Photo: Unconscious bicycle rider lying in street after accident in which she was not wearing a helmetPublic DomainA few weeks ago I wrote an article about what, I believed, was the legal obligation of the Municipality of Rishon LeZion to insist that the students in their school system comply with Israeli law and wear helmets (not to mention: those under age not being permitted to ride electric bikes to school at all).http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/Torah-Commentaries/Municipality-of-Rishon-LeZion-Criminal-Negligence-in-the-Making-441209
In a reply I received from a spokesperson for Mayor Tzur, I was told it was the opinion of the municipality that it was the function of the police to enforce the laws, not the municipality or school officials.
Immediately, I wrote back that their legal adviser should be dismissed. The municipality recently began to provide bike stands within the school’s grounds (with the seal of Rishon LeZion prominently displayed on each bike stand). By this action, the municipality was encouraging the students to ride bikes to school and was, tacitly, endorsing the illegal behavior.
(The municipality began providing bike stands within the school’s fence, because students were complaining that it was not “safe” to leave their expensive bicycles in the parks or streets surrounding the schools.)
Then I went on to point out that while, without question, it is the function of the police to prevent students from carrying knives to school, or bringing drugs into school,
in these instances, the school DOES indeed step in and enforce the law.
In other words: The school/municipality has decided to “selectively” enforce the laws. In addition: I again reminded the mayor that the school “aggressively” enforces the school dress code, even though no student has ever been hospitalized for wearing a shirt without the school logo.
However, what we need now is a solution to the problem, not endless legal dialogues….
In Israel, for years security guards have been required to prevent messengers and delivery boys from entering office buildings while still wearing their helmets, since most of these people use motor scooters for their work.
Hence, it is very reasonable to request from the same security guard companies that their employees now begin to prevent students from entering the school grounds with their bicycles if they are not wearing a helmet.
In other words: The function of enforcing the law would be transferred from the school personnel to security guards who already are licensed by the police to enforce certain laws.
Since these security guards are paid by the municipalities, in effect what they would be doing is informing the student: “If you want to utilize a bike stand provided by the school/city then you MUST comply with the laws of the state of Israel”.
This is not an unreasonable request or too heavy a burden for the security guards….
In addition: to assist the guards carry out their new duties, each school would be required to place a sign on the school gate (or, at the very least, next to the bicycle stands):
RIDING A BICYCLE WITHOUT A HELMET CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR EVEN DEATH !!!
ALL STUDENTS DESIRING TO USE THE BICYCLE STANDS PROVIDED BY THE MUNICIPALITY MUST COMPLY WITH THE LAW AND WEAR A HELMET
MUNICIPALITY OF RISHON LEZION
As some readers may recall, a few years ago a judge ruled that the Electric Company was found guilty of “negligence” because the signs they prominently posted on every electrical pole, ONLY gave a warning of “the danger” of climbing on the poles and these were deemed to be NOT enough of a deterrent (even together with the physical impediments placed on each pole to prevent climbing).
The judged agreed with the parents and handed down a ruling that new signs MUST be posted which say: “danger of death”.
So now, the electric company must warn of the “danger of death” because each year perhaps ten kids try to climb one of their poles, yet the municipality of Rishon LeZion is not required to do anything at all, even though hundreds of students enter their schools and utilize their bike stands EVERY DAY…..
1) The security guards are already enforcing helmet regulations throughout Israel
2) The electric company has already shown it is possible to post signs warning of: “danger of death”
3) The school is already enforcing certain laws which are, in reality, “police matters”
Nothing “new” needs to be done…..No new laws need to be written ….So, let’s begin with these new procedures now…..
Please forward this article to your municipality/school and insist they too put up signs and have security guards prevent bicycle riders from entering school grounds without a helmet…..Do it today !!!