Bicycle Use and Helmet Wearing Rates in Melbourne, 1987 to 1992: the influence of the helmet wearing law

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #45

Authors: C. Finch, L. Heiman & D. Neiger

Full report in .pdf format [550KB]


From 1987-1992 a series of observational surveys of bicycle usage and helmet wearing in metropolitan Melbourne has been conducted utilising identical survey methodology. This evaluation of the effect of the compulsory helmet wearing law (introduced in July 1990) on both bicycle usage and helmet wearing rates is based on observations made at the 64 sites common to each survey. The mandatory helmet wearing law has achieved its goal of increasing bicycle helmet wearing rates for all groups of bicyclists throughout metropolitan Melbourne. Two years after its introduction, high levels of helmet wearing have been maintained in adults and children. Both adult and teenage rates, in particular, are continuing to increase. The first year following the introduction of the helmet wearing law coincided with a reduction in the number of people riding their bicycles. By 1992, two years after the law, the number of bicyclists was approaching - levels in adults and children but was still greatly reduced in teenagers.

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