Riders protest helmet law at Vancouver City Hall, then eat ice cream

Posted by on March 11th, 2008 at 9:58 am

Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-10.jpg

Stuart Jackson — a.k.a. Dread
Pirate Roberts — leading the ride
up Columbia Blvd.
(Photos © J. Maus)

A smiling group of cyclists that included several kids and families showed up at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver last night for the “Freedom Ride” to protest the recently passed all-ages helmet law.

The ride was organized by 13 year-old Vancouver resident Stuart Jackson. Jackson — who prefers to go by Dread Pirate Roberts, a name he got from a character in the movie The Princess Bride — organized the ride because he believes the new law eliminates choice and that government should instead focus on laws that make the roads safer in general.

“I think that instead of limiting our freedom as cyclists,” he said, “they should first make it more enjoyable to ride on the street.”

As we gathered under warm, rainy skies Jackson informed us that Vancouver City Council had canceled their regularly scheduled Monday night meeting. Through an unabashed grin, he said, “I think they raised the white flag in surrender.”

Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-16.jpg

In front of City Hall.
Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-9.jpg

After passing out pirate jewelry and candy, Jackson mounted his yellow Schwinn Breeze three-speed (leaving his matching yellow helmet in the front basket), and led us on a short ride up Columbia Blvd. and then back down to City Hall.

About half the riders didn’t wear helmets; but this ride wasn’t anti helmet, it was anti helmet law. Most of the riders I spoke to have no problems with wearing a helmet, they simply feel a law mandating its use for adults is simply unnecessary.

Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-11.jpg Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-13.jpg Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-15.jpg

As we gathered in front of City Hall, Jackson held up citizen comment cards and gave us a brief lesson on how to speak in front of City Council. One woman on the ride reminded us that five of Vancouver’s council members (including Mayor Royce Pollard) are up for election soon.

Vancouver Helmet Law Protest Ride-20.jpg

High school sophomore John Russell with
his letter opposing the new ordinance.

Another Vancouver resident on the ride, high school sophomore John Russell from Fisher’s Landing, left a letter he had drafted in opposition to the helmet law in the night deposit box.

After the rally at City Hall, Jackson led us up Main Street to an ice-cream parlor where we all helped celebrate his 13th birthday amid whipped cream, chocolate sundaes, and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”.

So what’s next for this 13 year-old rabble-rouser? Later this summer he’s planning a tricycle race during PedalPalooza, and next weeks he’s off to the bike nirvana of Amsterdam for a family vacation, where he says the best part is, “I don’t even have to bring my helmet.”

See a few more shots from the ride in the photo gallery.

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Mmann
Guest
Mmann

The logic seems obvious: Dread Pirate Roberts for Vancouver city council.

Qwendolyn
Guest
Qwendolyn

right on little brother!

gabrielamadeus
Guest

So awesome, way to go dread!

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

Well, if there\’s one thing you can say unequivocally about teenagers it\’s that they really understand the importance of safety.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

Kudos to Dread Pirate Roberts!

For those that fail to realize it, this helmet law is the very definition of tyranny: officials making laws based on their personal prerogative (the hearings such as they were included no scientific studies or evidence) and ripe for abuse by police officers free to engage in selective enforcement. We all should be outraged.

Scott
Guest

I\’ve watched this debate from the motorcycle side for years. In the end, I can only be ambivalent. There are many battles worth fighting, but this one isn\’t one of them.

GLV
Guest
GLV

The person riding directly behind him is wearing a helmet.

GLV
Guest
GLV

In fact, of 9 people in the photo, 7 are wearing helmets!

heather andrews
Guest
heather andrews

It heartens me to know about the awesome youth advocating in The Couve. Go Dread Pirate Roberts!

SH
Guest
SH

amazing

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

no helmet on the 13 y/o?

Gabriel McGovern
Guest

@GLV,

Your point? The article clearly states:
\”but this ride wasn’t anti helmet, it was anti helmet law.\”

I for one, wear a helmet and encourage others to as well. However, I also believe that it should not be mandated by law. West Cougar (above) pointed out some of the many reasons why.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

You say \”there\’s no scientific evidence that helmets save lives…\”? Let the kid spend an afternoon at Harborview with a friend in a coma due to a severe diffuse axonal brain injury due to a cycling accident. Enjoy watching the drain tube and other probes that access his brain through a hole that drilled there. Then take this kid out of school so he can help his friend spend the next 9 months in therapy. Then let this kid help pay his friend\’s bills because his friend can no longer work again, let alone walk again. I\’m missing the argument? Go visit Harborview. 😉

Qwendolyn
Guest
Qwendolyn

The Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.

He can\’t afford to make exceptions. Once word gets out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey and then it\’s nothing but work, work, work, all the time.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

\”Let the kid spend an afternoon at Harborview with a friend in a coma due to a severe diffuse axonal brain injury…\”

Thomas, with all due respect, please understand that it is possible to be all for the live-saving benefits of helmets, while at the same time thinking that mandatory helmet laws are ridiculous.

the world is full of sadness and tragedy brought on by serious injuries of all sorts… but it is simply not the role of government to pass laws that make a feeble attempt at improving our \”safety\” when such major and obviously dangerous behaviors remain all around us (like inadequate facilities for biking and a transportation culture that is heavily imbalanced toward motor vehicles and discriminates against other modes).

Val
Guest
Val

Thomas: You paint a grim and graphic picture of the results of traumatic brain injury, as have many, many commentors in these discussions, but I see no evidence in your comment that bicycle helmets will prevent them. No is arguing that brain injuries are trivial. It is, however, becoming obvoous that the one (1, that is) study that is universally quoted to \”prove\” that bicycle helmets prevent over 80% of head injuries is, in fact, severely flawed. It is, of course, obvious that any layer of padding around the skull will do something to mitigate the effects of an impact. What is still at issue is the degree of protection actually provided by bicycle helmets, the possibility that they may contribute to rotational injuries, and, more importantly, the fact that simply protecting the head, no matter how well, is not the same thing as being safe. The goal of any bicycle advocates or city planning comissions should be to make cycling safe enough for ordinary people that helmets are unnecessary, rather than to impose fines for dress code violations and proclaim that they have thereby made us all safe. Whether the law is repealed or not, calling attention to such false and misdirected efforts is always worthwhile.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Jonathan, one of the major purposes of government is to protect the health and safety of its citizenry. It\’s even right there in the U.S. Constitution: \”We the People of the United States, in order to…promote the general welfare….\”

Whether this particular law is the best way to accomplish that may be a legitimate topic of debate, but it\’s a well-settled question that legislating for health and safety is a legitimate role of government.

As I\’ve said before, I think there are other more pressing issues than mandatory helmet laws, whether one is for them or against them. I think instead of lobbying for or against mandatory helmet laws, far more could be accomplished by lobbying for comprehensive, meaningful safety measures, regardless of where one comes down on the side of helmet use.

That said, I would like to express my admiration for Dread Pirate Roberts– keep the activism coming!

Dabby
Guest

You know,

What I saw yesterday in Vancouver really told the story of why such a ordinance change was able to go through so simply and uncontested.

The majority of the people who showed up for the ride were kids. Kids, boys and girls, and the caring parents of these kids.

After seeing this, and having conversations with them, and some of the adults afterwards, what I had suspected all along became entirely clear.

The majority of the adult cycling population of Vancouver DOES NOT CARE!
They already wear helmets. They complain and bitch at others for not wearing helmets. They do not allow you to ride with them if you do not have one. I personally have, in the past, been turned away from rides for just such a reason.

And, they are the main problem with cycling in Vancouver, as is proven by many cycling and non cycling residents I have spoken with. The organized group rides, as well intentioned as they may be, are what I hear about being the most problematic. As in not sharing the road, or even close.

This makes it very apparent to me that as long as we have a group like the Vancouver Bicycling Club and the City Council making decisions for us, the near future of cycling in Vancouver is in jeapordy.

And this is only going to get worse, and soon, unless people step up, stand up, and help to implement the proper changes.

Where were you? For all the arguing, complaining we have seen and heard on this issue, you felt it was more important to do something else.

Maybe you were afraid of melting from a little rain? Perhaps you have some trained flying monkey\’s you could have sent in your place at least?

Must we leave it up to the residents not even old enough to vote to fight our fights?

Must we wait 8-10 years for these kids to be old enough to make the changes for themselves?

I for one will not. There is another city council meeting on St. Patrick\’s day, and I am going to be there. I will probably be asked to leave, as outspoken as I am.

Who will stand up and speak after I am escorted out?

You?

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

I don\’t think there is much serious debate that helmets prevent TBIs, which are among the worst kinds of injuries and frequently cause life-long disability.

Thomas may have missed the important point about governmental priorities, but he does have one good point:

Just go to Harborview and visit the patients, just once, just for a little while, before you organize or attend another anti-helmet law rally.

That\’s a reasonable request, right?

Then you can say with no doubt that you\’ve seen and know the consequences of not wearing a helmet and of a policy that makes it less likely that people will wear a helmet while biking.

Then you can say that you truly understand what the majority is talking about, and you have made an informed choice to disagree.

And if you\’ve already been, good for you. But my guess is that many of you have not.

And for those of you who are concerned about governmental priorities, as I am, why are you focusing your energy on protesting a law after the fact rather than on advocating for what are admittedly higher-priority issues?

Sure, maybe you\’re doing both, but you only have so much time, right?

This energy seems a little misplaced to me.

k.
Guest
k.

I\’ve always found the idea that somehow we, as cyclists deserve to get more respect, better political representation, increased infrastructure and more \’rights\’, yet at the same time refuse to submit to more regulation or control, like some sort of cowboys, to be curious.

Anybody with any political smarts will tell you those two things are diametrically opposed. With increased rights come increased responsibilities. Get used to it.

Camilo Torres
Guest

Given how little mode share cycling has in Vancouver, it would probably be hyperbole to say, based on the stats at http://www.cyclehelmets.org/, that this is the nail in the coffin for that mode there. More accurate would probably be to say that the already shut coffin just got shut a little tighter.

Stan Roberts
Guest
Stan Roberts

Darwin is bound to step in sooner or later. I live in Portland and see many foolish riders (no helmet, all black clothes, ignoring riding etiquette).

While they\’re don\’t deserve to be hit, injured or worse (deserve has nothing to do with it) They certainly aren\’t doing themselves, or the biking community any favors.

It\’s a like people who smoke in public. Dangerous to themselves, others and ultimately, very very selfish.

Antonio Gramsci
Guest

k:
What you fail to understand is that, outside of Portland, Davis, and a handful of other places in the US, cycling has such a vanishingly low profile as a mode of transportation as to make it completely irrelevant what \”rights and responsibilities\” cyclists \”embrace.\”

The real question is what will increase that mode share, vs what will decrease it. There is abundant factual evidence based on experience with such laws elsewhere, as well as what can be deduced from common sense and everyday experience, that helmet laws taken by themselves can only decrease it.

But me, I think I don\’t care that much — I\’m ready to join the young leader of this ride, in Amsterdam — permanently!

Deregulation
Guest
Deregulation

Yeah, next thing you know they\’ll be making us wear seat belts when driving our cars!!

deston
Guest
deston

Punishing bike riders for not riding helmets wont solve the problem of physics that the sheer size of cars vs. bikes entails. I have a friend in harborview right now from a head trauma which occured while he was riding a bike- and wearing a helmet. He was plowed down by a reckless halfwit driver. Did teh helmet save his life? hes been in a coma for 2 weeks. maybe it did. maybe he will wake up and make a great recovery after a lengthy therapy. I was hit by a car in 2003, and the helmet I wore made no difference to the three months of therapy I had to endure, or the 2 year legal battle that finally proved the driver was at fault and made the insurance company cough up the 27k of bills I had incurred.

helmets, if they make a statistical difference at all, make only a marginal difference. If we want real progress we wont mandate helmets, but double car fines for infractions where bike lanes are present and use those fines to develop car free bike paths and de-car-mission residential areas so that they will be safe to bike in.

mandating helmets is like putting a bandaid on a head wound.

Antonio Gramsci
Guest

Stan Roberts:
While it is perfectly true that one can land on one\’s head in the shower and suffer cerebral hemorrhaging, which would argue for wearing helmets at all times, it\’s also been said that riding a bike in the streets of Amsterdam or Copenhagen is safer than taking a shower at home. So a more accurate analogy than yours for people who fail to wear a helmet on American streets would be people who fail to wear a flame retardant vest in a hypothetical combination city/insane asylum full of lunatics running around with flamethrowers. Substitute motorized personal heavy machinery (aka, \”cars\”) for flamethrowers, and the analogy works well.

John Russell
Guest

As a participant in this ride, I can easily say that the entire point of the rally wasn\’t to oppose helmets, it was to oppose mandatory helmet laws. I for one wore my helmet.

Also, the argument isn\’t about brain trauma, it\’s about the safety of cyclists collectively. When you require helmet use, the number of riders easily decreases. This makes it less safe for the rest of cyclists as other drivers are just not used to seeing them. Just look at Amsterdam, they\’ve got so many cyclists that helmets are almost entirely irrelevant.

Echoing the sentiments of the Dread Pirate Roberts himself, this money shouldn\’t be spent on helmet laws. It should instead be used making the roads safer for cyclists as a whole, regardless of whether they are wearing helmets or not.

T
Guest
T

I would describe myself as a casual biker (EG, a few times a year for fun or to get around). A serious biker friend of mine once helped me to buy a biking helmet. I was leaning toward the $10 helmet, and he was steering me toward the $100-$200 helmets. He successfully got me to buy an expensive helmet by pointing his finger above my head and saying “That imaginary light bulb above your head burns pretty bright, would you say it’s your most valuable asset?” I replied “Yeah”, to which he responded “Then get the expensive helmet if you don’t want that bulb to go out”. I got the expensive helmet.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

T – off topic, but the main differences between cheap helmets (at least those in the $25-35 range) and expensive ones are ventilation and weight — in fact cheaper helmets often offer more protection than the minimalist $150 roadie hats.

I am all for wearing helmets, and yes I yell at my friends if they don\’t wear them — but that\’s MY job, not my government\’s. It\’s OK for me to be a nosy busybody, because I don\’t have a big stick to back it up with… forcing helmet usage is just a coercive big government intrusion, like telling us which leaves it\’s OK to smoke.

Val
Guest
Val

DJ Hurricane: You, Thomas, and various others seem to be quite determined to insist that the result of riding a bicycle without a helmet is to wind up in the TBI ward, without exception. Thinking for a moment will allow one to realize that if this were true, that ward would be the size of the rest of the hospital, and would be filled almost exclusively with cyclists. Your sensational distortions are tasteless and crude. Cut it out. (With respect)

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

Val, I\’m not sure where you got that I said biking without a helmet would result in a trip to the TBI ward \”without exception.\” Sounds sorta like a \”sensational distortion\” to me. But anyway, maybe you should just go visit. Just sayin…

Dabby
Guest

Jeff is right.

I pay over a hundred dollars for a helmet as a rule.

The reason?

Fit, ventilation, profile, and even different helmets intended for different activities.

The reality of helmets is that they are required to be certified (correct me if I am wrong), and all offer basically a minimum of protection.

Many are designed to break when they hit the ground, absorbing the impact.

In fact, the better makers of helmets recommend that you replace your helmet after impacting it once!
This is very solid advice, as the integrity of most bicycle helmets is very easily compromised after one blow.

And not a ploy to sell more helmets, as many manufacturer\’s offer a good discount in order for your to replace your damaged helmet at a decent rate.

I advise you to look at your helmet, and those of your friends, to see if there are obvious signs of impact.

Maybe the case is that you are not protecting your own brain properly, but instead demanding that others protect theirs?

This comes from a person who admittedly deals with head trauma, as in my own head. If there is one thing I understand, it is head trauma. I believe it is referred to as \”petite mal seizures, and extreme migraines, due to swelling and trauma to the brain\”.

I am lucky to have my wits about me.

This also comes from a person who recognizes the difference between a city looking out for it\’s vulnerable road users and a city looking out for itself.

Dread Pirate Roberts
Guest
Dread Pirate Roberts

Whoot!!! Go Dabby #18 I\’ll be there!

vespa
Guest
vespa

I agree wholeheartedly with post no. 13 and the subsequent posts that relay the same message. despite \”statistics\” to the contrary, as raised in the motorcycle helmet debate, helmets indeed decrease the chance of traumatic head injury, which in turn decreases the burden on our health care system thereby reducing health care costs. While this is not completely transferable to cycling due to speed, force of impact, and different accident profiles, I have a hard time believing those claiming that bicycle helmets do not reduce head injuries. I, for one, applaud the city counsel.

But I do appreciate the other point of view as I\’m sure that somewhere you can find a motorcycle rider with a traumatic brain injury that still maintains he/she wouldn\’t wear a helmet if they had it to do all over again. based on the comment about his upcoming trip to Amsterdam, it sounds like this little pirate is going down the same path . . .

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

\”helmets indeed decrease the chance of traumatic head injury, which in turn decreases the burden on our health care system thereby reducing health care costs\”

…but an even larger decrease in health care costs would come with increased usage of bicycles via less obesity, asthma, etc… and this law will not lead to an increased usage of bicycles. On the contrary, what this law is likely to do — along with the continued inaction of the City of Vancouver to take real steps in improving bicycling conditions and encouraging the use of bicycles — is to promote the idea that biking is unsafe which is the #1 reason people don\’t ride to begin with … is that clear?

joel
Guest

bottom line:

anti-helmet-law protest ride? ended at ice cream parlor.

city council meeting that enacted helmet law? no ice cream.

THE HELMET LAW IS ANTI-ICE CREAM.

can i make this any clearer? i know where i stand.

2GOAT
Guest
2GOAT

This is a tough one.
One of the beauties and gifts of living in the United States of America are Freedom and Liberty.
I guess if having a law requiring helmets just means now the police have yet another reason to harass cyclists and deter people from using bicycles as a valid mode of transportation. Then I can understand and appreciate the opinions of those who oppose such a mandate. The time and energy spent to pass this law was misdirected and could have been put to much broader and effective use.
But we also live in such a quick fix society with two diametrically opposed philosophy of life. A liability driven, punish and blame everyone else, take no responsibility for your own actions population VS. the freedom to do as you damn well please group.

So where is the happy medium????

A helmet will not prevent entrance to the head trauma ward at Harborview in every automobile vs. bike altercation. A helmet will minimize the severity of injury in any situation where your head hits the ground and decrease your chances of sustaining a life threatening or crippling injury. No automobile encounter required, just a pothole in the road…or a pile of wet leaves.

It is unfortunate the Vancouver City Council felt the need to take such a paternalistic role and focus on helmets as a mechanism to protect the careless cyclists that are not inclined to protect themselves rather than address the LARGER ISSUE OF CARELESS MOTORISTS and FAILING ROADS.
Hopefully the Vancouver police department will focus on enforcing the “Anti cell phone use while driving” and make the roads safer for ALL TRAFFIC.

I applaud the Dread Pirate Roberts initiative to take action for what he believes in, but I hope hee will choose to wear a helmet and stays healthy long enough to keep up the good work.

John
Guest
John

apparently little Stuart\’s friends don\’t really think helmets are that bad. Has this kid given a good reason for why he doesn\’t like this law?

Steven J
Guest
Steven J

Arrrrrr Dread Pirate….
Tis passion in theez debates. Passion & ice cream solve all manor of differences!
Bah! Helmets or no helmets..both sides of the same coin..tis apathy that\’s the true villain.
Apathy and Cars!

Well done Lad.

John Russell
Guest

One thing I forgot to mention:
In the first quarter of a mile of my ten-mile-long ride from Fisher\’s Landing to Downtown, I came within feet of being thrown upon the hood of a careless motorist\’s car.

I was traveling straight through an intersection across 164th Ave. at which I had just been stopped at the front of. Clearly oblivious to the fact that cyclists actually use the roads, she failed to yield when turning left despite numerous signs about doing so. Obviously not knowing how to react, she slammed on her brakes directly in front of me, requiring me to narrowly swerve around her.

Regardless of the fact that she was clearly at fault, she then gave me the look of \”What the heck is a cyclist doing on the road?\” I think almost everyone here has some idea what this looks like. Every time you nearly get doored, right hooked, or even just narrowly miss being thrown up on their hood, they rudely brush it off, thinking that we were the ones clearly at fault.

Based off of my observations alone, I would say this problem is far worse in Vancouver than it could ever be in Portland. This is the problem that the City needs to be fixing. They don\’t need to be wasting their money on a poorly conceived helmet ordinance.

chuck
Guest

mandatory full body bubble suits for everyone. walking, riding bikes, driving cars, having sex, everything. just imagine the decrease in healthcare costs (and fun!)

WON\’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

…but an even larger decrease in health care costs would come with increased usage of bicycles via less obesity, asthma, [hazardous air pollutant emissions,] etc… and this law will not lead to an increased usage of bicycles. On the contrary, what this law is likely to do — along with the continued inaction of the City of Vancouver to take real steps in improving bicycling conditions and encouraging the use of bicycles — is to promote the idea that biking is unsafe which is the #1 reason people don\’t ride to begin with … is that clear?

Crystal.

To me, this whole episode illustrates the unfortunate immaturity (no pun intended) of the bike rights movement. Getting 20 people to ride around flaunting their anti-helmet law-ness after all the Couve cagers have gone home for the evening isn\’t where any serious bike rights activists would be focusing her or his efforts. It smacks of a lack of understanding of how to effect the change necessary to make biking a viable transportation option, in my humble opinion.

We need to focus our efforts on changes in the law that make it safe to bike. And, as we apparently can agree, the main threat to biking safely isn\’t biking, it\’s the way people driving motor vehicles behave when driving around people bicycling. That means we need to change driver behavior.

Two obvious options are: (1) making it clearer under the law that bikes have full right to the road, and (2) providing serious penalties for drivers who violate those rights.

Note that I didn\’t list rallying around kids who have homework to do. I appreciate the grassroots nature of this effort. It\’s how you have made biking saf(er) and cool in Portland. And it warms my heart. But it\’s not what\’s going to get the \”willing but concerned/orange cyclists\” onto bikes. It\’s not going to stop getting us killed.

Doing that is going to require time spent with the City Council and lobbying in Salem. And, yes, pissing some people off. We might even occasionally have to be less than nice. I know that\’s hard. Do you have the stomach for it?

NB: I wish to make clear that my opinion is not intended to be divisive or derogatory or personal, but to provide what I see as a direction forward. If it is too strident for your tastes, please understand that it is offered in the earnest spirit of putting more asses on saddles!

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

Regardless of the fact that she was clearly at fault, she then gave me the look of \”What the heck is a cyclist doing on the road?\” I think almost everyone here has some idea what this looks like. Every time you nearly get doored, right hooked, or even just narrowly miss being thrown up on their hood, they rudely brush it off, thinking that we were the ones clearly at fault.

Yes, every damn day, the threat of instant death, or worse. This is what needs to be changed if people are going to start biking. Helmet laws are irrelevant to this. Please, please, good pirates and wenches and other lackeys and outlaws, focus your efforts on this, and not on that.

OK, self-declared moratorium on this post. Thanks for listening.

Sky
Guest
Sky

#35 Yea! Thank you Johnathan for being once again the open minded voice of reason, and echoing where I was going in a post made months ago on this topic.
If we are all so concerned about over loading our less than efficient health care system everyone should be riding, as in Amsterdam where our clever little pirate is headed. Oh! Amsterdam is an example that is often used as bike utopia, look around and count how many helmets are found there.
I don\’t understand the need to give up any more rights because some people are worried about what others are doing.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Perhaps everybody who points to the lack of helmets in Amsterdam could be bothered to research why conditions are different there.

No?

beefa
Guest
beefa

Come on ya all. THINK!! What is the perported purpose of this new dandy little law? Safety for all cyclists, right?
They are going to save you from yourselves. Robert #13 you should be proud.

It regulates a minority of the populace without actually dealing with the real problem at hand. Which is, saftey for the people that want to use an alternative mode of transportation, without actually having to make any real hard infrastructure tax choices.

Cheers to you V.C.C. You managed to shift the burden of public saftey
from your own job description to the 40 or so cyclist in your burb. And open up those cyclist to undo liability.

And, as an extra added benefit, they can stick it on their resume\’ that they are an cycling advocate. 🙂

Fear works well, does it not Robert #13?

MD
Guest
MD

…but an even larger decrease in health care costs would come with increased usage of bicycles via less obesity, asthma, etc… and this law will not lead to an increased usage of bicycles. On the contrary, what this law is likely to do — along with the continued inaction of the City of Vancouver to take real steps in improving bicycling conditions and encouraging the use of bicycles — is to promote the idea that biking is unsafe which is the #1 reason people don\’t ride to begin with … is that clear?

Uh, no. I agree with the first part of your statement, but the rest doesn\’t follow. Why is this either/or, black/white? Why do you wear a helmet, Jonathan? Are you trying to promote that bike riding is unsafe? I understand that \”freedom\” is an issue here, but there are a lot of laws (and in my opinion, should be more…ie gun control) in our country that inhibit our \”freedom.\” As a physician, I think those who are anti-helmet law are focusing their energy in the wrong place. Yes, there are many other areas where bicycle transportation could be improved. Focus on those, but why the big uproar against a sound public health measure? It\’s equivalent to being anti-seatbelt law, in my book. There is clear evidence that wearing seatbelts and helmets reduce death and disability.

Austin Ramsland
Guest

WON\’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE ICE CREAM?

I, for one, am with Joel.

Dabby
Guest

Dj Hurricane,

I think you have missed the point that this ride was simply the first step (or an announcement of intention) in a long line of uphill steps towards the top of the landing.

The first step towards a wish for a city council\’s effort to help make streets safer to ride upon, instead of just making it a slightly safer landing when a car inevitably, and with little consequence to the driver, crashes into you..

And it makes no difference how quickly we \”take this to Salem\”, as this is a Washington state issue, and Salem is the capital of Oregon.

Your condescending tones towards efforts being put forth are misdirected, and unwanted.

A couple of questions…

Do you live in Vancouver?

Do you have to deal with these issues on the streets of said city?

Do your negative remarks towards this issue, and the way others are trying to deal with it, for the good of you and all other cyclists, really make a difference?

Did you bother to set your feet on the first step towards righting this very apparent wrong?

I think the answer to all of these questions is no.

The kids that you mentioned should be doing homework were right where you and many others should have been. Standing up, if even in a small, first step, for what is right. (also, the after rush hour time frame made it safer to go on a slow, around town cruise with children in tow)

I recommend that you jump down off your
pedestal, and onto the street with the rest of us.

Or maybe not, for you may be no help at all.

Oh, and once again, I love Joel Metz.
And I love ice cream.

And if he is right that the helmet law is anti-ice cream, is just pours fuel on the fire within me.

That fuel should really be replaced with hot fudge.

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\”Hey Son, why don\’t you an I hop on our bikes and pedal through the neighborhood to the park?\”

\”Gee dad, that sounds great.\”

\”Hmm. I see your helmet son, but I don\’t have one. Since I primarily ride through parks and on trails, for recreation… but I guess I can\’t go with you or that copper two blocks down will bust me with a $200 fine.\”

Yeah. I\’m all for bike safety but again, this is just a completely silly law. Encourage people sure but letting police have another random excuse to hand out tickets isn\’t going to reduce head injuries.

Please be safe. Always wear a helmet. Yes. I agree. But this is less like putting seat belts in cars and more like mandating knee pads and gloves while jogging (we might stumble).