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No to compulsory use of motorcycle helmets

Comment 4th July 2010

To remove the compulsory need to wear a motorcycle helmet whilst riding on the public roads, provided the individual has taken some form of insurance policy to cover the costs of medical care and treatment should they have an accident that causes injury that a helmet would have prevented in teh opinion of a medical expert, and thus not place an excessive burden upon the health service through their personal choice.

Why does this matter?

The compulsory use of a helmet whilst riding a motorcycle became law in the 1970's, despite little or no evidence of their benefit at the time and with no consultation process with motorcycle riders. Whilst their may now be evidence of their benefit, the process was enforced and flies in the face of civil liberty, freedom and the empowerment of the individual to make their own informed decision about when use of a motorcycle helmet is appropriate and when it is not. It is further rendered nonsensical by the fact that it does not apply to Sikhs who cannot wear a helmet because their religious beliefs forbid the removal of their turban in public. This has created an unequal society where one group recieves special favour over another, something which goes against the grain of the British way of life in the nation which is considered the birthplace of democracy and equality. Each individual should have the right to choose for themselves when and if they shoud wear a helmet and when it might be more appropriate not to do so. As long as the individual takes responsibilty for their actions by providing his or her self with sufficient personal liability insurance to cover the cost of care and treatment should an accident occur then I believe they should have the choice to ride helmetless if they so choose. This system is now widely in use in many states in America and has not led to an increase in the number of serious head injuries and fatalities. Most riders who ride helmetless will take more care to ride safely as they are aware of their own vulnerability. The wearing of helmets and body armour has led to an increase in the behaviour of "risk compensation" where riders develop a sense of invulnerability and are therefore more likely to to take greater risks. This Government has pledged to allow the people of this country more personal freedom and less interference from the state. I believe that it is in the interest of supporting these laudible values that an adult motorcyclist should be treated as being able to make a  reasoned and considered judgment of their own without the need for compulsory state interference.

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