The Ontario Coalition for Better Cycling (OCBC) guardedly welcomed the exemption of adults from bike helmet legislation and thanked those government MPP's who raised objections to the law in caucus. "It will allow everyone to cool down and do some positive thinking. Panaceas don't work. The province must start to address the causes of bike crashes and get cycling organizations involved in identifying effective solutions." The Coalition has led a four year fight against the legislation, calling for its replacement with an education program.
"The changes leave less of a mess, but it is still a mess. The legislation is based on false perceptions about the risks of on-road cycling and how the risks should be addressed. The law is virtually unenforcable. Only cyclists, 16 and 17 years old are subject to a direct $105 fine - fines for violations by cyclists 15 years old and under are attributed back to their parents, but then only if parents "knowingly allow" their children to cycle on the road without helmets. No doubt the law in regards to cycling will fall further into disrepute.
"It is also disturbing that the regulations have been used to exempt adults. What is to stop a future government from reversing the exemption without consultation with cyclists or the legislature?
"We're calling on the Minister of Education to get cycling skills education into the schools. The Minister should open a dialogue with representatives of Ontario cyclists since there is an identified need to teach children rules of the road and how to operate their bicycles as a vehicle. 80% of accidents involving children under 15 years old are caused by the kids' own behaviour on bicycles. There is enormous potential to reduce cycling crashes by getting children to appreciate the need to cycle responsibly."