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News

First step towards repealing Israeli helmet law for adults

The Knesset has passed on its first reading a bill that would exempt individuals over 18 years of age from having to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in urban areas.

MK Shelly Yechimovich, one of the sponsors of the bill, said that the current requirement that riders wear a helmet was frightening off many Israelis from commuting to and from work by bicycle, resulting in more people driving and more traffic, pollution, and accidents.

"Riding a bike in communities and especially in cities significantly reduces traffic congestion, parking difficulties, air pollution and accidents. Requiring helmets drove many people away from their bikes and back to their cars because of the hassle of wearing a helmet and carrying it around", the MK said in a statement.

"In Paris and other European cities, there are wonderful programs which provide bikes for transport and no one requires a helmet there. Tel Aviv has also signed a contract to station 2,000 bikes around the city but the project has been held up because of the helmet law. Moreover, the law is unenforceable and the police have said they do not plan to even attempt to enforce it," she added.

Tue 9 Feb 2010

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