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Italy's Scooter World Grieving Helmet Law

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ROME, Italy (21 March 2000)--For many Italians, 1 April, the day when motorized two-wheelers will be obliged to wear helmets, is a tragedy. In fact, few topics have grabbed as much ink in the Italian media as the new law has. It appears that the days of riding and looking cool while doing it¯so much part of Italian two-wheeler culture¯are over. According to the Italian statistics, some 400 people die each year in scooter accidents, while another 750 become invalid. Seventy-percent of the victims were driving without helmet. It is estimated that a helmet could save about 171 lives per year and could protect 342 victims from becoming invalid. According to the German paper S*ddeutsche Zeitung, only nine to 26% of all Italian motorized two-wheeler drivers wear a helmet. Up to now helmets have only been required for drivers under the age of 18. However, the law was not taken very seriously. According to Italian authorities, this will change from 1 April on when police will no longer be so lenient. Italian officials are even thinking about initiating a similar law for power-assist bicycles, a move the e-bike industry says would greatly harm its increasing pedelec business. (JB)

by Bike Europe last update:21 Mar 2006

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