Canada Bicycle Safety

Canada Bicycle Safety
Five Canadian provinces require bicycle helmets for children, and more laws are being considered. The Canadian government recommends helmets for all ages and they see it as a major component of safety.

Benefits

Since helmet laws have been adopted, there has been a 45 percent decrease in head injuries, according to HealthyOntario.com. The site also says 85 percent of bike related injuries could be avoided by wearing a helmet.

Significance

Bicyclists are considered vehicles, and have the same rights and responsibilities of automobiles, while on the road.

Considerations

Visibility is a major safety issue as motorists need to be able to see cyclists. Officials recommend bright clothing, and helmets can also help with visibility.

Warning

Helmets may help prevent injuries, but they should not be worn when not cycling. There is a danger in wearing helmets while playing on playground equipment. The helmet could get caught in the equipment.

Prevention/Solution

The Canadian Cyclists Association presents bike safety classes, focusing on children, but all ages are encouraged to take the safety classes.

Theories and Speculation

People who oppose helmets say laws discourage young riders from taking up cycling. A Toronto hospital group, Pediatric Outcomes Research Team, conducted a study in 1999 that showed there was no decrease in ridership after laws requiring helmets were passed in Canada.

Article Written By James Jordan

James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.