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Town drops helmet law to reduce its risks

For 15 years, until June 1, Milton, population 7,000, 45 minutes south of Seattle USA, required helmets for all bicyclists and skateboarders. But with its 12-officer police force stressed by an increase in domestic violence, alcohol abuse and property crime, all of which surged through the recession, law enforcement priorities now go way beyond hectoring people about their headgear.

And an inability to enforce a law on the books, the town’s insurance consultant argued, created administrative unevenness that — in the event of an accident by someone who was not nagged or cited about helmet use — posed a liability risk that could bankrupt the community with one swipe from a punitive-minded jury.

So in a unanimous vote of the City Council on May 21, helmet laws went the way of Milton’s closed library and fire department.

Fri 22 Jun 2012

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