Apparently Bicycle Network after supporting MHL is having a rethink:
Bicycle Network, which boasts a 50,000-strong membership, has supported mandatory helmet wearing for people who ride bikes since Australia introduced them in the early 1990s.
It is now undertaking a policy review to assess its long-standing position on the issue — which could lead to a change.
And there is a survey:
MHL has been a very polarizing issue among cyclists, it will be most interesting what the survey finds.
I read this quote in the Herald Sun the other day.
When the laws were introduced in the early 1990s, around a third of cyclists disappeared overnight.
Which if I do a quick calculation based of the 44% dying early stats that means the helmet laws have in fact sent 2,128,000 thousand Australians to an early death. or at the very least diabetes, heart disease , impotence etc.
Yes, the positives of cycling with regards to health are typically understated and mostly overlooked. A simple easy method of exercise for regular A to B type stuff.
I'm delighted Bicycle Network is having another look at the helmet laws. Many people think a change in the law would mean people would be told to not wear helmets; this could not be further from the truth. It would come down to personal choice like 99% of the world. I'd still wear one when sporty lycra riding but if I'm riding to the shops, the beach, along a trail with my family I MAY choose not to wear one. More cyclists = safer for all. Just look at NSW where rider numbers have fallen and injury rates have gone up! People need to look at the science not the anecdotes.
Here is some science from Canada where some provinces have MHL and others don't. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3817
The survey allows a range of responses. I responded that I am very much in favour of MHL on roads, but open to relaxing it on paths. If they end up saying something like "77% of cyclists want the law to change", I hope they qualify who actually chose what option.
I broke it down to recreational and traffic-jamming (I should have also added MtBiking) - one I would wear a helmet the other probably not.
I'm in favour of a reduction in penalties for no helmet wearing to say $20, with the option for the police to issue cautions especially to overseas visitors. At the moment the cops can get a bit gung ho at cycling events, happily hitting every transgression with a large fine.
Watching ABC News24 at work this morning and the Bicycle Network CEO was being interviewed. Apparently their survey has racked in quite a lot of submissions.
So under the new management we can talk about MHLs :-)
You seem to have written:-
"It is near enough to certain that bicycle helmets are the cause of magpies indiscriminately swooping all helmeted cyclists"
such a simple thing blown out by all the government depts.
like I said on my Bike Network survey:
- mandatory helmets for kids under 18 years (kids don't know any better)
- >18 years old ...it's your choice.. you smash your head ,I won't lose sleep
- people who don't complain about helmets typically are those that grew up with motorbikes or riding MTB's, where you often see the marks on the side of your helmet from trail hazards or when you come off.
"I agree on all three counts. Mandatory helmets for minors is a policy that is picking up momentum in Europe too, France has introduced it with no discernible change in the number of kids riding and other nations are looking on with interest."
Belgium hasn't legislated for helmets, but there is certainly a government led initiative to persuade cyclists to use helmets. The helmet lobby is in favour. So far I don't think it's having a big uptake. But the attitude from vehicle drivers towards cyclists is much more positive which may be a factor.