There is plenty of discussion on the interwebs on the pros and cons of compulsory helmets for cyclists. Personally I am against compulsory helmet laws and believe cyclists should be able to choose for themselves. After all, the people who suffer the most head injuries, car drivers and passengers, aren’t forced to wear helmets.
Helmets haven’t been proven to significantly reduce injuries for cyclists, but they are proven to adversely effect cyclist safety and it is suspected they may also encourage some cyclists to take greater risks than otherwise.
But surely the strongest argument against compulsory helmets and the most indisputable is that they do interfere with one’s hat wearing opportunities. No amount of decorative helmets can ever quite compensate for that! Having enjoyed cycling-in-hats for several years while living overseas I am finding helmets a poor substitute.
Recently Mikael Colville-Andersen was in Melbourne to speak at the State of Design festival. While here he also attended a protest ride held to demonstrate against the lunacy of compulsory helmet laws in tandem with a bike-sharing scheme. I just hope the re-awakening of this debate will eventually lead lead to a more sensible approach and the day when I can choose between the two options below when riding my bike.