More people are biking in New York because of the city’s efforts to provide bike trails, bike lanes, and bike share programs. However, more riders means more bike accidents and injuries, something that City Councilman David Greenfield would like the council to address. He has introduced a bill that requires all bike riders in the city to wear helmets. Currently, only bike riders under age 14 and bike delivery personnel are required to wear helmets.
“Helmets save lives, plain and simple. It is common sense, but we still have far too many people biking around the city without a helmet. This law will help protect cyclists and will prevent serious injuries and deaths,” said Councilman Greenfield.
Bike helmets can reduce the risk of life-altering or fatal head injuries by more than 60 percent. Head injuries account for approximately one-third of all emergency room visits by bicycle riders.
The proposed legislation covers riders on all public streets and city park land. A violator would be required to pay a $25 fine for the first offense, and $50 for the second violation within one year. The penalty would increase to $100 for a third offense in two years.
“This legislation is not about punishing cyclists, it’s about encouraging them to ride safely. Helmets are cheap, light and literally save lives. This law is long overdue and will help reduce the number of cyclists who visit local emergency rooms or are hospitalized as a result of injuries sustained while not wearing a helmet,” said Greenfield.
Source: Bensonhurst Bean,” Councilman David Greenfield Introduces Law Requiring Use Of Helmets For City Cyclists,” by Laura Vladimirova, June 1, 2012.