Legalize Riding a Bike in Seattle & King County

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Bicycle helmet laws decrease the number of people who bike and provide no discernible net public health benefit. Unfortunately, here in Seattle and King County, Title 9 of the Board of Health Code bans riding a bicycle without a helmet.

The King County helmet law was adopted primarily based on a 1989 study that is now discredited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Given that the primary reason for the law's adoption no longer stands, it's time to repeal the King County law and again legalize riding a bike.

To repeal the helmet law, the Board must hold a public hearing on the helmet law as part of a regularly scheduled meeting, and provide 14-day public notice of the hearing. Following the hearing, the Board can take action immediately.

We urge Rod Dembowski (Board chair), Patty Hayes (Director of Public Health), and the entire Board to repeal Title 9 and legalize riding a bicycle.

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