Recently, Stanford Parking and Transportation officials have put up a flashing road sign on Santa Teresa St. that reads, “Helmets save brains. Bikers obey stop signs.” The billboard is causing many students to momentarily reconsider their helmet-wearing decision, which briefly causes them internal angst. Since only 35% of the Stanford student community wears helmets (and most of them are graduate engineer students), many students oppose the sign.
“It just makes me feel like a bad person for about 3 seconds. Every time I bike by that sign, I feel bad for not wearing a helmet, but then that feeling just disappears. I just don’t need to be reminded that I am inadequate,” says freshman Molly Huddle. “As I bike by the sign I wonder: Should I wear a helmet? Will I look less cool? What will my mom say?” But then I just forget about it once I pass by,” she continues.
Students are arguing that there are other factors that can save brains such as an abnormally thick skull or amazing flying ability. “My decision to not wear a helmet is a personal choice based on vanity and looks,” said Molly. “I don’t need society to remind me that I am risking my brains!”