Sunday, August 5, 2012

We Should ALL Have Bicycle Helmet Laws.

Following a wonderful Olympic Cycling Gold Medal in the Time Trial, Brad Wiggins called for Britain to make wearing bike helmets the law. This was in response to a cycling death at the Olympic Village, where a cyclist was killed by an Olympic Bus.

In Ontario, where I live, we have had a helmet law since 1995. However, in a classic waffling move by the government of the day, it only applies to people under the age of 18. England, currently does NOT have any laws requiring helmets, but does "encourage" their use., a great site covering worldwide use of bike helmets and their benefits can be clicked through to see what various countries around the world are currently doing.

There really is not much doubt to the benefit of wearing a helmet in the event of a crash, either falling onto the road or colliding with a vehicle. Using Ontario as an example, the percentage of head injuries in child cyclists fell from 40.6% the year prior to the law, to just 21.2% five years after its enactment. Why it doesn't apply to all ages is somewhat beyond me. An effort to enact this for everyone in Ontario failed in 2005.

Arguments that requiring adults to wear helmets when cycling would decrease the number of cyclists, that they are too hot, or cumbersome are not justifiable. Using data "showing" fatalities are not reduced when wearing helmets is absurd.

Hopefully, Wiggins, as the Olympic and Tour de France champion, will help bring this issue to the forefront.

So, do you wear a helmet when you cycle?
Would making it law stop you from cycling?
Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. My 13-yo son just started riding a road bike for bike races & triathlons. Even when he's just biking slowly in our parking lot area, I require him to wear a helmet, not from fear of him falling off his bike but from a vehicle hitting him. I also just bought my own bike so I can trail him when he's practicing away from home. My helmet gives me a headache and starts to feel tighter as I get more tired or warm. So, I don't like wearing it but I'd rather have a headache that I can cure with 1 tablet of pain reliever than to get a concussion or worse, lose my brain. With or w/o the law req't, I will wear it for safety. Seatbelts irritates me too but I won't stop driving just because it is required by law.