• Jan 10th 2009 at 10:59AM
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Helmet laws are always controversial, no matter where they are being enacted. In Nigeria, though, the recently-instituted rule that all motorcycle riders and passengers must be wearing helmets has caused an unusual, um... solution, in the form of calabashes, or dried pumpkin shells, worn on the head and tied on with a string. Apparently, these shells are normally used to transport liquids and are quite durable. Sturdy enough to actually provide any meaningful safety in the event of a crash? Not likely.
The benefit of the calabash helmets is that they are decidedly inexpensive. Helmets reportedly start at about $29 in Nigeria, and that's pretty pricy for motorcycle taxi operators who now need to provide helmets for their passengers -- especially when many of their fares reportedly attempt to steal them. For comparison, a motorcycle in Nigeria costs as little as $290 and a taxi ride goes for just 50¢. In the absence of an actual picture of a rider with a calabash tied about their head, we bring you a photo of Limecat. Thanks for the tip, Daisy!

[Source: BBC via The Earth Times]

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