Helmet law a big mistake
June 12, 2008 · Updated 4:27 PM
Kitsap County needs a helmet ordinance like it needs a hole in the head. Even so, theres a good chance well soon have one.
Kitsap County Health District Director Scott Lindquist last month provided the county commissioners with a draft ordinance requiring that bicycle riders of all ages be required to wear an approved safety helmet. The wording of the measure is currently being reviewed by the countys civil prosecutors and, if it passes muster there, there could be public hearings and, ultimately, a vote.
County Commissioners Chris Endresen and Jan Angel have both expressed support for such a measure, as has Port Orchard Mayor Jay Weatherill.
Its a mistake. Worse, its a misinterpretation of the whole purpose of government.
Were not saying theres anything wrong with bicycle helmets. They prevent injuries and save lives and we think everyone should wear one. But we think everyone should eat their vegetables, too. Does that mean the county should empower its deputies to write out a ticket to everyone who passes up brussel sprouts in the buffet line?
The role of government is to perform tasks and provide services we cant provide for ourselves like paving roads and protecting our lives and property. Its not the governments job to nag us like some publicly financed mother to take better care of ourselves.
Suppose we let our police and law enforcement officials go back to chasing murderers, rapists and meth dealers and leave the naughty children to their parents.