BC Cyclist Fights Helmet Law…

14 08 2011

Back in the carefree madatory helmet law free Calgary days...

A BC cyclist is going to court to fight the province’s stupid mandatory helmet law for cyclists. Although I doubt he will win it’s great to see people pointing out how the law discriminates against cyclists and does not further public safety nor promote greater cycling participation. If there were a way to make this a class action suit I’d go ride my bike helmet-free in Victoria until I got a ticket so I could join!

Recently a friend was discussing the bike share/rent programs some cities and embracing where you can rent a bike at low cost at a kiosk and return it to another kiosk at the end of your ride. This would facilitate considerably more bike rides because you don’t need to be a dedicated cyclist with lock and a place to store a bike so you have it with you when you need it. Simply grab a bike and go. We then discussed whether or not you could implement such a program if in addition to a bike you had to rent the rider a properly fitting helmet that was not damaged which by law they had to wear no matter where or how they were riding?


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9 responses

14 08 2011
dave

As you are probably aware we have mandatory helmet laws in Australia and this is one of many things holding back the usage of the two new bike share systems in Melbourne and Brisbane

14 08 2011
Ben

They’ve tried it here in Brisbane. Helmets are mandatory in Australia but the city council pushed ahead with a hire bike scheme called City Cycle anyway. Result? Long lines of unused City Cycles and hardly anyone riding them. The rider who would rent one on impulse for a short journey simply can’t do so because they would have to carry a helmet around with them all day. Now the council have decided to rent our helmets along with the bikes. It remains to be seen how many of them will be stolen. The whole thing is a colossal waste of cash when you consider the popularity of schemes in helmet-law free cities like London and Paris. Read more here: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/brisbane-city-council-spends-2000-on-helmets-for-citycycle/story-e6freon6-1226114610024

15 08 2011
Paul

I live in Canberra and most people ride both on road and on cycleways with helmets.But there are those who tend to ride the cycle paths without helmets ,never met anyone who has received a ticket,yet.

16 08 2011
Steve Fuller

Are helmets required for motorcycles or belts required for cars in BC? Seat belt laws here in the US were pretty much mandated by tying their implementation to receiving federal highway funds. For whatever reason, they left the implementation of motorcycle helmet laws up to the states. The motorcycle lobbies in many states are fairly adept at getting out and blocking any implementation of a helmet law.

Personally, wear a helmet if you want to, don’t wear one if you don’t want to, but take personal responsibility for the consequences of your actions. I wear a helmet quite a bit of the time, but there are many times that I don’t. My slow 3 mile trip on side streets to the grocery store is a good example of when I don’t wear one.

16 08 2011
The Pirate Velo

We do not have a bicycle helmet law in Des Mones, IA or surrounding areas. We have about 600 miles of paved bicycle paths around the city. We were also one of the first to get on board with the a bike share program. It is doing great and I could easily see it flounder with a manditory helmet law. Good luck fighting it!

17 08 2011
Mike McArthur

Some reading in the Post commentary on Canadian helmet policy that may be of interest http://tinyurl.com/3cnpdzv

22 08 2011
Sascha Roszak

“How the law discriminates against cyclists”…WTF? Never thought wearing a helmet be an issue, the roads are too dangerous to go without one!

22 08 2011
thelazyrando

@Sascha – that’s an opinion not everyone shares.

20 09 2011
manfred

this is a typical example of stupid bureaucrats patronising people who they should work for and by whom they are paid.
as an avid biker i would never want to live in a place where this is the case. bc may be nice but this stupid law is a reason for me not to live there.
look at the countries where biking is a real mode of transportation for most people: denmark, sweden and the like: not a single rider in denmark or in sweden would ever wear a helmet. they find it just ridiculous to do so because biking is not a dangerous activity.
all those stupid bureaucrats should be fired.

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