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Helmet Law Concerns Are Legitimate, Say Cyclists

Helmet Law Concerns Are Legitimate, Say Cyclists

The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) today denounced reported criticism of anti-helmet-law campaigners, urging their opponents to "play the ball and not the person".

It was reported yesterday that safety campaigners and transport officials had described as the "the lunatic fringe" a new group, Cycle HELTH (Helmet Law Truth and Honesty), campaigning for a repeal of the mandatory bicycle helmet law.

CAN spokeperson Glen Koorey said that they had been calling for an objective review of the law for a number of years. To date, the Land Transport Safety Authority has yet to supply them with any research analysis of the effect of the law.

"The merits of wearing a cycle helmet have not been conclusively proven either way, worldwide. While we fully support anyone choosing voluntarily to wear a helmet, we are concerned about the wider effects that the mandatory law has had," said Mr Koorey.

"If the Government is keen to promote cycling, because of its health, safety, economic and environmental benefits, then a law that results in a 20-25% reduction in the number of cyclists would not appear to be the right way to go about it. Instead it sends a message that cycling is inherently dangerous, which it isn't."

CAN would prefer that the considerable money spent on helmet enforcement and promotion was spent on programmes with more tangible cycling safety benefits, such as driver/cyclist training, better cycle facilities, and speed reduction in urban areas.

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