I grew up during as time when the wearing of bicycle helmets wasn’t really a thing. And how could it be? I couldn’t wear a helmet while wearing earphones to my walkman, now could I? This was long before the advent of earbuds but honestly, as long as I was wearing a ball cap to protect my scalp from the sun and I was home before dark, my parents never imposed the wearing of a bike helmet. These days? Depending on the community you live in, the requirement of a bike helmet may be law. But there isn’t a day where I don’t see multiple people cycling in heavy traffic areas without a helmet.
It is what it is. Some people are more apt to follow rules and best practices than others. But the curious thing is, what purpose does a bike helmet serve? If you’re a young child and you happen to topple sideways on your bike, a helmet may save your skull from cracking on the edge of a sidewalk; no question. But whether you’re a child or an adult, you’re helmet won’t save you from any significant incident, such as getting struck by a moving car. This makes one wonder why it’s considered so necessary on most cases. And this post is about all of those little “rules,” not just bicycle helmets.
The reason behind certain rules and regulations isn’t always clear. And more often than not, it can seem unnecessary and perhaps even excessive. Especially if you find yourself on the receiving end of a penalty in relation to any of it. One good example is last week, when I was issued a traffic ticket for performing an “illegal” turn. I won’t get into the specifics of the ticket, other than to say that I definitely performed the alleged action, and the section of legislation does render it unlawful. So I really can’t argue the traffic ticket. But I couldn’t help but feel that I had done nothing wrong or unsafe and that being issued a ticket because of it was rather ridiculous.
The point behind today’s particular rant, is that even though it seemed perfectly safe and acceptable to me, doesn’t mean that it would be to everyone. In most cases, an incident likely occurred that led to that action becoming unlawful. By that logic, it becomes important for people to observe those laws and abide by them. Not only for their own safety, but the safety of others. At the risk of opening my comments section up to a plethora of argumentative points of view, this concept applies to a lot of rules, regulations and laws that are being enacted in response to the current state of the world. Some of them may seem unfair or excessive, but they all have the aim to protect and safeguard the population as a whole.
Most people can’t discern the difference between their “rights” and doing “what’s right.” The two often don’t go hand-in-hand and don’t always apply to one another. And sometimes, we need to abide by certain rules in order for society to continue to function normally. This is the cost of living in a modern society where we live in mass gathering of populated towns and cities. I’m quite certain that if a vehicle clips me while I’m out cycling, my helmet likely won’t do a damn thing to save me. Just like wearing a face mask “may” do nothing for me or the people around me. But I acknowledge two things: the first is that I can still observe my rights as a person while abiding by the rules. The second is that it costs me nothing, which tends to make peoples’ theatrics over most of these issues more than a bit ridiculous. this is why you’ll always see me do both those things, so long as it’s required of me. Food for thought… ☯️
4 thoughts on “Your Helmet Won’t Stop A Speeding Car…”
The excessive laws thing can be boiled down to a few causes. First there’s nanny laws. If people want the state to take care of them, the state’s going to put rules in place to limit their likely liability (much like an insurance company). A bike helmet won’t save anyone in a major impact, but in a lesser one, it could make the difference between tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. Yeah I know: Canada… Allegedly free health care that’s really paid by your taxes so people never see how much they’re losing.
There’s also the scoff-law factor. Red light camera fines in California were hitting the $800 mark around the time I left. Why? Lower fines didn’t deter anyone. Few would argue the fine is not excessive BUT that’s the level it took to get people to take red lights seriously.
Then there’s stupid pandering politicians exploiting situations and not caring or understanding how to have existing laws enforced… That’s a whole nother rant, lol.
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Sorry to hear that you were ticketed for doing an illegal turn but at least it provided depth as well as breadth for this post.
The question of the legality behind the turn is up for debate. Having been a police officer for over 13 years, I can say that I have never ticketed someone for this infraction, except under particular circumstances where it is counter-indicated NOT to. One of the issues behind traffic offences is that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. So even though the infraction may be a result of a particular city or community’s bylaw, my being unaware of it (as I explained to the officer) could and SHOULD have been an opportunity for the officer to educate and enlighten me as to the mistake, as opposed to the financial imposition he placed on me.
But you’re correct in that all things in daily life provide substance for a good pot. One need only keep one’s eyes open for it.
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‘substance for good pot’ you say, a Freudian slip no doubt, and innocently honest in nature. 😉