I’m used to the Leader-Post containing stories with mentions of bovine excrement, but usually they are confined to articles about agriculture and actual bulls. This editorial about bike helmets is a glaring exception.
First, it was never SGI’s “buck” to pass. The legislature and councils pass laws and bylaws, not SGI (we hope, anyway). I can excuse the Leader-Post editors and Star Phoenix for forgetting this thanks to SGI’s too-cozy relationship with police forces and traffic safety law enforcement.
Second, and more importantly, bike helmet laws have the unfortunate effect of repressing the use of bicycles. We critically need more bikes on our roads, to improve public health and our struggle to limit pollution. The benefits of cycling far outweigh the risk of a van hitting a cyclist as one did to me 9 years ago in Yorkton while I was obeying traffic law (and wearing a non-mandatory helmet). I’ve cycled thousands of kilometers since then, thanks to getting back on the horse after being knocked off.
Since fewer people ride bikes following a helmet law, and Saskatchewan is looking to reduce it’s Green House Gas emissions, I propose instead that helmets be optional for bikes, but mandatory for people riding in cars. Head injuries in auto accidents are a very serious killer every year, so SUMA should think of the children, and get right on that instead.