In September 2017 Australia’s biggest bike riding organisation, Bicycle Network, conducted a survey of public attitudes towards Australia’s mandatory bicycle helmet laws. The survey received 19,327 responses.
The respondents are from across Australia (2.6% from overseas) and are people who ride bikes with varying regularity (only 1.9% of respondents never ride a bike).
The key results from the survey are as follows:
• 41.7% believe bicycle helmets should be mandatory at all times, in all scenarios (currently the law in Australia, excluding NT)
• the strongest supporters of mandatory helmet laws are Victorians, Tasmanians, baby boomers, women, those who’ve had a serious crash and Bicycle Network members
• the weakest support for mandatory helmets comes from Queenslanders, millennials, those who ride once or a few times a year and non-Bicycle Network members
• 40.7% believe bicycle helmets should only be mandatory when they assess the risk to be high, for example, when racing, on road or for young people.
If helmets weren’t mandatory:
• only 3.7% more people would never wear a bicycle helmet but 34.3% less would always wear a helmet when riding a bike
• those most likely to continue to always wear a bicycle helmet are those who most strongly support current mandatory helmet laws (Victorians, women, baby boomers, those who ride once or a few times a week, those who’ve crashed and Bicycle Network members)
• those least likely to continue always wearing a helmet are those who don’t support the law as strongly (Queenslanders, South Australians, millennials, those who ride once or a few times a year and non-Bicycle Network members)
• 30.4% would ride more if helmets weren’t mandatory with the biggest number of people who would ride more being Queenslanders, millennials and infrequent riders.