December 5, 2013

Comments (7)

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Why the reluctance to repeal?

The evidence seems to overwhelmingly in favour of getting rid of the helmet law.
Even the folks that claim the effacy of bike helmets in crashes are referring to a very small
group of the population, since so few people are getting injured on bicycles compared
to any mode of transportation.

Persons that are doings stunts or racing; like downhill racing,
that end up in hospital are further skewing the numbers,
because their risky behaviour are not common in cycle
commuting, but still gets counted as injuries in many of
these studies.

So it makes me wonder who is trying to stop the
repeal of the bicycle helmet law in British Columbia
and on what grounds?

chris 336 days ago

Melbourne Bike Share

The failure of the Melbourne bike share system had little to nothing to do with mandatory helmet laws but is an urban myth that works to mask the poor business planning that preceded the implementation of bike share in the city.
The Melbourne bike share disaster was a result of the extraordinarily high mode share of bikes, which is directly correlated to the existence of one of the world's most effective bicycle promotion organizations - Bicycle Network.
What is astounding is the fact that Melbourne bike share could fail in the city with a bicycle advocacy organization with 50,000 members and a solid track record of (social) marketing under the oversight of Canadian Dr. Doug Mckenzie-Mohr.
The same consulting company, Alta Planning, was responsible for the counter-intuitive conclusion that bike share would work in Calgary. The Transport Canada guidelines were conveniently hidden from the public in the Calgary debate.
Blaming helmet laws for the demise of a bike share program is not responsible social science research.

Gary Beaton 362 days ago

Extraordinarily high?

A 2% bicycling mode share is by no means "extraordinarily high". While there are other factors influencing the low use of Melbourne's bike share, including a lack of infrastructure and a limited service area, the restrictive helmet law and its negative effect on the perception of cycling as a safe mode of transportation is undeniable.

Duncan Hurd 361 days ago

Not just Melbourne

It's not just Melbourne, but Brisbane as well that have failed pbs systems. Sydney wants a PBS program as well, but the city won't consider having one unless the government grants a helmet exemption to its users, so I don't think it's unreasonable to assume a large portion of blame of failure of Melbounes pbs lies at the foot of Austrailias helmet law

Brad 357 days ago


A publication recently submitted to the BMJ addressed the helmet issue as one of a simple attitude towards people who use bicycles as transportation.

"The enduring popularity of helmets as a proposed major intervention for increased road safety may therefore lie not with their direct benefits—which seem too modest to capture compared with other strategies—but more with the cultural, psychological, and political aspects of popular debate around risk."

Brad more than 1 year ago


Saddens me to say but I understand the London scheme had a fatality. Not that a helmet would have helped.

Mike more than 1 year ago


Thank you for the comment. The article has been updated.

Duncan Hurd more than 1 year ago