Bike helmets – should they be compulsory or not? The for and against on this topic has been hotly debated in the past. Do you agree or disagree?

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says “I believe that bike helmets should be mandatory for anyone riding their bike on the road….However, where I do think people have a valid point is the potential to relax helmet laws in safer off-road situations….I therefore think it’s now the right time these laws were reviewed and voluntary helmet use trialled for safer off-road situations.” Your thoughts?

Share your thoughts in our comment box below.


Lord Mayor, I was distressed to read your suggestion that bike helmets could be done away with on areas like safe bikeways. I fail to see how the concrete bikeway path is any softer than the concrete or bitumen on the road when one falls off? Nev Cooke, Taringa

It is crazy to get rid of helmets! Ask neurosurgeons. Helmets have saved hundreds of lives. Next you will want to get rid of seatbelts; these have saved thousands of lives. Joy, Yeronga

Who would ever have thought that our esteemed Lord Mayor could write such a piece without one mention at all of the disaster which is the Hire Bicycle Scheme? Moreover, in his wisdom how am I to ride the half a mile to get on to the, what could be, a helmet free bikeway? Will I be prosecuted for not wearing a helmet when I leave my front yard and ride out on to the main road outside? Surely it is time to be honest and end this farcical situation once and for all. Let the wearing of helmets be a personal choice. Ditching the present laws would put more people on bikes all over the state and I believe that more bikes on the road would lead to a change of attitude of all vehicle drivers across the whole spectrum of road users. Ron Gray, Kalinga

I for one welcome opening the mandatory bike helmet laws for discussion, and I strongly support removing the law. Regulation makes for a poor substitute for education. In my opinion the solution needs to involve city council, state government, and schools. Council’s role in the cycling safety arena should be about providing safe avenues for cyclists to use, and promoting education for riding safely around the city. Passing laws is just a simple hand-washing exercise which merely wastes time and taxpayer money trying to enforce, doesn’t address removing the dangers facing cyclists, and works against encouraging people into an activity that holds so many benefits to traffic congestion, parking, and health and well-being. Steve, Middle Park

From my point of view this would be a step in the wrong direction.  I have been riding a bicycle from when I was 14 and I am now 67.  I have had one occasion when the helmet saved me.  Without the helmet I would have hit solid ground with my temple and who know what the consequences would have been. Regarding how you are allocating lots of money for more, better, safer bikeways that is great, but when you land on cement it is still hard. Tino Spadaro 

I wish to argue against relaxing the law in “off road” situations. I suggest you need to ride for yourself in these areas and you will be astounded at the speed cyclists pass through areas crowded with pedestrians and other cyclists (for example try the Goodwill Bridge at around 5pm to 6 pm). It is only a matter of time that someone is going to get hurt and thus cyclists need to be made to wear helmets. Also, you seem to not realise that nearly all cyclists need to access or leave road cycle ways via roads being used by cars.  Paul Hinkley, Highgate Hill

Hi Graham, thanks for replacing one of the bike paths in Mowbray park – it makes for a much smoother ride!  I really hope we can continue to improve the cycle routes in the inner south Brisbane – the bridge over Norman creek on Wynnum Rd (which is the cycle/footpath) is a veritable minefield and is causing damage to my bike.  Equally the whole of Norman Avenue from Wynnum Road right through to the Norman Park train station is incredibly pot-holed.  I would encourage you to get on your bike to see for yourself just how bad it is – it is becoming dangerous for cyclists and drivers alike as cyclists move right to dodge the potholes, further into the road.  I know that you want to encourage ‘brisbaners’ to become increasingly green (and to adopt a healthy lifestyle) so improving cycle routes is important. Laura Macdonald, Norman Park