An open letter to Bicycle Network regarding its call for a review of laws that make it compulsory to wear a bicycle helmet when riding in Victoria.
You will never understand how lives can be changed in the split second you choose not to wear your helmet.
Your brain is the most vital organ you have, I do not understand why you would not want to do everything in your power to protect it.
Riding on a bike path – you can be hit by a reversing car and you still cross roads – are you safest without your helmet?
In the bush – I’ve fallen off plenty of times avoiding an obstacle – is my brain the most protected without a helmet?
I know this from experience and there are hundreds more like me and thousands more not so lucky.
If you’re more safe riding with a helmet, why would you not? It’s just madness. Your research is full of holes. Increasing people being physically active will not be encouraged when people realise the risk they place themselves in.
Life is changed forever in an instant.
You will end up promoting more lives lost than what you ever will saving them.
The more people that choose to ride because they know they don’t have to wear a helmet, then the more bikes on the road, and the likelihood of accidents increases. You do the maths.
You are not addressing the real issues associated with bike accidents and injuries, not even close.
If you were true bike enthusiasts, you would encourage people to ride as safely as possible so they can remain alive and able-bodied to do so. Do you tell people it is okay not to wear a seatbelt in the car?
Your “evidence”, as you say, identifies the risk drivers are to bike riders – that is the issue that continues to need addressing. Why would you want to make riders less safe?
Changing the helmet law will not change the behaviour of drivers. Yes, your recommendation is suggesting off road and on footpaths.
As my earlier point stated, you can be hit by a car out of a driveway as you ride on a footpath and you must cross roads as you go from one footpath to another.
Not to mention simply falling off your bike at any stage of riding it anywhere in the world, and hit your head.
Get on with what you should do as a network: promote safe bike riding and rider/driver awareness – full stop.
Dion Jelbart is a local cyclist enthusiast who received life threatening injuries in late 2015 when he fell from his bike while not wearing a helmet. He has since recovered and is back on the bike – with his helmet on at all times.