Nothing seems to get the juices flowing in South Carolina more than proposing motorcycle helmet laws.
This year’s legislative agenda again has a proposed bill to require motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
Below is a letter from a reader who takes difference with the proposed bill:
PUT A LID ON IT
Ah yes! The time is once again upon us to discuss motorcycle helmets. This year’s dribble comes to us from Representative Gilliard and his co-conspirators – Representatives Anderson and Whipper.
Gilliard’s House Bill 4500 would make it unlawful for a person to operate or ride upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he or she wears a Department of Public Safety approved helmet. Thank God for trikes!
Gilliard says “This is about saving lives”. I’m not so sure.
Traumatic brain injury occurs in traffic accidents involving cars and trucks too. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic brain injury resulting in death occurs in thirty-one percent of all traffic fatalities NOT involving a motorcycle.
In 2013 there were 734 traffic fatalities in South Carolina. Of those deaths, 118 involved motorcycles, 13 were bicyclists, and 89 were pedestrians. Of those 734 fatalities, 514 occurred in cars and trucks. Considering the CDC statistic, it is reasonable to conclude that approximately 159 non-motorcyclists died in traffic accidents in 2013 from traumatic brain injury – more than motorcyclists!
So if House Bill 4500 is truly about saving lives, why is it limited to two-wheeled vehicles? Why not helmets for everyone?
Every person that advocates for, and supports helmet laws for motorcyclists, but not for operators and passengers of cars and trucks, must concede his or her hypocrisy. At minimum, please stop telling me this is about saving lives. Instead, how about just putting a lid on it.