The coroner’s office wants Ontario to pass a mandatory bike helmet law

The coroner’s office wants Ontario to pass a mandatory bike helmet law

Bike helmets: not just for dressing up like a robot (Image: Kevin Jaako) 

Ontario’s coroner’s office has revived the idea of a mandatory helmet law for all cyclists, rather than just riders younger than 18—a contentious step, but one that’s already been adopted in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Deputy chief coroner Dan Cass made the case for helmets after finding that only 26 per cent of the 129 cyclists killed in Ontario since 2006 were wearing one. But opponents, including bike advocacy group Cycle Toronto, argue helmet laws give cyclists a false sense of safety and discourage others from hopping on their bikes. Another of Cass’s ideas will be familiar to Toronto cyclists: require heavy trucks to install side guards to prevent cyclists from getting crushed beneath the rear wheels, as happened tragically last year to Jenna Morrison. That idea has previously received a chilly reception at the federal level, so we’ll see whether Cass’s recommendations can make the tricky leap into regulations. [Globe and Mail]