Am I just being paranoid here, or does it seem that a non-opposition stance, encourages helmet laws, and just why does a governing body go against the wishes of it's members?
I ask this in light of Portland's BTA shift in policy and the experience of progress of helmet laws in Canada, that is, in every province that has an all ages MHL, there was no advocacy organization that had a policy of opposition against such laws and in every province that had an advocacy organization opposed, the law was defeated.
Another article shows that less than a year ago, the same people were piping a different tune:The Bicycle Transportation Alliance announced Friday that it will no longer actively oppose mandatory bike helmet laws
“In the past,” Sadowsky said, “we would automatically show up to testify against such legislation and rally the troops against the bill.”
What’s more, Sadowsky said, the alliance will phase out of photos of riders not wearing helmets in all publicity and education materials.
At the heart of the new strategy, the BTA says, is a belief that “helmets can and do save lives.”
66 percent said that they believe that everyone should be encouraged to wear a helmet, but that it’s ultimately an individual choice and that the BTA should oppose a mandatory helmet law.
Nearly 84 percent said they believe the best way to change behavior on helmet use is through education and encouragement, not through legislation. They prefer the BTA focus on education and encouragement.
Does this shift in policy grease the skids for a mhl in Portland?“helmet laws set in place a ready-made ‘blame the victim’ reaction so that each time a helmetless cyclist is in a crash, their bare head becomes the focus -- even if the driver deliberately ran them over and they died not from head injuries, but internal injuries... Helmets do not prevent crashes...The risks of cycling are low...Helmet laws often have the unintended consequence of reducing helmet use... Portland already has one of the highest rates of helmet use currently in the nation...The goal of the BTA is to reduce crashes "