Monday, September 06, 2010

Melbourne Bicycle Scheme

There is no doubt that bicycle helmets save lives and heads from injuries. Like wearing seatbelts in motor cars, it is a no brainer.....oh, not an intentional pun, especially as I have a brother with an ABI, Acquired Brain Injury, and yes it was it bicycle he was riding when he rode straight across our Highway 1 without looking, possibly a suicide attempt. He can't recall. No, he was not wearing a helmet and the lack of could have caused more brain injury than he had been wearing one.

However, Melbourne's bicycle scheme is going to fail or at best being a large impost on City of Melbourne ratepayers, because the law says that cyclists must wear protective helmets. I would argue for an exemption for bicycle scheme hired bikes. The riders would generally be experienced and know the dangers, or be very occasional riders and be very cautious. The distances would be short. The is traffic generally slow and non aggressive, well better than some places. There are many paths for exclusive cycling where there is little interaction between cars and bicycles.

As per usual, I write this with some self interest. A rack with bicycles has appeared nearby to us, adjacent to the park on Kingsway we call the Little Sandy Desert.


  1. It's a bugger of a conundrum.
    Yes, the helmets are good one is going to carry a helmet around in their briefcase/backpack/back pocket.
    And it's a damn fine bike scheme.

  2. Anonymous11:10 pm

    Can helmets somehow be locked with the bikes? V.

  3. There has been a raging debate in the columns of the SMH for weeks now about the requirement for bike riders to wear helmets.

    I had no idea there was so much resistance to this law.

  4. Is their science on the side of helmets? How does the scheme see this helmet issue being resolved?

  5. Jayne, as you probably know, it is the only scheme in the world where you do have to still wear a helmet.

    V, people worry about hygiene. I would not be keen to wear a helmet a stranger with nits had just removed.

    Victor, there is the 'helmet hair' aspect to it as well. I have noticed a bit of Sydney rage about bike lanes on roads.

    Julie, some argue against them from a point that they don't save people, but I think the evidence is too strong. There is talk of nearby shops hiring out helmets and cheap collapsible helmets.

  6. Back in the 1980s I used to work on the production line for Headgear Helmets...and then also for Headstart Helmets. It was a damn busy time to be working ön the line" as everyone had to buy a helmet now. We even manufactured, thanks to my Dad's invention, helmets with lights in the back of them..a novelty for children who would wear them to bed at night to see the light flashing.
    As a nurse, I have no doubt that wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one. I have looked after people from both sides of the coin. I will not get started on people who motor bike ride without helmets, or horse ride without helmets... I have seen the mess they get into as well.
    It takes a split second to have an accident, to fall off the bike and strike your head on a rock, pavement guttering, even car parking metre. It is that second, and that head strike that means you will come off with just a headache, a bruise, and a bruised ego.. that is if you wear a helmet. If you don't, well, there are so many bad things I could list, but I would be taking up your comments section.. as if I haven't before, lol.
    Helmet hair, small price to pay for safety. It is insurance that people have, whether they admit it or not, and assurance that they get to and from business safe, back to their homes, and providing for their selves or their family..and not stuck in some rehab center after a brain injury.
    Hey there Andrew... what brand of bikes are they in the bike rack? Wouldn't mind coming in and going for a spin on them on a nice day :)

  7. Cazzie, most in your area of work reckon helmets are good. I don't know what brand the bikes are. I must look closely at them.