Helmets – your choice or theirs?

Anthony Of interest 2 Comments



Helmets in Europe? Not many.

Helmets in Europe? Not many.

There is great debate over the pros and cons of Australia’s compulsory helmet laws for cyclists.

Did you know that Australia was the first country to introduce compulsory helmet laws (back in the early 1990s) and is currently one of only two wealthy countries worldwide (the other being NZ) that still maintain such a law? There are many arguments against such a law. Helmets are almost useless in the event of a collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle and it has been proven that motorists tend to give helmeted cyclist less passing room. Another case in point is that more damage is done to the nation’s health through people being dissuaded from cycling due to the inconvenience of having to wear a helmet. One study found that 16.5% of respondents said that they would ride more often if there wasn’t a requirement to wear a helmet. Participation by new cyclists is also restrained by the perception of it being a ‘dangerous’ activity, due to the requirement to wear a helmet.

Here at Spinway Canberra, we are strongly of the opinion that it should be the rider’s choice as to whether to wear a helmet or not, based on their personal views and experience level. We of course will always offer helmets as part of our rental service.

Comments 2

  1. Chris Thompson

    Actually, the study you seem to be referring to did NOT say that 16.5% of people would ride more if they didn’t have to wear a helmet. They asked whether a range of factors stopped people from riding. Having to wear a helmet was the third LEAST important factor, and it’s apparent that there was more than one factor stopping non-riders from cycling. This is obvious because the sum of the percentage of all the reasons was 370%; that is, on average each person had 3.7 DIFFERENT reasons not to ride a bike.

    So even if they didn’t have to wear helmets, most people were not going to ride anyway, because wearing a helmet was only one of several reasons why they did not ride- and in fact it was one of the least important ones.

    One of the things that makes me worried about the fact that I support the repeal of helmet laws is that so many people who are against the laws use dodgy reasoning as in this article.

  2. Post

    Thanks for your comments Chris. I fell for the headline without too much analysis it’s true.

    There are obviously many factors to consider in regards to the effects of compulsory helmet laws. As with anything, there are two sides to an argument and I see valid points on both sides.

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