Motorcyclist dies while protesting helmet laws - Click above to watch video after the jump

A motorcyclist in New York passed away while participating in a ride to protest the state's helmet laws this past weekend. Philip Contos, a 55-year-old Harley-Davidson rider, was participating in an American Bikers Aimed for Education (ABATE) ride with over 500 other bikers. According to Associated Press reports, Contos locked up the brakes on his motorcycle, fish-tailed and went over the handlebars. He struck his head on the pavement and was transported to a local hospital before being pronounced dead. State police said that the accident would not have been fatal if Contos had been wearing a helmet.

Even so, the rider's death hasn't been enough to deter ABATE, with members saying that helmets shouldn't be mandatory. Click past the jump to watch an Associated Press report on the incident.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 136 Comments
      Soccer Mom
      • 3 Years Ago
      As motorcycle instructors used to say: If your head worth $5, you wear a $5 helmet. In his case, he needed no helmet at all.
        Fazzster
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Soccer Mom
        So true. I look around and see all the Harley guys wearing these beanie style helmets which offer zero crash protection. By the looks of many of them, their brain would be worth even less than $5.00......
      Moreno636
      • 3 Years Ago
      Darwinisim at its finest...
      hevace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is a bad idea. Falling off a motorcycle without a helmet is an even worse idea.
      MechE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Irony
        DC Mike
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MechE
        Really. What more can you say. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-rPcLA-5tNzE/ThMat8WV17I/AAAAAAAABFM/QFl8S6SvuLY/Irony%252521.png
      john
      • 3 Years Ago
      DONT TREAD ON ME! No, really, try not to step in my brains, they're everywhere.
      carboy55
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't want to revel in anyone's death, but I do think anyone who puts straight pipes on a Harley that can drown out normal conversation for 4 city blocks should be required NOT to wear a helmet nor allowed to wear earplugs of any kind. That would take care of that problem.
      MANARC100
      • 3 Years Ago
      Darwin at its finest. I would never consider getting on a motorcycle without a helment, but if someone else wants to risk ending up a stain on the streeet that is their choice. It should be mandatory for children. Most likely it is already.
        HaterSlayer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MANARC100
        The problem is that it's not just the risk of people dying. What if you're not wearing a helmet and your ass ends up brain damaged and your family has to take care of you for the rest of your life because of the stupid stuff you did? That's not fair to them.
        jaazani
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MANARC100
        it is. every rider in ny must wear a helmet and every passenger must wear a helmet (including minors). ny is part of the minority.
      smacsteve
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is irony in it's truest sense!
      Ant_88
      • 3 Years Ago
      oh the irony!
      loopless
      • 3 Years Ago
      I remember one state did remove the helmet law and one of the MD associations put up a highway billboard saying essentially "thanks for all the organs that will now be donated due to all these young people that now be dying unnecessarily from head trauma"
      Flash!
      • 3 Years Ago
      We shouldn't have to legislate common sense. I would only ever ride with a helmet on (and with full gear 99% of the time) but if someone else wants to scrape their brains of the pavement that should be their choice. What boggles my mind is how states like mine (Florida) can repeal the motorcycle helmet laws (2000) then make not wearing your seatbelt a primary offense (2009). I'm still going to wear my seatbelt all the time, but how about some equality here?!?
        JayCee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Flash!
        "We shouldn't have to legislate common sense." Great words, totally agree with that.
        torqued
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Flash!
        "We shouldn't legislate common sense." If you had said this ^, then I'd agree. But you're right that it should go hand-in-hand with the seatbelt law.
      Thunderbisciut
      • 3 Years Ago
      hessi is right about something thing that always gets overlooked on these issues, the other person(s) involved. If I hit, or a motorcyclist hits me and then dies from it due to the lack of a helmet, I would be devestated. Guilt, legal, and financial issues could get potentially crazy. I ride as well, but I ride with full gear. I've been smashed in the helmet by road debris and thanked god I had a helmet on. I cringe when I ride by people in their shorts and tee shirts. I cringe most though when I see a guy in full gear with his hot girlfriend on the back in a short skirt, tank, and her thong poking out. What's she going to look like if you take a spill? Not worth dying over...
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Thunderbisciut
        Let's hear it for hot girls in thongs!
        Nick Allain
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Thunderbisciut
        +1 to that. I just did the course and got my license. I don't have a bike yet but don't intend to even think about getting one until i've purchased full gear. While riding is fun, it's not worth dieing over - especially when you can prevent it. You hit the nail on the head about wearing fully gear - it's not just to save your life - it's to save your appearance in the case you put your fast moving body to the cheese grater.
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