Time was when the two-wheel rider was free to feel the wind in her hair. This has come to an end throughout the west and, under the yoke of the European Union, even Italy has succumbed to the fetters of stultifying prudence and joyless tyranny.
The question has always been one of the extent to which the state should be playing the role of invigilator in the affairs of the populace. Indeed, statistics can be made to show that fewer serious injuries would occur if helmets were universally worn when operating a scooter but the question remains as to how far the state should mandate safety. It may well be provable that a shoe law would also prevent injuries and indeed, a universal helmet law requiring helmets at all times for all motorists and pedestrians would almost certainly reduce injuries even further. Mouth guards and goggles universally worn would almost certainly reduce tooth loss and eye injury. Perhaps all vehicles should be fitted with defibrillators and anti-venom kits.
The issue is probably best viewed as a scale weighing probability of injury reduction against probability of injurious incidents but there is also the question of who should determine where the line is to be drawn for each individual -- the state, the individual or perhaps, as in the case of the Hollywood image, the romantic visioary.
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