Waewick wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:05 pm
One of the key criticism of MHL is deterring people from riding at all, which they claim isn't true despite not doing any of their own research in their study. The fact is it has had a massive impact on casual and commuter cycling, and entrenched a cycling culture that is dominated by sports cycling.
You won't ride your bike becuase you need to wear a helmet.
Is that really a legit reason people won't ride a bike?
I do ride my bike, all the time.
But the MHL does discourage many, either directly (due to inconvenience, esp. with bike share schemes, and yes also appearance) or indirectly (gives the impression that riding a bike is inherently dangerous). Both disproportionality affected casual and commuter cyclists, less so than enthusiasts who'll ride no matter what.
Risks of head injury while riding a bike are not exceptionally high, certainly no greater (and in some cases much less so) than many other activities people do without head protection. We don't have helmet laws for driving a car, or playing football, or climbing a ladder, or taking a shower, or even just walking along a footpath. Why out of everything people do is cycling singled out for a helmet law? It's a poor and blunt response to injury rates that would be far far far better addressed by proper infrastructure. If helmets were some great panacea, we'd have much lower injury rates than countries without MHL, but that's not the case at all.
This is not an argument against helmets altogether, but just an argument against making them mandatory. I strongly think cycling shouldn't be seen as one thing. Riding an upright bike a short distance, to and from work or shops, in normal clothes is very
different than a kitted up road cyclist riding at higher speeds and much longer distances. Just like you don't need gear for a short walk, but you put on trainers and activewear for going for a run. Helmets are still appropriate for that road cyclist, but not a necessity for others.