Editorial: Use your brain, don't endanger it

By Andrew Austin

1 comment

There is a rather alarming trend on our roads at present - more and more cyclists not wearing helmets.

On my early morning walk yesterday I saw a man without a helmet cycling towards me on Te Mata Rd near Summerset Retirement Village. I was about to say something to him when a group of four cyclists decked out in lycra and with the latest helmets on beat me to the punch. As they rode past, one of them asked him where his helmet was. At least he had the good grace to look embarrassed and mumbled something about having left it in the car.

I was glad those cyclists made him squirm and maybe next time he will put a helmet on. I am all for personal choice and freedom of expression, but there are some things you just don't muck around with and this is one of them. Every time I cycle, I wear a helmet and feel safer for it.

Now I know there are some out there who reckon cyclists should be able to ride with their hair blowing in the wind and that wearing a helmet does not make you any safer, but they are wrong.

There are all sorts of studies on the internet allegedly proving that wearing a helmet does not make a cyclist safer.

Apparently drivers who see a cyclist wearing a helmet instinctively go closer and therefore, unwittingly, put the cyclist in more danger than if they were not wearing a helmet. I am sorry I simply don't buy that one. Common sense tells me that a head fitted with a proper helmet will be less injured when it hits the ground than one with no helmet on.

There is, of course, the other important point that it is the law of the land and if you don't wear a helmet, you are breaking the law.

So, obey the rules of the road and wear a helmet.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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