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.
>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.
In France a minor is someone under the age of 18 - the helmet policy is for 12 and under.
Do you have some ridership surveys conducted in the 6 months since March 22 2017 when the law was introduced to support "no discernible change in the number of kids riding"?
"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 disagree on that point, and it certainly doesn't apply to me, a MHL supporter (at least on roads).
I never thought I'd live to see the day that I'd support any form of MHL. But Peter B your suggestion has some merit:-
"MHL only for roadies (at least on roads)."
That's something I could get behind. It's a win/win.
comments from readers were interesting, ranging from the car dominators to the more sensible and this stood out to me...
Here's Amsterdam in the 70s:
Due to previous stacks, a helmet is on for me 100% regardless of what bike or where I ride.
I would guess that if MHL is removed, is there a vague possibility that some inexperienced rider who hurts themselves would sue? saying that the damage was caused due to removal of MHL by government?
I have read various reports about injuries referring to "with / without helmets" on cyclists, so does the government have to say...yeh we are pulling the MHL...but there is still some risk and we recommend you wear one?
is the government
o the government based, does the government then have a requirement to advise people of
That's an interesting point of view Coppo! I know the Flemish Government (that's the Northern majority population Flemish speaking 'State' of Belgium) does recommend the use of bicycle helmets, but the country and individual states do not have MHL's.
Interestingly, trying to find some research to back me up, I came across this article from the "Sustainable mobility network", which claims the Walloon (the Southern minority French speaking state) Minister for mobility is looking into MHL. The article goes on to claim that the Dutch cycling association says that bicycle helmets make cycling more dangerous (putting that into google I come up with dozens of results that claim bicycle helmets make cycling more dangerous https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%E2%80%98De+fietshelm+vergroot+d...
De Fietsersbond.nl (Dutch Cycling Ass.)(https://www.fietsersbond.nl/nieuws/fietsersbond-onderzoekt-helpt-de...) states that a hit to the head (no cause is given) can result in three types of injury; wound, concussion, brain damage, with the last being the most severe. They claim that it is this type of injury, brain damage, that a bicycle helmet often does not protect against. The pdf goes on to explain that brain damage is caused internally. At impact, as in a road side accident, the brain, which sits loosely within the skull, is shaken and banged against the skull. Brain damage is prevented by slowing down the shock movement of the brain, a principle that is achieved through an airbag. The information gets worse for those who believe in MHL... The pdf goes on to explain that bicycle helmets are designed to absorb shocks at low speeds up to 20km/h, so a bicycle standing still or going slowly. A car travelling at speeds of 30km/h or above WILL CAUSE brain damage. The report goes on to say that a helmet may help just slightly, but will probably never avoid brain damage. For children they actually site Australian research claiming that in AU 1 in 2 children between 5-8 do not wear the bicycle helmet correctly or wear a wrong size, both reducing the efficacy of the helmet.
Finally the report sites Australie again, on the question why MHL in AU has led to more bicycle accidents: "Waarom heeft in Australië de helmplicht tot meer ongelukken geleid? ‘Voor alle verkeersdeelnemers geldt: SAFETY IN NUMBERS. Hoe meer fietsers er zijn, hoe veiliger het wordt voor fietsers. Hoe minder er wordt gefietst, hoe hoger de ongevalrisico’s worden."
i.e. Why has Australian MHL led to more accidents? The same goes for all road users: safety in numbers. The more cyclists there are, the safer it becomes for cyclists. As less people cycle, accident risks increase.
The report points to a helmet experiment in Zeeland, a part of the Netherlands and suggests they should invest in safer infrastructure that will increase participation, instead of handing out free helmets.
So should the Australian state governments abolish MHL's? Yes, but more than anything they should invest in a safer cycling environment. The 1-meter rules are a good start. Educating non cycling road users would go a whole lot further.
Looking at another source, which appears to be based on the above from the Dutch cycling Assoc. (https://www.fietsvakantiepagina.nl/blog/fietsersbond-fietshelm-verg...), they claim that helmets do protect against skull base fractures, which in itself is a traumatic fracture usually caused by a severe accident). This article also claims that not only half of all cycling children in AU wear their helmet incorrectly or wear the wrong size, but in general half of the entire cycling population in AU doesn't get it right! They go on to claim that AU bicycle use has declined 30% after MHL's were introduced and that risk of an accident for cyclists has increased by 10% (from those two figures they go on the calculate the combined risk for cyclists to have risen 50% ~ not sure they're maths are that good?)
I just wish more cyclists and especially non-cyclists would watch this video carefully https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGsM-XIuGwo&sns=em
some good info..
You know I even saw a thing a few months back where I heard a town had parade, blocked roads etc...and one of the clowns in the parade got pinged later for not wearing a helmet.
not sure it thats true, but the line up to prove it was him would have been a hoot.
Police had fined the 65-year-old $433 for riding a bicycle recklessly and $325 for not wearing a helmet while he was participating in last year’s Rhododendron Day parade.
First paragraph of that article:
A Blackheath artist who was fined $750 for recklessly riding a bicycle without a helmet in last year’s Rhododendron Festival parade has had the fines dismissed.
Glad common sense prevailed!