Bike helmets have their benefits

Letter writer Kevin Strickler says that requiring bicyclists to wear helmets will lead to fewer bikers ("Helmet laws will reduce number of bikers," Feb. 19). I say that not wearing helmets will reduce the number of bikers in a most unpleasant way — by more deaths on the road.

Using the same theory as Mr. Strickler proposes, not using car seat belts should reduce the number of drivers. Come to think of it this could be a most welcome result as there would then be more parking spaces and more room on the roads.

Wearing a helmet or a seat belt is, of course, pure common sense, a commodity in very short supply nowadays. And it does affect everyone in some way if he and his mentally challenged ideas are allowed to proliferate. For example, in an otherwise minor accident that would result in a few bruises if wearing a helmet, a rider could be killed or seriously injured or be brain damaged. This affects a lot of people, not least their spouses who could be ruined financially and their children who would have to grow up without a parent — and all of society who have to foot the bill for a brain-damaged person on life support and a non-functioning member of the workforce.

But to someone like Mr. Strickler and his ilk, these results are unimportant when weighed against his "personal liberties."

David Liddle, Pasadena

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