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Comment count is 25
Old_Zircon - 2015-08-17

A friend of mine is dead because she didn't wear a helmet. There are a couple of reasons.

infinite zest - 2015-08-17

I have a few friends too who have died from not wearing helmets. Not too long ago a friend of mine was bitching on facebook about how he got a fine for not having headlights or taillights at dusk, even though he was just riding up to the store about 6 blocks away. A warning in that case may have been nice, but even on the non-busy street he lives on, you never know.

About a week ago I was driving and was held up by probably 50 bicyclists riding very slowly right down a very busy street that connects to the freeway and a bridge, holding up all the lanes of traffic. I don't know what the protest was for, but I assume it was a protest for the two bicyclists who were hit by cars, the one losing his leg and the other his life (also a good acquaintance of mine.) So there's tall bikes, childrens' bikes, regular bikes, going down a 45 MPH highway at maybe 5 MPH, most of them without helmets or lights.

Like, my bike or bus is my form of transportation. If I didn't have to drive at work I wouldn't even feel the need to have a license anymore, but I was pretty pissed off and wanted to call the cops. If it was indeed a vigil for those two people (there have been other vigils and protests on less busy streets) they're missing the point completely.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2015-08-17

This video makes me so angry.

SolRo - 2015-08-17

The purpose of most minor laws is to protect people, from unfrisked, unruly minorities.

The Mothership - 2015-08-17

Cool kids wear lids, yo.

gmol - 2015-08-17

"The enduring popularity of helmets as a proposed major intervention for increased road safety may therefore lie not with their direct benefitsówhich seem too modest to capture compared with other strategiesóbut more with the cultural, psychological, and political aspects of popular debate around risk."

Bort - 2015-08-18

My brother-in-law nearly died from going on a bike ride without a helmet, going down a hill too fast, and flying from the bike and landing head first. Fortunately they were able to do the necessary brain surgery and he's okay now (also thank you Obamacare for covering him).

Karl Pilkington weighs in:


Binro the Heretic - 2015-08-18

All of you assholes posting to say, "But bicycle helmets save lives!" can fuck right off. That is not the point of this video.

The point is, six fascist pigs showed up at a child's house to slap him in handcuffs using his lack of a bicycle helmet as an excuse. The point is, police departments all over the US are still targeting poor non-white people with minor infractions that carry heavy fines and penalties as a way of keeping themselves funded. They do this so shitty rich people don't have to pay taxes but still have asshole cops to keep the poors in line.

In short, take a bicycle helmet and shove it right up your ass.

CIWB - 2015-08-18

Didn't they arrest him because he ran from the police, which, despite the expert legal counsel from the screaming person, is in fact against the law?

Bort - 2015-08-18

Just reacting to the description that claims "This is the purpose of bicycle helmet laws".

You're right that, in this case, the law is being used to harass someone of a suspiciously dusky cast. I think everyone gets that.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-08-18


No, fuck the police. Cops don't need to be ticketing a sixteen-year-old for not wearing a bike helmet. If the kid had been White, the cops wouldn't have given a shit. They wanted to stop him because he was Black and used any excuse.

The kid ran home to his family because he wanted lots of witnesses and someone to record the cops. I don't fucking blame him.

That guy - 2015-08-18

Binro, I get your points but this is just the kind of shit that happens when the well has been poisoned and the earth has been salted, so to speak. Both sides are shitty and they both have good reason to be.....

You cannot say for sure that he wouldn't have gotten a ticket if he was white. You suspect it, sure. Are you objecting to that law, or that it should apply to a black kid when he insists it shouldn't?

TeenerTot - 2015-08-18

Looks like...nearly a dozen cops dispatched to take down this public enemy.

chumbucket - 2015-08-18

Haha Officer Initiative walks up the steps and then suddenly realizes "oops, protocol and camera"

I also love that this is a 6 enforcers operation. You know because, "back up".

TeenerTot - 2015-08-18

I counted almost 12 of them near the end of the video. But then, I don't see too good.

jfcaron_ca - 2015-08-18

Very few cycling advocates tell you that you shouldn't wear a helmet when cycling. They do a very good job of protecting your head from impacts at certain angles at ~30km/h.

Nearly all cycling advocates will tell you that helmet laws are bad and should be repealed. The most obvious negative factor is that the laws are enforced selectively and not in the interest of public safety, as you can see in this video. Another long-term negative factor is that it creates a perception that cycling is dangerous. Less people cycling means more people driving, more obesity, and actually way more preventable deaths for the whole society. The additional cost of needing to buy a helmet will also be a barrier for poor people cycling, and poor people are the most in need of physical activity. They could ride to work and school and still get some activity in, but rich people have the spare time for leisure sports and working out.

Helmet laws also don't make sense for a few reasons: they will generally not be helpful when some asshole talking on a cell phone in an SUV runs your ass over, or if you plow into a barrier while going over 50km/h; if helmet laws made sense, then we should also require driving helmets for motorists.

In short: I'm sorry about your aunt who died "because she wasn't wearing a helmet", but your anecdote should not override careful analysis of a public health & safety (& justice!) issue. Wear a helmet anyways, but don't ask or vote for harmful laws.

Potrod - 2015-08-18

We don't require helmets for motorists but some states do require helmets for motorcyclists and they've been shown to drastically reduce injury/fatality rates. Whether or not helmet laws make sense for one type of vehicle has little bearing on whether or not they make sense for other vehicle types. Motorcycles and bicyclists don't have seatbelts, rigid metal frames, and airbags protecting them. I'm not saying this means bicycle helmet laws necessarily make sense (motorcycle helmet laws do) but your analogy doesn't either.

jfcaron_ca - 2015-08-18

The analogy is to point out that bicycle helmet laws are as nonsensical as car-motorist helmet laws, not that I actually think drivers should be required to wear helmets. I'm pretty bad at making my sarcasm obvious.

A difference is that there is an actual (i.e. non-satirical) motordom lobby in our governments and societies (e.g. AAA makes safety-education material for classrooms), so we don't have nonsensical motor-helmet laws. In fact a lot of cycling helmet law initiatives are supported by motor organizations, using "safety" as a trump card against opponents. This is a good review of an amazing book on the history behind this phenomenon: http://wapo.st/1BkEbL3

TeenerTot - 2015-08-18

My brother died in a motorcycle accident. But since he was wearing his helmet, he had a nice face we could say goodbye to. So, uh....yeah. But I don't think the laws should _require_ helmets, either.

magnesium - 2015-08-19

Can't remember where I read it, but there is actually a lot of evidence that wearing a helmet in a car would make driving significantly safer. At the same time, there's evidence that wearing a helmet while biking makes motorists less concerned about your safety. They will drive significantly closer to a cyclist with a helmet than one without.

crojo - 2015-08-18

I can't stand people like this and their total disregard for rules and public safety.

Seriously, change your damn smoke alarm batteries.

Tough American Bouncer - 2015-08-18

Sir, turn off the phone and you can talk to the officer Night Stick about this.

Enjoy - 2015-08-18

The same people upset by these cops are the same people who eagerly vote for big public pensions. Just think: these assholes are going to retire rich because of your Democrat loyalties.

Bus_Aint_Comin - 2015-08-19

my somebody died in a something so FUCK the PO-lice with their HEL-met laws.

i think wearing helmets should be illegal so we can avoid a bleak malthusian future.

TeenerTot - 2015-08-19

I'm not sure how to respond to this.

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