At the beginning of May, several amendments to the Mobility Orientation Law had been tabled to make the wearing of helmets compulsory when riding a bicycle, electric bicycle or scooter. Then, the text has been withdrawn for further re-work.
Late May the new amendment has been reviewed once again. This time it only concerns scooters and e-bikes. “Two-wheeled motor vehicles, electric scooters and electric-assisted bicycles whose drivers drive without a helmet or other equipment required to guarantee their safety, may be immobilized”, proposes the amendment. So, traditional bicycles are no longer considered in the document.
When the new legislation was first introduced, the officials were approached by riders and associations of cyclists, including the Lyonnais from “La Ville à Vélo”. They have presented their arguments, effectively advising on wearing helmets. At the same time, fearing that an obligation to wear a helmet would discourage cycling practice in general.
Such strict measure could also mean the end of services like Vélo’v and Vélib (largest bicycle rental services in the region. These serviced rent traditional bike, electric bikes and scooters. Read more in this post). Vélo’v and Vélib will need to find a solution to provide helmets to their cyclists of all types of transports they rent.
Arguments of various representatives seem to have been heard. Cycling accidents are indeed particularly dangerous. “The risk of being killed per hour spent on the road is three times higher for a cyclist than for a motorist. That of being seriously injured is 16 times higher.
According to several recent studies on the subject, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of serious head injuries. Risks of head injury resulting in death are reduced by almost 70%”, argue supporters of the new legislation for electric bikes.
This amendment could, however, jeopardize electric scooter rental services.
This post was translated from French and adapted. The original version was published on Lyon Capitale. Photo credit – Lyon Capitale.