Aguilar: On wearing helmet

Against the current

IT’S the weekend once again. Let me turn down the seriousness of this column a few notches 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 on 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 it is that I learned a very important lesson that none of the four exclusive universities I graduated from were able to teach me, i.e., it is very important to wear a helmet when 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 has 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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