“2 Wheels, 1 Rule”: Felder Bill Mandates Helmets

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Senator Simcha Felder proposed legislation on Tuesday in response to the Governor’s sanction of e-bikes and e-scooters in the 2020 NYS budget. The bill (S7368) requires helmet use by every individual riding a bicycle, e-bike or e-scooter in a city with a population over 1 million.
“When legalizing these additional modes of transportation the overriding concern is how to keep New Yorkers safe, especially on highly congested city streets. All the evidence points to the same conclusion- we must mandate helmet use,” said Senator Felder.
Fatalities make headlines, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, serious injury is far more common. For every cyclist involved in a fatal accident, eight end up hospitalized and another ninety-nine receive treatment in the ER. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, reports that serious head trauma accounts for most bicyclist deaths, and helmet use reduces the odds of head injury by an estimated 50 percent.
New York City reached the same conclusion. Four commissioners, from the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, Transportation and the NYPD, issued a joint report on Bicyclist Fatalities and Serious Injuries. After examining their collective data, they concluded that, “these data suggest that helmet use is a critically important protection for all bicyclists.”
NYS already mandates helmet use for bicycle riders up to age 14. The Governor’s bill mandates helmets for e-bikes and e-scooters for riders aged 16 and 17.
“To prevent serious injuries and save lives, New York City needs one uniform policy for all two-wheel vehicles on its streets. With lives on the line, inaction would be a crime,” concluded Senator Felder.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Government overreach. The purpose of government is to protect people from each other, not to protect them from themselves. Wearing a helmet is common sense and if someone doesn’t they can accept to suffer the consequences. But as long as it doesn’t affect someone else’s safety, it’s not the government’s job to mandate it.

  2. 1) The Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, was asked about this the other day (why he mandates helmets for e-bikes, but not for regular, non-motorized ones). He answered that there is a difference between e-bikes that go faster and regular bicycles that move more slowly. Motorized vehicles are more quicker, more powerful, hence more dangerous. The governor is correct.

    2) Mandating helmets to address dangerous roads and drivers is like mandating bulletproof vests to address an increase in shootings and stabbings, G-d forbid. In both cases, the root cause of the problem has not been addressed and the burden has been placed on victims, rather than the proper course of action, which would be to attack and remove the causes of the danger.

    3) Multiple frum Yidden have been killed and injured over the last year in Felder’s district. Two pedestrians were just killed in Boro Park in only around the last two weeks, one hit by a cement truck on New Utrecht Avenue (https://boropark24.com/tragic-pedestrian-crossing-street-fatally-struck-by-truck/), and one hit by another vehicle in front of Shomrei Shabbos (https://boropark24.com/bde-elderly-yid-niftar-following-tragic-accident-last-week/ and https://boropark24.com/elderly-yid-seriously-injured-in-accident-on-13th-ave/).

    Will Felder propose next that all pedestrians must wear helmets to protect themselves? Felder needs to work on improving street safety in his district by measures like improving street design, strong measures against dangerous drivers, etc.

    Felder is an intelligent fellow, let us see him use his head and make the streets safer for all! Pedestrians need protection now!

  3. Helmets reduce cycling by making it more difficult, and by making it seem dangerous. When numbers of cyclists decline, their safety is decreased as they are less numerous and less visible on the road, thereby less respected. There is safety in numbers.

    Helmets also lead to people riding more dangerously at times, as they rely on helmets for protection.

    Finally, experts debate if helmets are really the panacea some people think they are. Conflicting studies exist.

    Roads are dangerous places, people need to work to make them safer for all users.

    More info at https://bicycleaustin.info/laws/helmet-laws-bad.html

  4. Helmet effectiveness for low-speed impact is very questionable, as sadly proven by the former F1 car racing champion Michael Schumacher who fell on a ski slope after stopping to help a little girl i.e. his speed was next to zero.
    Schumacher / his family have been able to afford an ICU at home in their Switzerland villa, but apparently they could not purchase an effective low-speed helmet. Wonder if it exists and it’s for sale at any price?

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