Calls For More Flexibility With Bike Helmet Laws

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There’s calls to change Australia’s bicycle helmet laws to allow adults to decide whether to wear a helmet when they aren’t riding on the road.

Bicycle Network is recommending Australia's helmet laws be relaxed; proposing a five-year trial permitting people older than 17 to choose whether they wear a helmet when riding on footpaths or off-road cycle paths.

In all Australian states and territories (excluding Northern Territory), it is currently mandatory for people to wear a helmet whenever and wherever they ride a bike.

Anthea Hargreaves, from Bicycle Network says the law would only apply to in people to low-risk environments - and would simply give riders the option to choose. 

“We aren’t telling people to not wear a helmet. We’re trusting adults to access their own risk, like they do in everyday life.”

She said as 80 per cent of crashes involving a cyclist are caused by a person driving a car in Australia - we weren't at a place where we could call to repeal all helmet laws - however this would make it easier to people to go for a ride along the beach, or pop down to the shops.

“Instead of addressing the real causes of bike crashes – the solution has been focussed on helmet and we know it’s a terrible day when you have to rely on your helmets. So we need to work more on reducing the risks for bike riders on our roads, instead of just hoping a helmet will save them when it happens.”

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