Helmet Head Resistance and New Tax Breaks For Bikers
Biking, whether it is for leisure or getting to work, is becoming a heated debate in Israel. Bike-lovers demonstrated against the government recently in the hopes that a new helmet law will be struck down by the Powers-That-Be. We enjoy us some cruising around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on our little mean green cycling machine and agree that if we had to wear a helmet we might take the heel-toe express instead. If the cities in Israel constructed bike lanes or at the very least consistently fined all the jerks who parked on the sidewalks, fewer bike and pedestrian accidents might actually happen.
On a brighter note, employees who ride their bikes to work will be entitled to tax credits (and showers!) if a new bill is passed. (Hey and shower stalls in the office could give new meaning to hanky panky in the workplace.)
Member of parliament Dov Khenin, who chairs the environmental-social lobby in the Knesset is drafting the bill and touts all the pluses of riding to work in a recent Haaretz story (we don't need to point them out here). Khenin adds, "The state treats bicyclists as a public hazard, and the state government and most local authorities do nothing to increase use of bicycles in urban settings."
Among other things, reports the story, Khenin proposes special safety laws to protect cyclists and an advertising campaign and a national Transportation Ministry project to promote the use of bikes. This new proposal will require bicycle riders to wear helmets at all times and strange as it might sound, this rule would NOT apply to minors. Hey Israelis, now might be an auspicious time to check out some zexy TreeHugger helmets, here & here. ::Haaretz