Queensland Parliament Inquiry into Cycling Issues follows Freo Recommendation

Interesting that on Friday the Queensland Parliament Inquiry into Cycling Issues came up with a very similar recommendation on loosening helmets laws that we pushed in Freo a couple of years ago. May be the WA Stage Government will pay more attention to the idea if comes from another liberal state?

The Committee recommends that the Minister for Transport and Main Roads:
 introduce a 24 month trial which exempts cyclists aged 16 years (Freo said 18 years) and over from the mandatory helmet road rule when riding in parks, on footpaths and shared/cycle paths and on roads with a speed limit of 60 km/hr or less  (Freo said 50kmh) and
 develop an evaluation strategy for the trial which includes baseline measurements and data collection so that an assessment can be made which measures the effect and proves any benefits.



About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

8 Responses to Queensland Parliament Inquiry into Cycling Issues follows Freo Recommendation

  1. freoishome says:

    I can only imagine that you have never fallen of a bike, and if you have, never hit your head. I have, and I know how much it hurts even with a helmet! The helmet ended up in 4 pieces! That accident was on a dedicated bike path in South Perth!

    Most falls from bikes occur at low speed, as cyclists are very adept at mitigation and have taken some action to avoid an accident, only to fall at the last moment. This idea that accidents on paths and 60kph roads don’t result in bashing your head are crazy! There are two essential components to bashing your head, falling and something for your head to hit! The paths and 60 kph roads are actually the places where there are more things to collide with than you find on more open higher speed roads. The inertia from bike travel even at low speeds is greater than that from a ‘King Hit’, and we know the latter have resulted in death when they hit street furniture or the road surface!

    So there is little point in limiting the road speed and places where the helmet should be permitted.

    Either helmets provide protection from severe head injury, in which case retain the mandatory law; or they don’t and then the choice is improve the helmets design until they do, or get rid of the law. ‘Helmet hair’ shouldn’t be the determining factor!

    • Lionel says:

      I don’t quite know how you managed to fall off your bike on a bike path. If you feel you aren’t competent riding a bike at 20km/h in a car free zone then by all means wear a helmet, but don’t project your inabilities on to me and make me wear one too.

      • freoishome says:

        I’m a cycling coach. A pedestrian walked into me without looking, left me dazed and confused on the cycling path. An elderly lady came to me rescue after seeing the young women abandon me! I hope it doesn’t happen to you with or without your helmet.

      • I think the for or against approach based on individual experiences is not a good basis for sound policy.
        I’d rather a full evidence based review based on broader health impacts as a way forward. It is time WA did this too.

      • freoishome says:

        This dismissive approach feels very much like the supposed balanced carbon debate that every sceptic is equivalent to every pro climate speaker. In my case, expressing an opinion based on several personal experiences of falls, one hitting my head, and observing many trainees versus others speaking against without any experience.

      • Lionel says:

        I have ridden a bike both recreationally and professionally for over 30 years. I wear a helmet when I ride on main road. I don’t wear one when I ride on a cycle path or back road. I have never hit my head in an accident (although I have been hit by cars) and I have never hit a pedestrian. My experiences are just as relevant as yours.

        Your anecdote is a little concerning as you place the blame completely on the pedestrian, even though they have right of way. You should have been looking out for pedestrians doing stupid things as every good rider does. The fact that you are teaching people to ride bikes and clearly can’t do it very well yourself is a bit worrying.

      • freoishome says:

        Lionel, my comments were in response the Brad’s blog, not you.

      • Lionel says:

        I am sure Brad has also ridden a bike, both with and without a helmet, although I can not confirm this.

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