There has been some debate recently as to the effectiveness of bike helmets in reducing injury with some arguing that making helmets mandatory has not been as successful as hoped. With more and more cyclepaths being built across Sydney, the issue is attracting even more attention as some believe helmets can be a deterrent to the take-up of cycling as a viable transport alternative. Yesterday, Bicycle NSW came out in strong support of the continued use of bike helmets.

Streetcorner provides this “Direct from” update, from Bicycle NSW, so you can make up your own mind about their position. We also welcome any comments you would like to give on whether bike helmets should be mandatory in NSW or if you would like to publish your own story on cycling safety or any other issue, you can publish your own news on Streetcorner, just be submitting your story to the site.

Here is the news from Bicycle NSW.

“Bicycle NSW continues to show its support for the use of helmets in light of recent research uncovered by the Department of Trauma Service at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

The study found that cyclists who were not wearing helmets were five times more likely to suffer intracranial bleeding or skull fracture after falling from a bicycle.

According to Omar Khalifa, CEO of Bicycle NSW, the peak community organisation for cyclists in NSW continues to support the wearing of helmets as a useful safety precaution.

“We believe the weight of evidence, while not unanimous, supports the view that if you have an accident, you will most likely be better off wearing a helmet.

If you fall, are hit by a car door or even attacked by a magpie, wearing a helmet might protect your face, head and brain from injury. It might even save your life,” said Khalifa.

Wearing helmets when riding a bike is mandatory by law yet some researchers and policy makers argue that helmets pose a barrier to increased uptake.

“The pros and cons of the mandatory helmet law is an area for the greater community and the government to decide. But Bicycle NSW, along with Bicycle Victoria, the other state cycling organisations and the Amy Gillett Foundation believe helmets can and do, help many cyclists better survive an accident.”

Khalifa believes that in NSW, people on bicycles often have to share roadways not designed or maintained for bicycles and may therefore be more vulnerable to incidents than in many other areas of the world. Though improving, there are also still many motorists who behave carelessly or aggressively towards people on bicycles.

“It only takes a second to find yourself in trouble and while we can all recover from scrapes and bruises, damage to your brain could have serious consequences that last a lifetime,” said Khalifa.About Bicycle NSW Bicycle NSW is a member-based association for cyclists in NSW. Bicycle NSW promotes and supports cycling as a healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly form of transport. The organisation also advocates on behalf of its members to improve road conditions and educate road users on safety issues. More information can be found here:”

This is the end of the statements from Bicycle NSW.

What do you think? Should helmets be worn when riding a bike?