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.
Yes, but some of those cyclists in other countries have accidents and incur head injuries that may have been avoided or ameliorated had they been wearing a helmet. I really do not understand why some people want to ride a bike without a helmet, it makes no sense. And please don't cite civil liberties, because there are no doubt many laws that could equally be argued impinge on peoples rights to choose that have full support from those same people who are against helmet regulation.
They may have been avoided. They may not have. Does that justify a helmet law? Would you advocate an all-ages helmet law in those European countries with high cyclist numbers?
People want to ride a bike without a helmet because they know for themselves whether a helmet is warranted. There are many different types of cycling in the same way that there are many different types of motoring. When you a riding at speed on a racing bike with your head forward, a helmet is probably a good idea and you will choose to wear one. It is a very different thing riding slowly on a sit-up bike with your centre of gravity much further back. If you were to fall off, which is rare, it is physically impossible to fall forward on to your head. In the same way, you would wear a helmet to drive in the Clipsal 500 but not to drive to Woolworths.
You personally might think a helmet should be worn when you're riding any type of bike. Not everyone agrees with you. The question is whether it should be made a crime to ride a bike without a helmet. That is what we have done in this country. The effect of the law was immediate. Cyclist numbers dropped. They have recovered to an extent but only among parts of the population - mainly men. There are still almost no teenage girls for example who cycle regularly.
The law has been a failure. Cyclist numbers reduced and there was no significant change at all in rates of head injuries. Australia is routinely used as an example of why helmet laws should not be introduced.
You stated that "People want to ride a bike without a helmet because they know for themselves whether a helmet is warranted." What an incredible statement. This suggests, falsely I would suggest, that people always consider their own safety in a rationale and logical manner. I guess then that it is also true that people know for themselves when they are driving too fast, or when it is safe enough to use a mobile phone whilst driving, or when not to wear a seat belt, and of course when a child needs to be restrained in a car child restraint and when it would be ok to sit on mums lap in the front seat like in the 1960's.
You also stated that "it is physically impossible to fall forward on to your head." if you are sitting upright as apposed to riding a road bike bum up head down. Sorry, but this does not make sense as there are as many ways of falling and hitting your head as there are ways to skin a cat, regardless of speed or riding position.
The law is not a failure, it is people who have failed, for the sake of messed up hair dare I suggest, to recognised their own safety needs when cycling.
If you accept that cyclist numbers reduced then you have to agree the law was a failure. The societal cost from a drop in cyclist numbers outweighs any perceived benefit. Also, if the laws worked then please explain why there was no corresponding drop in injury rates.
How does the rest of the world manage to get by just fine without bicycle helmet laws? In most cases, they have more people cycling, more of the time and more safely. Not just MAMILs but everyone. How is that? I still do not understand why we are so different from the rest of the world.
Ok Edward, over and out. Luckliy, the laws are there for your safety as well, happy riding.
No worries. You too. :)
I see the link between MHL and obesity and sedentary lifestyle diseases has also popped up again in the OP. MHLs don't stop anyone from walking, swimming, jogging, going to the gym, playing squash etc etc etc. Anyone linking MHLs and a lack of opportunity to exercise and keep fit are deluding themselves and clouding the issue.
Linking MHLs to one particular party is also clouding the issue, both major parties have had many opportunities to change the law but neither have taken the plunge.
Personally I choose to wear a helmet, what others choose to do with their heads whilst cycling is of little concern to me but while the anti helmet brigade keep bringing up spurious arguments they will probably never be taken seriously.
Most people would be quite aware that sedentary lifestyle diseases are increasing in this particular case there is clear preference to discourage riding a bike in favour of driving a car. One is an active activity one is a sedentary activity.
Riding a bicycle for transport - to visit a friend or shopping etc is incidental exercise. It is un-intended and therefore can be expected to be in addition to any other activity. Driving a car or being driven in one is a sedentary activity's.
But if you can replace driving with riding you get a net increase in exercise. Favouring motor vehicle usage over bicycle use as a means of transport by making one more impractical or uncomfortable than the other it leads to a net reduction in physical activity and can bee seen as contributing factor to a growing problem.
It's is quite well acknowledged including recent surveys that helmet laws discourage the usage of bikes.
If you look at the above article the trend analysis indicates that had they not introduced a mandatory helmet law's in 1992 the number of people cycling today would be over 100% higher than it presently is.
There are many many obstacles to cycling in this country. The most obvious is our unfriendly and dangerous roads. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the repeal of helmet laws will suddenly turn Australia into a cycling mecca overnight.
I fail to see how bike riding is being discouraged over driving. To drive my car I have to wear a seat belt, have a licence, have insurance, pay rego and fuel costs and hope to find a car park at the other end of the journey.
The "imposition" of wearing a lightweight helmet and jumping on the bike seems a lot easier than that.
Edited to remove typo.
As I asked in a previous post are there any credible arguments that removing mandatory helmet laws would increase the number of cyclists?
doesn't address this issue
The Cycling Promotion Fund recently did a survey of 1000 Australian adults about riding a bike for transport:
Those who do not cycle often but would like to were asked about disincentives (Table 5 page 5) as were those who do not use a bike for transport (Table 11 page 7). Some of the reasons seem to overlap. The most common reason is, as you would expect, unsafe road conditions but helmet laws seem to be a barrier too.
I do not know of any other studies. Personally I think the state of roads is a much bigger disincentive. Both need to be dealt with at the same time.