Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sponsor of the law to repeal Michigan’s mandatory helmet law was killed Monday night in a motorcycle crash

Michigan RadioMichigan State Police report that State Representative Peter Pettalia was wearing a helmet when he died.

Pettalia was riding a motorcycle on M-33 in northern Michigan’s Montmorency County.

Pettalia was the sponsor of the 2012 law that repealed the helmet requirement for motorcyclists. A recent study found motorcycle fatalities in Michigan jumped by 23 % between 2014 and 2015 and researchers say the repeal of the helmet law almost certainly played a role.

Pettalia chaired the state House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He was serving his third and final state House term, and briefly considered a run for Congress earlier this year. Pettalia was 61 years old.


bagoh20 said...

I don't want to tell people what to do with such a choice, but it's really stupid to propel your soft indispensable skull at motoring speeds on ribbons of asphalt lined with trees and rocks alongside huge chunks of steel machinery driven by drunks, texters, and other distracted and flawed humans. There is just no margin of error, no second chance, no back up, no parachute. If you or any one of a thousand strangers makes even a tiny mistake, you are done, gone, deceased, and that's if you're lucky. Even with a helmet it's pretty dangerous, but without one, it's suicidal. Besides, it's not even a pleasant way to ride: loud, squinting eyes with bugs and rocks hitting you in the face. Who wants that? I used to ride helmetless occasionally even when it was illegal, but I used to be an idiot. After I crashed with a helmet a couple times and realized your body is like a lawn dart in those situations, I chose to wear one regardless of the law.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Realty is a harsh mistress, but that is the way it should be with helmet laws.


Chip Ahoy said...

Man, sometimes that irony isn't even ironic.

But I'm thinking about something else right now. How language changes right before our eyes and our ears. How incorrect interpretations become set. How corrections are made as we go. Back and forth, both ways. For good and for bad.

I was interpreting the SSRN paper on the Supreme Court (lowest in all the land) by Glenn Harlan Reynolds and encountered immediately the phrase, "if the court" That would be shown "if court"

The original "if" fit in the system that included "maybe" where two hands holding out air are balanced as a scale, then "if" is the same thing except two "f" held together as two tiny trays of a balancing scale.

Then word for "court," and anything judicial is the same two "f" trays on a larger balance, broader movement. And the two together for "if court" looks silly, a small balance then a large balance. The English article "the" is superfluous.

See how silly that is?

But we're spared that silliness now because the word for "if" changed to a pinkie finger touching just below the eye.

Amusingly, the examples displayed in the international dictionary sentences are:
*If you break the law you might go to jail.
* If you go to court you must have a good lawyer.

She's very cute showing the sentences.

Two examples regarding the courts! While not actually using the justice scale pans.

Funny, eh? Come on, laugh with me.

But even our understanding of dead languages change. Because they changed in their time. And our understanding of them changes too. It's quite maddening, actually, to have something nailed and then upset later by improved understanding.

The examples I gave yesterday each add a verb where no verb exists in the text shown. Yet our comprehension of them requires a verb or else they sound stupid, and they are discussed in terms of nominative, verb phrase, and so forth. The interpreters add "is" where it is not seen in the symbols.

Finally, just now on Bones, they're doing forensics on an abused and burned blob on the table. The guy shows evidence of stiff fibers, unrecognizable stiff hair, damaged ribs, missing heart and concludes some kind of cryptid. The other guy excitedly shouts "chupacabra!" Then the first guy goes on to explain, "goat sucker"

No. chupacabra translates "suck goat" It's made into one word and you reversed it, and that reversal has consequences! Your translation suggest a creature that sucks the life out of goats and the actual translation suggests a goat that sucks. Goat meaning gross ugly thing. Cabron meaning dumbass, or the worst available curse word, English equivalent, fuckhead. Big difference.

And that's as interesting as yet another motorcyclists death, helmet or no, helmet law sponsor or no, any day. Don't you think?

No? *flounces off*

Look I got better things to do than argue with you about what's interesting, like eat that watermelon that's chilled.

ndspinelli said...

Wisconsin is a no helmet state. Having investigated my share of motorcycle accidents I know the consequences of not wearing a helmet. But, it should be a choice IMO. A law that is insane is the Cali law that allows motorcycles to split lanes. I find that more reckless than not wearing a helmet.

Sixty Grit said...

The lane splitting thing was a bit disconcerting when I first saw that, lo these many decades ago, but the explanation my motorcycling friends promulgated was that in order to keep air flowing across the air-cooled aluminum heads and cylinders the motorcycle had to keep moving forward, lest is seize up tighter than Hillary's brain on a mild day.

bagoh20 said...

I do plenty of lane splitting, but would never ride without a helmet. The lane splitting is only sensible when the car traffic is very slow or standing still, at which time it's almost silly to sit there stopping and going every 20 feet when there is plenty of room to keep moving.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

I know when you are in traffic in LA, motorcycle lane splitting can be a bit disconcerting (when they are zipping by on the driver's side).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am of the belief that, as long as your actions aren't harming anyone else, people should be allowed to do as many stupid and even lethal (to themselves) things that they want to do.

OD on heroin. Ride without a helmet. Jump off of cliffs. Whatever. It's your life. Squander it if you want. Sometimes the rest of society will be better off. Sorry about your kids, your wife, your husband, your parents that you leave behind. BUT...if you are this stupid, they are probably better off too.

ndspinelli said...

bags, It's funny. I speak w/ bikers in Wisconsin and Cali and they are almost to a person proud of their respective no helmet and lane splitting laws. Of course, splitting lanes in stalled traffic is safe. That's not what I'm talking about and don't deny it. There are insane bikers who routinely split lanes @ high speeds. Much more risky than driving sans helmet IMO. And again, I have investigated numerous death and traumatic brain injury cases involving bikers sans helmet. It's dangerous, but the risk is to YOURSELF. Lane splitting kills others.

Rhythm and Balls said...


Michael Haz said...

It's not that easy. The story reported that he died, but not the cause of his death.

*Full disclosure: I'm in my 51st year of motorcycle riding, have had exactly zero accidents, never ride a bike above my ability, never touch alchohol before or during a ride, and wear ATGAT - all the gear all the time, including a full helmet. And I keep my skill level up.

Helmets, whaddayagonnado? They'll save your brain at low and moderate speed impacts, they'll keep your face from being scraped off by the road at higher speed impacts, and they'll protect you from birds, rocks and large insects.

But will they reliably safe your life? Nope. Drink a six pack, hop on to your overpowered bike, put your helmet on that stupid head of yours and rip down a back road. Slide off the road, into the trees, and you die. Or slide out of your lane into an oncoming vehicle in a curve and you die. A car pulls out as you enter an intersection at 60mph, you die.

You die from a broken neck, from blunt force trauma, from a broken back, from instant blood loss. From head trauma a helmet cannot prevent.

Mostly, apart from fate, you die from stupid. Stupid kills.

An alderman near where I live died last summer in a motorcycle accident. Nice guy, well liked. He rode to a motorcycle rider get-together at a bar in his district one evening. Ha got loaded, ans while riding home, he lost control at about 35 mph, hit a curb. and flew head-on into a tree. His helmet didn't save his life because helmets don't prevent stupid.

Michael Haz said...

Lane splitting is not legal in Wisconsin, Nick. The only state where it is legal is California.

bagoh20 said...

Ridding a motorcycle is simply a very dangerous activity, because you have almost no chance of surviving a crash at normal speeds. You are soft and unprotected, and even if you do everything right, someone else can kill you instantly with any one of the many simple common mistakes drivers make. Statistically, hang gliding is a little safer, but everyone thinks it's crazy. At least you have a parachute if you or your vehicle screws up. Regardless, danger is part of life, and if you want to really live, you have to take some chances.

Amartel said...

Yah, Cali allows lane-splatters, I mean splitters. Almost every case I've had involving a motorcycle accident and video footage, the guy on the bike is all "I was obeying the speed limit and within my lane" then the video comes back and he's totally speeding and weaving between moving automobiles. I think if people were allowed to make up their own minds on this issue, 99.000% would end up wearing helmets. The government's overbearing nanny rules just push the wrong buttons on some people.