Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
The Helmet Update by Email
Volume 18, #6 - October 9, 2000
Variflex Recalls 150,000 Helmets
Financial news sources have scooped the injury prevention press by
announcing that Variflex is preparing a recall of 150,000 bicycle
helmets sold through mass merchant channels over the past year. The
reports by Reuters and Business Wire appeared on Friday, October 6th.
They were not specific as to which models were involved.
Variflex announced that it had found out that some of its helmets
were sub-standard and was working out a recall with CPSC. Variflex
reportedly told Business Wire that they are unable to estimate the
cost of the helmet recall. The financial press was focused on the
impact on the company's fourth quarter earnings, as opposed to the
impact on the users of the substandard helmets.
We expect a further press release from CPSC and Variflex soon with
Scooter Helmet Laws Appear
Last week an article over the AP wires indicated that various
injuries across the nation are provoking election-year politicians to
introduce local and at least one State ordinance requiring helmets
for scooter users. The article followed a press release by CPSC on
October 5th that reported more than 11,300 emergency room visits
nationwide by scooter users. That is not many compared to the more
than half million annual toll on bicycle riders, but 5,900 of them
were in August alone, indicating either a rising trend or better
AP reported laws in place or under consideration in about a dozen
communities, with New Jersey the only State-level one at the moment.
They included three in New Jersey: Elizabeth, Medford and Jefferson
Township; Raleigh, NC; Milton, WA, San Francisco and Vista, CA, and
the Park Ridge, Illinois District 64 school board. Many of the bills
have been inspired by a local scooter death. Most will presumably
cover children only, although the local bicycle helmet laws in
Washington State have mostly covered all ages.
CPSC had said in their press release that bicycle helmets would be
appropriate for scooter users. You can find that press release at:
We have a page up on scooter and other helmets at:
The Helmet Update - Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
4611 Seventh Street South
Arlington, VA 22204-1419 USA
(703) 486-0100 (voice)
(703) 486-0576 (fax)
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