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  1. #1
    N_C
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    I have some honest questions.

    This can be answered by anyone who wishes to answer it. But it is mainly directed at those that heavily opposed me in the helmet law thread I posted.

    This has to do with people who drink alcohol & drive a motor vehicle at the same time. Let me make it a little more clearer for you. It has to do with people that are physically drinking a can of beer or other type of alcoholic beverage & it is obvious they are doing so while driving of which after witnessing it you have no doubt as to what that person is doing.

    Keep in mind if you see this person doing this they are probably next to you in traffic, you might even be on your bike at the time. They could even be crossing an intersection in front of you, or making a left turn toward you.

    Do you think if someone calls the police because they witness this very illegal behavior from another person, is the person who calls the authorities being a "safety nanny"? Or infringing on the rights of others? Or taking away another persons freedom? Or better yet putting themselves in the person's, who is illegally drinking alcohol & driving a car, business? Please answer honestly if you would.

    Now let me tell you what I have done & will continue to do when I have witnessed this behavior from someone else. I call the police on my cell phone, give a description of the vehicle & the person drinking. If I can I follow the car with the police on the line until a cop shows up to pull the person over. I inform where me & the person drinking & driving are at.

    Bottom line, at least in my opinion, is if you drink & drive you put my life & safety at risk plus the lives & safety of my family & everyone else on the road. And I will do everything in my power to prevent it.

    Ok now those that oppose this kind of thing go ahead & speak up. I hope to GOD no one thinks calling the police on someone for drinking & driving is a bad idea. But with some of the people in this crowd I actually would not be surprised if you did feel that way. So let's here it.

  2. #2
    Enthusiasm on Wheels As You Like It's Avatar
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    I'll bite.

    Drunk drivers are dangerous to others. Non-helmet-wearing cyclists and motorcycle riders are perhaps putting themselves at risk, but are not likely to be a danger to anyone else.

    Some rider takes a header and busts his skull open, it's his misfortune. Some drunk guy hops a curb and plows a bunch of people waiting at a bus stop, it's the bystanders' misfortune.

    If you take it upon yourself to rat off a helmet-less cyclist, you're getting one person in trouble for "failing to protect himself." If you rat off a drunk driver, you're removing an imminent threat from the street (for the immediate time, at any rate). In the first case, it is a frivolous imposition on one person who could potentially be endangering himself, in the second, it can be construed more as a matter of broader public safety.

    For the record, I'm a helmet wearer, and I figure it's one more buffer between my meaty carcass and the hard, hard asphalt, but I really don't give a rip if somebody else thinks helmets are useless or uncomfortable or unforgiveable dorky or whatever. My head, my choice, ya know?
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  3. #3
    N_C
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    One of the main points to this thread is regarding those that see others doing things that they consider an infringment on their freedoms. Remeber there those that firmly believe in absolute freedoms.

    So if I call the police on someone drinking & driving is'nt that an infringment on their free right to drink & drive? Yet it is still considered a good idea to do what it takes to get the drunk driver off the street?

    So which is the right course of action? Take the side of those who believe in absolute freedom & do nothing? Or get the drunk driver off the street & damn that persons freedoms because he or she is a danger to everyone else & possibly be accused of wrongfully infringing on someone elses freedoms?

    Absolute freedom is exactly that, absolute. The freedom to do what ever you want when ever you want with out worrying about &/or paying the consequences for your actions. I believe someone told me you can't have it both ways, but in differant terms, you either have absolute freedom or you don't. If those that believe in absolute freedom do agree that it is a good idea to get & keep drunk drivers off the street then maybe their absolute freedoms are not as absolute as they thought them to be.

    Is it possible that those that believe in absolute freedom maybe straddle the fence on some of the freedom issues? Meaning some are absolute & other freedoms are not, like the issue of a drunk driver & what needs to be done by citizens to get & keep them off the road. Would any of those forum members here who believe in absolute freedom care to admit to the fact that some freedoms are absolute & others are not, because they can not be for the greater good? Keep in mind you run the risk of being called & considered a hippocrite if you admit to this.
    Last edited by N_C; 08-17-05 at 12:35 AM.

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I have an absolute freedom not to be endangered by someone who is driving drunk. Freedoms often conflict. We have laws, courts, water cooler discussions and even internet forums to help us, as a democratic society that values individual liberty, to resolve conflicts between absolute freedoms. This is a dynamic or organic process that changes some over time.

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    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    One of the main points to this thread is regarding those that see others doing things that they consider an infringment on their freedoms. Remeber there those that firmly believe in absolute freedoms. . . .
    This is a straw man. Maybe someone inartfully used that phrase, but no one really believes in "absolute freedom." That would mean the freedom to steal, murder, etc. Stopping people from operating a car dangerously (to others) is a far cry from forcing people to use a "safety" device (a helmet) that has never been proven to actually save lives.

    That said, I wear a helmet. Since the data is unclear, I chose to err on the cautious side. Also, even though I can't prove the helmet has saved me from a serious head injury, I know it's decreased the pain of a few wipeouts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Aahzz's Avatar
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    As I said in the other thread, the right to swing one's fist ends at the other guy's nose. Helmetless biking harms (potentially) only the helmetless biker. Drunk driving has a strong potential to harm others. Helmet laws (and seatbelt laws, etc) exist only to protect people from their own actions. Drunk driving laws protect the public from a real danger. It's apples and oranges. What I said in the other thread was that our constitutional rights are absolute, which may have been misunderstood. I did also, at the time, add the disclaimer about rights going away when they begin to infringe on others.

  7. #7
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    One of the main points to this thread is regarding those that see others doing things that they consider an infringment on their freedoms. Remeber there those that firmly believe in absolute freedoms.

    So if I call the police on someone drinking & driving is'nt that an infringment on their free right to drink & drive? Yet it is still considered a good idea to do what it takes to get the drunk driver off the street?

    So which is the right course of action? Take the side of those who believe in absolute freedom & do nothing? Or get the drunk driver off the street & damn that persons freedoms because he or she is a danger to everyone else & possibly be accused of wrongfully infringing on someone elses freedoms?

    Absolute freedom is exactly that, absolute. The freedom to do what ever you want when ever you want with out worrying about &/or paying the consequences for your actions. I believe someone told me you can't have it both ways, but in differant terms, you either have absolute freedom or you don't. If those that believe in absolute freedom do agree that it is a good idea to get & keep drunk drivers off the street then maybe their absolute freedoms are not as absolute as they thought them to be.

    Is it possible that those that believe in absolute freedom maybe straddle the fence on some of the freedom issues? Meaning some are absolute & other freedoms are not, like the issue of a drunk driver & what needs to be done by citizens to get & keep them off the road. Would any of those forum members here who believe in absolute freedom care to admit to the fact that some freedoms are absolute & others are not, because they can not be for the greater good? Keep in mind you run the risk of being called & considered a hippocrite if you admit to this.

    It's very simple: "Do what thou wilt, as long as it harms nobody else."

    Drunken driving harms others.
    Not wearing a helmet only harms me.

    You seem to think everybody wants anarchy, but the above little sentence is at the crux of all of our arguments. Not one of us is calling for an abolition of laws. Not one.
    Last edited by Alekhine; 08-17-05 at 07:14 AM.
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  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    There is no honest question here. Just trolling around.

  9. #9
    okay maybe not. mmerner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alekhine
    Not wearing a helmet only harms me.
    okay, I'll admit I'm the ultimate hippocrite. I usually wear a helmet, and don't think there should be a law requiring. But not wearing a helmet does affect others. Your family for one, what would happen to your family if you died or got injuried? I'm sure life would not go on as normal for them. Also insurance rates for everyone would be affected to take care of you. It's not only you
    question everything.

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    I think anyone who cares what others are doing has issues.

  11. #11
    My Alphabit's say "Oooo" InfamousG's Avatar
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    If a drunk driver would only endager himself in doing so, I wouldn't give 2 craps about it. The fact of the matter is, in most alcohol related incidents, the drunk driver walks away with the least amount of injuries. I would, and have, report suspicious or obvious drinking and driving. It is up to the police to determine what to do after calling them. I'm not going to put myself at risk or try to run him off the road, because for all I know it could be a bottle of ICB Root Beer and not Bud Light.

    As for the helmet laws/ordinances: I'm going to wear one and require that my (future) children wear one. To me, a few ounces of stuff on my head is not worth the risk of a head injury that was preventable. Some say, well why don't you drive a car with a helmet on then? I have front and side airbags. I drive a car that recieved the top safety ratings and I pay attention to what other drivers are doing. An accident where a helmet would improve my chance of survival is less likely than one where a helmet would lessen my chances (due to the intertia of the helmet).
    If someone feels that they don't need a helmet, so be it. Maybe they'll never need it in their whole lives.

    If I were to be in a bike crash, I'd rather say "I'm glad I wore my helmet" than "I wish I would have" or not be able to say anything at all.

  12. #12
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmerner
    okay, I'll admit I'm the ultimate hippocrite. I usually wear a helmet, and don't think there should be a law requiring. But not wearing a helmet does affect others. Your family for one, what would happen to your family if you died or got injuried? I'm sure life would not go on as normal for them. Also insurance rates for everyone would be affected to take care of you. It's not only you
    Fair enough, but... Death is something none of us escape. We will all 'harm our families' with it at some point. The family argument could be used for everything from a McDonald's diet to drinking to joining the military to driving down to help a soup kitchen and getting into a fatal accident on the way by chance. Nobody sets out to intentionally make their families suffer through their own [unpredictable] death. Trauma has the possibility to exist in almost every single action we make, not just the helmet one. One could think of a litany of things both helpful to society and not that would contribute to random death, and still my basic premise stands. Certainly, we're not going to outlaw being a fireman, even though the job is risky and frequently involves death (and by extension, family grief). I don't see anyone outlawing driving, which causes 40,000 deaths a year, most unintentional (I hope).

    As for insurance rates, I cede the point, but I gave my opinion on this in the helmet law thread and I stand by it. Correlation and causality aren't the same thing. Insurance companies operate always on the assumption that they are. Essentially, I think that insurance companies are parasites who impose arbitrary rules like these in order to turn a profit. It is they who should be judged in the case of helmet-related rates going up, not the cyclist - especially since helmet safety data, both pro- and con-, has been manipulated to argue both ways and is so far inconclusive. Insurance companies could arbitrarily decide to make the use of black cycling shorts increase rates on a whim, based on the idea that they're not bright enough to make a driver notice - would that make it the fault of cyclists everywhere for wearing them? Should towns impose "no black shorts" laws because of insurance company rules? Heck, they could just up and decide that bicycling in general should be enough to raise rates. When insurance rates dictate people's personal ethics and activities, I think that sets a very dangerous and controlling precedent.
    Last edited by Alekhine; 08-17-05 at 07:43 PM.
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  13. #13
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    It's just that when you pick up the half-sack at the cold beer & wine store, and you're SO thirsty, and it's a long drive—like more than twenty blocks—to get home, it's hard to wait. I just like to crack one of those frosty beers open and drink it while I'm heading home. Crank up some tunes and just cruise, you know. If it's the same route you drive all the time, it's like you can do it on auto-pilot, so it's probably not all that dangerous. It's not like I get drunk on one beer or anything. I always get home okay, though I did park on the lawn once, haha.
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

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    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    i've called the police on obvious drunk drivers many times. i also call the highway patrol on a guy who had a canoe strapped onto the trailer that was shifting around and not very secure.

    it's not the act i care about. it's the result of what could happen from it.

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    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Change your example to seeing the driver not wearing a seatbelt but otherwise obeying the law. Now ask the question again and you have something comparable.

    BTW, I'm in favor of both seat-belt laws (due to increased costs in event of a crash that everyone bears, via insurance or increased medical costs to cover non-payers) and helmet laws (same reason).

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    Senior Member Hill Climber's Avatar
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    Not all states have open container laws. Some places it is legal to drive down the road drinking a beer the same is it is a Coke as long as the driver is not impaired. Some places, it's illegal for there to be a busted six pack in the car even if you are just transporting it.
    If you see someone weaving around or driving recklessly, by all means call the cops. If you call the cops to inform on someone just because you saw them put a can to their lips is sad. Granted, one generally leads to the other, but one beer doesn't make you drunk (in most cases). That being said, I have never driven down the road with an open beer. But, I'm sure not going to inform on someone either.
    Do you call the cops if you know you're neighbor is hosting a home poker game?

  17. #17
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    A helmet, high-vis clothing and all the safety-gear possible is not so much a guarantee that you'll be saved from injury. It sends a message to the cop who arrives, the witnesses that see and possibly the judge and/or jury at the trial that there's no way in hell the driver didn't see you and no way in hell you are a negligent scofflaw cyclist.

    The presence of alcohol in your blood, even if it is below the minimum for intoxication, indicates you are a negligent driver and yes you were at fault, should you have an accident.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member mr_tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    Do you think if someone calls the police because they witness this very illegal behavior from another person, is the person who calls the authorities being a "safety nanny"? Or infringing on the rights of others?
    I would call the filth faster than you could say "roadside beating." But not because I have any concern for the health of the driver. As far as I'm concerned, drunk drivers can all pile themselves into walls and die slow painful deaths. It's the poor sods who don't see them coming that need protecting.

    That's different to a bike helmet. If someone chooses not to wear a bike helmet, that's their choice and they're not going to kill anyone else as a result of it.

    Generally speaking, society passes laws that protect its members from each other, not from themselvess. One is free to harm oneself in any manner one sees fit.

  19. #19
    member xerocoma's Avatar
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    You are protecting my life, your life and the lives of anyone else this driver may encounter. You are even protecting him from himself... I think you are doing everyone a service when you report this behavior.

  20. #20
    Bent_Rider
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    My thoughts exactly. And I'll add that many law enforcment agencys encourage people to report suspected drunk drivers.

    A helmetless bicylist, well, get real.

    Quote Originally Posted by As You Like It
    I'll bite.

    Drunk drivers are dangerous to others. Non-helmet-wearing cyclists and motorcycle riders are perhaps putting themselves at risk, but are not likely to be a danger to anyone else.

    Some rider takes a header and busts his skull open, it's his misfortune. Some drunk guy hops a curb and plows a bunch of people waiting at a bus stop, it's the bystanders' misfortune.

    If you take it upon yourself to rat off a helmet-less cyclist, you're getting one person in trouble for "failing to protect himself." If you rat off a drunk driver, you're removing an imminent threat from the street (for the immediate time, at any rate). In the first case, it is a frivolous imposition on one person who could potentially be endangering himself, in the second, it can be construed more as a matter of broader public safety.

    For the record, I'm a helmet wearer, and I figure it's one more buffer between my meaty carcass and the hard, hard asphalt, but I really don't give a rip if somebody else thinks helmets are useless or uncomfortable or unforgiveable dorky or whatever. My head, my choice, ya know?

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Climber
    Do you call the cops if you know you're neighbor is hosting a home poker game?
    Better keep your phone available to call in smokers who have children in the car, or at home, or anywhere else for that matter.

    And don't forget to harass any pregnant woman, or woman who might be pregnant, who has a glass of wine or a cigarette within your purview.

    And don't forget to call in the irresponsible parents of those neighborhood kids who are playing rough or climbing trees or anything else that pegs your busybody meter.

    And last, but not least, don't neglect to call in all those suspicious people lurking about wherever you go whom you suspect might be up to some no good or who might be contemplating some dangerous activity.

  22. #22
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Better keep your phone available to call in smokers who have children in the car, or at home, or anywhere else for that matter.

    And don't forget to harass any pregnant woman, or woman who might be pregnant, who has a glass of wine or a cigarette within your purview.

    And don't forget to call in the irresponsible parents of those neighborhood kids who are playing rough or climbing trees or anything else that pegs your busybody meter.

    And last, but not least, don't neglect to call in all those suspicious people lurking about wherever you go whom you suspect might be up to some no good or who might be contemplating some dangerous activity.
    I disagree. While I am extremely wary of trees, I think that some of these recommendations go too far.
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

  23. #23
    My Alphabit's say "Oooo" InfamousG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    ...So if I call the police on someone drinking & driving is'nt that an infringment on their free right to drink & drive? Yet it is still considered a good idea to do what it takes to get the drunk driver off the street? ...
    Absolute freedom is exactly that, absolute. ...
    First of all, someone does not have the "right" to drink and drive. It is illegal. Calling the police is calling to report an illegal activity (or the possibility of one).

    There is no such thing as "Absolute Freedom." If there were, there would be no need for law enforcement officers. Why call the police if they're going to respond with "Well, he's free to ransack your house and **** your wife... got a ***? You're free to kill him, too."

    In cities where a bike helmet is mandatory, sure you could call the cops on everyone you see riding without a helmet. Chances are though, cops will get fed up with stopping bikes for not wearing their helmets because there is no revenue to gain from it. Issuing a ticket does nothing if the offender has no ID on them to follow up with.

    Those that believe in absoulte freedom as a potential reality are delusional. It won't happen. It'll be a sad day when it does.

  24. #24
    My Alphabit's say "Oooo" InfamousG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Better keep your phone available to call in smokers who have children in the car, or at home, or anywhere else for that matter.

    And don't forget to harass any pregnant woman, or woman who might be pregnant, who has a glass of wine or a cigarette within your purview.

    And don't forget to call in the irresponsible parents of those neighborhood kids who are playing rough or climbing trees or anything else that pegs your busybody meter.

    And last, but not least, don't neglect to call in all those suspicious people lurking about wherever you go whom you suspect might be up to some no good or who might be contemplating some dangerous activity.
    While I understand that your message is in sarcasm, none of those activities are illegal. Dangerous, yes, illegal, no. If my neighbor was a major-league a-hole and I knew he was up to some illegal activity (such as drugs, in-house gambling, giving kids beer, etc.) I'd anonymously report him. Selective reporting of lawlessness is ok.

    Are you going to go turn yourself in for all of those speeding tickets you should have gotten?

  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfamousG
    While I understand that your message is in sarcasm, none of those activities are illegal. Dangerous, yes, illegal, no. If my neighbor was a major-league a-hole and I knew he was up to some illegal activity (such as drugs, in-house gambling, giving kids beer, etc.) I'd anonymously report him. Selective reporting of lawlessness is ok.

    Are you going to go turn yourself in for all of those speeding tickets you should have gotten?
    No. Nor am I going to phone in every speeding motorist I see either despite the alleged danger.

    I'd save/prioritize my phoning-in/squeeling for drivers whose driving behavior actually demonstrates recklessness disregard of my safety; and a can of beer in the hand is NOT that behavior. If the thought of motorists with alcohol on their breath sends chills up your spine, I would suggest that you never think about the departing customers of every single road house/tavern in the country, especially at closing time. You would wear out your dialing finger.

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