Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hello "Ecobici" - Goodbye "Mandatory Helmet Laws"

(Photos: Chilango, Flickr)
"Ecobici" is Mexico City's new Bike Share scheme, and part of the city's 15-year Plan Verde, a $1 billion-per-year program supported by Mexico's federal government, the World Bank and the United Nations.

"The plan includes a new, energy efficient bus system, once-a-week no-drive days for all cars, and subway system improvements. Every Sunday, 16 miles of downtown streets are closed to car traffic, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to safely cruise their city."

But in order to ensure their 'clean-air' bike share programme works, Mexico has repealed their mandatory bicycle helmet laws! Admittedly their helmet laws had been largely unenforced, but their urban planners & municipal leaders decided to leave nothing to chance, and appreciating that MHLs could pose an unnecessary hurdle, dispensed with them poste-haste!

Bravo! Mexico!

So here's what's on offer for users:

* they can check out a bike for 30 minutes at a time
* they return it to any of the bike stations, and 10 minutes have to pass before they check out another one
* if a bike is kept out longer than a half hour, small fees start to accrue
* the bikes have adjustable seats, and they come with lights that go on automatically when ridden and have small racks to hold purses or groceries.

Why do we have to make it so hard for ourselves here in Australia? The solution is so simple, and other countries are paving the way for us...

...and we know what we have to do...

...repeal mandatory helmet laws!!!


  1. Wow, making cycling more attractive & motoring less attractive. A bit of joined up thinking going on in Mexico Sue - if only such logic could be applied elsewhere!

  2. PARIS, Lovelly city to cycle about in, as I did back in august 2008, then a three day cycle back for London, without all that health and safety crap 'naturally', so what's needed in Australia? masses of people cycling around in groups without helmets to goad the law into caving in, a form of cycle revelution, and when I see kids here on cycles without a helmet, I think, good on you, that's the way cycling was meant to be, excuse spelling mistakes, if any, Tom, Crystal Palace, London.

  3. Yes, further comment, whilst speaking to my elderly friend Dorothy, St Georges Basin NSW 2560, a few weeks back, and she keeps asking, Tom, when are you coming back to Australia?, I usually reply, when Australia gets rid of that stupid cycle helmet law, I'd love to come over with my cycle and cycle across the country, from Perth to Sydney and where ever else, but if I was to do this at present, I'd only end up picking up multiple tickets from the numb headed WA, SA. VIC and NSW police, back later, another time, Tom, Crystal Palace, London.

    Sorry I appear as anonymous, don't have an account at the moment.

  4. Hey, Tom! thanks for your comments!!

    - come back anyway - it's still lovely to cycle here!! - weather is stunning at the moment - seriously, could not be more perfect for hopping on a bike!!