Freeman Cebu Business

Plan B

ARE WE THERE YET - Back Seat Driver - The Freeman

Ever since the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10054) took effect a couple of years ago, there has been much controversy surrounding its implementation.  From questions of its constitutionality to its poor enforcement, this law has been defied more times than it’s been obeyed.  In case you doubt my claim, just spend some time on Diaper Island and Stallion City.  You will see more moped and scooter drivers without helmets than you do with on.

We know that some lawmakers drafted a resolution to allow local government units to suspend implementation of the said law due to the fact that helmets hide the identity of individuals who commit crimes while on motorbikes.  We also know that brainless nitwits prefer not to wear helmets when they straddle their overrated motorized bicycles because it gets too warm and whatever little brain matter they have under their noggin will melt due to too much heat.

Now, what if there was a way to give in to the logic of the former concern, and an accommodation of the lunacy of the second?  In a sense, there is.  In 2005, two ladies, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, who were studying Industrial Design in the University of Lund came up with a revolutionary concept for their master’s thesis called the Hövding (http://www.hovding.com). 

What is a Hövding, you may ask?  Well, if you weren’t checking out the link I posted on the previous paragraph, I guess I’ll have to explain.  Think of an airbag designed like a helmet.  The Hövding is a device that wraps comfortably around the wearer’s neck like a scarf.  In the event of a collision, a sensor will trigger the deployment of the airbag.  The airbag, designed like a hood, will wrap around the head of the wearer and stay inflated for a couple of seconds, protecting the wearer from multiple head impacts.  Plus, being an airbag, it provides the wearer with extremely soft and gentle shock absorption.  What this means is that, this device would greatly reduce blunt force trauma to the head.

The only drawback to this concept is that it’s currently designed for bicycle riders.  It has yet to be designed for higher speeds and stronger impact.  But who knows?  Maybe sometime in the near future the people who designed this would cross over to motorcycles.  Or maybe some local entrepreneur would fund the research and creation of a motorcycle compatible device that could solve the concerns of lawmakers who want to make sure that criminals won’t get away with their crime on account of their anonymity.

But at the moment, we’ll just have to be thankful that we’re not part of the group of dits who believe that  these protective motorcycle helmets will do nothing except fry their useless brain cells if they were to wear one.

[email protected].

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