A message from Dublin

Mike Rubbo has made another fantastic little docco examining the success of Dublin’s bike share scheme.  In their first 12 months they have had over 1,000,000 trips made on their city bikes and not a single serious injury.

Dublin provides a perfect counter example to bike share in Melbourne.  Both have terrible weather; both have about 400 bikes; both have nasty traffic and both lack Copenhagen or Dutch style cycling infrastructure.

The differences however are stark. Dublin has helmet freedom and 5000 trips per day.  Melbourne has helmet laws and 300 trips per day.

If helmet laws make cycling safer, then we’d expect to have seen quite a few serious head injuries and deaths for the extra million (largely) un-helmeted journeys made in Dublin last year.  But we haven’t. Not a single one.

Instead what we’ve seen is helmet freedom encouraging more people to ride. And when more people ride, fewer people drive and those who do drive become accustomed to cyclists.  The result is safer cycling.  And helmet freedom is a key ingredient.

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