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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She bemoans a lack of evidence that helmet law and promotion deters cyclists, but offers no evidence that removing MHL for adults would deter kids from wearing helmets!

There are many countries that only have MHL for kids, including Iceland, which, I have just heard, has zero fatalities for cyclists with 3% participation in a country of 1/3 of a million.

If helmet laws didn't deter people from cycling by forcing them to wear helmets, then there is no question that helmets are only worn because its the law. But then, why do you need a law? People would just want to wear them.

Spot on.


Interesting article. Some things i didn't realise about MHL in Northern Territory, and the reviews of MHL in Queensland. 


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