Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Academia & Bicycle Helmet Laws

During this past week there has been some discussion concerning Associate Professor Chris Rissel’s study published in the August edition of the “Journal of Australasian College of Road Safety”.

Featuring on the Croakey Health Blog, Tim Churches' article and Chris Rissel's response have made for interesting reading - in fact one could say they lend further weight to our important campaign to revoke bicycle helmet laws.

To me the continuing academic debate on the matter only confirms how ridiculous it is that we are still legally compelled to wear a bicycle helmet in Australia.

Why is it that our nation struggles with this notion when most nation states across the globe openly acknowledge that mandatory helmet laws raise issues of civil liberties? Accordingly the decision ‘to helmet or not’ in those countries is left to their individual citizens. It is time this practice was adopted here, and relinquished to the realm of choice.

...and as a little addendum; who is 'Wade Wallace'? - poor darling needs a set of trainer wheels rather than a helmet!!!!

Furthermore, after watching the TAC's salutary holiday reminder, whatever our positions on helmets are, they're completely irrelevant in the current modus operandi of Australian motor-vehicle culture.


  1. After reading Wallace's article, I often wonder if these people lobbying for our helmet laws in Australia have ever witnessed the realities of cycling outside of Australia.

    The thing that strikes me as most amazing is what the anti-freedom lobby don't realise: if their argument for bike helmet compulsion is sound, then it is also sound for other protective, preventative laws such as car helmet laws, hat & sunscreen laws, bullet proof vest laws, prohibition of alcohol, junk food & tobacco etc.

    The simply fact that some people are so vocal in supporting laws that don't work for an activity that has a fatality rate of about 35 people per year, while ignoring preventable fatalities in the thousands and tens of thousands in other activities, shows just how far common sense is from the issue of mandatory helmet laws.

  2. Wade Wallace believes in helmets and bicycle registration, and maintains that cycling is dangerous and that only experienced riders should cycle in traffic.

    The guy represents just about everything that is wrong with cycling advocacy these days. It reminds of just how fun cycling used to be before these so-called experts came along to ruin it for all of us.

  3. "what the anti-freedom lobby don't realise: if their argument for bike helmet compulsion is sound, then it is also sound for other protective, preventative laws"

    I'm afraid you are wrong on this one. Some of do realize it. In fact they're counting on it.

    Smell the boot.

  4. ...must be awful for the 'likes of Wade Wallace' when the 'likes of me' ('festivally-cuddly' middle-aged mum!) get around on bicycles telling the world it's 'care-free & easy-peasy', and the world suddenly sees that it is - ouch! I imagine the pruning of one's manhood is always a trifle uncomfortable!

    "Get used to it, Wade, the road is ours too and we like it very much!"