Wearing Cycle Helmet


Caroline Weintz,
Studied Curtain University, Western
Australia.
From Uddingston, Scotland.
13 November, 2015.

I was at an event and heard a speech by the leader of the City of Edinburgh Council who stated that he would like to see people do away with wearing cycle helmets totally.  He went on to say that he hoped that the UK never became “like Australia where the wearing of cycle helmets has directly resulted in the number of people cycling decrease significantly.”

An utterly unsubstantiated and irresponsible statement to make that is not supported by any evidence.  I lived in Western Australia when they first brought in the compulsory wearing of cycle helmets – there were rumours at the time that people would not ride their bikes because of it.  I certainly didn’t see any evidence of that when I lived there.  Looking at the latest surveys, Western Australia actually now has the highest participation rates of recreational cycling in the whole of Australia with numbers rising year on year.  Indeed, in states that introduced compulsory wearing of cycle helmets immediately there were significant reductions in head injuries to cyclists.

The anti-helmet lobby in Scotland, is not matched by similar outcries in Australia simply because the vast majority of individuals know that wearing a ‘stack hat’ gives a bike rider a much higher chance of avoiding a head injury.  The irresponsible and unsubstantiated claims by people like the leader of City of Edinburgh Council regarding the wearing of bike helmets can only be aligned with those idiots who back in the 1970s who claimed that wearing a seat belt in a car was likely to do more harm than good to people involved in road traffic accidents. Indeed, it can also be aligned to the ignorant and irresponsible claims in the 1960s that compulsory wearing of a crash helmet on a motorbike was not necessary.

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Perhaps the leader should speak to the parents of a childhood friend of one of my daughters who lost their only child when he was hit at low speed by a car whilst he was out riding his bike – the 9 year old died instantly from horrific head injuries from his head hitting the curb. Perhaps he should speak to head injury doctors, or even Police Scotland officers who have the unenviable job of seeing the true horrors of severe head injuries of cyclists who have sustained horrific head injuries when they come off their bikes.

Perhaps before using other countries experiences to support his outrageous and irresponsible claims, political leaders in particular should look at INDEPENDENT evidence based facts rather than warped anecdotal skewed information to back up their dangerous and quite frankly, out of touch and out of date extremist calls.

But there again, what do you expect from a Labour Politician?

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