The Morning News: Racial Consequences of Helmet Law as Popularity of Bike Sharing Grows in South Seattle, Rabid Bat Haunts Green Lake

Comments

1
Helmets save black lives.
2
But if a helmet-less black rider is not ticketed, it is more racist because it implies that police don't want to protect him or her from injury by not citing them for their failure to take safety precautions to keep themselves safe.
3
This isn't "higher" anything, let alone logic. Helmet laws are in place, not to protect the drivers of automobiles, who are surrounded by thousands of pounds of highly-engineered metal, plastic, and carbon fiber materials, and which contain a nearly unprecedented array of safety and protection features; but rather, for the cyclists themselves. And helmets aren't simply - as you attempt to infer - for protection against larger vehicles. People fall of or run their bikes into things all the time resulting in serious head injuries.

However, if it can be established that there's a pattern of enforcement (or conversely non-enforcement) of existing helmet laws that clearly demonstrates a racial bias in terms of the number of tickets issued for failure to wear a helmet, as required by law, and which can be correlated against both the racial demographic of the City overall, as well as with those of the purveyors of these bike share services, then you may have a have a basis for your, as yet, completely hypothetical claim.

But, given these services have been in existence for literally only a few weeks at this point, and given your own admission that the number of actual tickets issued by SPD for violation of helmet laws is demonstrably miniscule, all this is simply pure speculation on your part.

Get back to us when you have some actual numbers to share...
4
RIP, poor ailing bat. I hope you didn't suffer much.
5
I'm seeing these goddamn green bikes parked haphazardly everywhere ... including IN the road. I almost ran over one at the intersection of Lake City Way & Ravenna Avenue Northeast yesterday. Doesn't seem like these companies OR the city council care all that much.
6
Black traumatic brain injuries matter.
7
Less safety is good for black people -what?

Are there no editors at the Stranger anymore and why does Charles apply race to the most non-racial issues? Bikes, the issue is bikes and safety. If you can refrain from screaming racism for 30 seconds that would be great...
8
The police use the helmet law as stop-and-frisk on the south side. They stop black riders, see if the run away, see if they have warrants, see if they're carrying anything they can bust them for. They don't bother to write the helmet ticket. So you see a report of an arrest for an outstanding warrant, but the excuse for the police contact in the first place was the helmet law. It's in the records but nobody checks.
9
Ah, memories.

Anyone else remember the last time Charles concocted a laughable theory about how Seattle's bike share program is somehow pro-automobile, confabulated from one part journalistic incompetence, and one part paranoia?

Keep at it, Charles! You're bound to expose that eeevil SDOT conspiracy sooner or later, as long as you just keep trying!
10
I thought tgis was a serious article, but then I saw it was written by Charles...
11
#8: Do you have anything more than a windy assertion to work with?

#9 Charles makes his own unreality.
12
There's some stories about the weekend traffic in Oregon, but my commute this morning was as smooth as can be. Thanks eclipse.
14
Whaaaaaaa? What is this crazy Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn guy talking about?! Is he making stuff up again? Police using the helmet law to target blacks. No WAY! That's the most preposterous balderdash I have ever heard in all my LIFE!

In 2016, 28 percent of the [jaywalking] citations were written to black people, who represent just about 7 percent of the city’s population, according to census data.

“On the face of it, it appears to be a disparity,” said Seattle Police Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant.


On the face of it. Sure LOOKS funny. But facts can be deceiving. But since we KNOW there's no racism in the Seattle police, there must be some other explanation. Let's go find one!
15
@14: Re-read @3.
16
We don't have to wait and see anything. This isn't about the new bike share. They ahve been abusing the helmet law since forever. The helmet law has existed for decades. It's not new. The SPD began de-emphasizing helmet law enforcement since the beginning of McGinn's administration. That's not new.

The reason I know that they are using the helmet law as an excuse to stop black males is that I've seen the police blotter. The reports say "black male was seen riding bicycle without helmet. Officer attempted to contact him and black male ran away. Officers apprehended and charged with eluding, resisting, and outstanding warrants." Not one or two isolated incidents. Always on the south side, south west Seattle, Rainier, Beacon Hill.

On the north side? Never. White people ride without helmets now and no officers contact them, stop them, check them for warrants, or try to provoke them into a more serious charge. Not that white people have a reason to act afraid when the cops want to talk to them anyway. Not much chance of ending up dead because the cop got nervous, if you're white.

Go to the SPD website and make a public records request. The evidence is there but somebody has to do the work of reading all the police reports. It's not in the data tables they publish.
17
"The evidence is there but somebody has to do the work of reading all the police reports."

Well, I guess we will never know how pervasive this troublesome institutional racisim is, because there's no way in hell Charles is going to do anything like that.
19
It's weird how every time you motherfuckers have evidence of institutional racial bias, instead of worrying it might be true and rushing to find out so you can put a stop to it, your knee jerk reaction is to deny it and make personal attacks on whomever delivered the message. That is why police reform fails.

"More whites killed by police, but blacks 2.5 times more likely to be killed".[1]
data scientists and policing experts often note, comparing how many or how often white people are killed by police to how many or how often black people are killed by the police is statistically dubious unless you first adjust for population


"Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings"[2] Blacks are equally likely as whites to be shot by police, given identical circumstances *after contact is initiated*. But blacks are contacted more often to begin with. More frequent police contact means more spins of the wheel to see if it's your unlucky day.

"Criminologists agree the race disparity in arrests cannot be fully explained by differences in criminal behavior. "[3]

"Killings of Blacks by Whites Are Far More Likely to Be Ruled ‘Justifiable’"[4]

You fuckers twist yourselves in knots and make up any rationalization you can rather than admit the reality that's right in front of your face.
20
Many years ago I used to take the 43 from Broadway over to the UW campus. I often sat with a young man who had been in a bike accident (this was in the pre-helmet days). His eyes didn't work in tandem, and he had a hard time completing sentences and finding words. He had gone from being a student at UW to having some sort of supported position with the fishery department. It was really very sad.

Bike helmets may not save you, but they don't hurt. Just wear a bike helmet, whoever you are. They're not expensive, and there are even programs for young people to get free ones.
21
Yo, Charles,,,Seattle, as usual, is behind the times. The Left Coast's oldest and largest and most powerful Progressive City, San Francisco, is already rejecting and vandalizing bike ride share corporations as examples of wanton gentrification. "A bike-sharing scheme has sparked outrage and vandalism from those who see it as designed for affluent, white professionals – not locals" https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017… with it, Charles. Bike Share Corporations are evil....
22
@19: Well put.
People fucking need to lrn2stats
23
We already know, from recent news reports, that people of color are targeted more frequently for jaywalking offenses. It's not a great leap to guess that the same will hold true for the very similar helmet law. Both are victimless crimes.

Arguably, helmet laws made some sense in the era before bike sharing - a person riding their own bike has an easy time keeping a helmet at the ready - it's just an accessory to something they already have. In the bike sharing era - not so much. There will be very few riders carrying a bike helmet with them just in case they might decide to take a ride. Violations will soar, and if enforcement is ramped up, we already know who will be getting the tickets. Even if we pretend that we don't.

It's time to kill the helmet law.
25
@24

All *those* stats are kept at Stormfront.com, as if you didn't know. You sound like a Trump tweet.

Here you go. Or here. Or how about this?

It's not an accident to be unaware of this. It takes work to distort the world. You have to want to stoke that level of hate in yourself. Get help, man.
26
Wow. You really are thick. The man asked about the proportionality of homicides commited by Black Americans compared to the rest of the population. Perhaps it's you that should take their head out of the sand.

If Blacks can steal bikes, they can steal helmets.