Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bicyclist Safety and Recruiting New Bicyclists: Are Bicycle Helmets Counterproductive?

By Dom Nozzi
I joined a bicycling and walking board of directors in 2008 because I was no longer able to tolerate the annual carnage of bicyclists and pedestrians killed on roads throughout the nation. For example, in 2007, 698 bicyclists were killed and 43,000 were injured in traffic crashes in America. That same year, 4,654 pedestrians were killed and 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes.
I joined the board because I am impatient with how bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations have muddled along without showing any meaningful progress with regard to their two prime objectives: Growing the number of bicyclists and pedestrians, and dramatically improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
I joined the board because I presume that bicycling and walking organizations are interested in showing the courage, wisdom and leadership to break out of this unfortunate pattern of having very little to show for its efforts to grow bicyclists and pedestrians, or improve their safety. To take measures that are effective in achieving larger numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians, and substantially improving their safety.
With that introduction to what I have to say below, I humbly suggest the following recommendations: