I noticed an odd, dangerous, and dumb loophole in the traffic laws over the weekend. In Michigan, you must wear a helmet if you are driving/riding a motorcycle. The necessity for helmets has been debated by advocates on both side for years – I happen to think the law is correct and riding a motorcycle without a helmet is just plain stupid.
However, it appears you can ride a motor scooter without a helmet along the same streets. Now, does that make any sense whatsoever? It sure doesn’t to me.
With the exception of not being able to travel as fast, a motor scooter provides no more protection (probably less) than a motorcycle. Good luck surviving a collision with a car, truck, the pavement, a tree, a fence, or the ground without wearing a helmet.
Personally, I think the helmet laws should be consistent across the board and helmets should be required for any open and unprotected mode of transportation that utilizes the streets, including bicycles, motor scooters, and motorcycles – though not necessarily the same type of helmet.
Some will argue this is nanny government at work. So be it – if you are stupid enough to ride the streets without a helmet, perhaps you need a nanny, your head examined, or perhaps your license revoked. It is just plain common sense to wear protective gear in such situations. Many public and private sector organizations require helmets because it is the right thing to do.
Batters in baseball and all football and hockey players wear helmets to protect their heads; soldiers wear helmets to protect their heads; snowmobilers wear helmets to protect their heads; professional skateboarders and motocross riders wear helmets to protect their heads; coal miners wear helmets to protect their heads; firefighters wear helmets to protect their heads; and construction workers wear helmets to protect their heads – Do I need to go on?