The Electric Commentary

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It Makes No Sense

In most, if not all states, it is illegal to drive without a seat belt. In all states, it is legal to drive a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle is far more likely to kill you than is driving without a seat belt.

Is there any logical reason to require us to wear seat belts without banning motorcycles?

13 Comments:

  • I'll play:

    It Makes No Sense

    In most, if not all states, it is illegal to drive without a seat belt. In all states, it is legal to drive a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle is far more likely to kill you than is driving without a seat belt.

    Is there any logical reason to require us to wear seat belts without banning motorcycles?


    Timeliness for accident cleanup.

    Wearing seatbelts in cars prevents many fatalities. Fatalities necessarily involve shutting down roadways, to photograph and document the vehicles and bodies for fatality investigation. Equals time and inconvenience to non-affected drivers.

    Motorcycle fatalities also involve documentation. However, often the bike and victim are small enough to be cordoned off to allow traffic to pass. After documentation, vehicle removing is simple for the smaller bike. Also, because less people ride motorcycles, less non-affected drivers are inconvenienced.

    The numbers of fatalities expected from what is now survivable accidents is not worth inconveniencing the rest of us. Nor is banning motorcycle use, or requiring helmets.

    The idea is to allow the greatest amount of freedown to the non-affected as well: hard to get up to the cabin when you're sitting in traffic delayed for a few hours because some dumbell's idea of freedom was not taking the 3 seconds to click up thereby inconveniencing untold numbers of others on the road.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 AM  

  • Uh, I doubt it is clean-up. Even if that were the reason it would be too unpalatable.

    I think that the real reason is that the freedoms lost by the restriction are different. The right to motorcycle as a means of transportation is something people can see as a right to engage in a type of behavior. The right not to wear a seatbelt seems far less meaningful because all it means is that someone has to take an extra second and has a bit less freedom of movement. People can imagine why someone would want to ride a motorcycle so they respect that right more than the decision not to wear a seatbelt, which many people probably regard as senseless.

    Kind of like banning all negative political advertising versus having to put the "My name is ____ and I authorized this message." at the end.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 11:43 AM  

  • Since when are laws based on logic?

    Motorcyclists have argued that they should not be required to wear helmets because car occupants are not required to wear them.

    Riding in a car without wearing a seatbelt is like wearing a helmet without fastening the strap.

    By Blogger Larry Fafarman, at 12:59 PM  

  • I think it is logical. You're safer when you're wearing a seatbelt. The fact that motocycles are dangerous don't have anything to do with seatbelts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:54 PM  

  • It's not really unpalatable if you're already in the clean-up business, scotth. as the troopers, EMT's and DOT's engineers are.

    You just have to be an experienced thinker who doesn't shy away from considering all the consequences.

    Logically, it makes sense. Remember, buckle up -- non-affected others really don't give a damn about your life so much, but there's all that added congestion to think of.

    And I'm all for the mandatory carseats too -- nobody likes to see babies and kids smeared along the road.

    anon10:29

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 PM  

  • "nobody likes to see babies and kids smeared along the road."

    LOL.

    Okay fine. Just try to sell it politically. Rush hour drivers may still be all for it, but the nanny state proponents who love such things will probably be appalled.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 3:25 PM  

  • the nanny state proponents who love such things will probably be appalled.

    Why do you think so? If it saves lives (their concerns) and saves inconvenience (my concerns), then shouldn't we be united against the libertarian purists who don't yet seem to realize we don't live in a pure world and that individual actions do have consequences that affect freedoms for all?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:28 PM  

  • Okay, I'm being overly trite in calling them nanny state proponents.

    Lots of people want there to be various safety measures regardless of the cost of implementation. I think they are focused on saving lives and wouldn't take too kindly to the argument that we shouldn't care about motorcyclists lives because it isn't as inconvenient to us when they die.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 5:54 PM  

  • The point is, the motorcyclists want to ride their bikes and don't want to wear helmets either. That is the end result they want.

    Who cares if logically the time for accident cleanup is factored into the decision to require mandatory seatbelts inside bigger vehicles, and in the (hypothetical) decision to ban bikes?

    If they come out on the winning side of the formula, (meaning let them ride, even if some will die but it won't be too inconvenient to others re. accident cleanup) I suspect the bikers too would support that type of logical reasoning.

    Too many people don't think of their end result or goal, and structure their logical arguments accordingly. It might be a turnoff, but to the people involved in the cleanup work, there's a big difference between a motorcycle and vehicular fatality re. how long it takes and basic procedures to dispose of the vehicles and clear the roadway.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 PM  

  • Wait are you seriously arguing that the reason motorcycles aren't outlawed, but you have to wear your seatbelt is because the mess from motorcycles is more convenient?

    Were seatbelt laws originated and pushed through legislatures by clean-up and traffic crews/managers?

    Even if so, would motorcyles really be banned if the clean-up and traffic implications were greater?

    You're exaggerating the importance of your factor, probably just to argue to antagonize. Or else you're taking my comments to mean that it isn't a factor at all. Sure, it may be a factor, but there is a difference between being a contributing factor and being the reason why.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 1:10 AM  

  • Oy, re-reading the original post, I see that Paul asked for "any logical reason". You, anonymous, have put forth a "logical reason". I do not deny it is a logical reason. I think my reason is both logical and explanatory. I only question the explanatory aspect of yours.

    By Blogger Scott, at 1:17 AM  

  • Thanks scott.
    I'll take that as a concession of my victory, and no need to apologize for not catching on to the logic the first time around.

    No worries about your last sentence either. I'm sure in a day or two you'll be more comfortable digesting the explanatory aspect of my logic too.= "Just because it's distasteful, doesn't mean you ignore it in the pursuit of truth." Sorry, but I can't explain that any simpler.

    Rest easy that many of the younger (some would say "softer" or more suburban and sheltered) so-called logical young men are in exactly your boat: quite self confident, but then eventually catching on to what others in their complexity are thinking. It's just the arrogance in how you handle yourself in later coming upon these realizations that amazes me. Humility you still don't know! But I'll give you time... we all thought we had it figured out so young, and all those material rewards surely means you're winning.... right??? :)

    All the Best.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:59 AM  

  • Rest easy that many of the younger (some would say "softer" or more suburban and sheltered) so-called logical young men are in exactly your boat: quite self confident, but then eventually catching on to what others in their complexity are thinking. It's just the arrogance in how you handle yourself in later coming upon these realizations that amazes me. Humility you still don't know! But I'll give you time... we all thought we had it figured out so young, and all those material rewards surely means you're winning.... right??? :)

    It is ironic to me that a statement that tells me to work on my humility makes such a point of talking down to me and reeks of arrogance.

    "all those material rewards surely means you're winning.... right???"
    If you actually knew me you would not have said this. My career pursuits would have been and would be much easier if that was what I pursued. You are being foolish in thinking you know me in all these regards (unless you actually know me in real life).

    Just because it's distasteful, doesn't mean you ignore it in the pursuit of truth." Sorry, but I can't explain that any simpler.

    I don't have a problem with it being distasteful. It makes perfect sense to me. I just don’t see how the distastefulness works with the public and political support for seatbelt laws. You could explain that for me, but you don’t. Instead you accuse me of all this haughtiness when all you've done is insist on your own point and tell me how foolish I am for not seeing it. Rather than chide me for how sheltered I am because I question your point why don't you actually address some of the issues I raised about that not being a reason? What amazes me is that you don't see how your own tone in writing and approach in discussion elicits the tone I responded with.

    I do not feel I have spoken with immoderate confidence or at all missed your point. I posed an alternative and suggested a flaw in yours. You're so absorbed and sure of your point that you don't even bother to acknowledge mine, which is either great arrogance or great stupidity (in that you are so "amazed" at how someone is not convinced of your argument when you haven't given them any reason to doubt their own alternative suggestion).

    Perhaps if you were less full of yourself you would actually see that your inability to convince me has at least as much to do with your failure to make a convincing case as any mental/wisdom shortcomings I may have.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 11:33 PM  

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