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Forget Bike Helmets - You've Got to be Kidding!

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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Pete McMartin's column in the August 20, 2014, edition of the Vancouver Sun provides a window into the ongoing debate that underlies the movement to rescind BC's mandatory bike helmet law.

In his piece McMartin furnishes readers with a smogasboard of thoughts from the "antihelmet camp".

In particular, McMartin offers up the thoughts of  two academics who've be thrust into the discussion.

" Jessica Dennis, a researcher with the University of Toronto's school of public health, could find no statistical link between mandatory helmet use and reduced hospital admissions for cycling injuries.

Unfortunately, the question of whether the "types" of hospital admissions have changed isn't tackled by Dennis ( i.e. sprained ankle vs. severe brain injury).

McMartin also provides us with the musings of Professor Keay Teschke:

" Teschke believes that when it comes to bike safety, we have it exactly backwards - that helmet laws are a distraction and don't increase the sense of safety for cyclists. On  the contrary, she believes, they may increase the sense of danger cyclists face in traffic.

It's a mistake, Teschke said, to consider helmets a 'preventative measure'. Rather, she said, they are an 'injury mitigation measure' after the fact, and do nothing in the way of prevention."

Which leaves one to ponder, why do we need to choose between preventative measure and injury mitigation?

What's wrong with having your cake and eating it too?

Quite frankly, the thoughts of the two academics quoted in Pete McMartin's column lead one to the conclusion that the helmet usage issue is more of a turf war than a debate concerning an issue of public safety.

The bottomline here is that this discussion is getting off track.

As far as I'm concerned there's only one question which needs to be addressed:

Do Bike Helmets Prevent Brain Injury and Save Lives??

If so, we're done.

Jeff Witten

McComb Witten Personal Injury Lawyers






Category: Bicycle Accidents

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