• Jan 10, 2009
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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  • 24 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I also forgot to mention that the new Government law that was passed forcing all Bike riders to purchase helmets wasn`t done to increase the safety of the riders because the passengers aren`t even required to wear one. It`s just another scam for the Government to get more money from the drivers. As if the oil money they steal isn`t enough.
      The refusal to purchase helmets and wearing calabashes is just a way of sticking it to th government
      • 6 Years Ago
      That cat doesn't look too happy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I has motocycool helmut....
        • 6 Years Ago
        He's got his game face on. He's about to do battle in the Colosseum.

        Victory or death!
      • 6 Years Ago
      So..how is wearing a pumpkin more comfortable and dignified than a real helmet? Way to stick it to the man guy!

      That LOLcat picture is WIN!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a pomelo, not a lime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      From the BBC article: "Local government authorities often give motorbikes to jobless young men, saying it gives them a way to make a living."

      How hard would it be then to give a helmet (or two) in addition to the bike, even if "It is often an attempt to buy support for elections..."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey Jeremy, Just because the BBC did a half arsed report doesn't mean you should copy and paste the stupidity being displayed.
      The heading is even wrongly worded. It's supposed to be "Nigerian motorcyclists" not "Nigerians motorcyclists" It's like saying "Americans Motorcyclist using pumpkins to avoid helmet law" does that sound american to you?

      Second I know they could probably use coconut shells, but I left Lagos, Nigeria last week...There aren't any pumpkins in Nigeria..at least not any big enough to be used as helmets. I remember watching cartoon network as a kid and wondering on halloween how in the world american pumpkins got that big.

      P/s In Nigeria buses are generally not everywhere so taxis are used instead, its about 50 cents from one bus stop to the next here in Canada, the same in Nigeria. Don't let the price tag fool you, its only a 3 to 4 minute drive for that price but the way its being reported you'd thing the ride was from one city to the next.

      Overall just try to put an effort in researching stuff you post before you feed the general public with more ignorance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Evil Twin, I presume?
      "This is my helmet. There are many like it, but this one is mine."
      Hmmm

      Somebody is obviously off their Godlikeproductions forum. LOL
      • 6 Years Ago
      Melon heads! I guess it is more just to get around the law than to offer protection. I thought I remember a story where riders were wearing baseball helmets to avoid the law.



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