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Minister rejects NSC cycle-helmet law call
By Irish Cycling Campaign
4 Jun 2004,

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Dr. Jim McDaid, Minister of State at the Department of Transport has stated categorically that the Government has no plans for a compulsory cycle helmet law, effectively rejecting recent calls for such a law from the National Safety Council. The minister's statement came in reply to a parliamentary question by Mr. Ciaran Cuffe T.D. Irish Cycling Activists reacted furiously when, NSC Chairman Mr. Eddie Shaw and Chief Executive Mr. Pat Costello recently organised a media event where they called for the imposition of cycle helmet laws such as those seen in Australia, particularly for children. No representatives of Irish cycling bodies were consulted on this proposal and no cycling representatives were invited to the media event. It subsequently transpired that the NSC board neither considered, nor approved, any such proposal at their meeting the week before. Cyclists subsequently held a protest outside the Department of Transport on Friday 28th of May, to call for the dismissal of the NSC staff involved.

The Australian helmet law is widely viewed as a disaster and is as a classic example of self-defeating and failed legislation. The main effect of the Australian helmet laws was to put many people off cycling for no demonstrable safety benefit. Indeed, detailed analysis of the Australian data indicates that the helmet laws resulted in increased risk of accident and injury for cyclists. Similar indications have been reported for New Zealand and Canada. Within days of the NSC claims being released, scientific rebuttals were made available by the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation, an international coalition of cycling safety experts. The relevance and/or claims for every one of the NSC's supporting documents has been discredited on detailed scientific grounds. Link:

Despite this, as of Friday 4th June, no apology or retraction has been issued by the NSC. Irish Cycle Campaigners are to step up their calls for the retraction of the discredited claims being made by the NSC and the dismissal of the NSC staff involved.


Irish Cycling Campaign

If you would like to join or contact the Irish Cycling Campaign

David Maher 086 347 5357 (Dublin)
Shane Foran 087 9935993 (Galway)
Darren McAdam-O'Connell 021 4899970 (Cork)

The Cyclists' Experience of the Australian Helmet Laws

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