Dallas Repeals Bike Helmet Law for Adults

640px-Bike_helmet.jpg
Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Only required if you can't see an R-rated movie by yourself.

After a thankfully brief and largely unfocused debate this morning, the Dallas City Council amended city ordinances to allow bicycles in public buildings, remove unwieldy prohibitions against stunt riding and racing, and allow bicycle riders older than 17 to choose whether to wear a helmet.

Changing the helmet requirements was essential according Philip Kingston, because leaving the ordinances as is would cripple any potential bike share programs in the city.

Kingston was among those on the council who believed the helmet restrictions should be removed entirely, either because of the difficulty of enforcing age-based restrictions or the burden they might place on families hoping to ride together.

Sandy Greyson suggested a compromise that would allow anyone over 13 to without a helmet but, despite support from Lee Kleinman and Scott Griggs, her amendment never came to a vote.

Instead members settle on the age 17 requirement. Vonciel Jones Hill and Monica Alonzo voted against the final measure, citing safety concerns.

"In an automobile-centric community, I believe it is absolute foolishness not to have a helmet on a bicycle," Jones Hill said. "Grown people can choose foolishness, but government should help them."

Kingston also voted against the final proposed changes, because they didn't go far enough.

Sheffie Kadane was most concerned about the end of the stunt riding prohibition.

"[The amendments are now] under 17 and you can act crazy on a bike," he said with apparent frustration. Kadane voted to approve all of the changes.


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17 comments
andypandy
andypandy

So the city is pro bike helmet when it can make money on fines and helmet neutral when it may stall a potentially money making bike share program?  Seems like public safety was never the real motivation for the law in the first place but then again when is it when dealing with Dallas City Council?

lecterman
lecterman

If someone wants to ride without a helmet more power to them.  Hopefully they will avoid accidents like I have had in the past while wearing helmets.  Ones which may have resulted in severe head injuries had I not been wearing.

haskovez
haskovez

Studies have shown that bicycle accidents actually go up with helmet use.  No one will argue that if you do get in an accident you are better off having a helmet that much is true.  But what the studies have found is that people wearing helmets actually take bigger risks and cars are less cautious around them, so the benefit of the helmet sort of gets negated in reality.  This was a good law to get rid of.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 "Grown people can choose foolishness, but government should help them."


And by "help them", we mean send the police to harass and issue usurious fines.

MiketheGrate
MiketheGrate

I would love to know what kind of visuals were running through Sheffie Kadane's head when he was imagining all those 17-year olds without helmets heading out to "act crazy on a bike".  

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Let the bloodbath and phony statistics begin.

HeywoodUBuzzoff
HeywoodUBuzzoff

We 'all' know that mandatory adult bike helmets really hurt women, minorities, and the really ugly hardest (trying to find a bike helmet that works with a paper bag evidently is very difficult if I am reading between the lines of Shutze's scribbles correctly).  Come on, we 'all' know that bike helmets are a dog whistle that says only white males have anything between their ears work not getting scrambled in an accident.  Sure a helmet may be the tenth of a an hourly cost of a neurosurgeon's fee but being a mush head is now covered under the PPACA and the right of so many who sit on the Dallas City Council.  It is just oppression from the 'downtown powers that be' that wanted all adults having to wear bike helmets with coincides somehow with the underwater toll way and the equestrian center (BTW the equestrian center will by City Council Mandate require helmets and goo luck find a Bell helmet that will fit on good ol' Secretariat).  So next the City Council should ban seat belts, cross walks, and food safety inspections in restaurants as the population dropping dead will really help all the other issues of real importance like parks over freeways.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@haskovez

If you're biking without a helmet, you're more likely to use your head.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@everlastingphelps What she means is the government should be your mommy, your daddy, your baby momma and sugar daddy all in one. Invasion of privacy for some, handing out checks to the rest.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@MiketheGrate The visual I always have when I hear anything from Sheffie Kadane is the photo of Grampa Simpson under the headline "Old Man Shakes Fist at Cloud."

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@HeywoodUBuzzoff

Shorter: SHRIEK!


(Nobody is stopping you from wearing your helmet if YOU decide that YOU need one.)

jamesjodi
jamesjodi

Choose Foolishness is a great t-shirt idea.  The idea that government should help us choose foolishness is a no-brainer, er, um, literally?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@MaxNoDifference

I'm more cautious when riding a bike (a real, motorized one), without a helmet. So cautious, I don't even start the bike. But that's my head. I don't care about anyone else's head.

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