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.


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the job

From Daily Kos:

...The payday loan proposals we are discussing come out of an agency established by the Dodd-Frank law that sought to regulate the financial industry after the crisis of 2008. Republicans have hated the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (and Dodd-Frank in general) since it was born. They sought to prevent it from ever even functioning, and, as Elizabeth Warren noted, their current budget makes clear they still want to defang it, "to make sure the watchdogs are tame." Imagine that. Republicans don't want to protect consumers against interest rates that can go, according to current law in many states, north of 400 percent. They say it's about freedom and personal responsibility, and complain that government should just get out of the way...

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