What’s Velo?

Vélo is the French word for bike.

Mandatory Helmet Laws & Bike Sharing

Article in PubliCola about how Seattle is struggling with mandatory helmet laws and public bike sharing:

… one clear down side to helmet laws is that they discourage bike-sharing systems like the popular programs in Portland and Washington, D.C., where helmets are not required. Bike sharing programs are designed for short, spur-of-the-moment trips: You grab a bike from the rack, go where you need to go, and lock it into another rack.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty unlikely to carry a helmet with me everywhere on the off chance that I’ll decide to take a quick, unplanned trip down the street (people make fun of Josh for carrying his helmet around after he locks up and runs errands). And I’m not going to put on a helmet that’s been used by dozens or hundreds of other sweaty people of unknown sanitary standards, any more than I’m going to wear clothes I found on the ground. Thus, the conundrum: How do you promote bike-sharing in a city with a mandatory helmet law?

The article mentions several options to get around this problem, but the most promising is to simply repeal the mandatory helmet laws.

1 comment to Mandatory Helmet Laws & Bike Sharing

  • I notice either a serious omission or perhaps bias in your articles please read the following – you clearly do not comprehend the full cost-benefit analysis about bicycle helmet laws please read this before you make claims that bike helmet laws are good.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1368064

    Reducing the number of people who ride with scaremongering and bicycle helmet laws reduces peoples opportunities for incidental exercise from riding. It therefore INCREASES rates of inactivity linked disorders like diabetes, heart disease, depression , obesity which are killing people and burdening health systems both private and public and reducing general fitness of people is a loss to the entire economy.

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