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Comptroller Liu Wants Helmet Mandate For Bike Sharing Program

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces details of the Citi Bike program - New York, NY - May 7, 2012 (credit: Edward Reed / Mayor's Office)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces details of the Citi Bike program – New York, NY – May 7, 2012 (credit: Edward Reed / Mayor’s Office)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - New York City is set to start a new bike sharing program next month. But before it begins, City Comptroller John Liu wants to make sure riders are kept safe, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

Liu, who described himself as an avid bike rider and supports the bike sharing program, called Citi Bike, wants the city to make it mandatory for all bike renters to where helmets.

LINK: Citi Bike (Official Site)

“As it stands now, the city’s plan could lead to more injuries, more fatalities and more claims against the city,” Liu told reporters on Monday.

Liu also said the city should increase it’s liability insurance.

“New York City’s fatality rate is twice as high as Chicago, and four times as a high as Washington, D.C.,” he said. “The $4 million a year in lawsuits against the city on bike-related claims is without the addition of 10,000 rental bikes on the streets of New York… We must be concerned about protecting the physical health of bikers and pedestrians and the physical health of the city.”

“We hope that the city will take our recommendations seriously,” Liu added “The intent here is to keep bicyclists and pedestrians safe and limit the city to exposure from lawsuits.”

Do you think you’ll utilize the bike sharing program? Sound off in the comments section below.