Bike helmet rules in spotlight
Should it be compulsory for Aucklanders to wear bike helmets?
Auckland mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick thinks not.
She said in a Facebook live interview her policy can be boiled down to a belief in personal freedom and liberties.
‘‘I know it sounds as though what I amtrying to do is put more of a burden on our public health system but that is totally not the case.’’
Swarbrick points to smoking as an example of something that is detrimental to health but is allowed in society based a person’s freedom of choice.
‘‘We could be looking at banning smoking because on balance, that causes a lot more public harm then it does good, but we still weigh liberties and freedoms higher than that,’’ she says.
Earlier this month John Oliver, a University of New South Wales statistician, presented the largest review yet of bike helmet use by 64,000 cyclists worldwide.
Oliver presented the study to the international injury prevention conference safety 2016 in Finland, which found helmets reduce the chances of a serious head injury by nearly 70 per cent.
Swarbrick says the mandatory helmet law also cultivates a negative culture toward Auckland cyclists.
‘‘It does create and add to this culture that we have got, where by in Auckland by and large we have a disdain for cyclists.’’