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Wade Wallace changes his tune on helmets

Australian cycling journalist Wade Wallace has written how a visit to Europe has changed his mind about blanket cycle helmet laws. Hitherto a keen advocate of helmets and laws for all cycling, using the bike hire schemes in Paris and London has caused Wade to think differently.

Wade used the hire bikes in both cities without a helmet (they are not provided with the bikes and few hirers wear one) and tells how he didn't feel unsafe in doing so. He notes that a helmet-less rider on a utility bike is much more "human" to drivers than a bunch of lycra clad warriors racing at 45km/h.

According to Wade, "I cannot see how the bike-hire schemes will succeed in Australia without relaxing our helmet restrictions on these particular bikes. These hire bikes are an excellent idea that are attempting to alleviate transport problems, make our cities more enjoyable to live in, and a making positive social change. We only have one chance at making this work."

Wade's viewpoint is interesting for his willingness to consider risk in perspective for different types of cycling and his honesty in admitting that he may previously have been too stringent. Many of the respondents to his article echo similar sentiments.

Thu 18 Aug 2011

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