'Mandatory' can have unanticipated consequences
Sometimes well-meaning laws have unanticipated consequences. Colin Clarke says mandatory bike helmet wearing has cut bike-riding (possibly in half), cost about 600,000 people real cash in fines, and helped make the nation fatter. Is it time for a re-think, he asks.
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Colin Clarke's assessment is available here
Read also this unitented outcome:
Bicycle hire schemes
A new cycle hire scheme is due to be introduced to central London in 2010, similar to the successful Vélib scheme in Paris. The scheme will allow people to pick up a cycle at any of 400 docking stations, use it as they like, and then return it to any of 10,500 docking points. There will be 6,000 cycles. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is a self-confessed champion of cycling and the scheme's aim is a 400 per cent increase in cycling by 2025. Comment from Colin Clarke: A similar scheme for Melbourne foundered owing to the helmets law and concerns about hygiene.
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