Regina councillor pushing new bylaw requiring cyclists to wear helmets

Regina’s city administration is drafting a proposed bylaw that would make wearing a helmet mandatory when riding a bike.

It will be presented to city council later this month.

The decision comes after Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins presented a report regarding bike safety at a community and protective services committee meeting on Wednesday.

“I’m passionate about people’s brain. I see children, I see adults riding without helmets and I know if there is an accident their lives are going to be changed forever,” Hawkins said.

“There’s a tremendous burden on the medical system… I think we can take a simple safety measure and solve endless grief.”

If passed, the new bylaw would require all cyclists to wear a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved helmet.

Failing to do so could cost a cyclist $29.

Bike Regina disagrees with the proposed bylaw.

“Enforcing safety equipment, such as helmets is the least effective control for improved safety. It puts the burden of safety on the cyclist,” Bike Regina told Global News in an email.

“A better and more responsible way to improve safety is to isolate people from the hazard with protected cycling lanes and we hope that the city will execute on these proposed projects in the TMP.”

Bike Regina also says “there have been studies that show that motorists act more dangerously around cyclists wearing helmets.”

Hawkins called those concerns “nonsense.”

“Drivers will not become more reckless around cyclists because they see cyclists wearing helmets,” Hawkins said.

“There is no credibility in that at all.”

Hawkins did support the idea of adding more bike lanes to the city.

City council is also considering changes to the distance allowed between motorists and cyclists and will be discussed at a later council meeting.

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