Helmet  (Australia) Bicycle helmets are great for what they are designed for – limiting head injuries in low-speed collisions. Mandatory helmet laws (MHL), however, are very bad for cyclist safety.  Cycling is a very safe activity. It is about as risky as taking a walk or watching TV.  Being hit by a car, on the other hand, can be rather bad for one’s health.  Helmet laws are bad for cycling safety because they fail to address the main source of danger, and discourage cycling as a normal activity.

Freestyle Cyclists  seeks the reform of bicycle helmet law in Australia and New Zealand to get more people riding bikes.  Repealing helmet laws will give people a choice, and remove the barrier for those occasions when a person decides to ride a bike without a helmet.   Discouraging cycling is bad for public health because the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a large factor—including when not wearing a helmet.

Sydney Morning Herald 28 August 2010. Heady freedom as judge agrees helmet laws are unnecessary

Amsterdam Today No comment is really necessary, Cycling is so much part of everyday life in Holland that it is accepted as virtually risk free.

Freedom Cyclist – Australia Sue Abbott lives in NSW and campaigns vigorously against the compulsory helmet legislation. She recently appealed a helmet conviction and succeeded in having it quashed. Her website is a lively collection of interesting facts and opinion. is the website of an international coalition of people with a special interest in cycling and cycle helmets.

Why a bicycle helmet law would be absurd (45 kB rtf file)
by Patrick Gunkel

European Cyclists Federation
Improving bicycle safety without making helmet-use compulsory.
The European Cyclists’ Federation believes that, instead of making it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets, the authorities should concentrate on preventing accidents. Promoting the wearing of helmets by cyclists is not an effective way of improving safety for cyclists.
Australia was the first country in the world to impose uniform national mandatory bicycle helmet legislation, beginning in 1990.

Objective analysis of the results in Western Australia shows the legislation has:

  • increased overall cyclist hospital admissions
  • lessened the popularity of cycling
  • demonstrably caused injury to public health
    This website provides a comprehensive analysis of cyclist injuries and cycling participation rates in a mandatory rather than voluntary helmet jurisdiction.
    Cyclists Rights Action Group (CRAG)
    The Cyclists Rights Action Group (CRAG) was formed at a public meeting in Canberra, ACT, Australia, on 30th January 1992, in direct response to the introduction of Mandatory Helmet Laws (MHL) for bicyclists with the aim of protecting cyclists against undue interference by Governments and erosion of civil liberties. The current aim of CRAG is to oppose legislation compelling cyclists to wear helmets.

    Mayer Hillman, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, London
    Many bodies, including elected authorities, the medical profession and road safety organisations all over the world seek to persuade cyclists to wear helmets as a means of reducing the incidence and severity of head injury among them. Some cyclists question this course of action, whilst others are opposed. At the end of the day, many people are confused. Without research aimed at reviewing and marshalling all the evidence, no clear way forward can be determined. This paper, drawn from a major report by the author, which has just been published by the independent Policy Studies Institute (Hillman, 1993), is aimed at doing just that. It concludes first, that by wearing helmets, cyclists are at best only marginally reducing their chances of being fatally or seriously injured in a collision with a motor vehicle which is the predominant cause of these injuries, and that cyclists may be less likely to have an accident if they are not wearing a helmet and therefore ride with greater care owing to an enhanced sense of their vulnerability. Second, that tackling the source of accidents in which cyclists are involved has far greater scope for reducing head injuries than the arguable benefits of promoting helmet wearing among cyclists.

Vehicular Cyclist