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Time to let ‘hat hair haters’ cycle to work

  • December 2nd, 2015

Cycling Action Network’s bulletin today reports a major Canadian study showing no link between helmet laws and head injury rates. Yet again.

Has New Zealand a politician brave enough to repeal the law that lets  police prosecute non-wearers of helmets? The Green’s Julie Anne Genter should be on to this. So many people would like to cycle but find the helmet too irritating to store when shopping etc. Others worry about “hat hair” from the helmet.

I’d be surprised if the number of cycling injuries even after removal of helmet compulsion would exceed the numbers whose fat, strokes, and other disabilities would be avoided if they had the habit of cycling.

The bulletin reports that the:

“Canadian study has found no link between cycle helmet legislation and head injuries, and has recommended governments focus on providing bike infrastructure to protect cyclists instead.
Between 2006 – 2011 the study recorded hospitalisation data from different Canadian jurisdictions, some with mandatory helmet laws, some without. Of an average 3690 hospital administrations per year in riders aged 12 and over there were 622 hospitalisations per 100 million bike trips in Canada.
The study found helmet legislation did not reduce head injury rates, while female riders were injured less, and areas with a greater proportion of cycling trips saw lower injury rates. The CTC’s Roger Geffen says the study provides further evidence cycle helmets aren’t a panacea for cycle safety.”

I’d still wear my helmet most of my cycling time, to reduce the odds of a ‘no-brainer’. But I’d like to be able to stop worrying when I forget.

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