Bear-Headed AND Bone-Headed

Motorcylcist w/ Hand Mirror

Image by triplezero via Flickr

The Onondaga chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education (ABATE), held a protest parade over the Fourth of July, protesting mandatory helmet laws.

It really didn’t go as well as expected.  That’s because one of the riders in the parade, Philip A. Contos, 55, of Parish, New York, lost control of his bike, flipped over the handle bars, and hit his head on the pavement.  You can guess the rest, yes …. he was not wearing a helmet … and unfortunately … he did die, after being taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y.  If this wasn’t such a tragedy and such a loss for his family and friends, this is where I would just say …”oops…awkward”.  But this isn’t funny.  It’s a tragic event that actually did not have to end the way it did.

According to the state police who attended to the accident sight, evidence at the sight and information from the attending medical expert indicated Contos would have survived had he … yep … been wearing a helmet, as required by state law.  Frankly, in my opinion, the slogan for this group should be “bear-headed and bone-headed.”

And I know the common mantra is ….”It’s my life, I should be able to do what I want and if I hurt myself or get killed, it’s my business.”  I disagree.  Usually someone has at least one person whose life would be affected and changed forever, and I kind of think it is that person’s business as well.  At the very least, show a little consideration towards those that love and those that will have to endure the loss.

There is no denying that most people don’t like to be told what to do, and we all complain about this law or that law … or of rules established in the name of safety.  Truth be told, it’s becoming apparent to me that the reason we have so many laws and rules is not because someone wants to ruin someone’s fun or a person’s day.  I believe that it’s to protect us all from ourselves at times.  (Now trust me on this … I do not … I say … I do not agree with each and every law on the books and I do my own share of complaining.)

I understand that helmets are cumbersome, and are considered not “cool.”  I honestly don’t know what all the arguments against wearing a helmet are.  But, I can’t help but wonder if  Contos was able to do that day all over again, knowing the outcome of his first choice … if maybe he would have by-passed that parade and settled for a nice long country ride somewhere …with helmet on …strapped, and secured

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