On the Australian ABC it is reported that Associate Professor Chris Rissel, from Sydney University’s School of Public Health, has said that mandatory helmet laws should be revoked. Read the story.
“What it does is it puts people off cycling and makes people think that cycling’s a dangerous activity, even though it’s a really healthy thing to do and it increases people’s physical activity,” he said.
The amazing thing about the helmet laws is how passionately views are held by some people, always ready to trot out an anecdote in a comments section of a blog or news story, and to hold that anecdote up against all the data that says that mandatory helmet laws are counterproductive. If proof by anecdote was any proof at all we’d all be visiting the homeopath on the way to our blood-lettings and exorcisms.
There are also passionate people for the abolition of mandatory helmet wearing. Sue Abbott is one passionate lady who knows all about it. I think she is great.
Mandatory bike helmet laws are bad policy and seem to be the preserve of certain English speaking countries. The Europeans and the Japanese must think we are stupid for having them. They’d be right.
What can we do to get over this imposition against our liberties, and see sound science based policy? We’re facing a federal election in Australia (although check out the NZ Greens Cycling Policy and see they aren’t 100% aligned with best practice) and local elections soon in NZ. We need to vote for cyclists (well apart from Tony Abbott), and cycling friendly candidates. Do you know what your candidates views are on cycling policy? Ask them.