We all pay for helmet-less riders

A report today of a motorcyclist injured critically in an accident in north Amarillo has me wondering — yet again — why the state repealed its law requiring helmets for people operating a motorcycle.

The man wasn’t wearing a helmet. Amarillo police say speed may have played a part in the wreck. His head injuries reportedly are quite severe. No one knows yet whether he’ll recover.

But I have to ask: What if he doesn’t recover fully? What happens if he has suffered permanent brain damage, meaning he cannot work? He then falls under the care of the state for the rest of his life. Suppose he lives a long time. How much money will the state spend on his care? Will it run into the millions of dollars over a long period of time?

It’s this possibility that has me wondering why the state decided in the 1990s to allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet. Yes, the state requires casualty insurance. I believe the amount is $10,000. Anyone who’s spent more than 48 hours in an acute-care hospital knows that the 10 grand is eaten up almost the moment you check in.

But applying the time-honored — but nevertheless odd — Texas logic about independence and freedom of choice, the Legislature determined that it should not interfere with motorists’ desire to expose themselves to the kind of injuries apparently suffered this morning by that unfortunate motorist in Amarillo.

I pray for the man’s complete recovery.

8 thoughts on “We all pay for helmet-less riders”

  1. Riding without a helmet is no different than driving without wearing a seat belt. What sense does it make for the state to make one illegal but render the other a freedom of choice?

  2. This rider will not recover. He may survive but he will be unable to function only minimally. As you state, he will most likely be dependent on the state for his care for the remainder of his life.

  3. This rider you are talking about happens to be my big brother. And while I think he should have been wearing a helmet, who are you to know whether he has insurance that will cover his medical expenses or not. Or that he may have a loving family that if god forbid, he lays bedridden the rest of his life, would not be there taking care of him and not the government. And to the person who stupidly posted he would not recover, think the next time you write something so hurtful as he does have children and loved ones. And he is doing quite well actually! He was very lucky.

  4. Typical “progressive “thinking”,big brother should tell
    people every move to make in their lives. This helmet discussion has been going on for years,it is somewhat like
    the “global warming” farce, just another way to enslave free men. The “progressive” geniuses among us are absolutely so much smarter than the poor stupid average “joe” that they must rule even our thoughts.Why do we not ever hear people like the editor mention what an immense
    cost is incurred taking care of unwed mothers,dead beat dads,and all these people who are entitled to
    everything a working person can acquire! At least I
    would probably bet the guy worked and payed for his own motorcycle!

  5. Just for the second post from “Anonymous at 5:54″ He has been woken up from the drug induced coma and is doing very well and they are going to try to put him in a private room tomorrow” Looks like to me he IS recovering. You REALLY need to think before you go running your mouth or hitting them keys on that keyboard. This IS someones, Son, Sibling, Mate, and Father that you are talking about!!! BTW, He did INDEED work and pay for his own bike!!

  6. The author of the piece created a hypothetical situation that was intended to make people think about their responsibility to other human beings. I don't think it was a hateful presentation of “food for thought”. I think there should be a law requiring the use of helmets.

  7. Read the comments & I think valid points are made from John Kanelis AND the commenters. Instead of laws regulating lifestyle & safety choices, maybe a law stating the State & taxpayers won’t pay for hospital and/or extended care for people involved in an accident if they’re injured while engaging in dangerous activities such as operating a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt or helmet? This could encompass bicycles, skateboards, cars, motorcycles, skydiving, whatever.

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