Five dollar head, five dollar helmet
Apr 21, 2012 / 5:00 am
The observation "five dollar head, five dollar helmet" used to be common in traffic law enforcement referring to motorcycle riders who wore beanie style helmets that would provide little or no protection in a crash. Today, that observation could be extended to those who choose to ride a bicycle with inadequate protection. What would that say about the value of a head that was not protected at all?
If you wear, or make sure that your children under the age of 16 wear a proper bicycle helmet when cycling you are following the law. In either case, you will not be liable to a $29 fine and one of your most valuable possessions will be afforded some protection. That protection may apply equally to a crash that you cause yourself or a crash where someone drivers or rides into you.
Too many rules in our society today? One should be able to choose to do what they want to, right? To some extent you may be right, but if you expect society to look after you when you are injured in a cycling incident is it not reasonable to expect society to count on you to take steps to minimize the need for help from everyone else?
Unless you are exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet, think of it the same way you do your seatbelt. That safety device has evolved from something few wanted to wear to a better than 95% wearing rate in B.C. today. Attitudes can change if there is a good reason for the change. My head is worth more than $5 to me, so I choose to wear a helmet when I cycle.
The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.
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Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Castanet.net. Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.
E-mail him your questions or concerns: email@example.com
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