1Rowdy1 wrote:Never had anyone say to me they don't ride because of the helmet laws, had plenty say they don't ride because of all the idiots (in cars) on the roads.
I don't take casual rides anymore, because of the helmet laws. I don't ride City Cycle rental bikes, because of the helmet law. I drive my car instead. When I want to pick up a couple of things from the shop, I drive. Too far to walk. Distance easy to cycle but, frankly, I can't be arsed.
I only ride my bike when I decide it is worth getting kitted up. Longer rides. Rides I do specifically for the joy of cycling, where kitting up is part of the point of it.
Being from the UK of course, I haven't always lived in this peculiar Australian bubble, where helmet laws are even a thing. Even the recent brief discussion in the UK kind of went nowhere, because it just wasn't interesting. To anyone.
The Dutch, the Danes, the Italians, French, Germans, Belgians, Spanish and Portuguese don't give it a thought. They don't need to, because
(a) there are so many cyclists that the risks are much lower in any case (noting that participation rates are demonstrably better at improving safety than any kind of PPE);
(b) that drivers - even in Italy - are more careful and considerate around other users than seems to be the case here in Australia (yes, I've driven in Italy, from one end of the country to the other. It is exciting, but not reckless as to others' safety, as too often happens here);
(c) the lack of helmets (and the associated Lycra, etc) means cyclists are seen in Europe as people who just happen to be riding bikes, while in Australia cyclists are seen as this weird race whose sole reason for existence seems to be to slow down the traffic. So we need to teach them a lesson. Get them off the roads. Register them. Fine them because all they ever do is go through red lights and harry pedestrians on shared paths. Etc.
There's a scale that's used in industrial safety practice, that determines the effectiveness of safety measures. PPE is the last on the list, because it is the least effective, and is only there in case everything else fails. For cycling, as a form of transport as well as leisure, it is a pity that someone forgot to do the 'everything else' first.