There's an article about the county considering adopting a bike helmet law in today's Review.
Commissioners plan to draft an ordinance and schedule a public hearing after receiving more information from the Spokane Regional Health District and the city of Spokane, which adopted a helmet law in 2004.
Among other things, commissioners want to know how well city officials believe their ordinance has worked and whether they would recommend any changes.
I'm a bit ambivalent towards a bike helmet law. I ride a lot and I rarely go without a helmet, but that's because I ride a lot and I try to go at a good speed. I feel a need for wearing a helmet.
On the other hand I see lots of people riding around town without a helmet and I've yet to see the city helmet law enforced on anyone. The police have far more important crimes to deal with so even an emphasis effort, like they have for errant pedestrians downtown once a year, would highlight it for a moment and then it would pass. (As a pedestrian I cross against red lights downtown all the time but only if there's no traffic.) I'm aware of several instances where people riding at night without a helmet have been stopped and "checked out" by the police using the helmet law as the reason for the stop. Once nothing was found the individuals were let off with a warning.
Do we need a law that law enforcement generally doesn't have time to enforce? While head injuries can be serious, is passing a law intended to prevent those injuries going to make a difference if the law is rarely enforced?
May I suggest adding cycling to the driver's license regimen and having cycling classes at elementary schools instead?
Biking Austin, TX
1 week ago