What if the do-gooders of Anchorage passed a local law that looked good for kids but was really bad for them? What would you say? Better yet, what would you do? Would you just go along, knowing that the law might be destined to cost everyone — or at least every taxpayer — thousands of dollars somewhere along the road toward the future?
Probably you would. Because we’re talking “safety” here, and in America — once the land of the free and the brave — people seem willing to accept almost any government imposition on freedom in the name of safety. Have you traveled lately? Have you endured the huge, costly and intrusive bureaucracy that has been created simply to give people the impression they are now safe from terrorists attacking an airline?
Security expert Bruce Schneier has labeled it all “security theater,” which is probably pretty close to the truth. And yet we all participate in it because it makes us feel safer. At some level, we don’t really care how much it costs or what pain-in-the-ass it might become because, well, it makes us feel safer.
This is not, however, about airport security. This is about another of those do-gooder ideas that make us feel we are making the world a better, safer place. This is about bike helmets.
I wear one, though I’m not really sure there is a good reason to do so. If you’re under 16 years old, it’s mandatory in public places, according to municipal ordinance 9.38.200.
A bicycle helmet is designed to protect you in a crash at 15 mph or less. I’ve crashed lots of times at 15 mph or less. Rarely did I land on my head. Seldom did I get injured. That’s the norm. More than 20 years ago, G.B. Rodgers examined 8 million cases of injury or death to cyclists in the U.S over 15 years and concluded there was no evidence that helmets reduced head injury or fatalities. That injury survey remains the largest ever done.
To read the whole story, visit here: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/wouldnt-bike-lanes-make-riding-safer-anchorage-helmets
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