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Canada’s first bicycle mayor lashes out against helmet law

Susan Stokhof says compulsory helmet laws reflect a failure of government

Canada’s first bicycle mayor has hit out against British Columbia’s compulsory cycle helmet laws, saying that focusing on cyclists having to wear them and other safety gear reflects a failure on the government’s part to protect people on bikes.

Northernsentinel.com reports that Susan Stokhof, bicycle mayor of Victoria, said on Instagram: “In the Netherlands people come first in the street hierarchy and the car is the guest.

 “People are not forced into wearing safety gear and helmets to keep themselves ‘safe’ from people driving cars.

“The streets are designed for the safety and convenience of people, not car traffic. Therefore, the application of ‘safety gear’ becomes non-existent,” she continued.

Stokhof, who studied urban planning in the Netherlands, said that requiring cyclists to wear helmets and other safety clothing was “a sign of a government who failed to provide proper separated infrastructure and is typical of a nation that worships car ownership and use, over the safety of people.”

She added: “Harsh words of reality, I know.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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