Why my kids didn’t wear helmets: 3 things with Bill Spadea (WATCH)
I'm no fan of overregulation. It gets in the way of our personal lives, and it gets in the way of businesses that deserve to thrive. And I hit on both on Thursday's show.
But it wasn't all so serious. I got to meet comic Vic Dibitetto — and we talked about just how he catapulted to fame.
Don't depend on the government to protect you
This week, we're all mourning the death of retired Roxbury Lt. Joseph Franklin, who died in a bicycle accident during the Police Unity Tour — a 320-mile ride to honor fallen officers, and a cause I support wholeheartedly.
The family's requested privacy after his death, and I'm glad for that. Franklin's work as a police officer touched a lot of people, but sometimes, privacy is best.
When things like this happen, we can't help about think about what might be done to prevent them, and what people can do to keep themselves safe. For a lot of people, that means asking the government to step up.
Here's why I'm not one of them.
I've always felt that situational awareness is one of the most important skills we can have. You don't depend on the crosswalk to protect you — you make eye contact with the driver coming down the road. You make sure you know where he is and he knows where you are. Its your common sense, not the system, keeping you safe.
Parenting today has "evolved." It's changed. And I'm worried that a lot of millennials who have been protected so dearly are going to rely on social structures and the government to protect their own children. The truth is, it simply wont.
When my kids were young, we had no safety latches on the cabinets. No childproofing on the oven. Nothing like that. The better way to teach them caution, I felt, was that if a kid touches the stove, that kid gets his hand smacked.
And my wife and I made a conscious decision not to have our kids wear bike helmets — so they'd learn how to fall. They'd learn to be careful. They didn't depend on the helmets to protect them.
Under New Jersey law, anyone under 17 years of age on a bicycle has to wear a safety helmet. But I think we'd be better-served as a society without mandates about how we protect ourselves.
Will you be more safe with a helmet? Sure. But a British Medical Association study examining some of the areas with the strictest helmet rules found no discernable change in the incidence of head injuries because of the mandates. You know what it did find? Cycling dropped off between 20 and 44 percent when the laws went into effect.
Want to wear a helmet? Want to make sure your kids do? It's not a bad idea, and it's something you may want to do. But it's a decision you and your family should make — not one the government should make for you.
New Jersey towns are strangling Uber
First it was Newark going after Uber, demanding more regulations and a big payment. Now the Elizabeth government is barring Uber and similar ride-sharing services from train stations and Terminal A of Newark Liberty International Airport (even if it can't really enforce the latter).
And towns are trying to impose some of the same restrictive regulations that already apply to taxi services to Uber.
These towns are trying to extort money from Uber. They're like gangsters, trying to squeeze money from a private company that's delivering a service that helps everyone across the board.
I'm not alone in thinking this. Greg from Freehold called in with an excellent point: "It is a free-market solution to the existing problem of the scarcity of taxis." New York City has an arbitrary cap on the number of taxis — and it's one that's obviously way to small for the market, or taxi medallion wouldn't cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each, he said.
If government was any good at making these decisions, we wouldn't need a company like Uber in the first place.
What do you think?
Comedian Vic Dibitetto: It's not who you know, it's who knows you!
You might know Vic Dibietto him from his highly publicized YouTube video, "Bread and Milk." These days, Vic Dibitetto is selling out venues. He's about to hit 15 million vides on the video.
He's had a ton of success lately — with a role in MAll Cop 2, after hearing from King of Queens star Kevin James for the first time in 25 years.
But it's the video that's catapulted him into notoriety.
Dibitetto says "Twenty-six seconds got me more recognition than 33 years in standup," he told me. "It's the video that keeps on giving. "
He's playing at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick through May 15.