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One Dallas Biker Takes His Fight Against City's Helmet Law to Federal Court

jujuman13

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One Dallas Biker Takes His Fight Against City's Helmet Law to Federal Court - Dallas News - Unfair Park

This is not an earth shattering case but a legal point that will require clarification.

Quote(Paul Woodfield had already spent years fighting Dallas's bike helmet law in county court, when the city decided to drop the original ticket he'd been given on a bare-domed ride around White Rock Lake back in 2007. With no ticket to fight, the Fifth Court of Appeals dismissed his three-year-old lawsuit back in January, figuring Woodfield didn't have much left to complain about anymore.)

But

Quote(So when a cop called him out for riding without his helmet back in March, Woodfield wasn't about to shy away from another scrap.

"She told me I have to wear my helmet, and I told her, 'No, I don't have to wear my helmet.' She said, The city law requires you to.' I said, 'Well state law says I don't have to, and I'm not going to wear one,'" Woodfield recalls. "So she said, 'Pull over.'"

Armed with a new $25 ticket, Woodfield's got himself another fight: he filed suit yesterday, in federal court this time, against the holy trifecta of the City of Dallas, Dallas County and the State of Texas.)

Good for him.

Quote(When it comes to bike safety gear, the Texas transportation code requires reflectors and lights -- but not helmets -- also says cities can't make additional requirements conflicting with state law. Legislators considered giving cities the right to enact local bike helmet laws in 2001, but as Woodfield's suit points out, that proposal never made it into law.)

So what do you guys think?
 

The Mark

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One Dallas Biker Takes His Fight Against City's Helmet Law to Federal Court - Dallas News - Unfair Park

This is not an earth shattering case but a legal point that will require clarification.

Quote(Paul Woodfield had already spent years fighting Dallas's bike helmet law in county court, when the city decided to drop the original ticket he'd been given on a bare-domed ride around White Rock Lake back in 2007. With no ticket to fight, the Fifth Court of Appeals dismissed his three-year-old lawsuit back in January, figuring Woodfield didn't have much left to complain about anymore.)

But

Quote(So when a cop called him out for riding without his helmet back in March, Woodfield wasn't about to shy away from another scrap.

"She told me I have to wear my helmet, and I told her, 'No, I don't have to wear my helmet.' She said, The city law requires you to.' I said, 'Well state law says I don't have to, and I'm not going to wear one,'" Woodfield recalls. "So she said, 'Pull over.'"

Armed with a new $25 ticket, Woodfield's got himself another fight: he filed suit yesterday, in federal court this time, against the holy trifecta of the City of Dallas, Dallas County and the State of Texas.)

Good for him.

Quote(When it comes to bike safety gear, the Texas transportation code requires reflectors and lights -- but not helmets -- also says cities can't make additional requirements conflicting with state law. Legislators considered giving cities the right to enact local bike helmet laws in 2001, but as Woodfield's suit points out, that proposal never made it into law.)

So what do you guys think?
I think that there should be no law requiring a helmet.

I also think that people who don't should be charged a higher insurance premium, as they are more of a risk.


As a side note, does anyone else have issues with the scroll function of both the normal and the quick reply edit boxes?
 

Aunt Spiker

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My only curiosity is what type of 'bike' - bicycle or motorcycle?
 

Kernel Sanders

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I have no problem with helmet laws. I see them in the same vein as seatbelt laws.

I think that there should be no law requiring a helmet.

I also think that people who don't should be charged a higher insurance premium, as they are more of a risk.

How do you propose insurace companies determine whether or not a person wears a helmet while biking?
 

Aunt Spiker

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Same here - I have no problem with them.
Especially now that everyone else's healthcare is a tax-burden. I think, to watch our bottom dollar, they should dawn their noggin with a bucket if Uncle Sam is going to shell out for someone's bill.
 

The Mark

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I have no problem with helmet laws. I see them in the same vein as seatbelt laws.



How do you propose insurace companies determine whether or not a person wears a helmet while biking?
Microchips/sensors in helmet and bike, data collected when bike is in motion, data sent to insurance company with policy holder's consent, if data not received or data shows helmet often not used when riding, extra charges applied.
 

Kernel Sanders

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Microchips/sensors in helmet and bike, data collected when bike is in motion, data sent to insurance company with policy holder's consent, if data not received or data shows helmet often not used when riding, extra charges applied.

And you find that more reasonable than a $25 fine if a cop sees you biking without a helmet?

Forget the crazy Big Brother aspect, how much do you think it would cost to enforce that every bike and helmet must contain sensors, radios, and the ability to sync a bike to a helmet. Most bikers I know use a bike because they couldn't afford a car, but had $50 to spend on a used bike and a helmet. That's the nuttiest, most heavy-handed solution I've ever heard to such a simple issue
 

Deuce

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Besides, it's not like refusing to wear a helmet only affects the person on the bike. If you smash into my car and bust your skull open on the pavement, I'm going to have to live with that for the rest of my life. Even if it was totally your own fault, I'm going to feel horrible for a very long time. I'll probably have to fight off a lawsuit from your family despite my lack of fault, a family which, incidentally, is now missing a member.

Same goes with seatbelts. Just put them the **** on. How hard is this?

There are a number of people with a vested financial or emotional interest in your not being dead. Taking such a small step to greatly improve your safety isn't that much to ask.
 
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The Mark

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And you find that more reasonable than a $25 fine if a cop sees you biking without a helmet?

Forget the crazy Big Brother aspect, how much do you think it would cost to enforce that every bike and helmet must contain sensors, radios, and the ability to sync a bike to a helmet. Most bikers I know use a bike because they couldn't afford a car, but had $50 to spend on a used bike and a helmet. That's the nuttiest, most heavy-handed solution I've ever heard to such a simple issue
First off, the whole point of my (albeit slightly goldbergian) idea was to avoid an actual law requiring helmet wear.

Secondly, I specifically said "with policy holder's consent" in regards to the data. And by extension, devices - if they don't want either, just pay a higher insurance premium, as you're assumed to be more of a risk.
Besides, what possible illicit use could data exclusively regarding helmet wear of a single individual be for?

Regarding costs, I would say not that expensive, actually.
An off/on sensor to check that the helmet is strapped on, with a time log.
A sensor cluster in the bike to record times the bike reaches 10-15 MPH or more.
If the bike reaches the set speed at the same time the helmet is recorded as being strapped on, no issue. If not, issue.
Or even simpler, a wire from the helmet to the bike, no time log needed.
At most, I would think 50-100 bucks, and if the insurance company charges, say, 25-50 more per month if you don’t have it, much cheaper if you do…

But, yes, my solution IS slightly complicated.

:lol:
 
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Ikari

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I think that there should be no law requiring a helmet.

I also think that people who don't should be charged a higher insurance premium, as they are more of a risk.


As a side note, does anyone else have issues with the scroll function of both the normal and the quick reply edit boxes?

No, they should face lower insurance as they are well more likely to die than anything else and will thus end up costing the insurance company less.
 

The Mark

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No, they should face lower insurance as they are well more likely to die than anything else and will thus end up costing the insurance company less.
Hmm...there are other aspects to that, methinks...Too lazy to examine it atm, and besides, my idea is more complicated, and thus, better.
 

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Apparently a lot of people here prefer government by ambulance chaser and insurance company. This country has become a country of wimps who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions but are quite willing to try to control the actions (or inactions) of others. I do not think that is what the founders had in mind. This constant striving to make things absolutely fail proof safe is causing vehicles and a lot of other things to be priced right out of the reach of average americans and the crap just keeps coming. Next is the black box raising the price of the average care $5K.

Look at this oil spill. They didn't want to let BP use dispersants because they were AFRAID they would kill something. It's not like we have no experience here. Ever hear of the Valdez spill? I was there. So they studied it and now (1 1/2 months later) are saying its better to use them than not. I knew that. ADM Allen knew that. The lawyer in chief and his incompetent minions caused their use to be delayed for over a month. See those pics of the sludge covered birds? Heartbreaking that our government caused that to happen.

I can't wait for Thad to write a book about his experience as on-scene commander for this unprecedented spill.

Excuse me...I'm off topic...I think not, but whatever...
 

Black Dog

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As a side note, does anyone else have issues with the scroll function of both the normal and the quick reply edit boxes?

Yes. It is very frustrating.
 
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