September 28, 2012
Get Rid of Helmets… What’s Next, Seat-Belts?

Kidsafe Victoria today said today that the move
to dilute Victorian helmet safety legislation by a fringe cycling group was ill-considered
and should not be supported.     

President of Kidsafe
Victoria, Robert Caulfield, said “Helmet legislation in Victoria is based on
solid research and is particularly important with the increasing number of
cyclists and vehicles on the road.”

from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit show a non-significant change in arm fracture hospital admission rates,
compared with a significant decrease of 67% in brain (intracranial injury)
hospital admission rates, since the introduction of mandatory helmet laws in

Mr Caulfield said: “This
indicates that helmet wearing in children has had a beneficial effect in
reducing serious brain injury.”

Mr Caulfield likened the
impact of making helmet wearing non mandatory to the impact of making seat belt
wearing optional in motor vehicles.    

Mr Caulfield said “Cycling,
like any other road use, is dangerous; it is important that as adults we role
model safe and appropriate behaviours for our children, which includes wearing
a helmet when riding a bicycle.”

“The proposed stunt to
break the law by riding without helmets undermines the efforts of every parent
who is educating their children about their own safety by wearing a helmet.”

Mr Caufield noted that
the visible growth of cycling and its increasing popularity demonstrated that
mandatory helmet laws were not negatively affecting cyclist numbers.

*Selling over 1.3 million bikes
in 2010, the Australian bicycle industry is now showing clear signs
of returning to its record levels of 2007. These figures represent a 12
per cent increase from the previous year and a 67 per cent increase from
2001. * Source: Cycling Promotion Fund

“Kidsafe Victoria, together
with the medical profession, road safety agencies and Government, has been a
strong supporter and will continue be a strong supporter of the compulsory
helmet legislation in Victoria and nationally, as it has been shown to saves
lives and reduce brain injuries,” said Mr Caulfield


KIDSAFE child pedal cyclist trend analysis 19901-201011 (PDF)