Friday, August 20, 2010

"Loud Pipes Save Lives"?

I heard it again this morning. One of the radio morning show DJs said, "I'm a firm believer in 'loud pipes save lives.'"

Most people know that he was talking about motorcycles. The theory is that the loud noise of an unmuffled motorcycle exhaust alerts automobile drivers to the biker's presence, which makes the biker safer.

I think that "loud pipes save lives" is insincere and hypocritical. Helmets save lives too, and yet way too many owners of loud bikes refuse to wear a motorcycle helmet. It's all about personal freedom, they say, as they oppose laws requiring them to wear a helmet.

Okay, forget the law, then. Just wear it out of common sense, okay?

(I still shake my head when I think of the Harley rider I encountered on I-25. He was roaring along on his bike, with his helmet firmly strapped to the seat behind him.)

I will believe the sincerity of the "loud pipes save lives" argument when I see its proponents wearing helmets while they ride. Until then, in my opinion, they're merely being obnoxious and hypocritical.

(On the other hand, I will smile and give a thumbs-up to any bareheaded rider honest enough to say "Nah, I just like loud pipes.")

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