Around 25 percent of helmets provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for cyclists were stolen over a four-day period, according to the city on Wednesday.
The city of Seoul operated a helmet rental system on a trial run from Friday to Monday at 30 stations in Yeouido for cyclists who ride the city’s bikes in preparation for the mandatory use of helmets that will start on Sept. 28.
Two children try on helmets provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government during the trial helmet rental period in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)
But the helmet rental system hit a serious road block, as 218 of 858 helmets disappeared, deepening the concerns of the city. The helmets were placed in the bike’s carrier baskets or storage boxes, allowing anyone to use them.
City officials did not put tracking chips on the helmets because of the limited annual budget set at around 1.2 billion won ($1.07 million).
The city will continue to operate the helmet rental system and see if measures can be taken to prevent helmet theft or if they will have to scrap the rental system altogether.
By Chyung Eun-ju (email@example.com