Bicycle helmet legislation and enforcement in Queensland 1991-1993: effects on helmet wearing and crashes

This paper describes changes in bicycle helmet wearing legislation and enforcement in Queensland, and reports on the effects of these changes on helmet wearing and cyclist injuries. Legislation requiring all cyclists to wear helmets came into effect on 1 July 1991, accompanied by widespread publicity initiatives. However, there was no penalty for not wearing a helmet, and no systematic means of enforcing the legislation. A six month review of the effects of the legislation found that bicycle helmet wearing rates initially increased substantially, but then decreased. This was thought to be due to the lack of penalty or means to enforce the legislation. It was recommended that a penalty be introduced. The penalty, and an enforcement system devised by the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Transport, took effect from 1 January 1993. Surveys conducted after the introduction of a penalty system showed that helmet wearing increased substantially following the introduction of a penalty, and reached much higher and consistent levels than were attained when the helmet wearing requirement was introduced without a penalty. Changes to bicycle helmet legislation and enforcement have also been effective in reducing the incidence of head injuries, particularly severe head injuries, among cyclists, even taking into account a general drop in cycling observed over the time period. Despite this there is reason for continuing work in this area, both in general and with respect to particular cyclist groups and behaviours. The persistence of current wearing rates needs monitoring, and is relevant to consideration of a feasible long term enforcement level.

  • Authors:
    • King, M
    • Fraine, G
  • Publication Date: 1993-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 1 vol

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01434497
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 6:20PM