and when I tried to persuade them to alter their stance on Helmet Laws (they spend money to oppose them) they said it was an "individual choice". Basically, my money and many others, is going to support "Motorcyclist Russian Roulette".


Motorcyclists Deaths’ Rise by More Than 6 Percent

By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: August 14, 2008
WASHINGTON — The number of motorcyclist deaths jumped in 2007, accounting for nearly one in eight motor vehicle deaths, government safety officials said on Thursday.
Multimedia
Graphic

Deaths of people in cars and trucks, on bicycles or on foot dropped by nearly 2,000 last year, pushing the overall death rate to a historic low. But deaths of motorcyclists surged 6.6 percent, to 5,154; 2007 was the 10th straight year of increase.
Experts say the trend is most likely to continue, as high gasoline prices will encourage some travelers to use their bikes more often, getting 50 miles for the $4 gallon of gasoline instead of 20 in their cars.
“We have seen the total motorcycle participation in vehicle miles traveled go up,” said Mary E. Peters, the secretary of transportation and a longtime Harley-Davidson rider.
“We might see more people moving to that mode of transportation,” Ms. Peters said. “We might see that data skew.”
Motorcycle ridership appears to be rising even as the total miles for all vehicles drops.
Total deaths in motor vehicle crashes in 2007 declined to 41,059, a drop of 3.9 percent compared with 2006. Deaths in cars fell 7.8 percent, and in light trucks 2.7 percent. Even alcohol-related deaths fell.
In recent years, the development of safer cars and improved highways has been racing against growing levels of traffic to keep the death rate steady. Last year the total miles traveled declined by about 0.6 percent, and total deaths dropped much more sharply. The number of deaths per 100 million miles of vehicle travel, dropped to 1.37, a historic low.
In 1966, the rate was above 5 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, and the number of dead was above 50,000.
Deaths on motorcycles hit a low of 2,116 in 1997. Since, they have risen 128 percent. Their share of crash fatalities has jumped to almost 13 percent from 5 percent.
The highway safety authorities say that about 75 percent more motorcycles are registered today than 10 years ago. They suspect each motorcycle is ridden more miles, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it does not have a reliable measurement of use.
And, safety officials say, many of the riders are middle-age or older men who rode when they were young, gave it up as they raised children and have recently gone back to the bike. “They think they still have the same reflexes,” said James Port, the safety agency’s deputy administrator.
Yet ridership has probably become more dangerous mile for mile. One reason is a decline in the number of states requiring the use of helmets. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, in 1975, 47 states required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, but now only 20 do.
At the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the organization that conducts independent vehicle crash tests, Russ Rader, a spokesman, said motor vehicle deaths would probably continue their decline into this year. “A drop in highway deaths is always the silver lining in a down economy,” Mr. Rader said, with fewer trips to work and discretionary trips.
“We are the only industrialized country in the world where there is an organized effort to weaken or repeal motorcycle helmet laws,” Mr. Rader said. “That definitely is a factor in the increasing deaths.”
At the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which is financed by the manufacturers, Tim Buche, the president, said a person killed on a motorcycle was 2.5 times more likely to be under the influence of alcohol than a person killed in a car and three times more likely not to have a proper license.
“There’s risks in everything in life, but the risks can be addressed,” Mr. Buche said, by training, licensing, riding sober and wearing protective gear.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 4:16 am
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In Australia helmets have been law since before I started riding 32 years ago so ive known nothing else.

I guess if you live in a country where anyone can buy a hand gun, and large numbers of your population see that as a right, the whole helmet debate seems somewhat mute.

I think that we have more bikes on the road here on a per population basis, probably due to the year round rideable weather, helmets are law and are worn but our road death statistics for motorcyclists are worse than the ones quoted in your thread.

In my state (Queensland) 1 in 5 road deaths last year were on motorcycles and the current terror campaign that the road safety people are running is that when involved in a road accident you are 30 times more likely to die if on a motorcycle. None of this includes those in the spinal ward who eat soup for the rest of their lives with someone wiping their arse.

Most of the motorcycle fatalities in those statistics are single vehicle accidents and almost all involve speed. Many are under 25 and there is a new statistic emerging of the returning rider who has had 20-30 years off of a bike and returns on a high powered machine without giving themselves the appropriate ramp up time or skills training.

Helmets do save lives and your government can force people to wear them but that wont mean that there is a brain inside it.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 7:13 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dadicool59

Helmets do save lives and your government can force people to wear them but that wont mean that there is a brain inside it.

Now thats funny...right there, i don't care who you are (The Cable Guy)

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 7:48 am
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I once heard someone say:
"People have the uncanny ability to overlook obvious hazards."

It just bothers me the types of excuses people use to forgo wearing a helmet. One real common one is a variation on this theme: If I get in an accident, I'd rather be dead than in a coma or a parapalegic, etc etc. Well how about this little scenario: you get an an accident, wearing a helmet and *GASP* you're OK, not dead OR comatose or wheelchair bound the rest of your life!??

Gilly
ps National Helmet Law NOW. OH and how about if you get caught OWI on a cycle, you have your cycle endorsement pulled for 5 years or maybe life???
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 10:26 am
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(Please note that I am ignoring the little angel on my shoulder who is telling me to stay out of this thread.)

I really want to join the AMA. Unfortunately, every time I read their position papers, the pen comes off the check. I wish that the AMA would focus their energies on the issues that I care about. You must pick your fights, and trying to get helmet laws repealed or fighting ones in progress are not the fights that I would have the AMA choose for me.

By fighting helmet laws so vigorously, the AMA loses a lot of common-sense credibility in my view, and I suspect that the non-rider public shares that view, whether right or wrong. This weakens their position on other critical issues, and wastes their vast money, manpower, and time, leaving less for what is truly important to us as riders/bikers.

In my opinion, the AMA may be winning some of the battles, but they are losing the war.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 1:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dadicool59
..........
I guess if you live in a country where anyone can buy a hand gun, and large numbers of your population see that as a right, the whole helmet debate seems somewhat mute.
This isn't the case these days nor has it been for a long time, too bad you let your anti-gun prejudice taint the overall message. And by the way, the word "mute" is used incorrectly. Try using the word "moot" to make your point that the argument whether to use or not use a helmet is of little or no practical value or meaning; purely academic.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 8:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spanky
This isn't the case these days nor has it been for a long time, too bad you let your anti-gun prejudice taint the overall message. And by the way, the word "mute" is used incorrectly. Try using the word "moot" to make your point that the argument whether to use or not use a helmet is of little or no practical value or meaning; purely academic.
I too am now ignoring the little Angel on my shoulder but here goes:
Good pick up on the moot/mute error Spanky, thank you.

I am in no way anti gun, how can one be anti something that is simply an implement? I think that those who are not pro gun got the message untainted.

That is, put potentially dangerous weapons in the hands of [email protected]%&kwits with no training and/or poor skills and all the safety clothing in the world wont help. I also think that most readers would have appreciated the irony of helmet laws being enforced but packing is ok.

Spanky, can I ask you to continue my education with some information regarding the number of States in the USA where civilians owning guns is as illegal as not wearing a helmet would be under your proposed helmet laws?

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10 R1200RTSE
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07 R1200GSA Sold
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86 K100RS Sold
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Last edited by Dadicool59; Aug 15th, 2008 at 9:45 pm.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2008, 9:25 pm
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tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

you can't stop the signal
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