On wear­ing hel­met

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page -

IT’S THE week­end once again. Let me turn down the se­ri­ous­ness of this col­umn a few notch lower with a lighter topic. This time on me and cheat­ing death.

I stud­ied a doc­toral de­gree in re­search as well as law a few years back, yet those cre­den­tials are never an as­sur­ance that I be a well dis­ci­plined and a law abid­ing cit­i­zen.

Em­bar­rass­ing as it may sound, I learned the im­por­tance of wear­ing a hel­met the hard way.

Let me tell you a near death ex­pe­ri­ence.

One time my brother bor­rowed my car be­cause he had to do some er­rands. In ex­change, he lent me his new mo­tor­cy­cle. I was al­most late for work so hur­riedly hopped into my brother’s bike, wore my sun-vi­sor, and drove to work, or at least tried to.

While I was speed­ing up at a hi-way I re­al­ized that the right side mir­ror of the mo­tor I was driv­ing was not set well. So I de­cided to ad­just it with my left hand; a very wrong move. Just when I had it fixed I was al­ready very close to the car in front of me. So I squeezed the front brake and stepped on the back brake si­mul­ta­ne­ously; bad call again. Be­fore I knew it I was al­ready air­borne while my mo­tor­cy­cle tum­bled be­hind me. I was head­ing to the con­crete road, head first, and a split sec­ond be­fore the im­pact I just re­al­ized I was not wear­ing a hel­met. BANG!

I was con­scious after the im­pact. The van be­hind me quickly man­aged to shift lane and the rest of the ve­hi­cles were then able to avoid run­ning me over.

Let me spare of the de­tails after that mo­ment (I could hardly re­mem­ber them). What mat­ters most was that I lived to tell the story. Next to is that I learned a very im­por­tant les­son that none of the four ex­clu­sive uni­ver­si­ties I grad­u­ated from was able to teach me, i.e., it is very im­por­tant to wear a hel­met in rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle.

Ap­par­ently the in­ci­dent did not stop me from rid­ing big bikes. I must have had a cou­ple more in­ci­dents in­volv­ing bikes and roads, but rid­ing bikes have grown on me now. You see, there is al­ways this thing with men and mo­tor­cy­cles; a sense of free­dom, speed and con­trol. But this time around I have been more cau­tious more than ever.

Let it be known that there is al­ready an ex­ist­ing law called the Repub­lic Act 10054 or the Mo­tor­cy­cle Hel­met Act of 2009. This law man­dates mo­tor­cy­cle driv­ers and rid­ers to use pro­tec­tive mo­tor­cy­cle hel­mets with PS and ICC seals.

DTI urged the mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers to buy only hel­mets cer­ti­fied by DTI to en­sure safety. An ICC sticker would iden­tify this in the mar­ket.

I fer­vently hope that our rid­ers will not have to wait for an ac­ci­dent to learn this les­son. Records would show that not ev­ery­one is as lucky as I am.*


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