Queensland’s peak bicycle lobby group has warned against moves to hold a helmet free trial in parts of Brisbane. The Deputy Mayor supports voluntary helmet laws in low-risk areas but says a proposed trial depends on the outcome of a Senate committee hearing.
Bronte Hearn reports.
After the Deputy Mayor supported the idea of Brisbane hosting any proposed voluntary bike helmet trial, the state’s main bike advocacy group issued a warning.
Bicycle Queensland says any such trial should be confined to CityCycle bikes.
Andrew Demack, Development Officer at Bicycle Queensland: “We’re sort of cautiously in support of the idea that CityCyles could be used as a trial for optional helmets.”
That’s because CityCycle bikes are fairly slow and have good brakes.
Bicycle Queensland also wants any trial limited to bike or shared paths, not roads.
Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner supports voluntary helmet laws, with the exception of riders under 18 years.
Bicycle Queensland admits it could lead to more people taking up riding.
Andrew Demack, Development Officer at Bicycle Queensland: “One of the things that seems to deter people from just jumping on a bike and rolling down to the shops is I have to have my helmet with me. We have to weigh it up against whether the decrease in safety is worthwhile.”
Helmets have been compulsory in Queensland for 25 years. Recent studies suggest that wearing a bicycle helmet could reduce head injuries by almost 30 per cent.
Vox 1: “Your brain is important. If you don’t wear a helmet you can really hurt your head.”
Vox 2: “They’re known to save lives. I know we’d get more people on bikes but I think I’m in favour of saving lives.”
Cyclists caught riding without helmets currently face fines of up to $2,000.
Bronte Hearn, QUT News.