News

Brooklyn Lawmaker Wants To Make All Bicyclists Wear Helmets, But Bloomberg Not On Board

Councilman Greenfield Says Initiative Would Seem To Be Right Up Mayor's Alley
(credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

(credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Dallas does it, so does Seattle.

Now, Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield wants New York City to require all bike riders to wear helmets.

“So many people every year die unnecessarily while riding a bicycle because they don’t wear a helmet,” Greenfield said. “It’s so easy to do, it’s cheap, it’s affordable, it’s light-weight.”

Currently, only children under the age of 13 and commercial cyclists are required to wear head gear.

Greenfield said he believes it would be irresponsible not to require all bikers to wear helmets, especially with the number of new biking initiatives the city is undertaking.

“The city is promoting cycling so heavily, we have a new bike share that’s going to be coming out,” Greenfield said. “We’re going to have tourists from around the country and around the world not familiar with driving in a place as challenging as New York City.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is opposed to the idea. Councilman Greenfield said he think his initiative will save more lives than banning large-sized sugary drinks.

“There’s a direct correlation between people not wearing helmets, and dying.  I have yet to meet somebody who picked up a Big Gulp and just fell down on the spot and had a heart attack,” Greenfield told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

You might assume the mayor supports mandatory bike helmets because he’s been so pro-active on other things, but not this time.

“I understand there is a Council person who has promulgated this. He is not a friend of bicyclists; he is against bike lanes,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said of Councilman Greenfield.

Team Bloomberg has decided because Greenfield doesn’t like their bike lanes, they don’t like his bike helmet bill, even if many bikers like it.

“What’s the difference between mandatory bike helmets and seat belts in cars?” bike rider Edgar Brown said. “Had I not been wearing a helmet, I could have had a concussion.”

Seattle is often held up as a place that gets bike policies right.  So, the question beckons: what’s the law in Seattle when it comes to bike helmets?

They’ve been mandatory for all riders since 2003.

Seattle has spoken. Let the Big Apple debate begin.

Do you think all people should be required to wear a helmet while bike riding? Let us know below…