Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 25th, 2008 at 4:49 pm
passes tonight, this Sprockette would
face a fine if she was
performing in Vancouver.
(BikePortland file photo)
Tonight at 7:00, the Vancouver City Council will hear public testimony and vote on an ordinance that would make it illegal for anyone to ride a bicycle in Vancouver without a helmet.
The ordinance began as an 18 and under law, but was amended and revised to include adults at the behest of community members.
The all-ages amendment was unanimously approved by the Council two weeks ago and tonight a final hearing and vote is expected.
In the meantime, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has made their opposition to the ordinance crystal clear. In a lengthy blog post published on Friday, the BTA wrote that they are "very worried about the possible secondary effects of a helmet law."
The BTA opposes the ordinance for several reasons including; a lack of real data on the effectiveness of helmet requirements, a concern over use of police resources for enforcing the new law, and a feeling that they would rather see Vancouver's efforts be, "part of a comprehensive bike safety and encouragement package."
The BTA has submitted a letter outlining their opposition to the Council, but does not expect to be present at tonight's hearing.
Several people I talked to have expressed similar concerns as the BTA, and are fearful that the Council is moving too quickly with the ordinance. Some are hoping for a one year delay in order to study the issue further and to find more financial support for a more robust bike safety effort.
Stay tuned for an update on what happens at tonight's meeting.
- Vancouver City Council hearing on an all-ages helmet ordinance
Tonight, 7:00pm (likely to start closer to 7:30, but arrive early if you'd like to testify)
Council Chambers - 210 East 13th St. (1st floor)
(*The meeting will stream live and will be available for viewing via the web here.)