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Tonight: All-ages helmet ordinance before Vancouver Council

Posted by on February 25th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Mult. County Bike Fair!
If the all-ages helmet ordinance
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.)

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Comments
  • agent trouble February 25, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    that sprockette is a criminal with or without a helmet. truth is, she split the country and is probably arrested in a bolivian prison right now!

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  • racer x February 25, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Actually her freedom of expression sans helmet would be lawfull as long as she does not do it on a public street or path.

    Thus seek sanctuary in parking lots and private streets! – oh my sprockette.

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  • Val February 26, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Oh, yawn – Vancouver is in Washington, and every city, county, and town in Washington feels that they have to have a helmet law, just to be like all the others. The laws do get used and/or misused to stop cyclists randomly now and then, but for the most part it\’s a load of posing after the first month or so. As for Sprockettes, ya\’ll didn\’t have a problem last time you were in Seattle, right? Seemed like a good time, anyway, and we\’re all looking forward to the next time you make it up here.

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