Tell the Mayor “NO” on Mandatory Helmet Laws.
Mayor de Blasio has — once again — given airtime to the false and counterproductive idea that mandatory helmet laws help make streets safer when he commented that National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was “pushing us in the right direction” by recommending that all 50 states make bike helmet use mandatory.
Voluntarily wearing a helmet is great — it should be encouraged and supported through education and outreach -- but mandating their use is a disaster waiting to happen.
We know this because when Melbourne, Australia and Seattle, Washington implemented such policies it destroyed their bike share systems, and made streets less safe by shrinking the city’s total cycling population.
“Safety in Numbers” is a straightforward concept: more people on bikes creates safer conditions on our streets.
As New York City is amidst a Vision Zero emergency with 27 cyclists killed on our streets to date this year, an almost 300 percent increase from 2018, New Yorkers need a mayor focused on the real issue at hand: unsafe road conditions that continue to prioritize cars over human life.
Mandatory helmet laws do not make streets safer. Where they have been implemented elsewhere, they have killed thriving bikeshare systems, and depressed the total number of people biking. They make streets less safe for people like me — for walking and biking New Yorkers.
As a constituent, I am calling on you to use your office to double down on known street safety solutions, like redesigning our most dangerous streets with protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements.
With a nearly 300% increase this year in the number of cyclists killed on the streets of New York City, we cannot afford to lose focus on Vision Zero policies that work.