New Jersey is proposing a law that would make it the first U.S. state to mandate the use of bicycle and scooter helmets for all riders, regardless of age. Researchers have found that donning a helmet decreases the likelihood of a fatal head injury by 65%.
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Helmet use is already mandated by state law for all minors in the state. This is not, however, something that groups that promote biking necessarily promote. “I don’t know if I agree or disagree. Yes, I do endorse this plan.
Put on a helmet, it’s common sense. In spite of this, it’s not easy being told you have to use a helmet in all situations.” Christopher De Los Angeles, the proprietor of the New Jersey City Bike Shop, made this statement.
“It’s not you that you have to worry about; it’s everyone else; you want to protect yourself, of course.” The bill’s sponsor, New Jersey state assemblyman Reginald Atkins, claims it has nothing to do with fines, yet the method of enforcement is one to which New Jersey residents are already accustomed.
I think it should be likened to not wearing a seatbelt, as Atkins put it. “The same fundamental idea applies. It’s the practice of using some sort of apparatus to ensure someone’s safety.” Seatbelt violations carry a $25 fine.
Colin Cecere, like many casual bikers, would like to have the option to decide when and when to wear a helmet, and if helmets are to be mandated for adults at all, he believes it should be under limited circumstances.
“People on e-bikes may zoom up and down the streets at 30 miles per hour, but I’m just trying to get from point A to point B, whether that’s to and from the gym or the grocery store with a few essentials.
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Putting on a helmet is the last thing I want to do right now “In the words of Cecere.
The New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition and other bike advocacy groups argue that the state should not pass such a law because it would discourage people from using bicycles as a transportation alternative.
“We feel the greatest way to increase bicyclist safety is to make streets and cars safer,” the organization added. A version of the measure has not yet been submitted to the State Senate, although it is currently being reviewed there and would need to pass there before it could be put to Governor Phil Murphy‘s desk.
Murphy has not said whether or not he will approve this legislation. The holiday season in New York City began in earnest on Wednesday with the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Further information is available at CeFaan Kim.