Lifting the Lid on Mandatory Helmet Laws

australia perth cyclyst with helmetWorld Streets maintains a watching brief and reports from time to time on the tricky topic of mandatory helmet laws in different parts of the world. (For more: http://goo.gl/H8mEHm .) Ian Ker reports here from Perth with a case study of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in West Australia , as presented to the 29 May 2014 VeloCity Global Conference in Adelaide.

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Why the Dutch cycle (It’s not an accident)

This posting is part of a stimulating dialogue in which two contrasting views of the role and practice of city cycling are discussed. Because the issues examined here are in many ways universal and fundamental to the success of a city cycling program, including the on-going early Spring of a much needed cycling Renaissance in Penang, we are pleased to be able to share this first article with our readers. (PS. We need more creative disagreement between informed people such as this. If everyone agrees too quickly mediocrity invariably results. Sustainability is hard and challenging work.)

netherlands-amsterrdam-cycle-path

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John Pucher reports on “City Cycling”

John Pucher (cycling guru and Professor of Transport Policy at Rutgers university) gave a public lecture on cycling in cities in LA earlier this week, introducing his new book “City Cycling” to an attentive audience.  Kent Strumpell of the City of LA Bicycle Advisory Committee was there taking notes.  Which he kindly shares with us here: Continue reading

Weekend musing: The bicycle helmet rears its ugly head

Under our World City Bike program we have for several years now been looking at the yes/no sudden-death helmet issue in the context of public bike projects . If you click here you will find several postings that make an effort to report in a balanced manner (to the extent possible) on the issues, trade-offs and implications of creating legal requirements that force all cyclists to use helmets. An absolutely well-intentioned position which has turned out to be no less than the cold hand of death strangling nascent public bicycle projects in various projects around the world. Pity to spend all that public money on a nice bike sharing system and then find that they are not being widely used while honest citizens add pounds of fat to what should be their lithe frames. In the event, here are a handful of short videos from YouTube that take a pretty good whack at it from several perspectives. Have a look and decide for yourself.

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Bikes, Helmets and the Long Arm of the Law

We had a good look at this one back in 2008 in the context of advising local government concerning the issue of requiring cyclists to wear helmets on the then-being considered public bike project.

We asked for the counsel of a number of international experts with backgrounds and contrasting views in this area, and this short report summarizes their information and recommendations. Still looks pretty good in 2011.

* Click here for World Streets  report – Bikes, helmets and the law

Cycling should be dull

” (Government) policy is not to make cycling safer but to encourage more people to be brave.” The author, Janice Turner writing for the Times, puts her finger on one of the greater truths of public policy and cycling, which every city and every New Mobility activist will do well to bear in mind. In her words: “Cycling. . . should be banal. Because it is safe” Continue reading

Reinventing the Wheel: "Why Cycling Saves Lives" Message from Iceland

The freezing, windswept roads of Iceland don’t sound like the best place for avid cyclists. Morten Lange, head of the Icelandic Cyclists’ Federation in an interview with the editor of the Allianz Knowledge Partnership, disagrees, arguing that cycling could save your life.
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WHO on Road Safety: ‘We are responsible for our future’

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday its first global report on road safety worldwide. The news is grim.

The report is based on data drawn from a survey of 178 countries. It concludes that something on the order of 1.3 million people are dying in traffic accidents each year, that this number is accelerating, and that anywhere from 20 to 50 million people are injured as a result of traffic crashes. If you check out their five minute video on this page, you will hear them reminding us that these numbers sum to one person being injured in traffic every second, and someone dying — being killed rather is a more accurate way to state it — every thirty seconds. (Keep that image in mind as you work your way down this page.)

Of these totals roughly half (46%) of the victims killed on streets and roads worldwide are pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of motorized two wheelers – the most vulnerable road users.

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