Bicycle helmet law does not deter cyclists in Finland

Abstract

Bicycle helmet legislation (BHL) in Finland went into effect in January 2003 and applies to cyclists of all ages. There are no mechanisms to fine cyclists riding without a helmet; however, helmet wearing rates are 64% in Helsinki and 42% across Finland. Our aim was to discuss possible effects of BHL on cycling in Finland. We used data from the 19981999, 20042005 and 20102011 Finnish National Travel Surveys. Data across three surveys suggest cycling has declined from before to after BHL. In a 20042005 survey, however, only 0.063% (95% CI: 0.02–0.10%) of responders identified helmet use as their most important obstacle to cycling. It is unlikely BHL is a causal factor in the downward trend in Finnish cycling. Lack of cycling infrastructure and concerns for safety are much more common reasons given. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Publication
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour