Debating the ‘no helmet’ law; will increasing fines help?
In Vancouver there’s an overwhelming majority of cyclists issued tickets over the past five years, who have not paid their fines.
There were more than 13,000 helmet tickets, a $29 fine, handed out in Vancouver in the last five year. ICBC can withhold driver’s licenses and vehicle insurance until they’re paid but that seems to have little effect.
“I think there’s a personal responsibility issue,” says Chief Jamie Graham, Victoria Police. “If it’s a $100 fine or more and we seize your bike for a couple of days and there’s an inconvenience attached to law breakers – that’s what the law is all about. People have to get it’s a dangerous practice, you suck in our medical dollars when you do get hurt and it’s so easily preventable.”
Although the B.C Cycling Coalition encourages people to wear a helmet, they say people that choose not to wear a helmet question if this is the best use of police time and if this law is really helpful in public safety.
However, if B.C.’s “no helmet fines” do increase, there’s the issue of collecting them.
Graham says some cities have a debt consolidation statute but in his opinion, it’s education that’s the big one.