by Jack Russillo
Though it’s mostly focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the King County Board of Public Health has many other issues to deal with. Systemic racism is high on the list of concerns.
After the county’s public health board announced in June 2020 that racism is a public health crisis, there has been outcry from various community groups that want to shift some of the policies previously supported by the board, such as bicycling helmet laws, that have been shown to disproportionately affect BIPOC and homeless populations.
Analysis of around 3,000 bike-related infractions from 2003-2020 by Central Seattle Greenways has shown that Black cyclists receive citations from Seattle police at three to four times the rate of white cyclists. This disparity is most pronounced for the 56% of citations that are issued for violating the King County Board of Health bicycle helmet law, 17.3% of which have gone to Black cyclists despite Black riders representing an estimated 4.7% of all Seattle bicycle trips.Continue reading Community Bicycling Groups Hope to Get ‘Arbitrary’ and ‘Troubling’ Helmet Laws on County Public Health Board’s Agenda in February