No Helmet Law is my site detailing why bicycle helmet laws are a bad idea. A UK helmet law was defeated in 2004 and the current Government shows no obvious signs of any appetite for nanny-state legislation but given the recent fuss about two head injuries sustained in the first three quarters of a million Borisbike journeys it’s unlikely that the liddites are going away any time soon. Like spoiled children they will continue howling until they get what they want, and as the experience in Australia shows it is not enough to simply prove that that stated premise of the law has not been delivered, that the levels of cycling massively declined as a result, and that head injury rates rose; it has taken the travails of Australian attempts at bike hire schemes to really start the pressure on the Aussie government to repeal this manifestly failed law.
To be clear, I don’t blame the Aussies. They didn’t know that they (and New Zealand) would provide the clinching proof that by forcing people to wear helmets, you don’t turn them or their journeys into the kind of people and journeys where helmets are worn voluntarily. It was an easy mistake to make… the first time. But not now. We know better now, and although the liddites still use the infamous and discredited 88% figure in pressing for laws, legislators are onto them and so are the cycle groups. I hope the day of lid laws has passed but the danger is not over until the zealots give up, and experience shows that they probably won’t while they still have breath in their bodies.
Cycling is no more dangerous than half a dozen activities we undertake without a second thought, top of the list being walking along the pavement. The first thing a Liddite has to do in order to promote the pro-helmet agenda is to ensure that people do not realise that cycling is safe. By building the false perception that cycling is dangeorus, raising the false fear of permanent brain damage, and implying that helmets are a solution to this without acknowledging the difference between the helmet test of a drop from 1.5m and the source of serious injuries, being hit by a car with substantial closing speed, they have created a fantasy world which has very little connection to reality. They propose helmet laws as a way of moving reality towards their fantasy world. I suggest we do the opposite and force them to accept reality.