***ADDRESS LINE ONE***
***ADDRESS LINE TWO***
***CITY, STATE, POSTCODE***
%long_title% %first_name% %last_name%
Dear %short_title% %last_name%,
RE: Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Exemption for Bike Share Users
I am writing to you to request that riders of bike share bicycles be exempted from %state%’s all-age mandatory bicycle helmet requirement.
No public bike share scheme has been successfully implemented in a jurisdiction with an all-age mandatory bicycle helmet law.
The figures speak for themselves. Melbourne Bike Share has seen average usage rates of 300 trips per day. This appears impressive until it is compared to Dublin’s DublinBikes bike hire scheme (similar in almost all respects) – it has an average daily usage rate of 3,100 trips per day – with fewer bikes and no mandatory helmet requirement. In the 400 days it has been in operation they have seen 1.3 million trips taken and not one serious accident.
Brisbane’s larger CityCycle scheme has seen annual subscription numbers plateau at just over 2000 and a mere 225 trips per day are being taken as at November, 2010. While there are many small variables, only the mandatory helmet requirement in Australia can explain such enormous differences in usage rates.
A recent article in The Age highlighted this issue and a survey of 13,887 respondents voted 79% in favour of repealing the mandatory bicycle helmet law for bike share schemes.
An exemption under the law (Section 256 of the Traffic Act) currently exists for passengers of three- or four-wheeled bicycles but only if they are paying passengers. The rider, curiously, still must wear a bicycle helmet, which is at odds with the response from Government in that such bicycles are ‘more stable’ and hence the exemption for the passengers.
Public Bicycle Hire Schemes must not be allowed to fail. Their failure would be a blow to cycling promotion in this country and a tremendous waste of taxpayer money.
Given the existing commercial exemption for pedicab passengers, can you please explain to me why this exemption cannot also be extended to paying bike share users?
Australian Bike Hire Schemes Fail Because of Helmet Laws – http://www.cycle-helmets.com/bike-hire-schemes.html
Helmet Law Makes Nonsense of Bike Hire Scheme – http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/helmet-law-makes-nonsense-of-bike-hire-scheme-20100722-10my2.html
CityCycle: The First Months, November 2010 Issue, The Brisbane Institute – http://www.brisinst.org.au/here-and-now/november-2010-issue/2