Letters to the Editor

Motorcycle rider should have choice to wear helmet

Regarding the editorial about motorcycle helmet laws ("Motorcycle helmet law affects us all," Aug. 13), I think the Post was somewhat disingenuous with its remarks and viewpoints.

While the Preusser Research Group is a respected organization, it is also a think tank with viewpoints in common with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It's not surprising that the research has yielded the results it seeks.

What is not addressed in the Preusser study is that motorcycle riders and usage increased by about 40 percent during that same time period.

In Florida, motorcycles are basically used all year long, so states with this climate have higher than average incidents simply because there are more motorcyclists using more motorcycles more of the time.

Another issue that was not clearly addressed was that motorcyclists already pay higher rates for their insurance.

The insurance companies set the rate based on statistics; if they've failed to accurately set their rates based on the exposure, they haven't done their homework.

The biggest single issue not addressed was the cause of the accidents themselves.

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents, especially fatalities, are not the rider's fault, but the fault of motorists who strike them because of inattention or underestimating a motorcycle's ability to stop much more quickly than an automobile.

Having worked in the insurance industry for years, I can state that with certainty.

The recent increase in the motorcycle fatalities has much more to do with the increase of riders who enjoy the motorcycle experience, along with the poor driving habits of motorist, than it has with motorcycling itself.

As a rider, I always wore a helmet.

The state required it and truthfully, my insurance experience told me not to trust other drivers.

But it should be up the rider to decide.

- Tony Rivera


Homeless people need help, not scorn

I was surprised and hurt to see the letter ("Giving money to beggars only adds to their problems," Aug. 17) from Rosie Higgins.

Yes, I am sure that there had to be something done about the panhandlers downtown.

But for someone to insist that all people are drunks is just shocking to me.

Does she not know the amount of mental illness that lives on our streets? It is because of their illness that they can not comprehend getting a job or doing for themselves.

I am ashamed that people still insist that all homeless are nothing but drunks.

Wake up and understand that many of the homeless would rather not be there, and they just don't know any other way to live.

Our society has turned a deaf ear on our mentally handicapped.

There needs to be more support and help for them, and guess what they may not be on the streets or our jails.

- Susan Knight