Let’s Get Over Helmets

Let’s do this- build infrastructure for bicycling. We shouldn’t have to arm ourselves as if we’re going into battle when we get on bikes, nor should anyone be shamed for not wearing a helmet. Bicycle riding is mentally and physically healthful, makes a positive impact on the environment, and reduces traffic, so let’s prioritize it.  Point: there are a too many car/bike crashes, period. Most of them involve aggressive/inattentive drivers and grave bodily injury to the person on the bike, in which a helmet wouldn’t have mattered at all.

Vancouver authors focus on Dutch success in avoiding cycling head injuries without widespread use of helmets

The Dutch could have made bike helmets mandatory. They didn’t. Bruntlett recalled that in the 1990s, they adopted a set of safety principles that state that road users make mistakes behind the wheel of a car or on a bicycle. That meant that roads should be engineered to minimize the impact of those errors.

“So if there are differences in speed between bicycles and cars, then there should be physical separation between the two,” Bruntlett said. “And if that physical separation is impossible, then the car should be slowed down to a certain speed.”

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Helmet Debate Is Distraction From Real Safety Issues

Chris Boardman was appointed Greater Manchester’s first ever commissioner for walking and cycling in 2017.  Known s “The Professor, Boardman is a British former racing cyclist who won an individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, broke the world hour record three times, and won three stages and wore the yellow jersey on three separate occasions at the Tour de France. In 1992, he was awarded an MBE for services to cycling.

Chris Boardman: “Helmets not even in top 10 of things that keep cycling safe”

by John Stevenson, February 17, 2014
British Cycling policy advisor says it’s time to stop distracting helmet arguments and concentrate on real safety issues…
“We’ve got to tackle the helmet debate head on because it’s so annoying,” he said. “It gets a disproportionate amount of coverage. When you have three minutes and someone asks ‘Do you wear a helmet’ you know the vast majority of your time when you could be talking about stuff that will make a difference, is gone.”

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