Whether or not you choose to ride with a helmet, it's hard to avoid the irony of this news item: during an ABATE protest of helmet laws involving nearly 600 motorcyclists in central New York, a rider on a 1983 Harley-Davidson panic braked, fishtailed, and succumbed to injuries after striking his head on the pavement. Troopers later said the victim, 55 year-old Philip A. Contos*, "likely would have survived the accident if he'd been wearing a helmet."
According to one news source, the victim's brother said he was so passionate about not wearing a helmet, "he'd do it again if he could," reflecting the-- pardon the pun-- hard-headed attitude held by many riders who think helmet laws are bunk.
Does the strength of the victim's convictions make him right, even in death? Do helmet laws miss the point, or does this loss of life suggest that helmet legislation is spot on?
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* For the record, the victim was not a member of ABATE
Photo © Vincenzo Lombardo