Monday, March 30, 2015

Bike helmets: The voice of experience

The helmet proposal

Re "Do bike helmets save lives?" Editorial, March 19

State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) wants to pass a law mandating helmets for all bicyclists. Some bicyclists say they are safer without helmets. The Times says we need a study. You are all wrong.

Anyone whose head has hit the pavement in a bike accident knows the value of helmets. That includes my neighbor, who spent two months in the hospital and suffers permanent brain damage after her helmetless accident, and me, who walked away with only a slight headache after a similar but helmeted accident.

Many who ride bicycles do so because it is the only mode of transportation they can afford. Many would have trouble paying for a helmet. I used to see them every day on the Green Line. Don't fine these poor people, and instead of wasting money on a study, use the funds to buy helmets to give away at Metro stations.

Russell Stone

My post the other day on the LA Times editorial.



At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Gregski said...

Too bad the writer, in making a valid safety point, blows his credibility by citing anecdotes followed by unsubstantiated socioeconomic conclusions.

Yes, we can all be certain that a handful of poor people, living 15 to a room in a big city, ride bikes to work for economy.

But if anybody studies it seriously I predict we'll find that utility cycling (and much recreational cycling)is actually a surer symbol of prosperity than a Lexus, practiced mostly by upper-middle-class white guys like me. We're the ones who can afford the extra $1200/mo in housing, tax and consumer prices that it takes to live in places amenable to utility cycling: Portland, Seattle, Madison, San Francisco, Chicago, Brooklyn, La Jolla, et al. All so we get to not spend the $500/mo on that Lexus (although you can be sure plenty of us are spending that too).

Bicycle coalitions could perform a service by providing cost-free helmets to the aforementioned poor helmetless riders. Just as they hand out no-cost blinkie lights to dark riders during the winter. No need to wait for the legislature to pass a law.

At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rob, do you know when the new MTA bike stats are coming out?

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The MTA told me the end of the month, which is today by my reckoning. Maybe tomorrow is the big day when we learn how well the bike revolution is doing.


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