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home : opinion : columns August 19, 2014


5/8/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: No helmets required, and other mysteries

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


I've lived in Arizona for a year now, long enough to have a slippery grip on what makes the Grand Canyon State tick, but not so long I've figured everything out.

I have questions. Maybe you have answers.

First question: Why am I required to wear a seat belt while driving my three-quarter-ton pickup, but my neighbor isn't required to wear a helmet when he rides his motorcycle?

I understand the feel of the wind in your face is part of the allure of riding a motorcycle and a helmet robs a rider of that feel.

I understand it's about this increasingly vague concept we call freedom in America.

I've read the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution and I never saw anything that says drivers on two wheels shall enjoy more freedom than those who drive on four wheels.

If a motorcyclist is free to be daring and adventurous and reckless, why can't we car drivers?

Next week, the Kingman Police Department and law enforcement agencies across the state are going to embark on the annual "Click it or Ticket" campaign.

They are going to watch for people driving without wearing their seatbelt.

They are going to stop those who aren't and give them a ticket that is going to cost them money.

Meanwhile, helmetless motorcyclists will whiz by the pulled-over driver and laugh out loud.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a whatever-floats-your-boat kind of guy. Don't want to wear a helmet? Don't wear one.

But it is hypocritical to force one class of the motoring public to buckle up and allow another class to be "free."

Second question: Why can high school boys continuously violate protective orders? How can they be allowed to harass former girlfriends and her parents with no consequences, especially when the boy is a man, in the legal sense anyway, and the former girlfriend is 15?

I've been told the city has an unwritten policy that "suggests" police not arrest teenagers who violate protective orders if "violating the protective order" is the only crime the youngster committed.

Say what? A judge issues a protective order and you break it, you go to jail. That should be the city's policy.

I suggest the city attorneys huddle up and revisit this issue. One of these days, a boy who knows there are no consequences in making an entire family fearful and helpless is going to kill someone, or is going to be killed by a parent who says enough is enough.

Third question: We don't have them in Kingman, which I'm grateful for, but many communities in the state have cameras at intersections that take a snapshot of cars.

Run a yellow light? Expect to get a ticket. Not a red light, mind you, a yellow light.

The cameras have been deemed constitutional. Admittedly, I'm no lawyer but I understand due process. How can you face your accusers, perhaps the most fundamental right we have in this country - the Second Amendment notwithstanding - if your accuser is an inanimate object?

Judges who hear these cases side with the camera almost every time.

This law, more than any other, makes me question how sincere our lawmakers are when they brag about Arizona being a state that respects the rights of the people.

Of course, enhancing revenues trumps freedom when it comes to the government.

• • •

Regular readers have no doubt read the two installments in our Living History series.

We told the story of Howie Snell, the Pearl Harbor survivor who went on to fight in many historic WWII naval battles.

We told the story of Luigi Villani, the immigrant from Italy who was drafted and fought in Vietnam - and was one of hundreds of thousands of troops the government sprayed with Agent Orange, a known carcinogen.

While Snell and Villani are heroes who answered the call, this series isn't limited to war stories.

Any resident of the Kingman area who was there when history was made, any kind of history, is encouraged to call me at (928) 753-6397 ext. 226 or email me at dmcmurdo@kdminer.com.

To be clear, if you have a story about your brother-in-law's cousin who knew a guy that was related to this other guy who was a friend of someone who had a brush with history, we'll probably take a pass.

All other calls will be accepted with open arms, so get in touch with us.

We'll make you famous.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"And yes, I did check into that and found – nothing."

Of course you did.

And I forgot about that comprehension issue, so let me explain in simple terms.

If a Candidate fully supports his Parties stance in all areas...and if some or all of those principles are a little whacko (IMO), or I simply disagree with those positions, then I would not vote for that person. Have you looked at some of the policies of parties such as the Constitution Party, Independent American Party and to a lesser extent certain beliefs of the Libertarian and Green parties (to name a few)? Is that clear enough for you?

You on the other hand would never vote for a Repub no matter how qualified or how they felt on any issue...simply because he had an R beside his name. At least that's what can be inferred by all your numerous statements about only stupid people vote R.


Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Victor

“IIRC many of the contributions you listed for the bus issue were less than $20K?”

So it is now the amount that is important when it comes to Republicans selling out? Got it.

“Did you look to see how much they contributed to the Dems? Didn't think so.”

See there you go again posting nonsense that you have no knowledge of. And yes, I did check into that and found – nothing.

“I vote the person, … Unfortunately many of the other parties candidates are just too out there in some areas for my support.”

What “other parties candidates?” Sounds as if you do vote along party lines and not for the person as you claim.


Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

AN...you are getting funnier and funnier. We're talking about $1000 or $400 contributions...and you agree you are buying that politician...then you come out with "shyster casino owner spreading Chinese Communist money to elect an anti-American sleaze." Did I ever say I agreed with such a practice? Nope. But is it legal...yes. Get the law changed if you don't like it. IIRC many of the contributions you listed for the bus issue were less than $20K? Did you look to see how much they contributed to the Dems? Didn't think so. As to my not responding...perhaps I was out of town or otherwise occupied...or it just fell off the site.

As usual you don't address most of the points I brought up in my last post.

You may think I spin...but you seem to just deflect and avoid. I try my best to get my point across w/i the word limit. You often spend much of your allotment quoting partial statements by others and avoiding the rest. If someone can't remember what they wrote..they can always scroll down.

Btw..I feel most of the names you tried to group me in with are just like you, only on the opposite side of the aisle. You've bragged that you've never voted for a Repub... good for you. Whats the difference between you and someone else who votes their Party line? I vote the person, as I am a registered Independent. Some Dem, some Repub, and an Independent or two. Unfortunately many of the other parties candidates are just too out there in some areas for my support.

Whatever works for you I guess.


Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Victor

“As usual...I notice you avoid a direct response to my earlier post about the bus seatbelt legislation. Couldn't come up with anything other than the Repubs blocking it huh?

Since that issue was covered at great length a few weeks ago – and you had to admit at that time I was correct when I named names – I feel there is no point in going over it again.

“…. but it's not ok for a company to contribute similar or slightly higher amounts?”

No, it is not and it should not be. I went to great lengths a couple of weeks back explaining my ideas as to how to straighten out our electoral mess (and I notice you did not respond to that at all) and one of my ideas (not original BTW) is that ONLY actual living, breathing people who can cast a ballot should be allowed to donate to any political campaign – no corporations, no unions, only actual people. And that amount should be severely limited.

"…in my world a $400 donation is not contributing, ‘so much,’ but then … well, what can I say?" Ahhh nice denigration of people living on less than you.”

Interesting how you enjoy spinning words – you are becoming almost as adept as Frankie Not A Vet. There was no denigration of anyone in my statement – simply that my $400 pales in comparison to the tens of millions put out by the likes of some shyster casino owner spreading Chinese Communist money to elect an anti-American sleaze.

“You live in a different world alright...thats quite obvious.”

I’m glad that it is obvious, because to live in the world of you, Ms Athens, Frankie Not A Vet, Capt Nasty, et al would be a sad thing.


Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Article comment by: Suzy Q

I come from a state where motorcycle helmets have been a requirement since 1967.The truth is that not wearing a helmet gives you a 37% higher chance of being a fatality in an accident.
I also lost a dear cousin who was thrown from a vehicle because he did not have a seatbelt on while riding as a passenger.
Laws created for people's safety are not violation of an individual's rights, they protect everyone around you. I don't want to be the driver of a car who suddenly becomes liable for a fatality that may have otherwise been avoided with the adherence of safety measures.
Sometimes government steps in because people refuse to take personal responsibility.


Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Ahh AN...I just love it. Provide a few examples of your beloveds behaving badly and you just pooh pooh it. You look at the list I provided and say "you were unable to prove that statement". Really?? What do you need? Video of them sacrificing goats and dancing naked around a fire??

And sorry to have offended your delicate sensibilities when I said "…you think Dems are above it all". Most would understand that it was implied " …you think ALL Dems are above it all". And of course they are not...just as all Repubs cannot be painted with the same brush.

Also sorry I typed this, "Found innocent, some. Found guilty, others."...should have just let the list speak for itself.

The entire point is that many politicians are there for themselves and their buddies...not to do the correct/moral thing for the good of the country and her people.

As usual...I notice you avoid a direct response to my earlier post about the bus seatbelt legislation. Couldn't come up with anything other than the Repubs blocking it huh?

I don't have a near eidetic memory and probably couldn't find it...so how about posting a few of those donation amounts again? I'm trying to figure out exactly where the cutoff is in your mind. $400 is ok...though still buying a politician...but it's not ok for a company to contribute similar or slightly higher amounts?

"in my world a $400 donation is not contributing, “so much,” but then … well, what can I say?" Ahhh nice denigration of people living on less than you. You live in a different world alright...thats quite obvious.

Glad you like my posts...yours are right up there with LA, LGD, FLS, PL and a few others as well.


Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Victor

Thank you for the posting about “evil” democrats. Glad to see that for once you actually did some research. Bet that felt really good, didn’t it?

I won’t bother to note the nefarious activities of the Republicans – not enough space or time.

“Found innocent, some.”

So not being found guilty of anything – in your world – is justification for making your list. Hmm, so much for rule of law.

“Republicans any better...nope..never said that.”

That’s true, you simply maligned all democrats with this line, “…you think Dems are above it all because they are pure of heart and mind...when anyone can obviously find that is not a truth.” And even you were unable to prove that statement.

“Hey..since you contributed so much to Obama and the Democratic party...(from what I remember of your posts last year)...guess you bought and paid for them didn't you?”

Yeah, I sure did. Of course in my world a $400 donation is not contributing, “so much,” but then … well, what can I say?

I will admit however I love your posts – almost as much as Frankie Not A Vet – because they are so comical. Never much of substance just..well silliness.


Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Rep. Anthony Weiner

Rod Blagojevich

Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned after it was discovered he had engaged in financial transactions with prostitute Ashley Dupre

John Edwards admitted he had cheated on his cancer-stricken wife.

Barney Frank tolerated a gay prostitution ring run out of his home.

Chris Dodd received favorable loans from Countrywide that would have saved him up to $70,000.

Nancy Pelosi pushed for a minimum wage exemption for American Samoa, saving money for San Francisco business Starkist Tuna. Unconfirmed reports show that her husband Paul Pelosi owned $17 million in Heinz, the parent company of Starkist brand owner Del Monte, imply potential further impropriety. Former presidential candidate John Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz, is an heiress who owns a stake in Heinz Company.

Charlie Rangel failed to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income and assets on his financial disclosure statements.

Maxine Waters was brought up on House ethics charges after personally lobbying for a bailout of OneUnited bank, where her husband had previously sat on the board and owned about $350,000 in the bank's stock.

Just a few. Found innocent, some. Found guilty, others.

Pure of heart and mind...I don't think so. Republicans any better...nope..never said that.

Hey..since you contributed so much to Obama and the Democratic party...(from what I remember of your posts last year)...guess you bought and paid for them didn't you?



Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: karen swope

Normally I don't comment on these things but this time I felt I needed to. My husband used to be in the tow truck business (his family owns one). He told me stories about looking for passengers that were ejected from the vehicles. He told stories about what happened to passengers that weren't wearing their seatbelts. Adults and children alike. He also told me about motorcyclists that died almost immediately who weren't wearing a helmet. I have had a quite a few friends die in car accidents were they weren't wearing their seatbelts. Same thing goes for bikers who weren't wearing their helmets. Personally I think we should wear seatbelts in cars and helmets on motorcycles. The laws are their because we cant manage to make sure we do what's best for ourselves or our children.

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Victor

“… you think Dems are above it all because they are pure of heart and mind...when anyone can obviously find that is not a truth.”

And you have empirical proof of both of those statements, right? What, you don’t? I am stunned.

“…if I contribute $1000 to a politician that I support and then he votes the way I feel he should...did I buy and pay for him?”

Well, for once you got something right. Yes, you bought him.


Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Article comment by: tow trucking

There were times not so long ago when the Police, EMT and Tow all arrived at the same time.

Not doing the job in AZ I cant tell you how its done here. Personnaly as a tow driver in Mich, Florida, and Texas. I have more memories of mangled bodies and sweeping up blood then Ill ever forget.

We were expected to help pull people from cars, put out fires if need be, and assist the EMT's if necessary. If you were called to a wreck you did whatever you were asked to do.

Of course back then people went to work and wore as many hats as needed to get the job done. Today......trying to find anyone doing more then one task during the workday is very rare

Maybe that loss of integrity of willingness to do what it takes is why China is our new master.


Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"complaining about Democrats again"

No I'm not.....just pointing out that you think Dems are above it all because they are pure of heart and mind...when anyone can obviously find that is not a truth.

If anyone...anyone...really wanted it passed...they'd get it. Tell me how any politician could stand up to being spotlighted as " a person who won't protect our children as they go to and from school". Filibuster be damned...you tell me they couldn't find 3-4 people in 09 -11 or 8 or so in 11 -13 to bust it? Crap....it's because the Dems don't give a darn about it either, as THEIR masters have decreed....lol.

As to the very little money....if I contribute $1000 to a politician that I support and then he votes the way I feel he should...did I buy and pay for him? Isn't that the way it works?



Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@Teej

"Why exactly would you, a tow truck driver be "cleaning up brains" with a "baggie"?? And another thing, why would you be the first on scene to any accident more so than the average person? I mean, they call the tow truck last. And being an EMT i can tell you that we dont have a tow truck drivers be on body part recovery detail...anyways, just wondering"

You are absolutely right. When I was younger, my father was a tow truck driver. He was almost always the last one called out.


Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

X tow trucker...

Why exactly would you, a tow truck driver be "cleaning up brains" with a "baggie"?? And another thing, why would you be the first on scene to any accident more so than the average person? I mean, they call the tow truck last. And being an EMT i can tell you that we dont have a tow truck drivers be on body part recovery detail...anyways, just wondering


Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Bonnie Kelley

I am very much against the seat belt law. We have cameras here for tickets? And as to the restraining orders why have them then? Government makes no sense what else it new.

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

AA

“If the Kingman PD or any other law enforcement officer pulls you over for not wearing your seat belt, they are breaking the law and infringing on your rights.’

Although you are correct – if a little hyperbolic – I might add “Tell it to the judge.”


Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Victor

“So why didn't it go through when the Dems owned both houses? Guess there must have been a few of them bought and payed for as well?”

I see you still do not understand how the Senate works. Please, save yourself future embarrassment and do some research. Here’s a hint – the Republicans have filibustered virtually every bill that has come before the Senate over the past five years blocking discussion of, and a vote on, those bills. Now, go read.

What is most telling about your comments is that when this issue was brought up a few months ago you challenged me to name the Republicans that had accepted funds from bus industry lobbyists and when I did you responded with some comments about them selling out for very little money – which is of course irrelevant, the fact is they sold out to their corporate masters. And now you are back complaining about Democrats again.


Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Article comment by: X tow trucker

I dont care if bikers wear helmets. I dont care if people dont use seat belts.

Scooping up brains off the pavement and pulling crushed kids from under an adult in a car wreck are all in a days work for me.

Personnaly If Im on two wheels you can bet Im wearing the best brain bucket I can buy. Everyone in my vehicle buckles up or they GET OUT. Nobody rides loose.

I dont care what anyone thinks My ride My rules. My lifes experience has taught me the probability of injury is greatly decreased by just clicking the buckle and relaxing for the ride.

You do what you want. I have a baggie and a water hose to clean up if you choose wrong.


Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

@ John Lee, I misspoke on temps I've ridden in on a MC. A couple years ago passing by Baker, Ca. I survived 124F temps coming home from a west coast trip. If it wasn't for my fabric vented jacket, water bag to not dehydrate, + my helmet, vented gloves, I would have had to pull over from the incessant heat. For God sakes, my water heater is set @ 120F at home! But I made it home. I didn't have to do it but I like a challenge.

Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

@John Lee "try wearing a helmet when it's 100F and up"

I've done that so many times I can't remember them all. I've ridden in 118F temps and smart enough to have a full face helmet so my head wouldn't dry out and I then go wacky. In those kind of temps, or 32F it's really ignorant to not have a FF helmet on. I've ridden cross country many times and would never be stupid enough to not have both body and head coverage from the elements I encounter. Apparently you're a day tripper rider. I'm along distance rider.


Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: A A

The Click It or Ticket campaign is a bunch of garbage! If the Kingman PD or any other law enforcement officer pulls you over for not wearing your seat belt, they are breaking the law and infringing on your rights. Not wearing your seat belt is a secondary infraction. They have to have other probable cause to pull you over (i.e speeding), and then can cite you for not wearing a seat belt.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"bus lobbyists have bought Republican legislators for years to block the installation of seat belts by federal law"

So why didn't it go through when the Dems owned both houses? Guess there must have been a few of them bought and payed for as well?

Hey...why not an executive order?

Actually...the reason is that the injuries in a school bus wreck are normally very minor due the the mass and speed of the bus vs the other vehicles. I said..NORMALLY...of course there are exceptions. And then, how do you monitor 40-60 kids to make sure they stay belted in correctly? Oh, just hire another school bus monitor? What if a kid gets hurt with seatbelts installed...hmm sue I guess?

No..I do not want kids hurt in school bus crashes. In 10 yrs or so of riding buses in school...never an accident, never an injury, unless someone tripped going up or down the stairs. Ooops...maybe we should install lifts so the youngsters don't have to climb those big steps!


Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: A Serious Thought

@ mr. parker

"My personal opinion is that motorcycles are rolling chainsaws but I don't want to require helmets because we need organ donors.

I have to agree with you mr. parker somewhat. In addition to needing organ donor, not wearing a helmet also helps weed out the gene pool.

@ John Lee

"Try wearing a helmet when it is 100 degrees and up."

What a stupid argument. How about our troops out there in Afghanistan or even a better example is the folks that work on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Not only do they have to wear helmets, but also long sleeve, turtle neck shirts, goggles, gloves, long pants and heavy boots. How about next time in order to prevent heat stroke you drink a little more water and less Kool Aid.


Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

OKR

“Please re-read all of Anson's on line comments from at least 60 days back before printing anything in the paper so that he doesn't have to trouble himself answering the same questions more than once.”

Where, exactly, did you come to the conclusion that I am averse to responding to “the same question more than once?” I answered the post by indicating that bus lobbyists have bought Republican legislators for years to block the installation of seat belts by federal law in school buses. I did not suggest, imply or advise anyone to go “60 days back” to locate the original post – which as usual sparked all kinds of name calling from Frankie, Victor and I believe you, until I posted the full facts and source.

“Apparently, while he doesn't have a problem sharing his extensive areas of expertise, he gets a little annoyed with redundant questions.”

Thank you for feeling I have, “extensive areas of expertise.” That is – of course – incorrect. I do have a nearly eidetic memory and when I see garbage posted I will then research (try it some time) to find out the facts.

And you – of all people – should know I have no problem responding to redundant questions or statements.


Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Parent

I applaud you for the reference in mystery number two. It seems to me that this town does a little too much reacting and not enough responding. For example... Darell Ketchner. If law enforcement and the city or county attorneys had responded adequately to his multiple violations of the protective order the Allison family had in place, Ariel might still be here today. Instead, they waited until he violently attacked them and then responded with an ambulance. Too little, too late. How many victims must die before Kingman does something about it?


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