Liberty and License

Friday, June 28th, 2013 at 9:35 am

He was riding a bright blue crotch-rocket, slowed down to change into the lane behind the police car.

He wore a white t-shirt, black athletic shorts, tennis shoes, no helmet covering his just-beginning-to-grey hair.

I winced as I imagined his legs pulpy from road rash, as I thought of his wife grieving because a traumatic brain injury left her husband a man she didn’t recognize.

I’ve seen the after-effects of motorcycle accidents when the motorcyclist was taking all the precautions. Seeing a biker *not* taking the precautions is excruciating for me.

I want to say something, wish there were some way to let bikers know what kind of risks they’re taking when they dress so inappropriately. But I fear the backlash.

“You just want to take away my liberty,” they might say. “It’s a free state.”

And so it is. There are no laws in Kansas requiring helmets for motorcyclists. Kansas law dictates neither your headwear nor your clothing for riding a motorcycle. You may ride however you wish.

And I rejoice that the state is not infringing upon your liberties.

But I truly wish that you would not take your liberty as a license to take risks that can cause you and your family such pain. I wish that you would use your liberty to ride safely and joyfully.

I don’t want to take away your fun–I want you and your family to enjoy long, productive, healthy lives free from harm.

That’s why I wince, that’s why I cringe, that why (on emotional days) I tear up when I see you riding bare-headed, bare-armed, bare-legged. Because I want your liberty to produce life rather than destruction.

Reader Comments (2):

  1. Barbara H. says:

    This is applicable in so many areas.

    Several years ago there was an awful accident on our street when a boy was sitting on mattresses in the back of a truck to keep them from bouncing out – and he bounced out, and, sadly, died.

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