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Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

The Helmet Update by Email

Volume 18, #6 - October 9, 2000

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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 details.


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 reporting.

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
Randy Swart
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Arlington, VA 22204-1419 USA
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(703) 486-0576 (fax)

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