HB 1147 and the Culture of Fear

Helmets are all the rage in today’s cycling culture. Many feel that cyclists would be a lot safer if everyone wore these helmets while cycling. We’ve even gone so far as to mandate cyclists wear one in many municipalities.

The issue recently came up in Colorado with HB 1147, which in its original revision would have mandated anyone under 18 to wear a helmet while operating a non-motorized wheeled conveyance. A few people were shocked (such as @AndyMan1) when I called it a win for Colorado that the mandatory helmet law portion of the bill was cut out. After all, isn’t keeping brains inside the skull a good thing?

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The Horror! Obama Riding Without a Helmet!

Oh the horror! During the president’s bicycle ride in Martha’s Vineyard with his children, he decided to (gasp!) not wear a helmet!

Source: LA Times
Source: LA Times

What’s the big deal anyways? Sure, he’s the president, but does that mean he can’t still have his freedom? I’m against Mandatory Helmet Laws. I think they suck. Where they’ve been implemented, there’s been statistics showing that bicycle riding has actually declined.

Also, there isn’t enough evidence to support that bicycle helmets really do save lives. They’re not made for the impact that a cyclist is most likely to suffer life threatening injuries: IE: Car + Bicycle

Wear a helmet if you want. Just don’t force the use on other people.

(I actually do wear my helmet every time I ride, mostly out of habit though)

The LA Times article: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/obama-shuns-bike-helmet.html