Short And Strange

British helmet law decision process is a strange creature

In strange times, strange things are bound to pop up on the wild, wild, web.

Take this article for example:

UK cyclists fight campaign to make helmets compulsory - ABC Australia

How strange that the South Central Ambulance Service in the UK would choose to draw their conclusion on the basis of research conducted by a university in NSW, Australia – a state that is renowned as having the most hostile legislation and attitudes towards cycling in the world and mandatory helmet laws which have been adopted almost nowhere else in the world. There seems to be a lot more evidence like this study which shows quite the opposite to the NSW research.

And then there’s this statement from an Australian interviewee living in the UK:

“It seems really strange to see so many students around here biking without a helmet,…It’s just bred into [Australians] the need to have helmets and it seems really normal.”

I guess after thirty or so years of mandatory helmet legislation, you’re bound to have a bit of Stockholm syndrome and feel funny without your foam hat. And, no, it wasn’t bred into us. It was legislated and then marketed into us.

We then have this illumination:

“They show me their helmet. The helmet might be split in two and those patients are the first to say, my helmet saved my life. And that is very real.”

But unfortunately, if the helmet split in two instead of compressing then it failed and the fact that the person in hospital survived their crash probably had much less to do with the helmet than the statement suggests.

The question also begs: if the UK push their MHL through on the basis of research from an Australian university, how quickly would our current MHL review be declared a shambles because why would we look to wind back our MHL when Britain is looking to introduce it based on our own research?

What an unfortunate coincidence that would be.

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