To the editor:

People scream about loss of personal freedom. There is a saying that goes something like this, "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." This will always be a subject for intense debate: how much right we have vs. how much we are restrained in any given situation.What a shame we all don't make our every decision based on courtesy to others. But because we don't, then anytime we enter "community space," we are restricted in deference to those with whom we share that space.

We are necessarily limited in our freedom to choose by how our decisions will impact the society in which we interact. Drivers are part of that society. This is true even of those who are friendless and have no family. When people drive cars or motorcycles, they become part of the neighborhoods where they travel and have a responsibility to them.

If they are injured or killed in an accident there, then they have impacted that community. They affect the workers who must deal with their mangled bodies. They affect any witnesses and/or other motorists involved in the accident. If a person does not have a job, then the cost of their demise or injuries falls on society. If they do have a job, then these circumstances will affect at least their employer. All these become unwilling victims.

If this happens as a result of their own neglect (not wearing seat belts, not wearing helmets, drunk driving, disobeying traffic regulations, etc.), they should be held accountable.

Where do they get the "right" to inflict this on the community? We have an obligation to enact laws that will protect us from those individuals who would selfishly practice dangerous and hurtful disregard of self and others in the name of personal freedom.

Teri Croft

Salt Lake City