What a Liuser

February 19, 2015 § 43 Comments

State Senator Carol Liu from Pasadena (to that area’s undying shame) has introduced a bill to make helmets mandatory for bicycle riders. Scofflaws will get tagged with a $25 fine, and the police will have something really significant to spend their time doing, finally.

Here is a thoughtful discussion about the issue, but it’ll be a CBR crit without wheelsuckers before I sacrifice eighteen minutes of my life to hear clever people debate stupid things.

Of course the problem with the helmet law is that it doesn’t go far enough. Like lots of well-meaning mommy state legislation, it only protects part of the intended maroon, in this case his or her head. For the law to really work, and I believe it’s important for state and local government to play a role in bike safety (especially when the pepper spraying, handcuff clinking, baton swinging, pistol packing police are involved), the law must completely protect us.

Heavy gloves, joint padding, and full downhill MTB armor are what’s needed to ensure that little kids going to school don’t fall off their bicycles and get a boo-boo on their po-po. In addition, the bill needs to be amended to cover the crucial areas of bike speed and componentry. A statewide bike speed limit of 12-mph should be included, because the faster you pedal your bicycle the more you get hurt when you fall off it for being drunk or stupid or racing or all three.

The 12-mph speed limit would also ensure that most triathletes don’t get dropped in bike races, and would allow the weak and infirm to catch back on after getting shelled on hard climbs.

Bike dangerousness should likewise be addressed with weight restrictions. Heavier bikes have been shown to go slower and to act as excellent self-defense weapons in sketchy neighborhoods. Getting whacked over the head with Strava Jr.’s 2-lb. full carbon rig which is all carbon and made of 100% carbon isn’t nearly as big a deterrent to crime as getting pounded by a 50-lb. steel-and-lead composite frame.

It’s unfortunate that Liu’s bill is such a liuser and that she doesn’t really care about our safety. But there’s another reason to support helmets, body armor, bike speed limits, minimum weights, and materials legislation: Brad House hates it.

Basically, Brad is a libertarian, which means “Let me make the laws.” Brad opposes all laws which are against his personal interest or which haven’t been personally approved by Ron Paul. This is a law that will drive Brad whacky(er). He will rant. He will rave. He will talk graphically about his exploits in and out of the bedroom. He will join political movements, overwhelm social media, and dash hither and yon in those black shorts with the back panels that expired back in ’96, blinding everyone with his hairy, unblinking brown eye. He might even sell his $2 Stetson and move back to California.

Let’s face it. California has gone to shit since Brad’s departure and the only way to make this once-proud state great again is to get Mr. Nuttypants back. Supporting Carol Liu’s law and getting it amended so that we’re completely protected is the way to do it, and by protection I mean mandatory condoms, measles vaccinations, and impact-proof welding goggles for every rider over the age of three is the only way we’ll truly make cycling safe and have Brad to kick around for another year or so.

Our only other option is to enforce existing traffic laws and force cagers to stop running us over.




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§ 43 Responses to What a Liuser

  • Johnnie Lee says:

    Would be a pointless law up here when you consider every cop and CHP officer I see driving around downtown Sacramento is too busy staring at their cell phone screens to notice whether or not I’m wearing my helmet. The only time they ever look up longer than a glance is to scowl at me before peeling out after I roll up alongside them on my bike at a red light and yell at them to put down their fuggin phone. I’ve done that dozens of times, and not once has an officer put down their phone and engaged in conversation. They always give me their best attempt at a tough stare, then glance right back at their phone. And on the off chance a cop ever does put down his or her phone to engage me, at least I’ll have a helmet on to protect my head when they start beatin on me.

  • Winemaker says:

    Betsy don’t like this law

  • seano1 says:

    I’ve been saying for years that before I leave this earth we will see the day when kids are issued a helmet to walk to school. If she really cared about her constituents safety, she’d mandate full-face m’cycle helmets in vehicles and reduce far more significant head injuries!

  • A-Trav says:

    Expect pictures of said lawmaker having dinner with Bell executives to surface soon. That’s the only possible explanation as it’s common knowledge that nobody gives a rat’s ass about cyclist’s safety.

    • fsethd says:

      The CPSC helmet standards haven’t changed in 30+ years. Because, you know, science stands still. Just like the earth.

    • channel_zero says:

      Except you are ignoring the cost of brain injury/damage. And it’s huge.

      Yes, I know the efficacy of helmets boils down to corner cases. I do. Those corner cases where it works, it saves a bunch of money.

      What’s really going on is mandatory helmets is just another excuse for drivers to dominate transportation policy and minimize their liability.

      Another good post. Let the craft water flow!

      • fsethd says:

        Yep. It’s “how to get bikes off the street under the guise of protecting them.” Cracking open another one right now.

  • Jeffrey says:

    You forgot about the cagers mandatory “craft water law”…..wait, what? You mean they already HAVE one! “the only way to truly protect the noggin” – is to use it”.

  • Wild Bill 6949 says:

    When Ms. Liuser gets on a bike and rides it herself for a minimum of 500 miles (wearing her helmet and also-mandated “reflective” clothing at night), I know she will come to realize how misguided this legislation is, and instead become a crusader for full enforcement of existing traffic laws, and it will be a lot more effective.

  • You can do anything! Just not Brad’s hairy unblinking brown eye! That $hit sounds scary!

    Getting back to Liu’s bill. This sounds like putting a band-aid on gaping flesh wound! As you kinda mentioned in your last sentence, getting control of cagers driving 5 mph and more over the posted speed would benefit EVERYONE.

    So what do you want? Streets safer for everyone, or having less riders on the road?

  • Tom Paterson says:

    What I remember about Austin’s shameful old MHL is how the cops at last had an excuse to hassle, harry, and arrest the purple-hair-and-tats/piercings set. And, of course, The Poor– aka “bike commuters”.

    The old helmet studies– both the disgraced/discredited and including the valid-but-inconvenient– seem to have been replaced by some bright & shiny new ones. I only took a quick look, please excuse me, but the trend seems to definitely be “up”.

    And hey, it’s OK now when the shell shatters while the Magic Foam doesn’t compress one tiny bit upon impact, because the helmet still SAVED MY LIFE, somehow, and the doctor said so, too!

    Well, Austin’s MHL for adults, at least, got shot down good and proper, and the Texas moto-folks long since got theirselves an effective lobby together and went to the State Capitol and got the MC MHL repealed in such a manner that it’s gonna have a hard time growing back.

    The Authoritarian Mindset is a powerful force. Good luck!

  • jorgensen says:

    Don’t forget to put on your handicaps, with acknowledgement to Kurt Vonnegut. Don’t say you were not warned.

  • DangerStu says:

    And training wheels.

  • sibex9591 says:

    How about a bill that requires sharrows, a full 3-4 foot buffer zone, Head-out Angle in parking in streets, full take-the-lane two across acceptance etc.

  • Vonnegut: Harrison Bergeron. Now less scary than reality.

  • schincat says:

    Do you want carbon condoms that are made with 100% real carbon? I just love the idea of a cop stopping a cyclist for not wearing a helmet while a car drives by over the speed limit, one foot away with the driver looking at his lap. It would be horrible to enforce the existing texting laws because it is much harder to spot someone texting than it is to spot a cyclist riding down the road without a helmet. And BTW, I am very pro helmet, would not ride without one but I don’t think a law is needed to enforce the practice of wearing a helmet.

  • […] Cycling in the South Bay Call Senator Liu’s Helmet Law A “Liuser” […]

  • BigBug says:

    I miss old Brown Eye.

  • Houski says:

    Since I am a full on Libertarian per Wanky, my take is we don;t need another restrictive law that will reduce bike ridership further. And I respect every adult’s right to choose.

  • Eric R says:

    Houski, that is exactly what the Bicycle Coalition said. They also said that injuries have gone down as more people have started riding. They had an explanation but I didn’t hear that part.

  • Tamar T. says:

    “The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against a sheriff’s deputy who was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer when he fatally struck cyclist Milton Olin Jr. in Calabasas in December, officials announced Wednesday.”
    Milt Olin was wearing a helmet. Apparently it isn’t magic.

  • Scully says:

    Wanky, let me tell you how this will end up, from one where we have had compulsory helmet laws for 25+ years; “bike rider killed by red-light-running truck driver who later tested positive for meth…” Then, in serious news voice: “the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet.”
    It is always the helmetless riders’ fault.

  • Houski says:

    Kommifornia has already issued 79,000 drivers licenses to illegal aliens so you better wear your helmet.

    • fsethd says:

      Whoever has hacked Brad House’s email, please cease and desist. He has told me countless times that he never reads my blog.

      And I suppose undocumented immigrants are proven to be worse drivers than visa-toting white people?

  • […] know you’ve been waiting for Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson to check in with a typically tongue-in-cheek take on SB 192, the proposed mandatory helmet and hi-viz […]

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