Helmet vs. Turban
We've been discussing this for a few weeks here in Canada. I know not all states have helmet laws (we do), but what do you think of this?
"Ontario court rejects religious exemption to motorcycle helmet law
Globe and Mail Update
March 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM EST
A devout Sikh who challenged an Ontario law requiring all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet on provincial roads has lost his court case.
Ontario Court Judge James Blacklock ruled today that while the law prohibiting anyone riding a motorcycle without a helmet does violate his right to freedom of religion, it's justifiable in terms of the benefit that society gains in possible reduced health costs and the possible loss of people's loved ones.
"Given the nature of Mr. Baljinder Badesha's beliefs, which foreclose him from wearing anything over his turban, and yet the unquestioned safety and related issues, this is one of those cases in which, unfortunately, no accommodation appears possible," Judge Blacklock ruled.
Mr. Badesha told reporters he was not particularly disappointed and that he and about 25 supporters who showed up for the decision will lobby politicians to change the law.
He said he hasn't decided yet whether to appeal. He has 15 days to do so.
Judge Blacklock ruled: "Helmets appear to me more likely than not to substantially reduce the risk of head injuries and death to motorcycle riders.
"It is certainly clear that in permitting Mr. Badesha and all Sikh adherents who hold his religious views to ride motorcycles without a helmet would not achieve the same level of safety for them.
"The same level of protection against emotional trauma and economic turmoil would certainly not be available to their dependents and loved ones.
"The same level of safety would not be achieved for other users of the road who happen to be around them."