Marx wrote:There is an assumption that not having to wear a helmet will encourage more bicycle riders, and this assumption is attempting to account for a magnitude in increase of people riding bicycles that seem unlikely, but no, we can’t say that because it always becomes personal doesn’t it.
For the handful of people who’s life had, ever so slightly, averted a tragic change for the worst because of the use of a bicycle helmet, then this is reason enough to put this issue to bed & move on to the type of improvements which will enhance bicycle safety, instead of taking things back to safety levels of the 1970s.
I don't agree. We have good evidence that helmet compulstion (not use) discourages cycling. We have the evidence from this country that cycling fell by 1/3 when MHLs were introduced in the 90's. This was not a gradual decline which can be explained by other societal factors such as increased reliance on cars etc, it was a sharp downturn of 1/3 the year after helmets became mandatory.
Then we have the various bike share schemes around the world. The only ones that aren't doing famously are the ones where one is required to wear a helmet.
There's also the survey carried out by Bicycle New South Wales where about 20% of non-cycling respondants claimed that having to wear a helmet put them off cycling.
So for me at least I'm quite confident that helmets deter cycling and we have fewer people cycling as a result. The BMJ recently revised their benefit/risk ratio such that it's 77:1, for morbidity. Now please pay attention, this bit's important.
If it's true that for that handful of poeple who have had trajedy averted becaues they wore a helmet (unlikely, unprovable, but let's allow it) then that means that for every one of those people, several people have a lower quality of life due to their choice not to ride because of the helmet laws.
That's what's happening. That is not equitable. Wear a helmet, I don't care. Don't stop people from riding by telling them they must wear a helmet when it is demonstrably healther for them to ride; helmet or no; than to not ride.
What part of that fails to resonate with you?
Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . .