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.