We won't, we promise, bring up the helmet wars. Suffice it to say that if you wear a helmet, good for you, and if you choose not to because you don't believe helmets significantly reduce cyclists head injuries, good for you, too. It's a personal decision - except when you might choose to ride a bike share bike, and you also happen to live in a place where helmets are mandatory.
Mexico City, in fact, relaxed its bike helmet laws in order to implement a bike share system. If a helmet law is in place, it behooves a city or other provider of bike share services to also offer helmets.
That issue may hinder bike sharing from growing. Until now.
SandVault calls the HelmetStation the first fully integrated helmet dispensing system.
Others have tried the concept of dispensing helmets through a vending machine - but while practical, it's not exactly a green solution. SandVault said its HelmetShare helmets (rental during a bike share session is estimated to cost approximately $1) will be "recyclable" because they will be sanitized upon their return to the bike sharing kiosk, before being rented out to a new user.
SandVault says that many cities have requested a helmet option for their bike sharing systems. Commonly accepted knowledge is that where bike helmets are voluntary and optional and where bike infrastructure is in place, up to 30% of modal share can eventually be grabbed by bikes. Opponents of mandatory helmet laws say the effect of requiring helmet use significantly impacts the number of people who will ride.
SandVault said the HelmetShare concept, designed to be used as part of a Public Bike Share system, will allow returning riders to either drop off the used helmet or purchase and keep it.
SandVault is hooking up with Predator Helmets for the HelmetShare helmet designs.