News Report on Motorcycle Training Cource in Tampa Bay Area Stirs up Debate

Bay News 9 (a Tampa Bay area News Chanel) did a report today on Suncoast Safety Council"s training course in Clearwater. The article sparked a lot of comments on weather helmets save lives or not.

“The riders being trained are required to wear helmets, but how do they feel about having to wear a helmet when heading out on the road?
“I feel it"s a really good idea," Taylor said. “I feel when you"re riding a motorcycle, safety is number one."

Taylor"s classmate Charles Salvatore agrees.
“I think everybody should have a helmet," he said. “You know, just keep you safe."
And safety is what Burton teaches, and says people can benefit from training and helmets."

Here are some of the comments:

Joe wrote:A helmet just guarantees you to be on life support. I would rather die than be a veggie. I think a strict automobile driver test should be given every 4 years…not just a written one. That will solve most of the motorcycle deaths….Failure to yeild the Right of Way.

RTR wrote:Been riding for a long time. At 70 mph a helmet just makes a better looking corpse. I dont wear one my choice. I do wear a seatbelt also my choice.And if the insurance companys could find a way to charge you extra for not wearing a seatbelt it wouldnt be a law either.

Quack-Quack wrote:As a recent transplant, I still do a double take every time I see riders without helemts down here. No matter how skilled the rider, the helmet will protect them from some of these crazy Florida drivers. Helemts are a “No-Brainer". The course must be doing some good, I do see those guys out there every day on the way to work. Keep it up guys, do they have a course like this for drivers?

JB52 wrote:Traffic law enforcement will help. If you believe you ever have the right of way, get off that bike immediately and plan your funeral. That"s a tip from an old school biker!

TK wrote:I have been riding motorcycle in Florida for about 2 years now. I went through the Motorcycle Riders Association"s Safe Rider Course before I got my license. I think what the teach in this class is the key to survivial not just here in Florida but whereever you ride. To this day, I am constantly looking for ways to improve my skills, safety and visibility on the road.

Read the full article  here

NTSB Will Campaign for Tougher Motorcycle Helmet Law

As a way to further limit highway deaths, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will campaign to have all 50 states adopt or toughen laws that require motorcyclists to wear helmets, reports The Wall Street Journal. Florida motorcycle riders who are adequately insured are not required to wear a helmet.

As it stands now, 20 states and the District of Columbia require riders to wear helmets. Twenty-seven states, including Florida, have partial laws that require some people to wear helmets some of the time. Three states have no requirements for helmet use. They include New Hampshire, Illinois, and Iowa.

When the law was loosened in 2000, Florida saw an increase in motorcycle deaths. Nationwide, fatal motorcycle crashes reached 5,300 in 2008, doubling from 1998. That averages a dozen deaths a day from motorcycle accidents, in part, because of a lack of any consistent helmet laws.

The federal proposal would not only save lives, but save us all money. It’s estimated that the cost for an average unhelmeted rider to be in an accident is about $310,000, largely due to the resulting head and spinal cord injury. A helmeted rider, by comparison, has roughly $71,000 worth of medical bills.

The NTSB is so serious about making helmets mandatory that it is adding the motorcycle safety issue to its “Most Wanted” list of improvements. The NTSB plans to pressure states and testify about the need for new, tougher laws through the use of public-service announcements.