Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Big Bike Helmet Debate

Today I found a refreshing article that shows the waste of energy spent on trying to force cyclists to wear helmets and why that energy should be focused instead on making streets safer for cycling.

Here’s a fun excerpt:

“That’s more or less what the infamous helmet debate has become,” Hussey lamented. “Shouty strangers shouting at other shouty strangers for choices that don’t affect the first shouty stranger’s life. It’s a bit weird, definitely a waste of energy, and not a fun place for cyclists to share space in.”

As Boardman noted, in the Netherlands, perhaps the least perilous country for cyclists in the world, helmets and hi-vis are almost unknown. You don’t make cycling safe by obliging every rider to dress up as if for urban warfare. You do it by creating a road system that insulates them from fast-moving and unpredictable road traffic.

Read the full article here:

The Guardian "The big bike helmet debate: 'You don’t make it safe by forcing cyclists to dress for urban warfare'"

Friday, March 5, 2021

Public Outcry Against Seattle’s Bike Helmet Law

Seattle’s bicycle helmet law has been an unyielding blemish on the U.S. bike advocacy effort for decades. No data comparisons, no results from other parts of the world showing the damage done by these laws, no pleas from local cyclists could budge lawmakers to even consider repealing it.

Finally, a new study showing outrageous disparities in who police target for bike tickets has brought the law up for potential repeal.

Here are a few good articles about this impressive change in attitude:

Crosscut - King County to reexamine decades-old bicyclist helmet law

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Cycling groups call for an end to helmet laws

Cascade Bicycle Club - Cascade and Washington Bikes Support Decriminalizing Helmet Use

Let’s keep an eye on this effort. If Seattle, and surrounding King County, repeal this of all bike helmet laws, some more dominos could fall. I’m cheering!