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  1. 1

    Nik Dow

    As this article rightly points out, bicycle helmet laws engender controversy, with plenty of views on both sides. At the same time, and particularly in the light of the recent paper which shows that only a tiny decrease in cycling caused by helmet laws is enough to outweigh the supposed benefits of helmets, the proponents of helmet compulsion have to maintain that helmet laws do not lead to fewer trips by bicycle.

    These two facts are not compatible. How can it be maintained that helmet laws do not deter cycling, when the issue generates controversy and volumes of comment on all media articles that mention the topic? The fact that so many people feel so strongly about the issue points to the deterrence effect of the law.

    As a result it is now clearer than ever before during this 20+ year experiment with public health that the laws are harmful and should be removed. You can support this change by signing the online petition at

  2. 2

    Tim Churches

    On the Urbanist blog (a Crikey sibling to Croakey), Dr Paul Davies has published two comprehensive reviews of the actual data on the effect of the introduction of mandatory helmet laws on cycling participation in Victoria and NSW in 1990 and 1991 – see and – worth a read for anyone interested in the contentious mandatory helmets issue, which unfortunately seems so often to overshadow debate on more important cycling issues, such as the need for much greater funding for cycling infrastructure, better training for the traffic and civil engineers responsible for implementing such cycling infrastructure, better marketing of cycling infrastructure (especially to non-cyclists, who often regard such infrastructure as a waste of money and car-parking space), and law reform to afford better protection to vulnerable road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists.


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