Jun 23, 2009

An unusual form of protest

What do people have against riding with helmets?

I just read in the paper that to protest an upcoming vote on a law requiring people riding bikes and rollerblades to wear helmets, a group opposing the law will hold a protest tonight. The protest is that they are going to be riding their blades through Tel Aviv tonight in their underwear and helmets.

They say that if they have to wear helmets, they will forgo other clothing.

They claim the law is too "all inclusive". they think the law should only require children, and riders on inter-city roads, to wear helmets, but not adults on city roads.

For some reason they say many people will not ride because they prefer not to ride at all rather than ride with a helmet.

Why do adults not need the safety gear for protection?


  1. Seinfeld has this great piece about wearing helmets:

    "There are many things you can point to as proof that the human is not smart. But my personal favorite would have to be that we needed to invent the helmet. What was happening, apparently, was that we were involved in a lot of activities that were cracking our heads. We looked at the situation. We chose not to avoid doing those activities but, instead, to come up with some sort of device to help us enjoy our head-cracking lifestyles. And even that didn't work because not enough people were wearing them, so we had to come up with the helmet law. The only thing dumber than the helmet itself is the helmet law, the point of which is to protect a brain whose judgment is so poor, it does not even try to avoid the cracking of the head it's in."

  2. We have strict rules in our house about bike/board riding. Helmets 100% of the time - no exceptions.

    I personally don't bike ride but if I did, I could not fathom not wearing a helmet.

    Same with seatbelts. I don't drive a meter without them on.

    While I usually advocate the government minding its own business, since national health is their business, I'm not interested in helping to foot the bill of some idiot who didn't do the obvious.

    Of course, perhaps it would be better if the government forgot about the helmet wearing law and enacted a law which would not cover someone's medical cost when involved in an accident where they were on a bike without a helmet. Then every individual could decide whether they want to take the risk or not at their own expense.

  3. My first thought was that people are against it, not b/c they have to wear a helmet per-say, but rather they don't like the government meddling in their personal affairs. I dare say they would be libertarians.

    Personally, if I rode a bike, I would wear a helmet, but primarily for chinuch.

    However, my second though was that I forgot I'm in Israel, and as Shy Guy put it, since the government is involved in the your medical affairs, they "should" have the right to regulate how you do things when it comes to them footing your medical bills.

  4. BBS: LOL, very funny :)
    Shy: I like that law too.
    I'm generally not into the nanny state, but when it comes to kids, they aren't grown up enough to make decisions like that. I guess that's what the protesters are asking for, anyway - adults should have the right to play Russian Roulette. If I don't have to pay for their health expenses, I can't say I object to them actively seeking a Darwin Award.

    Why do they object to helmets? Because helmets look dorky, I guess. Rather die than go out not looking cool...

  5. Along the lines of the Seinfeld routine I don't think we should force adults to wear helmets. This is yet another opportunity,through natural selection, for stupid people to weed themselves out of the gene pool.

  6. Rafi G. said: Why do adults not need the safety gear for protection?

    They're not saying they're opposed to wearing helmets. They're saying they're against the legislation upon adults. That the law should apply to children I don't hear them disputing. But for adults, "What are you, my mother?"

    Eliezer, I've heard your argument about the govt being allowed to require things from us if they're going to have to foot the bill for our medical care. But that's a slippery slope because on that same premise, they should be able to outlaw smoking, eating potato chips, auto racing, tackle football, bungee jumping...where does it end?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against helmets. I wear one and so do my kids, and I think those who don't are morons. But being a moron isn't against the law.

    To legislate to adults is the point of contention here.

  7. a law which would not cover someone's medical cost when involved in an accident where they were on a bike without a helmet

    I say pass the same law for smokers.

  8. My kids claim that helmets are too hot for the summer and they would rather not ride at all, than ride with a 'shvitsy" helmet on their heads. Anyone want a brand-new bike???


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