During a recent interview at the Hay festival in the UK, leading neurosurgeon, Henry Marsh, has created controversy by stating that, ‘I ride a bike and I never wear a helmet. In the countries where bike helmets are compulsory there has been no reduction in bike injuries whatsoever. I see lots of people in bike accidents and these flimsy little helmets don’t help.’
After Mr Marsh’s comments were made, they were branded as ‘irresponsible’ but cycling safety campaigners, they were disappointed by his comments and felt that statements like these risked endangering cyclists. And in opposition to his statements, Professor Gordian Fulde, who is the emergency department director at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, has stated that Dr Marsh has made ‘a highly irresponsible statement’, and followed up by saying, ‘We see all the time here people who have been saved by helmets from major brain damage’.
Last year in QLD, a Queensland government report put together a case that showed sufficient evidence against the mandatory helmet laws, and argued that there should be a trial to relax the laws. When the law was first introduced in to Australia in 1991, there was a decline in the number of cyclists, which dropped by 40%. Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries to have compulsory bike helmet laws.
What is your view? Should we re-examine the bike helmet laws?