Now i know it is smart to wear a helmet riding down Portrush Rd in heavy traffic, or tearing down from Mt Lofty on a race bike, but if i want to ride down to the local deli on my old school pushy or roll up and down Rundle St letting latte sipping hipsters admire my flowing locks, then i believe it should be ok to go sans helm. After riding all over Europe last summer i grew accustomed to riding with no helmet, and i never felt my life was in grave danger. If the roads of London became too scary i just got off and walked my bike till things calmed down or i could find another (quieter) route. I think minors should be made to wear helmets, but as a adult member of a free society i am quite capable of deciding when and when not to take my helmet on a ride. This topic has probably surfaced quite a bit on these forums but it needs to be discussed again as a progression for change.
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For someone who states there are "clear links that helmet laws discourage cycling", how about showing that data. All I've seen so far is a heap of links to tangental stories.
I think we should have a trial in the city and surrounding parklands and along designated bike ways to relax helmet laws to some degree and then we will see if more people get on their bikes, but I suppose you will venomously oppose such a suggestion for one reason or another Paul.
I did see this article the other day and found it to make sense to me. Here is a excerpt.
"Reductions in cycling by 33% to 50% are typical in places where helmet laws have been passed."
taken from this article http://bicyclesafe.com/helmets.html
Give me some credit to look at some evidence that you & stephen have supplied. I hardly think that i have VENOMOUSLY opposed anything you have put foward. i have formed my opinions based on where i think the community stands, & their views at the moment. There is no doubt that the links provided (more so Stephen) show some compelling evidence & studies which when viewed in their entirety show a downward trend in commuting cyclists almost across the board. Some are a little outdated but never the less interesting. I agree with your views on the discouragement of more people taking up cycling for commuting. My view has been, even though MHL have impacted on potential cyclists riding bikes, that the time frame (over 20 years), it is not stopping people from riding bikes, IN THESE TIMES. It has taken 20 years for the riding numbers per million to now have overtaken pre MHL laws. BUT, i do agree that is is quite reasonable to think MORE people would ride a bike if they didnt have to worry about what their hair looked like after riding to the shops (to some people hair is everthing).
So, yes, you have convinced me that it is an unreasonable law. That said i will still wear a helmet for 99% of the time i ride if MHL laws were repealed. Also i would find some moment & opportunity to ride helmetless.
I think my language was a bit strong in my last comment to you.
The city of Adelaide is in a great position to become a innovator in city planning regarding cycling as a form of transportation. Bike sharing programs are exploding in popularity around the world and helmet laws are holding Australia back from taking advantage of this type of infrastructure as a tool for invigorating tourist and local transportation methods. As a starting point, dedicated bike lanes connecting Rundle St, Gouger St, Hutt St, Hindley St, Melbourne & O'Connel Streets, King William Rd, The Parade, and Henley Square should be established. Then these connection pathways should have laws introduced similar to helmet laws established in the Northern Territory.
Here is a link to a discussion on this forum last year regarding the NT laws.
Here is the excerpt from the NT Department of Lands and Planning (1999)Traffic Regulations
86 Helmets for cyclists
(1) For the purposes of rule 256, the requirement to wear an approved bicycle helmet does not apply to a person over 17 years of age if he or she is riding or being carried on a bicycle
:(a) on a public place
;(b) on a bicycle path or shared path;
or(c) in an area declared by the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, to be a bicycle helmet exemption area.
It is a testimonly to the rushed implementation of this law that we don't not have allot more data. However this is because our pollies sell out our rights so fast when a few million $ is waved in front of their faces any lack of data is the fault of government and perhaps on purpose.
BUT there is still quite enough to convince many including the rest of the world that helmet laws
are counter-productive .
This site indicates the data from the national census.
May I also offer this documentary about the NT - where cycling is more of an everyday transport to many people.
Self inflating helmets in Sweden, designed in response to mandatory helmet laws coming in there:
Interesting gadget - only problem is the dummys face took most of the impact and at that speed a normal human would simply put their hands out pull their head under and roll onto their back the inflatable helmet thing however would scare the crap out them when it went off.
Cycle helmets has some info on sweden - have ridden around there myself about 10 years back.
"The Swedish helmet law was introduced from 1st January 2005. It applies only to children under 15 years old. Under Swedish law, no penalty is possible for children cycling alone who do not obey the law. However, parents cycling with unhelmeted children are liable to a fine of SEK500.( that is about $72 AUD). In 2007 the law was extended to include Segway use, even on private land."
FYI the owner of the segway company died riding one of these contraptions - accidentally fell over the edge of a cliff - maybe they should make parachutes mandatory instead :-) .
New segways will now be required to carry the following Warning "warning do not ride this vehicle near steep edges". - Just kidding :-) .
They spent millions developing a machine which requires a computer and batteries to achieve less speed, and stability and comfort than a cheap bicycle offers.
Bike riding is in many countries a safe and important part of everyday transport but when you are forced to wear a helmet under threat of sanctions it puts more people into cars who may otherwise have ridden.
This was recently published in the institute of public affairs.
The Institute of Public Affairs is an independent, non-profit public policy think tank, dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of economic and political freedom.
Hi All I submitted the following comments to the survey on the
"Adelaide City Council The City of Adelaide Integrated Movement Strategy 2012-22"
*** The strategy Intro reads
"It’s all about choice. In a city where walking, cycling, public transport and cars all play
a role, we are not forced to take one option over another. With fewer vehicles on the
road, driving would actually be easier!"
Well your statement is without any substance because Your idea of choice is not free choice it is Car centric and anti-bicycle. I cannot ride a bike in adelaide unless I wear a helmet thanks to your lack of effort to repeal mandatory bicycle helmet laws - the only way one can ride without harassment by police on foot in cars and even on bicycle is by complying with uncomfortable and inconvenient bike helmet laws.
The section "A cyclist-friendly City" reads
"This outcome will create a City where:
« people of all levels of cycling confidence
feel that they can cycle safely
« cycling is the most convenient form of
transport for local trips
« cycling to and from the suburbs is safe
Well on point 2 you have failed because your support of convenient bike usage is biased and CONDITIONAL on them wearing a bike helmet.
Please honestly answer the following questions in your head.
If you forced people walking to wear helmets would that be convenient ?
If you forced car drivers to wear them when driving would that be convenient ?
Now I will bet you answered NO to both of these ?
If you answered YES please be prepared to demonstrate your conviction by wearing a helmet when driving AND walking for a month or two so we can take your answer seriously and as one without bias.
Now if you answered NO to both questions how can you honestly say "that cycling is the most convenient form of transport for local trips" when you have just admitted wearing a helmet is inconvenient !
Your strategy for bikes is at best conditional it appears that you do not even recognise your bias exists.
But it not only exists but results in harassment and discouragement of bike users by police , loss of free choice , increased traffic congestion and thereby increased danger to pedestrians and bike users, and increased pollution leading to health issues with carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides , soot and others causing respiratory problems for residents near traffic.
I implore you to recognise my and others people should have the right to ride a bike free from this discriminatory law. Please investigate creating a helmet law free zone within the jurisdiction of the city of adelaide so that bike users can ride without a helmet if they so desire. This could be acheived by a consultation with the police services to put an agreement into place to no longer prosecute this law and i expect they would appreciate that it will save them much time and effort and free them from the distastefull and pointless persecution of innocent people.