Monday, June 22, 2009
One of the great impediments to bringing in a public bike share/rental program here in sydney is our anti bicycle helmet laws. The Danish parliament has just overturned an attempt by some misguided politicians to bring in helmet laws in one of the World's safest cycling countries. This at a time when Danish people are getting fatter and cycling less! Bringing in helmet laws would make cycling seem dangerous and lots of people would stop riding. Luckily it got voted down.
The United Kingdom's National Cyclists Organisation, succeeded in lobbying against a similar law and published a brochure that they sent to politicians in which they wrote 7 reasons to oppose a child helmet law:
1. The principal threats to children's lives are obesity, heart disease and other illnesses resulting in large part from inactivity. Cycling has a key role to play in preventing these illnesses. Less cycling through a helmet law would aggravate the situation.
2. Cycling is a healthy activity, and the likelihood of serious head injury is widely exaggerated.
3. Cycling becomes safer the more people do it. Encouraging cycling is by far the most effective way of reducing risk of injury.
4. Helmet promotion deters cycling and leads to poorer health.
5. The benefits of helmets are greatly over-stated.
6. Many other everyday activities could benefit more from helmet-wearing than cycling.
7. A helmet law would make it a crime for children to take part in a health giving activity.