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Helmet Use: Where the Burden Lies

There are two endless sources of frustration for those of us who have followed the news for cyclist’s being struck and injured by automobiles.

One is the seemingly worthless comments about whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet. No matter the manner of injury, the article always seems to address this point.

I don’t know what purpose is can server other than to place blame upon the cyclist for not acting reasonably under the circumstances.

In other words, he wasn’t wearing a helmet so he deserved his injuries. Never mind the part about the car hitting him. He didn’t have a helmet and that’s why he’s hurt.

Of course, he would have been injured if he had been wearing a helmet as any of us who have hit the deck well know. The ground hurts.

The second point of endless frustration is the issue of whether the cyclist was obeying the traffic laws. Now, I don’t to dismiss this as inconsequential.

The blame properly lies with a party whom disobeys a traffic signal and thus causes an accident on the roadway, be it a person on a bicycle or a person operating a motor vehicle or a pedestrian.

There are rules, these rules are meant to prevent injury, and they are important. On the other hand, this blanket condemnation of cyclists as scofflaws who somehow deserve to be injured is indefensible.

To wit: Until cyclists obey the rules, they’ll keep on getting killed. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robert-son’s arrogance has given cyclists the misconception that they are entitled to ignore the traffic laws to which the rest of us are bound.

Motorists are not responsible for the stupidity of cyclists. How many times have drivers who are stopped at a red light seen cyclists ride through because there are no oncoming cars?

Why are they not ticketed for ignoring a red light? Until cyclists are made to under-stand they are responsible for their own safety and the rules of the road are applicable to all, they will continue to be injured or killed.

We as cyclists do understand that we are responsible for our own safety. That is why we demand to be treated with respect. We are legally entitled to use the nations roadways (with limited exceptions, or course). We should not be threatened with death and dismemberment for choosing to ride a bicycle.

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Written by Big Jonny


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