Several police logs in the Berks County area reported deaths as a result of major injuries sustained during motorcycle collisions. Many of those reports showed that the driver was not wearing a helmet.Some might think wearing a helmet while riding an open-air, two-wheeled vehicle would be required. But that is not the case.

According to, "Pennsylvania Law requires that any person who operates or rides a motorcycle must wear protective headgear unless he or she is 21 years of age or older and has been licensed to operate a motorcycle for not less than two full calendar years OR has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. All individuals operating a motorcycle on a learner's permit must wear a helmet regardless of age."

Also according to the Web site, "the operator or occupant of a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab is exempt from wearing a helmet. In response to this law the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation developed regulations for the minimum performance requirements for helmets designed for use by motorcyclists." I can understand the need to feel the wind in your hair while riding a motorcyle. I can also understand the feeling of freedom while out on the open road.

I understand a person's right to choose not wear a helmet, which is in accordance to state law. You may be a very good driver, but what about everyone else on the road?

Last year, I witnessed the aftermath of a motorcycle collision with an SUV. The SUV driver failed to stop at a blinking red light and collided with the motorcyle. The motorcycle driver and passenger, who were not wearing helmets, laid on the ground motionless.

Who can say what would have happened if they were wearing helmets, but just maybe it would have increased their odds.

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Area Patriot. E-mail her,

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