Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Should Adult Riders Be Forced To Wear Helmets?

Spokesman-Review Letters to the editor
Helmet enforcement ludicrous

I am a recent addition to the growing number of bicyclists. On my way home from work at an area hospital, I was stopped by two Spokane officers, lack of a bike helmet apparently being cause to interrogate me for 15 minutes, under spotlight. Where was I going? Where do I work? What hospital? What is my supervisor's name? How long have I worked there? Where do I live? Pure harassment and looking for an excuse to escalate the scenario or search me.

I had full identification, no record of any kind and was simply going home. The situation was ludicrous. The state of Washington has no helmet law, only cities and counties. I also found that Washington cities have the harshest helmet laws in the country.

I cherish the wind-in-my-hair, sun-on-my-face feeling. It should be an adult's decision to ride his bicycle without helmet. Is this just another reason to shake down citizens? I am sure there was something else these officers could have been doing in town to "crack" down on crime. Change the law. The wind is still in my hair.

Phillip Dean Petty

Does anyone else agree with Mr. Petty that bike helmets for adults should be a rider's own personal choice?


Charles said...

I rode my bike to work for years before they required helmets, and seldom saw a car, but after they required a helmet I bought one and wore it, so for my ride I thought it was worthless, but when I am driving I see adults on bikes on arterials with a lot of traffic and no helmets and think they are idiots for riding on an arterial without a helmet.


SRTC Staff said...

I've seen the same thing, and a couple times I've seen some pretty nervy bike riders darting in and out of traffic minus a helmet. We hear so much about pedestrians being hit by cars recently, I'm surprised we don't hear of more bike-car accidents.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.