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Helmet laws: Israel

Introduction and scope

In July 2007, the Israeli Knesset passed a law making it compulsory for all bicyclists to wear helmets. Originally the law was intended to cover only children and teenagers, but adults were included as role models. A fine between NIS 200 and NIS 250 was proposed, but had not been set by October 2007 so the law could not be enforced.

On 4 August 2011 the law was repealed for adult cyclists in urban areas as a result of research that showed that helmet laws deter many people from cycling (Arutz Sheva, 2011). The mayor of Tel Aviv also campaigned for the change in order to allow a proposed bike share scheme to succeed.

Compliance and enforcement

In late 2008, most cyclists in Tel Aviv were not wearing helmets. The police did not appear to be enforcing the law. (Tel Aviv)

Effect on casualties

No information.

Effect on cycle use

Research showed the law to suppress cycle use. A bike rental scheme in Tel Aviv floundered because of the impact of the law.

Benefit cost

No analysis.

Other consequences

Proposals to introduce a Paris-style bike hire scheme in Tel Aviv foundered due to the practical difficulties of supplying hirers with helmets (Bike share, 2008). In 2010 the Government agreed to rescind the helmet law for adults riding in towns and this took effect in August 2011 (Arutz Sheva, 2011). Subsequently the Tel Aviv bike share scheme went ahead and is reported to be successful, with more riders not wearing helmets.

References

Arutz Sheva, 2011

Knesset cancels mandatory bicycle helmet. Arutz Sheva Israel National News, 4 August 2011.

Bike share, 2008

Bike sharing blog. 5 July 2008.

Tel Aviv

Observations from a visiting cyclist and acquaintances living in Tel Aviv. .