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New York, NY - Bill Seeks Helmets for Every Adult Biker

Published on: May 31, 2012 09:16 AM
By: Read more at Wall Street Journal
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New York, NY - A bill to be introduced in the New York City Council on Thursday would require all bikers, no matter their age, to wear a helmet when cycling in the five boroughs.

Passing the controversial legislation, sponsored by Council Member David Greenfield of Brooklyn, could be an uphill battle. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been criticized for imposing laws on the city that some see as nanny-esque, opposes the bill, an aide confirmed.

“The best way to get killed if you’re riding a bicycle is to not wear a helmet,” Mr. Greenfield said. “We want to encourage people to be safe.”

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According to the legislation, a first offense would be punishable by a fine of up to $25. A second citation during a one-year period would carry a $50 fine, and a third offense within two years could cost $100.

New York City currently requires all children, ages 13 and under, and anyone who is a commercial cyclist, such as messenger, to wear a helmet. Under Mr. Greenfield’s bill, if a person, age 13 or under, is biking without a helmet in the presence of a parent or guardian, ages 18 or older, the parent or guardian could get the ticket.

Marc LaVorgna, a spokesman for the mayor, said the mayor encourages every biker to wear a helmet but believes a legal mandate would “discourage biking.”


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1

 May 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM ShmuelG Says:

The nanny government of the Soviet Socialist City of New York is just watching out for you. Mazal tov! and be happy they do.

2

 May 31, 2012 at 09:29 AM Anonymous Says:

I suggest something else. Suppose that a biker without a helmet can never be considered a victim if involved in an accident. That removes a driver from liability, and same goes for accidents that occur on another's property. If not wearing a helmet, the biker has his own liability and cannot collect damages or sue anyone else. I bet there would be resistance to this, but I am curious about the legality of this idea. Any lawyers to weigh in on this?

3

 May 31, 2012 at 09:38 AM Biker Says:

Anyone who bikes or lets their kids bike without wearing a helmet is an idiot. Even Lance Armstrong wears a helmet when he bikes. If he can do it so can you. Besides the high risk of death if you hit your head when falling from a bike without a helmet, there is also the high risk of permanent brain injury. The same goes with a scooter or inline skates. It is just plain stupid to not protect your brain. You can get a cheap helmet for under 30 bucks. Ask yourself, Is your brain worth 30 bucks?

4

 May 31, 2012 at 09:40 AM NYCESQ Says:

I have a feeling this is more about revenge on cyclists, which many in Mr Greenfield's district (and associated district, i.e. Willi) find annoying, than about safety. Additionally, when it comes time for Mr. Greenfield to vote on Bloomberg's soda bans, which is also about safety, I'd like to see how Geenfield votes.
(Full Disclosure: I am an avid cyclist and do wear a helmet at all times while riding, but dont think it should be made into a law)

5

 May 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM Avreich1 Says:

This makes eminently perfect sense to me - but then I am merely an anesthesiologist who has to participate frequently in surgical operations to repair the broken and maimed bodies of cyclists who thought they knew better.

6

 May 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM post4 Says:

So he wants to ban soda dut he wont enforce helmets, hmmmm??

7

 May 31, 2012 at 10:34 AM mewhoze Says:

how about having the ticket givers be as vigilant about helmets as they are about seatbelts and cell phones in a car.

8

 May 31, 2012 at 11:15 AM Moone Says:

For a change the mayor has some sound to his position. I think requiring helmets for bikers' safety is anther step limiting freedom.

9

 May 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM Chamor HaDor Says:

Agreed....

10

 May 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM My Opinion Says:

I wish the government would just leave our personal safety up to our own discretion. We don't need a Big Daddy to tell us what to do all the time. I still use drop side cribs (the old STURDY kind which never had a problem in the first place), I don't always wear a seat belt and I eat and drink what I want even if it isn't always so healthful. The government should concentrate on better things up their alley, like public safety, less tolls and taxes etc.

11

 May 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM enlightened-yid Says:

Reply to #10  
My Opinion Says:

I wish the government would just leave our personal safety up to our own discretion. We don't need a Big Daddy to tell us what to do all the time. I still use drop side cribs (the old STURDY kind which never had a problem in the first place), I don't always wear a seat belt and I eat and drink what I want even if it isn't always so healthful. The government should concentrate on better things up their alley, like public safety, less tolls and taxes etc.

Yes, you don't want government to tell you how to live, but when you start getting heart attacks and injuries from not wearing seat belts but can't afford your own medical bills, you rely on taxpayer to foot the bills for you.

12

 May 31, 2012 at 01:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
My Opinion Says:

I wish the government would just leave our personal safety up to our own discretion. We don't need a Big Daddy to tell us what to do all the time. I still use drop side cribs (the old STURDY kind which never had a problem in the first place), I don't always wear a seat belt and I eat and drink what I want even if it isn't always so healthful. The government should concentrate on better things up their alley, like public safety, less tolls and taxes etc.

As long as when you are in the ICU on life support, where I expect you will be in the near future if you persist in riding bikes without a helmet, or when your baby or grandchild is hospitalized from nearly being dismembered by a crib side dropping, you will first have signed a waiver relieving the taxpayers from contributing a penny for the medical and hospital costs.

13

 May 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #3  
Biker Says:

Anyone who bikes or lets their kids bike without wearing a helmet is an idiot. Even Lance Armstrong wears a helmet when he bikes. If he can do it so can you. Besides the high risk of death if you hit your head when falling from a bike without a helmet, there is also the high risk of permanent brain injury. The same goes with a scooter or inline skates. It is just plain stupid to not protect your brain. You can get a cheap helmet for under 30 bucks. Ask yourself, Is your brain worth 30 bucks?

Well, apparently yours is not. For if you had a functioning brain, you would surmise that what we are discussing here is whether a paternalistic government should be able to coerce you to wear a helmet, and not whether it is a good choice for you to make. I do understand that for a leftists it is not such a clear distinction...

14

 May 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Excellent way to generate $$$ for the City budget so we can cover vouchers (sic)
Time to stop figuring out how to nickle and dime NYC residents.
Just wondering what will be the next idea on how to police us.

15

 May 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM noturbizniss Says:

Reply to #11  
enlightened-yid Says:

Yes, you don't want government to tell you how to live, but when you start getting heart attacks and injuries from not wearing seat belts but can't afford your own medical bills, you rely on taxpayer to foot the bills for you.

Unless you assume he's on some sort of government health care why would he rely on the government to foot the bill? This damn nancy of a mayor we have is getting out of control. He is all in favor of same sex marriage which affects no one but the 2 getting married, so if I want to drink a 64 oz coke or ride without a helmet - neither of which will affect anyone but myself then I should be able to do it with the same freedom that allows to men to marry.

16

 May 31, 2012 at 02:09 PM Butterfly Says:

I would like to know who is going to enforce this Bill!! The cops do not catch the speeders now, so are they going to sit with their coffee and wait for the bicycles to go by?? It would have been good during the school year when we were getting run over by the kids, but now when most of them go to camp, we will not have them around for a month or two!!

17

 May 31, 2012 at 03:17 PM Phineas Says:

from ABC News

The law we have now in Florida requires unhelmeted motorcyclists to have a $10,000 personal injury protection insurance policy," says Dr. Lawrence Lottenberg, director of trauma and critical care at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. "We'll use $10,000 in the [trauma] room in 20 minutes."

A recent study in the Journal Trauma found that two-thirds of all bikers had no insurance, leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill. And for those riding without helmets, the average medical cost rises to $55,000.

18

 May 31, 2012 at 03:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
ShmuelG Says:

Well, apparently yours is not. For if you had a functioning brain, you would surmise that what we are discussing here is whether a paternalistic government should be able to coerce you to wear a helmet, and not whether it is a good choice for you to make. I do understand that for a leftists it is not such a clear distinction...

Dear Shmully: Read No. 12. All you "leave us alone" fanatics who object to government mandates for bike helmets or the Obamacare insurance mandate are the same nitwits who leave the government with the tab for billions of dollars of unpaid medical costs each year when they fall back on public care to pay their bills. I would much rather have the government hold a gun to your head to make you wear a helmet, than have you put your hand in my wallet to pay for your stupidity.

19

 May 31, 2012 at 04:26 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

Dear Shmully: Read No. 12. All you "leave us alone" fanatics who object to government mandates for bike helmets or the Obamacare insurance mandate are the same nitwits who leave the government with the tab for billions of dollars of unpaid medical costs each year when they fall back on public care to pay their bills. I would much rather have the government hold a gun to your head to make you wear a helmet, than have you put your hand in my wallet to pay for your stupidity.

You have a compelling argument there, Vladimir Ilyich. Even more compelling if you literally were to hold a gun to someone's head.

20

 May 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM Reb Yid Says:

What's going on here? First they want to enforce the rule prohibiting bikers from endangering pedestrians on the sidewalk, then they want to prevent them from getting severe head injuries which racks up everyone else's insurance bill...what's going on here? Don't we want bikers to be able to cause as much difficulty for everyone else as possible?

21

 May 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM Rachel W. Says:

Several years ago, as I was strolling along Sixth Ave. in Manhattan, an adult biker got clipped by a truck that turned onto the avenue from a side street. The scene will forever haunt me - the helmetless rider lying in the middle of the street with his head cracked open and an endless stream of his blood flowing in the gutter.
He wasn't hurting anymore, because he was dead. And in my mind I kept picturing the reaction of his loved ones when they'd be told of the tragic news. Ever since, every time I see a biker riding w/o a helmet I feel like stopping him and giving him a piece of my mind (in order for him to maintain his own). I'm not a biker but this legislation makes a lot of sense. No different really than the logic behind buckling up.

22

 May 31, 2012 at 07:57 PM basmelech Says:

Reply to #11  
enlightened-yid Says:

Yes, you don't want government to tell you how to live, but when you start getting heart attacks and injuries from not wearing seat belts but can't afford your own medical bills, you rely on taxpayer to foot the bills for you.

The gov't.'s restrictions aren't likely to prevent heart attacks. They can't tell you what to eat and drink inside your own domain. Really people have to take care of themselves. The gov't. can give advice, but they shouldn't be trying to babysit us.

23

 May 31, 2012 at 08:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

As long as when you are in the ICU on life support, where I expect you will be in the near future if you persist in riding bikes without a helmet, or when your baby or grandchild is hospitalized from nearly being dismembered by a crib side dropping, you will first have signed a waiver relieving the taxpayers from contributing a penny for the medical and hospital costs.

only the cheap cribs malfunctioned, the good ones made way back when didn't. I never had a biking accident, and I trust in Hashem. If HAshem wants someone to die or get hurt, all the safety measures he takes won't help a bit and if He wants someone to have a blessed good life, then will have one no matter what. If I want to buy a big soda and share it with my whole family, why shouldn't I be able to do so. They'll probably charge more if you buy two smaller size ones. (by the way, I don't drink soda or eat trans fats, but, I don't want BIG BROTHER telling me what I can or can't have)

24

 May 31, 2012 at 10:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

only the cheap cribs malfunctioned, the good ones made way back when didn't. I never had a biking accident, and I trust in Hashem. If HAshem wants someone to die or get hurt, all the safety measures he takes won't help a bit and if He wants someone to have a blessed good life, then will have one no matter what. If I want to buy a big soda and share it with my whole family, why shouldn't I be able to do so. They'll probably charge more if you buy two smaller size ones. (by the way, I don't drink soda or eat trans fats, but, I don't want BIG BROTHER telling me what I can or can't have)

So be a jerk and don't wear a seat belt and don't wear a biking helmet but don't try to socialize your stupidity by purchasing insurance and having the rest of us cover your stupidity.

25

 Jun 01, 2012 at 10:18 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

only the cheap cribs malfunctioned, the good ones made way back when didn't. I never had a biking accident, and I trust in Hashem. If HAshem wants someone to die or get hurt, all the safety measures he takes won't help a bit and if He wants someone to have a blessed good life, then will have one no matter what. If I want to buy a big soda and share it with my whole family, why shouldn't I be able to do so. They'll probably charge more if you buy two smaller size ones. (by the way, I don't drink soda or eat trans fats, but, I don't want BIG BROTHER telling me what I can or can't have)

I see. So why does the Gemara give so much health and safety advice? Why don't you ask a Gadol whether you should go to the hospital on Shabbos, wear a helmet, use life preservers, seatbelts, cross with the light etc. What happened to the Aseh of zealously guarding your own life. You are such a big Maamin that you are a Moron.

26

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