Citi Bike Riders Choose Convenience Over Safety

Citibike in New York City was created to provide convenient and affordable transportation. However, does the program favor convenience over safety?

Apparently so, according to some New Yorkers. Currently, the Citibike stations do not rent helmets since helmets are not required in New York City for people over 13 years old.

“There are some safety concerns. However I think the convenience override the safety concern,” says a Citibike user. “I don’t always know when I will ride the bike, so there will be times when I ride without a helmet.”

Many bike users do not want to carry helmets around with them throughout the day. People want to be able to take out the bikes without all the messy work.

The official Citibike website states that helmets are recommended and that there are two ways to get a helmet. Some helmets are provided at events held by Citibike, where ambassadors answer questions and talk about how Citibike works. The second way would be for bike users to buy their own. Helmets may cost from $30 to $150. For some, this may be a good investment while for others it is simply something they cannot afford.

According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 70 percent of cyclists killed in 2010 did not wear a helmet. “I think that the safety concern should be addressed because not a lot of people are informed about the risks,” said a New York biker.

Bikers who do not wear helmets are not only responsible for themselves but for other people. “Seeing bikers riding in crowded areas is frightening,” said a bystander. “I know people who have suffered from head injures and it is so not worth it to not wear a helmet.” However, there are some people out there who are still willing to take the chance.