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.
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.
while wearing a helmet did rate a mention in some of the responses usually it was not a major reason.
it seems that having cycle friendly developments is more likely to get people cycling or cycling more.
it seems that having safe cycling conditions is more likely to get people cycling or cycling more.
this raises the issue does wearing a helmet make cycling safer so encourage cycling?
for new developments such is planed for castle plaza (on the ex hill's) site to have adequate good bicycle parking as a condition of the development seems worthwhile.
perhaps this should include long term more secure bike parking for workers at the new shops.
while encouraging cycling is a noble cause citing helmet laws as a major reason why people don't cycle seems inaccurate.
But i can't buy a new car these days without ABS, EPS, seat belts, air bags, side intrusion bars, curtain air bags etc.Then there are all the TV ads about about speeding, drink driving, railway crossings etc. Seems to me we are being told cars are dangerous things to drive but it isn't putting anyone off buying and using them.
This survey is very enlightening .
It clearly shows state of the roads & lack of decent bike lanes as the biggest disincentives to more people cycling .
Unfortunately we can't do much about the weather ,but can we change some Adelaide drivers negative treatment of cyclists on our roads ?
We can't change the state of the roads or the lack of bike lanes overnight this work is ongoing and requires time and enormous expense it never ends - but repealing the helmet law is easy and would save money and time.
There seems to be an almost religious belief that helmet laws are actually necessary. Why ? Where is the evidence of benefit or to show they protect people in serious accidents there is none - that is why we are almost the only country who has introduced them - it was an experiment but it is clearly a failure which many negatives including a large reduction in bike usage - it is time to end this experiment 20 years of persecution is enough.
Regards Changing attitudes of drivers one way to do that is to make riding more spontaneous and less uncomfortable by repealing helmet laws. Drivers who sometimes ride are probably more aware of other bike riders. Also drivers who instead chose to riding a bike instead are not driving cars which is yet another benefit of repealing the helmet laws.
I think that article is very dubious . In my opinion the Trends , figures & statistics quoted in it are very open to interpretation ,and aren't all related to the introduction of Mandatory Helmet Laws .
can somebody wake me up when the cycling jersey etiquette post cranks up again?
I want to try to understand this issue better: is the argument to get rid of mandatory helmet laws entirely?
The adds you link to show either no cars in motion, or a critical mass of cyclists with huge wide open bike lanes with no cars crossing into them.
The article you link to from Cambridge argues:
" ‘Looking at evidence, it does not matter if people are wearing a helmet or not, any serious accident on a bike is likely to kill them,’ said Dr Hooper. His team also pointed to evidence in Australia where 80 per cent of cyclists killed or seriously injured were wearing helmets."
This is cherry picking and mis-representing data. The data doesn't indicate the number of lives saved by wearing helmets. Indeed, "killed or seriously injured" doesn't really have any meaning without being broken down to numbers of each. Surely with 80% in that bracket, the number killed would have increased had they not been wearing a helmet.
Here in Australia, where the love affair with the car and car ownership is undying, the critical mass to have full width lanes dedicated to cyclists 24/7 is a long way off - and this is the only circumstance where I think it would be safe to ride on the road without a helmet. If you think we will achieve the critical mass that might be required to make such changes in our capital cities, I would be able to understand your perspective.
I wonder if the residents of Copenhagen would want to ride helmet free in Adelaide, without the space they are used to? Does anyone know if such a community has been surveyed, to find out that if MHLs were introduced how many people would cease riding their bikes and prefer then to use a car?
I don't think we can seriously look at the argument offered somewhere in this discussion about the decline in the number of bicycle riders since the introduction of MHL, as there has been an even greater increase in car numbers and congestion; it is not simply a matter of people swapping one for the other as the argument was framed - risks have been increasing due to factors like road rage etc - people have mentioned elsewhere about there being so much hatred out there on the road... I read a study that showed road rage incidences increased with decreasing speed limits. I hope I'd struggle to find a cyclist who would agree to increase the speed limits based on that.
I dont know if you have ridden a bike in Darwin or anywhere else in the NT; I have.
I used to live in a place called Pine Creek, 230kms SE of Darwin on the Stuart Highway. Riding through a sleepy town like that with no helmet? Hardly any traffic, wide open roads and good visibilty.... Even in Darwin and suburbs, the roads have wider lanes, wider bike lanes, and bike paths seperated from roads by meters of grass as they have the space for it. Up there, riding your bike is far safer. I still always wore a helmet - NT is (or was at the time) the beer consumption capital of the world, and you never never know...