Cyclist photo, story left out importance of wearing a helmet

Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2007

I was very sorry to see that the Juneau Empire chose to run a photo of a bicyclist who was not wearing a helmet for its story about community values in Wednesday's newspaper.

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The photo caught my attention not only because the biker was not wearing a helmet but because he was cycling on the bike path on Old Glacier Highway, by the Southeast Alaska Animal Medical Center and behind Fred Meyer. That is exactly where I was cycling on a beautiful sunny evening almost a year ago, when I was hit by a car that turned into me soon after I exited the bike path onto the right shoulder of the road.

Although I sustained a broken shoulder, broken arm and broken ribs, I did not have a head injury because I was wearing a helmet. I know the helmet saved my life because it had a big crack inside the frame.

The next time the Empire runs a story or photo that mentions bicycling, please remember that a bike helmet is an essential piece of safety equipment that every cyclist should wear.

And to all cyclists in Juneau, please be careful on the stretch of road behind Fred Meyer. It used to be a quiet dead-end area where cyclists could relax and feel safe when they rode through there, but it has turned into a busy traffic area and requires utmost attention. Keep in mind that even though cyclists may be obeying all traffic rules, if a motorist makes a mistake, the cyclist is the one who will suffer the consequences.

Ride carefully. Ride defensively. And wear your helmet.

Betsy Fischer


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