This sno-cone vendor, with his helmet securely fastened, was spotted in Bridgetown serving customers. (Picture by Reco Moore.)
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Bicyclists weren’t the only ones caught off guard by the amended Road Traffic Act. Store owners were as well.
As of December 28, bicyclists must wear helmets or face a $300 fine. Many have been seen wearing new and used ones to avoid the penalities.
Businesses such as Demario’s Cycle World and Taylor’s Cycling Centre, as well as Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) reported they were all sold out.
Iambo Grant, in charge of bike sales at PCW, said they had a stock of about 100 helmets, some of which they gave away.
“I feel people needed a bit more time. You should’ve seen the people rushing here, saying that police giving them a warning.
“But this is only hurting poor people. The rich man got his bicycle to ride on a weekend to do he li’l thing. The poor man uses his to get to work and back,” Grant said.
At Taylor’s Cycle World on St Michael’s Row, The City, general manager Martin Taylor told the DAILY NATION he was informed about two weeks ago by “two really nice policemen”, who also emailed him the information.
However, within a short period they were out of stock.
“There have been literally dozens of people calling and coming in. We had over 30, which was a month’s worth of stock, but they took about two days to sell. We even had to ferry people to other places that were selling.
“We’ve now gone from only five to ten per cent of riders who buy helmets to it now being mandatory. It’s a really good idea because people can get hurt on the road. We just needed a little bit more time to get the stock in.”
He said they had hundreds of helmets on order. The prices ranged from $69 to $109.
Over at Demario’s Cycle World, Valarie Glasgow was buying a helmet for her son. She said she understood the significance of the law.
Manager Ralph Redman said they were selling about six German helmets a day, up from just two or three a week previously. The helmets cost around $90 each.
“It’s good for business for me, but I believe it’s kind of an injustice. You have to take things into consideration; there are those older people who have been riding bikes for all those years. They are not employed anymore and times are hard. Some people are not getting the money to feed themselves, but here you are now imposing a helmet law on them,” Redman said. (TG)