This add series was aired by a friend on TV in Brisbane recently. :-)
QLD recently had change of government the original nanny state party is gone so there is now a good chance that there could be a change to the helmet laws either to an NT style exemption or complete exemption for all adults.
It is remarkable that at time when we are about to be hit with a CO2 tax and with all the public concern over global warming and the huge burden on the health system of sedentary lifestyle diseases that the most efficient and healthy form of transport has been and is still being discouraged by helmet laws. As a result of this law the predominant type of riders remaining on our roads seem to be lycra wearing men on racers - this would tend to suggest that repealing this law would result in a huge increase in the number of other people riding especially women (the NT has the highest participation of women riders of any state - it is also the only region with a bicycle helmet exemption for adults ).
At the same time there is a lack of any statistical evidence of effacicy of helmet laws in fact their failure and large deterrent effect on cycling is both used as...
- so why are we still burdened with this counter productive nanny state law.
Even though 1500 people die in car accidents yearly car drivers are not forced to wear helmets, in fact the government takes our tax and gives it away to incompetent car companies who cant balance their books. !
The government's bias is clear, in your car it's air-conditioned comfort but ride a bike and you get will get fined if you refuse to wear a sweat box on your head even at low speed or offroad.
The Labor governments poor judgment and steadfast refusal to admit their bias is obvious - it is simply appalling that this law not only results in thousands of innocent people being fined every year, which is at best a waste of police time and resources. It also deters thousands more from cycling in favour of motor cars which are one of the primary sources of pollution including not just C02 but other toxins which can cause health problems for people living near roads. Motor vehicles are also responsible for the great majority of pedestrians killed each year and over 90% of cyclist fatalities.
Whether you personally prefer to wear a helmet or not please show your support for reform and support the right of others to choose for themselves.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
At least in Adelaide CBD, the number of commuting cyclists had already dropped before the introduction of MHL. As the older (mostly male) office workers who commuted by bike retired, they were not replaced by younger ones. I base my remarks on the observed occupancy rate of bike parking facilities in the GPO basement. (I worked in the city for PMG/Australia Post for nearly 30 years, starting in 1970.) There was a large bike parking area alongside the Pirie St Methodist Church building (where the ACC office building is now) that regularly catered for well over a hundred bikes daily.
It may be true that there was a reduction in the number of cyclists following the introduction of MHL, but the trend was already there.
In 1970, after I started work in the city, I bought a car. After a few months of car commuting, I sold it, and went back to riding the bike, which was quicker ove the 7 mile (11km) trip anyway. My colleagues thought I was crazy.
I always wear a helmet when I ride but am under no illusions about the level of protection it gives me - Might help a bit if I smack my noggin on the deck, but there are plenty of nasty injuries which that little foam and plastic shell won't protect me from. We have a law that all cyclists must wear a helmet up here too, but it is largely ignored and pretty much totally unenforced... Personally I figure it's far better to encourage people to actually ride their bikes than it is to get too fussed about whether or not they have a hard hat on...
I am agree with enforcing helmet while riding bicycle, why? It is for your own safety.
It is better prepared than sorry.
In my opinion, encouraging people to get cycling with make no helmet legal is kinda not logical enough.
It is just like someone want to make bungee jump popular with making a bungee jump without a bungee.
People get fined while not wearing helmet?
Well...we are fighting for cyclist right on the road, but we shall not forget our duty on the road to obey traffic laws.
I saw also some news link in this topic that show how police treat cyclist unfairly.
We shall not judge police just by 3 or 5 cases,it is simply like a car driver who judge cyclists because 3-5 cyclists annoy him/her.
Want to encourage people into cycling?
Make better facility for cyclist like better cycling lane, more bike parking, and even subsidized bicycle.
Even if "no helmet = more people cycling" is true, IMO it is better to not let that happen because more people can get injured because not wearing helmet which can bring more bad image about cycling.
If a person is not a confident swimmer or cant swim we wear floaties in the water to prevent drowning, but Imagine if the police turn up at the beach and forced all people near the water to wear floaties, giving them a fine if they refuse, many people would be upset man many would leave. The only people who would not care perhaps some children learning to swim who were already wearing them.
Likewise with helmets.
If you are unstable and lack in confidence when riding then wear a helmet or put on some trainer wheels if it makes you feel better but be aware that it is not protection against high speed impacts such as motor vehicles only an average fall to the ground and you are very unlikely to bump your head anyway.
Do you wear a helmet in your car , when climbing a ladder , when walking or running NO so what is this strange idea that we must wear one when riding a bike and not just wear one but that you think the overworked police should give us a fine if we don't wear the helmet it's ridiculous - Australia and NZ are the only places in the world with all ages mandatory bicycle helmet laws it is a true nanny state tyranny.
Why this belief that every adult and child no matter where or when must wear a special helmet yet ONLY when riding a bicycle ??
You may not realise it but that because of this law there are more cars on the roads more congestion, wasted resources making more cars and petrol, more Pollution and C02 , more noise more dust , we have apparently now have a global warming issue, and many inactivity caused health problems, Wasted police time persecuting innocent people. Yes they take a tiny risk but they have their own reasons for not wanting to wear a helmet why do you believe that people who think different to you should be persecuted by the law. ?
If you have a religion do you think it is right to hurt people who don't join or think like you ?.
I think there is a kind of helmet religion with some people who in their own way are unable to accept the right of other people to make their own choices. This bicycle helmet law is a law of intolerance.
Please read the original post and look at the links provided there is no benefit in this law it is costing us millions and some of whit it costs are not easily recovered when you look at environmental damage caused by widespread motor vehicle usage by million's of people who would using a bicycle more often instead if this law was repealed.
When you are moving faster than human can do, you need extra protection for your head.
Everyone know that helmet from bicycle's to motorcycle's are useless from high speed impact but it can safe people from head injury in smaller scale accident. Can you imagine if someone "doored" you with an SUV door? Without helmet, your head simply hit the door directly and can cause serious injury to your head. Helmet can cause a big different in smaller accident like this.
I am not forcing "helmet religion" to everyone even someone, just in my opinion Adelaide is not ready for "non compulsory helmet law".
We are still sharing same road as other motor vehicle and many thing can be unpredictable.
If you are talking other country that not enforcing helmet, they simply have better cyclist facility than ours (or maybe the government doesn't care at all about cyclist).
Just like Copenhagen which become benchmark for cycling city, they have isolated cycling lane so there are less hazard for cyclist.
Also there is no study or solid evidence that show "non compulsory helmet law" can increase cyclist. number.
Dario - you say.
"Also there is no study or solid evidence that show "non compulsory helmet law" can increase cyclist. number."
How do you think many European countries have been so successful at increading % of people riding.
Let me tell you Rule 1
Don't take way bicycle riders right to choose - do not fine them do not Dictate what they must wear instead - respect their rights.
Do you realise the helmet law is like the burka laws in Iran - it is designed to repress bicycle users and it makes it less popular, it encourages anti bike user sentiments and discriminates specifically against bike users.
How can you support such a tyrannical nanny state law. ?
Man....you should read all what i wrote....
European succeed to do it because the simply have better cyclist facility than ours..... (I wrote this twice today)
They have isolated cycling lane which have less hazard than shared cycling lane, so to not wearing helmet is still an ok.
To me helmet law is still reasonable just like seatbelt law to the car and helmet law for motorcycle.
It is simply for your own safety and I saw there isn't any discrimination here.
Bicycle law to repress bicycle users and makes cycling less popular??? Just like burqa??? I think you read conspiracy theory a bit too much. I am still thinking Lance Armstrong looks best in the helmet. Motorcyclists are also wearing helmet too and they are not complaining about this.
How can I support " tyrannical nanny state law"? Because it is logical and I see no drawback except spent your little money to buy helmet.
You are right that some European countries have better cycing facilities than ours. Not all do though. Paris does not have a great deal and the UK's is appalling. Neither country has a helmet law and they seem to be doing ok.
I don't think it's just a question of infrastructure. Our helmet law extends to any "wheeled recreational device" or "wheeled toy" (see section 162C of the Road Traffic Act). That means any pedal car, scooter or tricycle on a pavement if the child is under 12.
I have no doubt that the helmet law was introduced for the best reasons and with the best intentions. The problem is that it has not had the desired effect but instead has had negative effects, namely an immediate and significant drop in cyclist numbers. If a social policy has that effect, I think it is a bad thing.
Now people will tell you that cyclist numbers have recovered since then. They have, but as I understand it only in absolute numbers not as a proportion of the population (although I stand to be corrected on that). Also, the population of cyclists has changed. They are still primarily male (with some exceptions of course) on particular types of bike and wearing a particular type of clothing. The numbers of people wearing normal clothes and using a bike for everyday activities are still very small.
The causes of that are complex and cannot just be blamed on helmet laws. It would be silly to claim that. But the fact is, numbers did drop and while they have recovered, the population of cyclists is very different. Almost no teenage girls ride a bike - just as an example. That is very different from some other countries.
I think recommending and encouraging the use of a helmet is a good idea but for the government to mandate it and for police time to be used fining people is not in my very humble opinion.
I think it is a bit unrelated between the drop of cyclist number with mandatory bike helm law in 1991.
The drop of cyclist number has been occurred before 1991. I guess 1991 is the time when cars is getting cheaper and fuel price was not high as now. Laziness is of the human nature.
You might be right about proportion of male cyclist and female cyclist. We are indoctrinated with the image of sweaty cyclist guys in funny looking clothes on road bicycle or mud bathed of MTB rider. We are never see again the girl in normal clothes on lady/city bike again. I am just hoping someone become a trendsetter for biking female. We also need to tell them if bicycle is not only road and MTB, but there are many kind of bicycle that doesn't require specialized clothes and doesn't need to be sweaty like city bike and electric bike.The promotion of cycling is pretty much minimum in Australia.I think this time is a good chance for this as fuel price is so high.
I just read some articles that's explained why helmet in Australia market is so ugly. The answer is because Australian Standard is one of the highest standard for bicycle helmet. Helmet like this http://www.cyclechic.co.uk/shop/helmets-yakkay-c-22_36.html can be used in Australia. Actually if it can, it may attract young woman to go cycling again.
I am not totally agree if mandatory helmet is totally abolished, but actually I am thinking helmet law today is a bit ridiculous and need some change.
As someone who has been around for 52 years, there are many more cyclists around today than 1991!
IF Australia had the same cycling participation rates and cycling infrastructure AND the same cyclist death rates per million as Holland more than 800 cyclists would die in Australia every year.
This seems a good argument for keeping the laws and cycling infrastructure in Australia just as it is.
Very tongue in cheek