An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Are helmets required where you live?


As we reported last week, many cities up in Canada require bike helmets--and they'll write you a $29 ticket for riding around bareheaded. At first, that struck us as a bit nanny-state-ish. Much as we believe that not having your skull crushed is absolutely a good thing, no one likes to be told what to do at such a personal level. On the other hand, though, we looked at it like this: In Canada, medical services are socialized. That means taxpayers are going to foot the bill for your crushed skull, if you manage to survive the crushing process; it's probably fair to suggest that taxpayers can save some dough by asking cyclists to buy their own crushed-skull insurance at the low low price of around $50, rather than reconstructive brain surgery at the price of, say, a quadrillion dollars.

Well but here in the USA, we do things differently. You get your skull crushed, that's your problem. Still, according to this article about an Indiana city council trying to pass a bill to require bike helmets, "a number of cities and states here have passed similar laws." Huh? Really? First we'd heard.

Anyway, one Indiana Girl Scout has the right idea: If you're going to require helmets, then you better give them away. On the whole, we'd say poor people don't deserve crushed skulls the way some superrich people we can think of do. (By the way, dynacrappy helmet cover in the photo, no? Those are real blinky LED lights inside the folds of the brain, supahot! You can find them here, but don't tell anyone we told you. This would look great for your next Girls Gone Grumpy or Zoobomb ride.)

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