Bike HelmetsThe news article, "Helmet law battle revived...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 04, 1994

Bike Helmets

The news article, "Helmet law battle revived," Feb. 25, states that the pro-helmet supporters have "statistics" which show that the helmet law "saved" 11 lives and that the number of motorcyclists admitted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with serious head injuries decreased by 17 percent.

While I do not dispute that there were 11 less motorcycle fatalities or that Shock Trauma cases decreased, I do question whether all the statistics were taken into account. I do not feel that these reductions should automatically be attributed to a mandatory helmet law.

I did not see any mention in the article of motorcycle usage in our state. Did it decrease because of the helmet law? If so, could this not account for a reduction in fatalities?

Did more people attend a motorcycle safety course during the last year? With or without helmets, if people operate their vehicle in a more defensive and responsible manner, there should be a drop in accidents.

There was also one figure not mentioned which cannot be easily calculated, and that is the percentage of freedom that every citizen of our state loses when government imposes restrictions on those citizens in matters of personal choice.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer has promised to veto a repeal bill if it reaches his desk. There are many taxpaying voters in this state who hope that our next governor will not carry such restrictive attitudes about personal freedoms into office when the next term starts.

Steven P. Strohmier

Dundalk

Earth Park

The Sun Feb. 22 printed a brief story about the doom overpopulation allegedly will cause to the world by 2100. My recommendation is to take this with a large grain of salt.

Such doomsaying stories proclaim that the end of the world will be caused by pollution, overpopulation, famine or lack of natural resources.

Of these four dooms, the first three are merely aspects of the fourth. Wealth, which is founded on natural resources, negates the first three "dooms."

In short, if everyone on the earth could be made as wealthy as the average American, most of these "dooms" would prove illusory.

Achieving that worldwide prosperity would take immense amounts of natural resources, and David Pimentel, the article's doomsayer, would no doubt argue quite correctly that such quantities of resources are not available on the earth.

That is where his argument collapses. We have not been limited to the earth in our search for resources since Oct. 4, 1957, the day the Soviet Union launched Sputnik.

Both manned and unmanned missions since then have proven that human beings can survive in space and that the solar system contains everything needed for all sorts of industrial activity: metal ores (even pure metals), organic compounds, water and, most importantly, an inexhaustible energy source -- that vast, unshielded fusion reactor called the sun.

If we wanted to, we could by 2100 move out into earth or lunar orbit all of our industry, even perhaps our agriculture, and turn the earth into a park.

Incredible? Yes, but no more so than computers, interstate highways, supersonic aircraft and manned landings on the moon would have been to our great-grandparents in 1894.

Amos Hale Adams

Baltimore

Get Back

Mike Littwin's recent column (Jan. 23) regarding a reunion of the three surviving Beatles was the ultimate in selfishness. Not everyone got to experience Beatlemania the first time around.

Because of a quirky twist of fate, I missed the beginning of Beatlemania -- in fact, the whole phenomenon. I wasn't born until the summer of 1964. It wasn't until 10 years later that I became a fan, and that was obviously too late.

I was 16 in 1980 when John Lennon was murdered, and I grieved just as the older fans did. I knew then that a full Beatles reunion would never, ever occur.

I did, though, hold out hope for the other three. I was lucky enough to see Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in concert, though individually.

Hope of a Beatles reunion has been --ed countless times for me over the past 20 years. Despite the loss of John, I still crave the chance to see George, Paul and Ringo together again -- whether in the studio or live.

Would a reunion be the same? No. Even with John, it would not be the same. Would John be missed? Absolutely.

But please don't deny the rest of us, who missed Beatlemania the first time, the joy of seeing the Beatles together again, in any incarnation.

Kendra Roberts

Catonsville

Radar Detectors

Once again there is talk of making radar detectors illegal. One would suspect that any device designed, manufactured and sold for the only possible purpose to circumvent (read "break") the law should be illegal.

However, in defense of the thousands now in use, the following must be considered:

Our speed laws are set at a maximum of 55 m.p.h., with the logic that, we are told, if upped to 60, average speeds would increase from the present 70 to 80. The only way to keep traffic at 70 is to announce 55. Ridiculous!

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