Caldwell Biker Dies on I-84

A 60-year-old Caldwell man headed westbound on I-84 lost control of his bike on Saturday, Aug. 12. The motorist was riding a 1988 Harley Davidson when he laid his bike down at I-84 milepost 13 off the ramp near the US-30 New Plymouth exit in Payette County.

He wasn't wearing a helmet. According to the Idaho State Journal, the 60-year-old succumbed to his injuries at the scene at approximately 9:00 p.m.

The single-vehicle incident is under investigation by Idaho State Police, but authorities report the biker "was riding at a high rate of speed when he attempted to exit at milepost 13 using the off ramp."

Idahoans Chime In

News of the tragedy stirred up the long-standing Idaho helmet law controversy across the state:

I don't understand why motorcyclists are not ticketed for not wearing a helmet. It's ridiculous to ride and not wear a helmet. -Pat B. 


Helmets can help you survive, no helmet and traveling at a high speed and wrecks, then you probably will die...

-Concerned American


Absolutely as a Physician Assistant trauma specialist I can tell you how many lives helmets have saved, but I can also say how many have been lost as a result of not wearing a helmet. Too many! -Jeffrey H. 


Idaho's Helmet Law

Idaho is one of 47 states with a helmet law on the books. However, in response to the concern raised by Idahoans above, the Gem State's helmet law only applies to riders under 18.

No person under eighteen (18) years of age shall ride upon or be permitted to operate a motorcycle, motorbike, utility type vehicle or an all-terrain vehicle unless at all times when so operating or riding upon the vehicle he is wearing, as part of his motorcycle, motorbike, UTV or ATV equipment...

-Idaho Statute 49-666

Neighborly Concern or Government Overreach?

Whether we agree or disagree with 49-666, the 60-year-old's final ride was in concert with Idaho law. He knew the risks and exercised his free will to ride without what a lot of us in the biker community call a "brain bucket." At the end of his life, the Caldwell man died doing what made him happy. The last we heard, the prospect of a happy death was something of an aspiration for most people.

Are responses to the biker's death toeing the line between neighborly concern and the pursuit of government overreach?

Email Ryan with your thoughts and opinions at 

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