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Will Australia say goodbye to bike helmets?

Bike Ride

Gone could be the days of helmets before riding, with Bicycle Network Australia calling for a change to current laws. 

Australia and New Zealand are currently the only two countries with fully-enforced helmet requirements.  

"We've come to the conclusion that Australia is kind of lagging behind the rest of the world," CEO of Bicycle Network Australia, Craig Richards, told Tasmania Talks this morning. 

The advocacy group is recommending that the current laws be relaxed, with a five-year trial allowing adults ot choose whether they were a helmet when riding on footpaths of off-road cycle paths.

"It shouldn't be an activity where you require special equipment. Bike riding should be one of those things were you can hop on and off you go, convenience is the essence of the activity."

The proposed laws have operated in the Northern Territory, which Mr Edwards says have worked well for the last 25 years.

Mr Edwards says risks of riding bikes are grossly overstated, which turns people off the two-wheeled option. 

"The reality is, when you ride a bike the chances of injury are incredibly small."

The CEO told Tas Talks information show that 80% percent of bike crashes are the fault of the person driving the vehicle. 

“Instead of removing the risks and causes of bicycle crashes, the solution has been helmets which, like all personal protection equipment, is the least effective way to prevent injury and reduce risk,’ said Mr Edwards in a statement.

The group conducted a review over fourteen months and surveyed over 20,000 people.

The original helmet laws date back to the 1990's.