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.
The charts you provided explain very little by themselves at all.
I would be interested to know the source of your posted charts ?
what year are they from ?
What is High threat to life based on ? opinion - just what kind of data is this is it mode adjusted to account for popularity of cycling for example ?
I came across this which i assumed may use similar sources to your unreferenced chart data ???
INJURY RESEARCH AND STATISTICS SERIES
Number 56 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra Cat. no. INJCAT 132 Trends in serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia
2000–01 to 2007–08 Geoff Henley and James Harrison 2011
The NT has overall a slightly worse road safety outcome compared to other states in most modes of transport including walking. !
Please see Appendix 1: and the explanations of what these data actually mean.
Note that There are Zero recorded cyclist deaths in the NT according to the online database here though it may only have accurate data for more recent years ?
The relative popularity of cycling in the NT would naturally result in more people injured cycling per 100000 population ie if you have double the % of bike users you should get double the number of
injured bike users - what is remarkable is that NT has many more bike users but only a small increase in overall injury rates i.e. they are actually pretty safe compared to some other types of transport.
And the end of the day it's should be your own choice to wear a helmet or not.
People riding are unlikely to hurt anyone else where as driving instead they most certainly can - why would you possibly discourage someone in any way from a healthy activity of low risk to everyone including themselves. When the alternative may be an activity which could very easily harm other people.
I think it would great if When the helmet law is repealed that many people will still wear them - Free Choice is the way forward here anyone who starts riding should be encouraged. You worry about them don't worry 98% the world's adults manage just fine without a helmet law and I don't think Australians are any less capable of making their own decisions.
We should be concentrating any safety efforts into more productive areas like infrastructure improvement and driver awareness rather than punishing the potential victims of other peoples infractions even when they are perfectly safe.
Matt Yes I do get involved in politics I joined the LDP.
Why because they are the most prominent party who support free choice on helmets and I have run as a candidate myself.
Anyone is very welcome to join it is free.
Stephen states "so if more people are happy to ride when the helmet laws are repealed that is good for everyone because riding is good whether you wear a helmet or not." I would suggest riding is only good if you are alive to do so. Ever wondered why the road toll is a third lower now than in the seventies. Legislated road rules and car safety features, thats why. Reality is, that given a choice, people dont always make the right decesions for their own safety, or the safety and well being of the wider community, eg Mal Hyde was on 891 other day, dismayed that in a third of last years road deaths the occupants were not wearing seat belts.
Argue about helmets on the internet..or ponder this.http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white
Hey NotTheFirst Brett that link is great
So the conclusion I should take from this is that I will be not get a head injury riding on a bike path, riding slow or on a borrowed/loan bike.
At the end of the day if the anti helmet fraternity where really that passionate then they would go without them. Has anyone turned up to a group ride without a lid to show their passion for the cause? Where are the petitions? The anti lid rallies? Who is the advocate? Who is the MP lobbied to get it through parliament?
Civil disobedience has fuelled many causes to victory if you are so keen step up.
"So the conclusion I should take from this is that I will be not get a head injury riding on a bike path, riding slow or on a borrowed/loan bike." - Absolutely correct according the the arguments put forward by the people who want the mandatory helmet laws repealed. You should also add to the list "just riding to the local shops and back "
Someone once wrote "those who think repealing helmet laws means that you will no longer be able to wear one should be forced to wear one at all times by their minders"
That includes in the car in the shower when walking , all sports of course.
We are not anti - helmet we are anti helmet law.
In fact I recommend you wear one of these at all times when driving.
And yes there have been bike helmet protest rides and Yes we may be organising one here in SA at some stage.
Just in case you are wondering I have stepped up to it - i hope you will support us.
It's free to join SA's newest political party who oppose the bike helmet law as do many other
forward thinking people.
What nonsense! Easy to say 'lets not wear a helmet' when you've not been in an accident where wearing one has limited injury. I was definitely one of the those people, until I had a big crash (not at speed before you ask) and the helmet stopped me getting a head injury!
Its a necessary evil, like seatbelts! Get over it!
"Yarwood aims to loosen strap on bike helmets"
For all the pro helmet freedom people out there, this article in todays Adelaide's independent newspaper InDaily is a step in the right direction.
Let Yarwood live with the consequences of no helmet laws in SA
Charles this is a very positive step you seem critical perhaps because you are unaware of the benefits..
More bike users = less pollution, less wasted parking spaces for cars, less city residents affected by pollution(motor traffic is the main source) , less traffic congestion , more people using the city - less pedestrians injured by cars (every person who chooses a bike over a car for travel is one less car on the road) and less people injured driving cars or motorbikes or bikes.
Now a stupid short sighted manager will attempt to make their department look good at the expense of the overall profit and long term sustanability so lets compare not on a narrow sighted department basis but the overall
Australia's automobile dependency is not by chance it is a result of policy's like Mandatory Bike Helmet Laws - this law is an artificial barrier limiting the number of people who ride bikes, It would cost nothing to repeal this law it's just updating a piece of paper after all.
Can I offer some statistics about the Netherlands and Australia. Now while both countries have plenty of car ownership netherlands is known for it's great successs integrating the use of the bicycles for transport and is among the safest places in the world for bike users.
In AU (total Population ~22M)
35 bike users died (most of them were wearing helmets) .
173 Pedestrians died
876 auto drivers and passengers died.
205 motorcycle riders or pasengers died (most of them also wearing helemts).
Total for 2011 is 1291 (58 per million)
Netherlands (total population ~16.3M)
246 car user deaths
162 bike users
105 moped+motorcycle (approx +-3% )
Total for 2010 is 640 (39 per million)
Overall while hundreds of people die in both countries it is only a small number of total deaths pa compared to many other causes of death like cancer and heart disease.
Yes in AU there are less bike fatalities as we have far less people riding bikes. Seeking to have zero bike user deaths at the expense of reduced number of bike users however is to ignore the incease in pedestrian, motorcycle and car users deaths and every other negative effect that happens as a result.
Mandatory bicycle Helmet laws discourage bike use, this law is selfish, counter-productive and narrow minded. The helmet law ideology may sound good but the result is disastrous.
FACT is most bike users and pedestrians (and ~50% of motorcycle users) are killed by car's or trucks - and helmets dont stop this happening.
There is a risk of injury in everything we do but if S.Yarwood can do a helmet freedom zone in adelaide more people will ride and it is likley the overall effect is going to be positive. If you increase bike usage and overall reduce the other traffic of people walking, driving or on motorbike and get a net reduction in the number of injury/killed plus a whole bunch of other benefits we all win.
This is a cycling forum and we know that cycling is a positive and safe efficient means of transport which does not harm other people.
The mandatory helmet law is an anti-choice narrow focus counter-productive effort which discourage's bike usage and harms our freedom and safety.
I ask myself why would any bike user support the mandatory helmet laws which represses their own rights and put themselves and other people in greater danger and cause many other negative effects. it is clear there is great misunderstanding out there.
What would be far more useful is wear a helmet yourself if that is your choice - but at the same time oppose mandatory helmet laws so that more people will ride and you and everyone else can then enjoy the overall positive outcome that would produce.
Some bike users have a kind of misconception that being opposed to bike helmet laws means that you are opposed to wearing helemts let me assure you it is quite possible to wear a helmet AND oppose mandatory helmet laws.
This is not a compulsory helmet forum, we should not promote mandatory bicycle helmet usage over bicycle usage. I for one would rather have more people riding bikes than driving cars simply for my own safety if nothing else.
If you are one of the few people who would prefer to see less people riding and just so you can sell more foam helmets while ignoring all the negatives -perhaps join a compulsory helmet forum instead of a bike forum.
If S.Yarwood can get helmet law exemptions in place we should all be encouraging him.
Thanks Stephen, but I am very aware of the benfits of wearing a helmet. You see, your fundamental tenet that cycling is safe is wrong. Also, if I wish to promote compulsory helmet laws then I will, in this or any other forum , thankyou.