Cyclist Ticketed for Riding Without Helmet, Which Is Not Illegal

02/08/2011 9:57 AM |

Correct Bike Helmet Wearing

Been a while since we had some news from the bike wars front, right? Especially considering the new NYPD effort to enforce traffic laws for cyclists, even made-up ones. That’s what happened to an Air Force vet riding to school without a helmet in West Harlem yesterday.

The cyclist, David Curtis Lettier, told Gothamist his story after citing the urban affairs blog in his complaint to the ticketing officer, who was convinced that all cyclists must, by law, wear helmets—true only if the cyclist is 13 or younger, or working. Perhaps the officer was simply concerned for the young man’s safety.

In closing, Lettier observes, with satisfying snideness:

In reality he, I guess, truly believes all cyclists must wear helmets and thought he had his first catch of the day seeing as though targeting law abiding cyclists was his only assignment for the morning. I was illegally detained, wrongly ticketed, and now must waste the City’s time proving there wasn’t any violation.

In summary: wear a helmet, not because it’s the law (which it isn’t unless you’re under 14 or on the job), but because it could save your life.