New report: other factors than helmet legislation led to declines in head injuries in NSW

A new research article published this week documents the rate of head injuries among cyclists from 1988 to 2008. It concludes that “It is likely that factors other than the mandatory helmet legislation reduced head injuries among cyclists.”


The article by Voukelatos and myself is to be published in the Journal of the Australian College of Road Safety, at


and a copy is available now at


There is a story about it in today’s Sydney Morning Herald at


To take this issue further, I would like to see the legislation repealed in one jurisdiction (say, for example, Newcastle or Wollongong) and the effects studied for a couple of years. It is highly likely that there’d be no adverse effects. This would be a realistic step forward, and would provide some much needed local evidence.


Bicycle NSW would have to support a proposal like this, but the new CEO believes that 80% of cyclists support helmet legislation. An informal and unscientific poll I conducted of a group of cyclists at dinner on Saturday polled 75% (6 out of 8) against helmet legislation. Does anyone know what percent of cyclists support or appose helmet legislation?

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Not really. Can you see any logic in the post?
Cool, lets play ad hominem shall we?

All opinion and no depth like you Yogi?
is that a personal attack at me Si?

In exactly the same way as...

lucky we have opinions or we would all be like Si...

Not hypocritical, just mirroring.

However, if you did sincerely mean "I am saying difference in opinion is important. Otherwise we are all the same." Then I sincerely apologise for a reading comprehension fail.

I still maintain that the opinion that all people who are pro-MHLs are non-thinkers like the OP of the sub thread deserves ridicule, not least because it is ridiculous in itself.

You may also be interested in this:
The RPA documetn is interesting, isn't it.

Unfortunately, emergency doctors do not seem to be very good at this type of research, do they? I guess everyone saw the glaring methodological error made in that report, and the data that indicates there is a confounding variable at work which casts doubt on the conclusion that helmets cause a reduction in head injury severity (as opposed to being correlated with it)?

If you're struggling to see what I mean speak up, and I can explain.
Correlation != causation.

How would you design a study for this then?

Anti-MHLers are quite happy to use one study showing a lack of a correlation between the number of head injuries and MHLs as evidence that helmets do not work.

What about risk compensation and helmets?
and once again... a helmet discussion has turned into ridiculous personal attacks.

This is why we can't have nice things.


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