Researchers in Canada have determined that mandatory helmet laws have no impact on bicycling injury hospitalization rates. Other factors, namely mode share, were much more likely to affect the outcome.
At least this time we should be talking about infrastructure
by: Hilary Angus, momentummag.com
Main conclusions of investigation:
1. The analysis concluded that helmet legislation was not associated with hospitalization rates, including and specifically for injuries to the head, scout, skull, face or neck.
2. The factors that didn’t have a measurable impact were modal share and sex. “For all injury causes sex was associated with hospitalization rates; females had rates consistently lower than males.”
3. For traffic related injury causes, higher cycling mode share was consistently associated with lower hospitalization rates.
4. The authors suggest that transportation health policy makers who aim to reduce bicycle injuries should direct their focus to initiatives that increase cycling mode share and specifically rates of women cycling.
5. Mandatory helmet laws have already been proven to reduce rates of cycling by either their inconvenience and discomfort, and/or by creating a culture of fear around biking.
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Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .