Personal choice – that’s what safety, awareness and advocacy group Bicycle Network recently said on the thorny topic of mandatory helmet laws for bike riders.
The organisation stated that adults should be given the opportunity to ride helmet-free when using footpaths or cycle paths, with CEO Craig Richards saying it was ‘high time for a rethink of state helmet policy.’
“Australia is one of only two countries in the world with fully enforced mandatory helmet law,” Mr Richards said.
“The number of people who ride a bike isn’t increasing and there has been no decrease in the number of bike-rider fatalities. It’s clear that our bike policies aren’t working, so it’s important that we review everything. Our recommendation is to give people the freedom to choose if they wear a helmet in low-risk circumstances, because that’s what bike riding is ultimately all about — freedom.”
We asked Bicycling Australia readers their thoughts and were literally swamped with responses. Some of the replies are listed below – and we are eager to hear from you.
Brett Wheatland Your head, your decision, I would suggest using your head when making the decision.
Aaron Brooke Ask the rest of the world what they think of mhl…
Justin Hillis That’s great Bicycling Australia Magazine, keep wearing yours. However, I would like to have the choice when making short, low risk trips around suburban and inner city areas. To each their own.
Nick Andjelic Ask a cyclist who has had an accident on or off road where their helmet was cracked whether they would be prepared to experiment and endure the same accident without a helmet and also not request medical attention if injured due to non helmet wearing.
Linda Millington-hall I’ve seen a helmet crack on a bike path at slow speed. Wrong angle, hit your head, damage done. Is a helmet really that bad? lets abolish seat belts if we’re just going around the corner at slow speed. i will continue to use mine on the road and on my MTB on leisure trails.
Alan Jones I would never get on my bike without a helmet. Whilst they are at it why not give boat owners the choice of whether or not to wear a life jacket, businesses the choice of whether or not to use safety equipment and drivers the choice whether or not to obey the speed limit.
James Mahon MHL killed cycling. Inactivity kills people. Bicycle helmets might help if you crash – or might not – don’t rely on PPE. This distracts from actual safety.
Over to you … Have your say below.