Although somewhat twisted at first glance (repugnant actually), the comment made by Mary Margaret Towey of Lancaster, PA on June 18th/08 could have some merit behind it.

I was taking some time to catch up on some reading this morning after sifting through news feeds. I had scanned through a full 12 pages of motorcycle death and accident news and was depressed.

I had tagged a few articles to be read and decided I needed to do some reading to take my mind off of the depressing statistics that are now cropping up over motorcycle accidents.

The following article in in Brain Bucket Magazine was one of them....

"I also know that emergency-room personnel everywhere refer to motorcycles as "donorcycles" and not humorously. Well, with this helmet-optional law in place, why don't we make that grim nickname official? By this I mean, let's make it a law that every cyclist who rides helmet-less must have a new license (which the state will gladly provide for free) that identifies him or her as an organ donor."
To read the whole article:

Her theory - If you want the right to ride without a helmet, you must become an organ donor.

She was responding to a medical article published June 12/08.:

"To evaluate the 2003 repeal of Pennsylvania’s motorcycle helmet law, we assessed changes in helmet use and compared motorcycle-related head injuries with non head injuries from 2001–2002 to 2004–2005. Helmet use among riders in crashes decreased from 82% to 58%. Head injury deaths increased 66%; non head injury deaths increased 25%. Motorcycle-related head injury hospitalizations increased 78% compared with 28% for non head injury hospitalizations. Helmet law repeals jeopardize motorcycle riders. Until repeals are reversed, states need voluntary strategies to increase helmet use."

Read the whole article here:

I know how unpopular the helmet laws are. Helmets are uncomfortable, they take away from the feeling of being free. However, we know from many reports that in certain instances that helmets do save lives and in many cases reduce head trauma.

Statistics vary state by state in the US, but consistently it appears that 4o percent or more of deaths involving motorcyclists come from brain trauma.

So, here you have it.

Motorcycle deaths are often preventable. And whether we like it or not, many of our community members who ride will or have died this year.

All freedoms come with responsibility.

If I as a smoker want the right and freedom to smoke, I must do so in such a way that it does not infringe upon your right as a non smoker to have cleaner air to breathe.

If I as a motorcycle rider want the right and freedom to have loud pipes on my bike I must use them in such a way as to not infringe on the rights and freedoms of those who sleep (shift workers and small children), or are ill or infirm to have relative quiet. (Hospitals, seniors homes and residential areas)

The Charter here in Canada and the Bill of Rights in the US are both written in such a way as to express exactly what I say above.

Yes you have freedom to choose but know that your choice has consequences and responsibilities. Your rights and freedoms stop where the freedom of others begins.
We are all supposed to be equal - remember.

When you choose to exercise your right to ride without a helmet you are knowingly putting yourself at greater risk and you have chosen to accept that risk. That's cool in my way of thinking....

So my question is this:

If you are willing to take the increased risk to experience the exhilaration and freedom of riding without a helmet, what would be wrong with signing a donor card?

Some have expressed pretty strong gut level reactions - they have called this gal all sorts on names and slammed her pretty hard, but think of this idea......seriously.

The main objection I see to Mary's idea is the license idea. Instead of a drivers licence that identifies you as a donor and another reason for cops to pull riders over, how about a sticker on your license plate that identifies you as an organ donor?

Bikers have always been known as a community that give back, help out.

Maybe we need to look at this idea as a compromise - as something in keeping with our own keep giving even after you are that such a bad thing?

Living in a province where I am told I have to have a helmet to ride, well yah know, this almost sounds to me like a good compromise....

I have my feelings on this subject - what are yours? I'd love to know.

Please - no matter where you ride, with or without a helmet, you are my brother or sister of the family Wind and I want you around tomorrow - so stay safe, ride smart....

Belt Drive Betty

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  1. Helmets....your post is not only very appropriate... it actually covers a significant topic in preventing injuries. I had many a friend hurt for not wearing a helmet.
    He is the latest story posted by Harv. his Dad just got hurt for the same reason.
    Have a look at his post