Bike Helmets Could Become Mandatory


All cyclists might be required to wear a helmet if a new law under consideration by the city council passes, the Bensonhurst Bean reports. Councilmember David Greenfield, who represents Bensonhurst, Midwood and Borough Park, proposed the bill last week. “Helmets save lives, plain and simple,” he said. (Currently, only delivery guys and children under 14 are required to wear helmets.) Helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury by more than 60 percent, the blog reports.

Coming on the heels of Bloomberg’s proposed soda size-restriction, the bill has provoked strong feelings. “Bike Helmets Next in Nanny State Legislation” was a headline on the Prospect Heights Patch.

Even The Nanny himself opposes the law. “There’s a reason why no major city has imposed a mandatory bike helmet law,” a deputy mayor told the Huffington Post. “That’s because the best way to protect cyclists is to avoid accidents in the first place, and you do that with more bike lanes.”

Bicycle riding has been growing in NYC. Commuter rates have more than doubled since 2005, thanks in part to the growing network of bike lanes. And the ballyhooed bike share program is set to kick off this summer.

Some cyclists think less effort should go into helmet laws and more into other measures. “How about enforcing no cars on bike lanes, better bike lanes and bicycle safety education for drivers?” one cyclist asked the Bensonhurst Bean. Still, “she wears a helmet willingly because she would ‘rather be ok than have splattered sidewalk brains.'”

For real. We’d have more dead friends if it weren’t for bike helmets. There’s no excuse ever not to wear one.


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