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Helmets are for heads, not handlebars

Original post made by Mom, Old Palo Alto, on Sep 19, 2012

I drove past Paly this week as students were on their way to school and was surprised to see many students with their bike helmets dangling from their handlebars instead of on their heads. I really can't understand it-the law requires a helmet while in transit, and they clearly have one available if it's on their handlebars.
Could the police please station someone a few blocks away from school to remind students to protect their brains?

Comments (3)

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Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

You should see all the ones that blow through the stop signs on Bryant and many other streets in the area.

They don't understand that many drivers aren't looking for bikers. I always remember the advice I was given when I used to ride my bike a lot. BUMPERS BITE HARD!

But, also look at all of the cars in the area that are oblivious to rules of the road. Anywhere from speeding, talking on their phone, not stopping at stop signs, or my favorite, failing to make a left at Alma from Churchill.

It wouldn't take much to send out a couple patrols at the beginning of the school year to get the message across to cyclists and drivers.

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Posted by wider bike lanes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:39 am

The city needs to widen the bike lanes around town, and especially near schools. The kids are currently squeezed into narrow lanes, which causes erratic bicycling, including biking on sidewalks. If the bike lanes were wider, I am sure they would ride in a more orderly fashion.

Why do we need so much on-street car parking around schools? Converting that space to bike lanes would make everyone much safer.

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Posted by Biker
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

What the police should do is take down the child's name and parent's cell phone # and call their parents to inform them of the infraction. Ticketing them would probably be a good message to send home as well. But I think the most important thing is to notify the parents. Clearly the parents are not aware that their kids are taking their helmets off as soon as they are out of sight after riding off toward school from home...

I do not think that it should come as any surprise that most of the worst bikers are those who are not wearing their helmets. I am sure these kids think that they are being "cool" by riding into school without a helmet on. That couldn't be further from the truth. As someone who has vast experience in this area, I can assure these kids that the most skilled and COOLEST bikers are wearing helmets.

The other day, a biker almost hit my car at an intersection. He was talking on his cell phone while riding with both hands off the handlebars. Helmet? Of course he wasn't wearing one! Yes, he almost crashed into me as he went through the stopsign that he either didn't see because he wasn't paying attention or just thought he could ignore. Fortunately, I got out of the way at the last second and he grabbed his handlebars when he noticed his error.

I saw another boy recently with one hand on the handlebars and the other HOLDING his helmet! This kid must be ULTRAcool to do something so dangerous! ;-)

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