He’s riding a trike at perhaps 5 MPH on a street empty of motor vehicle traffic through downtown Santa Cruz, CA. California Assembly member Carol Liu continues to believe he needs a helmet for safety. Should her bill, SB 192, become law, Mr Fedora on the trike will become subject to citation and fines.
Ms. Liu and other helmet advocates no doubt have people like professional cyclist Alison Starnes in mind, shown here taking a corner during a Cat 1/2/3 criterium race at perhaps 30 MPH.
Cyclists like Starnes already wear a helmet. They take greater risks by going fast or by riding in challenging conditions, so they mitigate the risks inherent in this style of riding by wearing protection gear.
Mr. Fedora on the trike is not a rare, corner case. I think he probably represents the majority of everyday cyclists in California who cruise at a reasonable speed to get wherever.
Maybe Ms. Liu and other helmet endorsers have another type of cyclist in mind: people who add to their risk by riding dangerously, like this guy going against the flow of traffic.
Surely Ms. Liu doesn’t believe this salmon will magically become a safer cyclist just by donning a helmet, does she?
Earlier today, the California Association of Bicycle sent their letter opposing SB 192. It reads in part:
Bicycle helmets certainly may contribute to safety in a crash or fall, but represent only the final area of protection when all other safety measures fail.
We do applaud and appreciate your concern and do support effective efforts to reduce bicycling collision injuries and fatalities that also promote Active Transportation – healthier, enjoyable, cleaner, and more sustainable travel choices for Californians.
You can read the full letter at CABO: CABO opposing helmet requirement.