People ride motorcycles because they aren’t cars – and this goes much deeper than the obvious.
Motorcycles are free of almost all of the crap that has been forced into cars, most especially air bags. Most new cars have at least six of these things. Almost no bikes have even one. This is chiefly because most motorcyclists do not want an air bag – hence the motorcycle. And because – thankfully – it is technically more challenging to embed one of these things into the architecture of a bike.
But Safetyism never sleeps.
If it is too much – for the moment – to embed an air bag in a bike, then how about forcing its rider to wear one? At least one company – AlpineStar, which makes excellent leathers and other riding gear – makes an air bag vest for the rider that s ideally suited for the purpose.
It is called the Tech-Air 3 and it’s only $599 – not counting the cost of ruining everything that makes riding the antithesis of driving, which used to be something emotionally (as well as financially) attractive to a great extent because it was free of things like air bags.
Before air bags, there were inexpensive cars and not merely in term of what they cost to buy, which was lower because it cost less to design and build them without having to design and build them around air bags as well as with them.
One of the hidden-from-view costs of air bags (until you pay it) is the effect they have had on the cost of insuring cars – which everyone is forced to pay.
Insuring air bag-equipped cars is more expensive even if you do not crash yours. The fact that others will crash theirs means the insurance mafia will “total” a lot of them – as the cost of replacing even two deployed air bags after a crash is often high enough to make repairing the car not worth doing. The cost of cutting a check for someone else’s totaled car is passed on to you. And, of course, you will pay more directly if your own car is totaled after a relatively minor accident because the cost of replacing the air bags is too high relative to the value of the car, itself.
These are the objective costs. The intangible costs are immeasurably higher.
Air bags in cars have ruined interior design – in particular, the former focal point of interior design, the steering wheel. Before air bags, a car’s interior was often defined by the steering wheel, which designers were free to make car (and brand) specific. One of the best examples of this being the Formula steering wheel Pontiac used to make the 1970-81 Trans-Am’s interior very specifically Trans-Am (and Pontiac). It was a unique look that no other car – or brand of car – had. Others did similar – and if they did not, you could. By replacing the factory steering wheel with a custom one more to your liking.
That is impossible now, courtesy of the air bag.
And these costs were assured when people accepted the obnoxious claim that it is the legitimate role of government to “keep us safe.” It is worse than obnoxious.
Underneath the cloying for-your-own-good-ism lies we-know-best-ism. The “we” being they – as in the obnoxious people who hold government office, either bureaucratic or elected, who think of themselves as enlightened and you as an imbecile. An imbecile who must be controlled – for his own good. At least, that is what they say.
What they mean, of course, is for the sake of controlling you – using force, of course – which is the thing they got into the business of government to do. It is the business of people who cannot mind their own.
They are keeping us safe.
Never mind the cost. Most especially to our self-respect, which is trampled by the idea that we’re imbeciles who need enlightened them to “keep us safe.” In order to justify and perpetuate their control over us.
Motorcycles are still a kind of end-run around that – and them. But Safetyism never sleeps. And it knows there is a loophole to be closed.
At this moment, the air bag vest is not something you are forced to buy if you wish to ride. But bear in mind that neither were the first automotive air bags, which were initially offered as equipment people were free to buy or not. Most did not. Just as most riders will choose not to spend $599 (plus tax) on a wearable air bag. Not because they’re imbeciles, either. Rather, because they prefer not to – which does not make them imbeciles. Except to those who believe they are divine-right-entitled to countermand the preferences of others, not by persuasion but by force.
We were imbeciles to give them an inch.
Which they got when they succeeded in using force to require seat belts in cars. Which people were eventually – inevitably – forced to use, too.
Just as they are now forced to pay for air bags.
And everything else.
It will be the same with air bag vests.
At least, there is a very strong probability it will – because of the prior acceptance of forcing riders to wear helmets, as is the (obnoxious) law in most states. If the state – that is, they – can force you to buy and wear a helmet, then why not an air bag vest? Rest assured the argument will be made by them – in terms of for-your-own-good. It may even be made by the makers of the air bag vest, too – as there is money to be made by making people buy what you have to sell.
Perhaps they ought to give more thought to the costs of accepting this principle and the power of control it cedes to government (i.e., to them) which will relentlessly seek new avenues to express itself – until we are allowed no control over anything at all.
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