The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently submitted the first report on bicycle safety since 1972. The report recommends important ways to make bicycling safer, including improving infrastructure such as protected lanes, but at the last minute they added a suggestion of a mandatory helmet law. (Read about the report.)
Advocacy groups all over the US including The League Of American Bicyclists are against mandating helmets, citing stats that requiring helmets by law could lead to discriminatory enforcement, reduce bike ridership, and possibly increase bicycle fatalities.
And this: More on bike helmets: Very well put by @ianwalker
APCSC believes that the best way to protect people riding bikes is protected bike lanes, slower speed limits, addressing driver distractions, reducing the number of cars on the road, and more people riding bikes. We agree with The League Of American Bicyclists that requiring helmets may reduce bike ridership, and enforcement may be discriminatory. Asbury Park is continuing work to make streets safer for people riding bikes (and walking), and providing ways for people to get around without driving. #toomanycars #slowthecars
LEAGUE OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS STATEMENT ON NTSB DECISION TO ENDORSE MANDATORY HELMET LAWS:
“[W]e are disappointed by the NTSB decision to endorse mandatory helmet laws for all people who bike. The League believes that the safety of people who bike will be best advanced through coordinated improvements to streets and cars, which kill more than 90% of people who die while biking, rather than laws that may be enforced in discretionary and discriminatory ways,” the group said in a statement.
Since the 1920s we’ve been conditioned to believe that roads are designed for cars (they weren’t). Traffic congestion and vehicular fatalities, plus the effects on health and climate has shown city leaders all over the world the need to modify/eliminate the use of motor vehicles, and build better infrastructure for bikes, walking and other modes of transit.
Enter scooters. We know that there’s a need for alternatives to driving, and scooter share is being introduced successfully as legitimate micro-mobility. Although the rules in most cities require them to be ridden on the street, why are scooter riders on sidewalks?
Would you let your 10-year-old ride a bike or a scooter on a street with vehicular traffic moving at 25mph, 35mph, 45mph? We need to design streets that are are safe for an 8-year-old to an 80-year-old. Let’s use that standard. Painted bike lanes are a start, but paint doesn’t protect. Until we have protected bike/scooter lanes everywhere (and we will!) we need to continue to work on reducing/eliminating the need to drive in our city by providing as many alternative transportation options as possible #toomanycars, and meanwhile seriously slow vehicle speeds! #slowthecars.
Most scooter riders using the sidewalk are afraid of cars, new survey shows
Question: Among our readers, who, like me learned to drive at a time when we were taught that pedestrians had the right of way? I was taught when I was behind the wheel that I had the awesome right and responsibility to drive a huge metal engine-powered machine, and I had to look out for those more vulnerable on the road. Things seem to have changed. Right now we can see daily reports from cities everywhere of drivers involved in hit and run, and other fatal crashes with people walking and riding bikes, in which drivers are getting away with “failure to yield”, or “reckless driving”. (Police reports say: “She came out of nowhere.” “I didn’t see him.” Or even more ridiculous, “He/she wasn’t wearing a helmet.”)
We’re in the midst of a crisis of an health crisis of vaping. There have been 13 fatalities to date, and may be more to come. It’s a serious problem and it’s in the news every day. But we don’t see a similar response to car crash deaths that occur daily by the hundreds and yearly by tens of thousands! The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that in 2018, 40,000 people died in car crashes (and almost the same number deaths from guns, but that’s another discussion). We have normalized car-related deaths as built-in to our dependence on driving. The US can do so much better, and things are beginning to change -very gradually. It takes time to change a culture. Cities like Asbury Park are making strides to create streets that are safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable – walking, riding bikes, pushing strollers, navigating wheelchairs, and yes, scooters too. (Check out scooter education on Sunday 9/29!) Watch for continued improvements to infrastructure all over Asbury Park with the goal is to increase availability, convenience, and safety of micro mobility, and reduce car dependency, as it becomes less convenient and less desirable to drive.
Cyclist Deaths Are Exploding Because U.S. Cities Are Car-Friendly Death Traps
Bike-related fatalities are up 25 percent across the U.S. since 2010.
In 2019, more and more cities across America are encouraging their residents to commute by bicycle. Cycling, of course, is good for the environment in terms of reducing pollution from car-dominant streets, and it’s a healthier way to travel.
But cities gaining new cyclists are quickly, tragically finding that they do not have the proper infrastructure to keep them safe. Cyclist fatalities have gone up 25 percent across the U.S. since 2010, and up 10 percent in 2018 itself, while all other traffic fatalities have decreased.
The Boston-area city of Cambridge is poised to become one of the most-progressive safe-biking cities in the country, thanks to the passage of a bill requiring protected bike lanes on all city streets.
The “Cycling Safety Ordinance” requires city streets to be upgraded to include the safest bike paths whenever a roadway is reconstructed. Advocates hope it to secure a 20-mile network of protected bike lanes in five years for the city of 113,000.
Read about it:
A stripe of paint on the street isn’t enough to keep bicyclists safe from drivers, a new study confirms.
The study, published this month in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, analyzed the way drivers interact with cyclists on various types of streets. It found that drivers pass cyclists on average about 1.25 feet closer on streets with a painted bike lane and car parking than on streets with no bike infrastructure.
“When the cyclist and driver share a lane, the driver is required to perform an overtaking maneuver,” Dr. Ben Beck, Monash University’s Deputy Head of Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma Research and the lead researcher on the study, said in a statement. “This is in contrast to roads with a marked bicycle lane, where the driver is not required to overtake. This suggests that there less of a conscious requirement for drivers to provide additional passing distance.”
Read about it: