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Ideas Factory: How do we get more people riding bikes?

IDEAS FACTORY

Encouraging Melburnians to use bikes to get around could have multiple benefits.

It would reduce traffic congestion, and increase the general health of the population.

Which asks the question: how do we do it? 

Clearly, more bike lanes is the first step. Tony Jones suggested making bikes tax deductible would be another.

But it was the idea to repeal helmet laws that got people talking.

Dr Sundance Bilson-Thompson from Freestyle Cyclists told Tony mandatory helmet laws make bikes appear more dangerous than the stats show they are.

‘Per kilometer, they’re about the same as for pedestrians, so cycling is actually very safe,’ he said.

Dr Bilson-Thompson said forcing riders to wear helmets does act as a deterrent.

However, a few 3AW listeners called in with their experiences of helmets coming to the rescue after a fall.

Click play for the full discussion

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