A decade ago, Mayor Bloomberg sent smokers packing, banishing them from bars and restaurants to sidewalks.
Then he began his campaigns to reign in trans fats and downsize sodas.
And yes — the Mayor even wants to eliminate Styrofoam cups and containers in city eateries and stores, the latest in a long line of initiatives designed to look out for your health.
Even as the Mayor continues to promote bike use in the city — which includes a brand new bike sharing program — the administration remains reluctant to require bike renters to wear a helmet.
So far there have only been two reported crashes.
But city wide?
Lenox Hill Hospital Emergency Department Chair Dr. Yves Duroseau says his staff sees at least a few bicycle related head injuries — involving riders without helmets — every week.
Dr. Duroseau says helmet-less related head injuries keep his staff busy.
“People can die, it’s a traumatic brain injury. And if you’re lucky, you get some scrapes and bruises. Your brain is a very fragile organ. It moves, it hits your skull, and that is it — you can bleed. It’s just that easy”, he told PIX11.
Over the last several months, the Bloomberg Administration has offered different explanations defending its position on helmet, including the growing use of dedicated bike lanes and a drop in bike share ridership in cities where helmets are required.
A Bloomberg spokesperson told Pix11, “Helmet use is not legally required for adult cyclists in the city, and while we strongly encourage bicyclists to wear them, we also know it’s not practical to mandate it.”
Because there is no law on the books requiring adults to wear helmets, and bike share renters sign an iron clad waiver before taking their rig off the rack, personal injury attorney and avid cyclist Dan Flanzig doesn’t think the city faces any legal exposure.
But Flanzig says there is another way to make helmets more accessible.
“I think what a good practice should be, and what other cities are starting to do, is to have portable vending machines at or near bike share locations, that a cyclist who doesn’t’ have a helmet readily available can walk over to that vending machine can rent or buy a helmet”, Flanzig said.