The Instigator
AdamJ
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
nyyfan
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Should children be forced to wear helmets by law while riding bicycles.?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
nyyfan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,641 times Debate No: 23214
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

AdamJ

Pro

First round is acceptance.

Good luck!
nyyfan

Con

I will start with a basis for my argument against the law requiring children to wear. I think it is safe to agree that the law is designed to protect the freedom of all humans living within the confines of a given nation, in my case America. It is also safe to say that children are in fact humans. Therefore they have all the freedoms of adults. The only reason the law should inhibit one's freedoms is to protect the safety and freedoms of other, in other words you can voluntarily do as much damage to yourself as you want you just can't harm others or prevent them from expressing their freedoms. Not wearing a helmet does not harm anyone else and it does not inhibit anyone's freedoms and therefore should be legal.
Debate Round No. 1
AdamJ

Pro

The statement made by Con that putting oneself in danger does effect anyone else is utterly ridiculous! While it may not harm anyone physically, it can definitely harm them psychologically, which in some cases is even more serious. While it is true that the law is designed to protect people's freedom, it is also designed to protect people's well-being. The law requiring children to wear a bicycle helmet while bicycling is not restricting their freedom, but rather ensuring that their well-being is maintained and that unnecessary injuries do not take place. Think of helmets like seatbelts in cars: sure they may be a bit of a hassle, but in the end it is worth wearing your seatbelt to avoid going through your wind shield. If an individual who is not wearing their seatbelt is involved in a collision resulting in death, other participants in the collision will feel guilty for the rest of their life. Why am I making reference to seatbelts? The answer is because it is the same concept as helmets. I think it is safe to say that requiring children to wear helmets does not restrict their freedom--it simply teaches them the importance in being safe and cognisant of the dangers around you.

As a child, I fell countless times. Although I suffered scratches, cuts, and received many dents in my helmet, no injuries had a long lasting impact on my life. However, if I were not wearing a helmet, those dents could have potentially caused irreversible damage. I am not alone with this experience. In fact, I can imagine that most kids who ride bicycles fall at least a couple times. When children are so young, a small injury can have huge impact. Therefore, I believe it is best to abide by the saying that it is "better to be safe than sorry".

As Con discusses why children should be allowed to put themselves in danger, keep in mind that these are kids we are talking about! These young humans with little life experience and bad judgement need a bit of guidance from health specialists who understand the importance of keeping your brain intact!
nyyfan

Con

It is true that helmets prevent injuries, I am not going to argue that. Also, the seatbelt argument is absurd because a person going through a windshield DOES affect the safety of the other driver(s) involved in the crash (this is why seatbelt laws, at least in NYS don't require them to be worn by backseat passengers). Now back to the original argument, I fully support children wearing helmets while riding bicycles, as an avid cyclist myself it is certainly good for personal safety, but my argument is against the government involving itself in every part of our lives. Would you like the government to make it illegal for children to eat food dyes and corn syrups because it might give them ADHD? What other parts of our lives do you suggest parents can't make appropriate decisions about? It is not the polices responsibility to play parent/babysitter for parents. It is a waste of police time to drive these "delinquents" home every time they catch them without a helmet and therefore a waste of both community protection and tax payer dollars.
Debate Round No. 2
AdamJ

Pro

The law requiring children to wear bicycle helmets is not designed to control an individual's life, nor does it represent the government's involvement in parenting children. What this law is designed for, however, is to act as a guideline and encourage safe bicycling tactics. Con stated that "it is a waste of police time to drive these "delinquents" home every time they catch them without a helmet....". This statement is incorrect in pretty much every aspect, since police officers give warnings the majority of the time, not drive kids home. This is largely because most police officers care about helping children, not scaring them for the rest of their lives.

The fact of the matter is that if a kid wants to bicycle to his friends house who lives down the block, he might consider not wearing any safety equipment on the short ride. However, if the child is cognisant of the law, he will be more likely to abide by this simple, non-obstructive law, and as a result increase his chances of avoiding serious injury. Every year, hundreds of American and Canadian children die or are seriously incapacitated from head injuries resulting from bicycle accidents. If they would have worn helmets, however, many of those deaths could have been avoided.

As a concluding statement, I urge you to vote Pro, because children's safety is worth the extra effort. All it takes is one fall, and that child could have life-threatening head injuries. With helmets, however, that risk is greatly reduced. Ergo, let's be examples to the younger generation by supporting this law and encouraging them to wear helmets!

Thank-you for listening.
nyyfan

Con

It is interesting that my opponent says thank you for listening when he clearly was not listening to me. I am NOT arguing the safety impact of helmets, therefore you should not vote for him just because helmets improve safety, you should instead vote for who made a better argument in regards to whether or not the law should force children to wear helmets. IF you are a child who is cognizant of the law then you are likely also an obedient child who listens to their parents and most likely wears a helmet at there request. Therefore my opponents entire closing statement is invalid because there is no quantitative or qualitative evidence that such a law would increase helmet use. Perhaps a better solution would be to increase awareness programs, not to add more pointless laws. Thank you, I enjoyed the debate and I hope some of you listened to my arguments and didn't just dismiss me as an advocate of reckless behavior.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
When I was a child you were more likely to be injured "because" you wore a helmet. The wussification of America pure and simple.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
AdamJnyyfanTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never really said why it should be the government's role, and didn't refute Con's argument that if a minor thing like bike helmets should be a law, then why shouldn't food dye and corn syrup be a law.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
AdamJnyyfanTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: terrible debate. Con still won by a hair because Pro did not fully address Con's argument, and Con proved that it is not the government's job.