Re: “King County repeals mandatory bicycle helmet law” [Feb. 17, Local News]:

Emergency room physicians were among those most vocal in opposing King County’s repeal of the bike helmet law. Their concern was understandable but misplaced. Peer cities like Portland show that high rates of helmet use can be maintained without an all-ages helmet mandate — and without the harms that come with police enforcement.

More perplexing is the medical community’s reluctance over the years to speak with similar passion about mitigating the greatest threat to bicyclists’ safety: collisions with vehicles.

I helped to lead the helmet law repeal effort as a member of Central Seattle Greenways, which is part of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition. Around the city, volunteers in groups like ours advocate for protected bike lanes, slower traffic speeds, and other critical measures that reduce the likelihood that a bike helmet will serve as the last line of defense against serious injury or death.

I invite doctors to join us in advocating for streets designed to prioritize the safety of vulnerable road users. Together with helmet use, safer streets mean fewer bicyclists in emergency rooms.

Ethan C. Campbell, Seattle