Bike helmets vital for survival

The Road Safety Commission is warning that cyclists who do not wear helmets are putting themselves at a much higher risk of death, head injury and life long impairments.

Acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron said that four of the five cyclists killed in Western Australia so far in 2017 were not wearing helmets.

“While it is too early to ascertain whether this is a trend, the recent fatalities and serious injuries involving cyclists not wearing helmets provides us with an opportunity to highlight for the public the dangers of going riding without adequate protective gear,” he said.

“We’ll implement a public education around the ongoing concern of non-compliance in West Australian, because wearing a helmet on your ride to the park or your commute to work may be the difference between minor injury and a serious or fatal head injury.”

Royal Perth Hospital has released figures from its trauma registry showing that eight of the 10 cyclists who died after being admitted to the hospital in the past five years were not wearing helmets.

Mr Cameron said that as well as the cost to the rider and their families, there was also a financial burden on the community when cyclists did not wear helmets.

“Over the past five years, 2012 to 2016, the cost of crashes where cyclists have been killed or seriously injured was around $160 million,” he said.

Cycling without a protective helmet, or cycling with a passenger who is not wearing a protective helmet attracts a $50 fine, although there are some exemptions.

More information about safe cycling is available here.
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