Is a new initiative by a group of people seeking to reform the State and Territory Mandatory Helmet Laws. The first priority is to gain an immediate helmet exemption for the Melbourne and Brisbane Bike share schemes. Freestyle Cyclists campaign to repeal bicycle helmet laws, to allow cycling in Australia to flourish.
I hope some people will support this cause - doing so will help restore the bicycle to it's rightful place as practical means of transport for many more people.
If you are only a sports cyclists you should also support this even though you may typically wear a helmet yourself.
Encouraging other people to cycle who would not otherwise ride will help make YOU and ME and other people including pedestrians,cyclists and motorists safer.
1. Car drivers who have riding experience may be more aware of other bike riders and how they behave on the roads.
2. There will be less traffic to contend with if more journeys are by bike - that means less exhaust fumes for all road users and nearby people and it reduces audible noise and pollution, and leaves more parking space for people who do need to drive and park.
3. Larger volumes of bike riders mean motorists even ones who don't ride actually become more aware of bike users and less likely to hit them.
4. More bike journeys and less car journeys may reduce risk to pedestrians from motor traffic.
5. If the law is repealed the bike share schemes will actually get used so they can continue to exist may expand and do not become a white elephant to be shut down the moment the council funds run out. Next time you visit these cities you and other tourists can actually use the bikes without having to buy or find a helmet which you may only use for 15 minute ride then have to dispose of. !.
I limit myself to these 5 points for now. :-)
Don't forget we have a helmetless riders forum with similar aims on adelaide cyclists so you can also show support by joining that group too.
Many thanks for this video link - i had not seen this before.
It is well worth a look.
Christ, here we go again, this ridiculous helmet debate again.
Now Now Charles
These MHL fearers are making enormous inroads in having there cause heard and lifting the yoke of the nanny state from our collective shoulders.
In the last week they have had 7 people from SA sign their petition (and someone from Iceland who must also be oppressed by MHLs).
It is a groundswell of popular-ism with the people I have never seen before!
FYI most surveys show support to repeal the helmet laws is very strong so yes it may take a little time and effort but the tide is turning against helmet laws.
Optus agree it's possible check this out no helmet required 40 seconds into the add. :-) Enjoy
Fact: The health benefits of cycling outweigh the crash risks by at least 5:1 and in some places 20:1. So reports world cycling expert and academic John Pucher in his latest book "City Cycling" http://www.ecf.com/news/city-cycling-talk/
Corollary: If MHL's cause 1 person to stop riding (or not take it up in the first place), and prevent 5 serious accidents though crashes, then MHL's cause more damage than they prevent.
Interesting read. Maybe here is something we can all agree on:
So what’s the best way to improve safety?
“Motor vehicles impose the most serious traffic dangers to cyclists,” explains Pucher.
“You’ve got to reduce motor vehicles speeds on shared roadways and provide physical separation of cyclists from motor vehicle traffic on arterials. You also have to restrict car use by implementing car-free zones, traffic-calmed residential neighborhoods, and lowering car speeds on city streets. This is crucial to increasing both cyclist and pedestrian safety.”
The Helmet Question
“Although much of the focus of cycling safety has been on bike helmets, laws requiring helmet use are not an effective strategy,” Pucher tells us.
All evidence cited in “City Cycling” shows that helmet laws discourage cycling so much that the reduced health benefits from less cycling are much greater than any alleged safety benefits of helmet laws. But above all, the book is suggesting it’s time to push the helmet debate to one side and focus on the real dangers affecting cyclists.
“In short, the focus on cycling safety should be on restricting car use and improving motorist behaviour,” says Pucher.
Yep, there's a lot of things out there that we can do to improve safety, many of those things (such as reducing speed limits) anger the type of motorists that turns their nose up at the thought of riding a bike.
A simple answer to "So what’s the best way to improve safety?"
Answer: Get more people riding bikes.
We don't even need to mention getting more people to leave their cars at home.
Bike usage can be increased without having to impose restrictions on motor vehicle usage.
Greatly increasing bike usage would result from repealing mandatory helmet laws.
Bike helmet laws greatly impede the users of bike share systems as would helmet laws do to any other transport system. ( Imagine if we were forced to wear a helmet on a bus or in a taxi or car or train). Bike share can't provide convenient travel if users are forced to wear helmets people instead will tend to drive and or walk.
If we are serious about advocating bike usage we need to repeal mandatory bike helmet laws.
The other alternative would be to make all other transport methods equally awkward by forcing their users to wear helmets too. I for one would not support any such pointless and repressive government intervention. For the sake of equality and fair treatment as a bicycle user and advocate I am opposed to mandatory bicycle helmet laws.
Actually forget it. I am going to try to live up to my Saturday 16th of June resolution not to post on an MHL thread again.
Thanks - Michael
Do you ride a bike Stephen, and do you wear a helmet when doing so ?
From memory I think Stephen has some sort of head injury which prevents him from wearing a helmet and the authorities refuse to give him dispensation from MHL. Whether he rides regularly or not is unclear though I believe he has had issues with the police on more than one occaison for failing to comply with MHL
Thanks Clive, has anyone seen the male cyclist who regularly rdies along Rundle Road wearing a red 'turban'. I dont think he has a helmet underneath. Wonder if he has some form of excemption based on religeous or cultural grounds.