Time for a bicycle helmet law

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Time for a bicycle helmet law
Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal

I used to be supposed to speak immediately in regards to the preparations wanted for the Might 9, 2022 nationwide elections.  However I’ll set that apart for October 7, and as a substitute, I’d like to speak about one thing whose time has come, which is, the necessity to require cyclists to put on a helmet when driving their bicycles.

As background, folks have been biking within the Philippines for many years.  Actually, in an evaluation finished over a decade in the past, the Philippines had one of many greater ratios of bicycles per households on the planet.  Most Filipinos discovered to bike after they had been younger. Within the provinces, the bicycle is arguably the most typical mode of transportation.

Just lately there was an enormous surge of people that use bicycles,  specifically to commute through the time of ECQ.  Frontliners, specifically, resorted to utilizing bicycles as a option to get to their medical facility, since no public transportation was obtainable.

The false notion that it’s too scorching or it’s too troublesome to trip a bicycle to work was shattered when folks tried for themselves to trip a bicycle, and it was really possible.  In lots of cases, for brief distances, it’s sooner to trip a bicycle than trip a car to succeed in your vacation spot.

However proper now, we nonetheless see numerous cyclists who trip their bicycles and not using a helmet.  As equally dangerous, is we sadly see some cyclists who don’t comply with site visitors guidelines and rules.  Correctly sporting a helmet is essential in minimizing head damage in case of an accident or if the bicycle owner falls from the bicycle.  Personally I’ve been saved a few instances by sporting a helmet once I fell off my bicycle (and in some cases flew from my bicycle). There are numerous tales cyclists share after they averted head damage as a result of they wore a helmet.

In different international locations, it’s obligatory to put on a helmet when driving a bicycle.  Sadly, within the Philippines, there isn’t any nationwide regulation requiring the usage of a helmet when driving your bicycle.  There have been some LGUs which mandates sporting a helmet.  Iloilo Metropolis, Makati Metropolis, Marikina Metropolis, Quezon Metropolis, and a number of other others have issued ordinances requiring the usage of a bicycle helmet.

There’s a regulation requiring motorbike riders to put on a helmet – Republic Act 10054.  Nonetheless, there isn’t any nationwide regulation requiring the identical of people that trip a bicycle.  I feel it’s about time that that is required.  With the momentum of the mobility of individuals around the globe shifting in the direction of extra environment-friendly modes, like strolling and biking, we anticipate to see extra folks on bicycles because the norm, as a substitute of the exception.  With extra Filipinos now realizing that driving a bicycle isn’t just for the much less privileged or just for leisure, I anticipate to see extra bicycles on the street.

However requiring folks to put on a helmet when driving a bicycle is just a part of this system. What’s necessary is what I discussed earlier than.  To advertise a biking tradition within the Philippines, schooling is essential.  Individuals want to grasp that sporting a helmet not going to be a burden, however a well being and security protocol that’s meant to guard the bicycle owner.  A holistic method is essential.

That’s the place schooling is available in.  The place college students, even within the time of a pandemic, are taught biking security procedures.  Even at a younger age, kids are instilled with the information that they’ll be capable of use, even at a later stage of their life.  This must be a part of the laws.

I’ve spoken with a number of legislators about this, and their response could be very encouraging.  There are such a lot of legislators who trip bicycles.  Some have been driving for many years, whereas some have only recently re-discovered their love for the game.  I hope this endeavor bears fruition and we’ll have extra cyclists SAFELY driving on the street.

Keep Secure.  Keep wholesome.  Put on a helmet correctly.

 

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