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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: August 8, 2021

Sadly, large minority of cyclists not wearing helmets on Bicycle Sunday

Bicycling without a helmet could cause brain injuries. County should organize educational campaign to promote bicycle safety on parkway

Today, while cycling on the Bronx River Parkway Bicycle Sunday, I noticed that a significant minority of cyclists were not cycling with helmets.  Over the years I have met many people who told me sad stories about their family members or friends who suffered significant brain injuries because they fell off their bicycle and weren't wearing helmets. 

Although the county only recommends that adult bicyclists wear helmets I think that the sponsors and Westchester County could do more to encourage riding with bicycle helmets.  Some suggestions:

1) The county and sponsors of Bicycle Sunday could place signs along the parkway highlighting the danger of cycling without helmets.  The signs could share info with cyclists showing cyclists what happened to others who did not wear helmets.

2) Having the county police stop cyclists who are riding without helmets --providing them with a brochure about brain injuries. A friendly reminder to cycle safer could cause some cyclists to be more careful in the future. 

3) Organize a bicycle helmet give away day once a year for cyclists who don't have helmets.   Bicycle helmet giveaway days are sponsored around the country.  The Ohio Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics mentioned that in 2017 the "number of people injured by not wearing a bike helmet was 51,000."  The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending bike helmets to stop an increase in bicycle deaths on US roadways..

https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a20021791/bike-helmet-saved-my-life/

In 1974 I served as a member of former County Executive Al Del Bello's Bikeway Committee which recommended the closing of the Bronx River Parkway for cyclists. In 2006 I cycled to Washington DC from Hartsdale to raise  funds for a former Hartsdale volunteer firefighter who was paralyzed from the head down as a result of a bicycle accident. 

If an educational effort to encourage cyclists to wear helmets would result in one life being saved - an educational outreach effort would be worth it.

I will ask the Greenburgh police to also organize bicycle helmet safety initiatives.

PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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