Who said mandatory helmet law was right?
In 1973 the UK helmet law came into being and since then more countries around Europe and the globe have followed suit. Many cry freedom and personal choice, but seldom do many argue with the benefit of wearing one…unless you live in a region that has not changed the law or has only recently changed it.
In those regions there remains passionate resistance to change but is it inevitable that all riders around the globe will wear helmets in the future? Even in regions where helmet laws were implemented some time ago, there remains, amongst some, the notion that the law is wrong and it should be a personal choice. But should some decisions be made for us, especially if it is for our own good, and is this erosion of free decision making the real issue and not the actual safety benefits.
Whilst many will comprehend the protective qualities of the helmet, there also remains limited understanding of the permanent or long lasting consequences of impacts to riders involved in accidents who were not wearing them. Unfortunately family and friends suffer the burden as well as the surviving patient…as does the health care system; not only in the initial treatment but also in the ongoing care. This is where public health laws are then passed and a helmet law is one such law which not only protects us from ourselves but somewhat protects the state from the burden of care. It is part financial, part moral and part state imposed personal protection that may do more good than not. It would appear the only freedom we have left in this regard is our freedom to have an opinion whether we agree or disagree with a helmet law.