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Velo-City Expo, and the Dutch view on cycling helmets

Bicycle Dutch has a selection of news:

Velo-City  is a conference on June, 13 in Nijmegen, NL. Because he’s not flying for KLM on that day, Willem-Alexander will open the conference.

Also, the Dutch View on cycling helmets:

Take the bicycle helmet. If you make it mandatory, you strengthen the idea that the bike is a dangerous means of transport. That leads to a decrease in the number of cyclists. That again decreases the safety, because the more cyclists there are, the more other road users will consider them. In short: the bicycle helmet increases the individual safety, but decreases the safety in general.

I have yet to see Dutch people riding their bikes with helmets on.

Published inAls Deutscher in den NiederlandenPost Car Society


  1. I know a few.

    All of theme of the type that put rubber tiles around the places where their kids play outdoors on the balcony.

    And at the same time put tables and chairs next to their balcony railing for outdoor eating.

    The type that completely forgets that kids will climb chairs and tables to easily reach the railing. Falling down one or more floors is much more severe than falling 3 feet on rubber tiles.

  2. Nicolai

    The Dutch displayed attitude to safety is often laissez-faire, despite a great love of official regulations. Their street worksites frequently put passers-by at risk, for example. So I am not surprised they don’t wear cycle helmets; they don’t, as a culture, really care about safety.

    Meanwhile there are plenty of cycling hazards which are not caused by motorised vehicles: other cyclists, bad road conditions, bad weather conditions, vegetation, etc. You might need a helmet even on an empty road.

    Perhaps not wearing helmets increases cycle usage enough that vehicle-related cycling accidents decrease enough to make up for the other accidents. A cycle helmet is still useful, and a total risk assessment may make it worth wearing one.

    • Jörg Baumgartner

      Any mandatory helmet etc. bearing should be extended to pedestrians and car users. Demand transponders, safety vests for any roadside activity (like shopping), and have drivers register their route with a traffic control system.

      Maybe the old law that an automobile needs a person (or drone) preceding it with a flag should be revived?


  3. Matt McIrvin

    I’ve heard a version of this argument in which the great killer is heart disease; the argument is that while helmets do decrease the number of accidental deaths, the corresponding reduction in cycling kills more people with heart attacks, pollution and global warming. (The author went further than opposing mandatory helmet laws and proposed, possibly not entirely seriously, that wearing a bicycle helmet should be a crime and people who wear them should be put in prison. I think it was an opinion article in an Australian paper.)

  4. Ralf Ertzinger

    Most people I see riding with a helmet are driving racing bikes, and I kinda see the point there. For one all the pros use a helmet, and looks are everything.

  5. After a crash some weeks ago, where I was in a roundabout when a car was joining me and hit me from my bicycle, I would always wear a helmet.
    I had some bruises on my right side from the rearview mirror, a cut from my bicycle glasses frane and a helmet with some scratches. Without helmet I would have had at least dirt in the cut and a graze in my face. I prefer the helmet above that.
    BTW the car driver did not see me and I believe him. Most probable I was behind the A pillar – these kind of accidents happen all the time until we have good (semi-) autonomous cars – which will take some time and a proper engineering​ and testing attitude.

    • Andre

      Funny.. I have ridden my bike for several thousand kilometers without ever being hit by a car.. And I use it for both.. commuting and sports..

      And in your case, a hat or cap would probably helped as well :)

      But I don’t mind helmets as long as I don’t get harassed by those “You forgot your helmet, nudge, nudge”-types at (usually) sports events(the unofficial kind without mandatory helmets, not races)…

      • I do not believe a cap would helped. Scratches on the glasses, the frame of the glasses and the helmet are most likely to give some wounds. Not too serious, but at least unnecessary pain.
        I get your point, but: I was sitting only two times in cars which had an accident (and none would probable give me more serious injuries if not buckled) => So more than 700000 km (as driver) where the seat belt was of no use. If beeing devil’s advocate I would say seat belt usage is in the same unnecessary as bicycle helmet use…
        I had also while mountain biking once a crash where my helmet was of use – at least the marks of the Ring gear look serious to me. I use it. I do not force anyone to use it but I explain why I use it.

  6. AndreasLobinger

    Remember, this is “Dutch View” and not a scientific magazin. The real situation might be different.

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