LETTER: Helmets not the cure for Victoria’s cyclists’ woes

Send your letters to editor@vicnews.com

Regarding two ill-informed letters about cycling in recent weeks, I have a different side.

First of all, cyclist infrastructure does not lead to more infractions, poorly designed roads do. There is no law stating you have to ride on cycling infrastructure where it’s present. Furthermore, if people are riding on sidewalks and crosswalks clearly they don’t feel safe on the road, or making certain maneuvers. We obviously need better cycling infrastructure to make the legal option also the safe and convenient one.

Cycling needs to become an easy, accessible mode of transportation for the masses if we want to reduce congestion, wasted space and save the climate, people’s health and well-being. So why do people feel the need to wear a piece of foam that has a moderate chance of protecting your head in the very unlikely event it’s hit? And why does the auto industry fund these devices? Because it makes cycling less convenient, appealing, and makes it look unsafe. This person that totaled the car that hit them – in this situation, a helmet was useful. But these accidents are few and far between.

If we make our streets better for cycling, this will not only make cycling more convenient but reduce car speeds, reducing the harm to all in a collision. And regarding the cost inflicted on our healthcare system, the savings of having an active, healthy population are far greater.

If you are road biking, mountain biking or riding on dangerous roads then maybe a helmet is a good idea. But if you’re just casually going to work, school, the grocery store or your friend’s place, a helmet’s an unnecessary burden. Well-designed infrastructure will make it safer. Mandatory helmet laws make cycling less casual and less accessible to the masses. A message to fellow bicycle users: Let’s follow the rules whenever possible. Yield when you have to, and thank others that do for you.

Our reputation is important, an angry minority is watching. Let’s set a positive tone for a wonderful mode of transport.

Finn Kreischer

Victoria

Just Posted

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Sexual assault charge dropped against from CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Sentence handed down for sex assaults committed more than 30 years ago

Man in his 80s will serve a conditional sentence in the community

BC Ferries considers passenger only ferry between West Shore and Victoria

Royal Bay, Esquimalt and Ship Point considered as part of study into new route

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read