More whispers from the safety people.

If adults don't wear bike helmets kids won't either.

We have laws that mandate bicycle helmet use across Australia. The Bicycle Network, Australia's biggest bike-riding organisation, is running an open survey to canvass opinion about whether it should review its policy supporting these laws.

It is unclear how much cycling is increasing or declining.

There is no reliable evidence that introduction of helmet legislation has been responsible for reduced cycling participation.

However, there is no convincing evidence that helmet use deters cycling on a population level. There is also no convincing evidence that people who do not cycle do not do other forms of exercise, or that cycling for transport will transform them from sedentary beings*.

Relaxing helmet laws would mean more people riding without helmets. It would also mean lower helmet-wearing rates in children. Children are at greater risk for bike-related head injury, with a large head-to-body ratio, less experience and less well developed risk perception. Helmet wearing in children is important. Children look to adults for role models. Traumatic brain injury at all ages is devastating, particularly so in children. Helmet laws ensure high helmet-wearing rates in all age groups.

Why don't these people ever point out. Australia has awful participation and modal share rates. Australia has awful cyclist injury rates. Australia is one of the few places with MHLs. Wonder why she keeps harping on about MHLs not having an impact on cycling rates. Say it enough times and it becomes true? Yesterday I didn't ride my bicycle due to MHLs - so chalk at least one less ride up.

(*The people I know who started cycling to work became much less sedentary).

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I feel that this topic has been gone over many times, but i feel that good cycling infrastructure would do as much to support cycling as changes to MHL. Having to dice with impatient motor vehicle pilots down narrow streets is harrowing enough for experienced cyclists. 

As for helmets and kids, that's a tough one. I personally don't let my kids anywhere near a scooter or bike without a helmet. Most of my cycling experience is MTB, and helmets have saved my noggin enough times that i don't even think twice about it. Sandstone outcrops/ tree branches/ etc don't mix well with heads. Different context between MTB and road of course, but that's my personal experience, and it influences my decisions in relation to helmet wearing. 

This is the first time since MHL became law in the 1990's, that Bicycle Network are reviewing their policy on MHL. They are surveying all taht are interested in the topic.  Complete the survey and have your say.  Survey closes 2 Sept 2017  Link attached.

Closes 22 Sept.

About a week ago the ABC story on this said there had been 10,000 responses so it certainly seems to be topical.

Perhaps after the other survey returns an overwhelming Yes and equality reigns supreme and the world as we know it does not end we might be brave enough to sample other advances from the rest of the world.

Thanks, completed survey. 

Thinking about it seems to come down to the same question. Do I want to live my life by the standards and beliefs I set out for myself or do I want to enforce my beliefs on everyone else, not via logic and persuasion but by using the coercive powers of a repressive state


If the helmets are so effective against injury then everyone should wear one, all the time.

On previous topics I've done google investigations into head injury rates of pedestrians when they've thrown themselves onto the bonnet and subsequently onto the ground and it was around 80% of them suffer head injuries. So logically, if pedestrians were required by law to wear styrofoam helmets, the rate of head injury should be reduced. You must admit, 80% is a big percentage. Likewise motorists tend to suffer head injury when a tree or power pole fails to move out of their way - again, MHL to the rescue. If it is good enough for Peter Brock to have to wear a helmet while driving, it is good enough for the food eating, text reading, motorists of this country.

1/ Thanks to MHL ,the prevailing image of cycling is a 'sport' as opposed to 'transport' 

2/ To understand it's not about helmets , but about about a law authorising Police harassment  is a concept far too hard for many to understand - mainly because they grew up with MHL

3/ And then the hardest one ; to understand the overall impact of MHL to society requires analysis, as per my post a few moments ago  ~ 19% are incapable of or just don't do any form of analysis. Likely already a side effect of the MHL 

4/ There are people who will hate you for trying for trying to remove MHL and hence Politically it is a no go situation ; if you saw ACP FB post on this , it already had people swearing never to vote for them on this singular issue

5/ Then throw in the emotive ER and rehab 'experts' who seem to never see head injuries by any other means other than people on a bicycle. 

What's that statement?  ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.' ~ not Einstein

ISIS is the other country that the authorities punish a group of people for not having a certain headwear 

"There are people who will hate you for trying for trying to remove MHL"

Yeah. I usually wear the magic hat, but on a recent trip to the shops without one I was abused by a bloke who thought I was putting myself in serious danger. The level of rage could scarcely have been less if I'd been puffing on a cigarette while carrying an open jerrycan full of petrol. Hard to fathom the mindset.

It is odd, isn't it? These people don't rush up to smokers to lecture them on how they are harming themselves, nor do they shout at people crossing on the red man.

But not wearing a helmet on a bicycle, and boom. It's quite extraordinary.

It's an interesting example of how laws can change cultural norms (something that many politicians deny, but which also lies at the heart of the No vote agenda).

Just suspend MHL enforcement and see how it goes. If cyclists start dropping like flies with serious head injuries bring it back.

I can't understand why this is so hard. Try things. If they don't work try something else.


Yes low enforcement works now and all it would take is for a whisper from the Minister and down the line..." Dunc was wrong, just back off of the bike helmet stuff"

To change the law now would take endless feasibility studies and bring out all our worst enemies, the buffoons on both sides going toe to toe. The insurance industry would hate it and the lawyers love it.

In the meantime the Dutch have brought in mandatory helmets for speed pedelecs/ ebikes after much cross border consultation to try and get it right. Seems to have gone off without that many issues and back here we are still swimming in mud after endless and expensive studies in and about what to do with quad bike safety.

Oh and the BN survey, I wont do it as smells to me that they are doing this to push the we are the good guys membership numbers up, if not putting the hand up for the contract to run the 14.5 year feasibility study into the feasibility studies of changing MHL in Australia.


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