Here’s a good reason mandatory helmet laws even for children should be opposed: Police in the Boston suburb of Holliston, MA said they will impound the bicycles of youths they see riding without their helmets.
Police here are looking for scofflaws and will snatch the pedals from your feet if you’ve been warned numerous times but still forgo headgear.
Holliston police, frustrated in trying to drive home the point that riding without a helmet is dangerous and illegal, are hoping the tactic will finally get the attention of young riders.
Cycling without a helmet is not dangerous. This story quotes the BHSI factoid that helmets can prevent two thirds of cycling fatalities. Let’s see, in Holliston, 2/3rds of zero is…. ummm – what’s that number?
I won’t pretend that helmets are useless, but the public safety benefit of mandatory helmet legislation is miniscule, and I believe draconian confiscation programs do far more harm than good. Mandatory helmet laws criminalize behavior that is otherwise reasonable and safe, and strict enforcement discriminates against children who already have enough disincentives to outdoor activities and traveling on their own power.
How many automobiles from scofflaw motorists have the Holliston police confiscated?