The first year of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in Australia saw increased helmet wearing from 31% to 75% of cyclists in Victoria and from 31% of children and 26% of adults in New South Wales (NSW) to 76% and 85%. However, the two major surveys using matched before and after samples in Melbourne and throughout NSW observed reductions in number of child cyclists 15 and 2.2 times greater than the increase in number of children wearing helmets. This suggests that the greatest effect of the helmet law was not to encourage children to wear helmets, but to discourage cycling. In contrast, despite increases to at least 75% helmet wearing, the proportion of head injuries in cyclist admitted or treated at hospital declined by an average of only 13%. The percentage of cyclist with head injuries after collisions with motor vehicles in Victoria declined by more, but the proportion of head injured pedestrians also declined; the two followed a very similar trend. These trends may have been caused by major road safety initiatives introduced at the same time as the helmet law and directed at both speeding and drink-driving.

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    The Boulevard, Langford Lane
    Kidlington, Oxford  United Kingdom  OX5 1GB
  • Authors:
    • Robinson, D L
  • Publication Date: 1996-7


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00726200
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-042 376
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 18 1996 12:00AM