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Nov. 14, 2004. 01:00 AM
No proof to support need for helmet law

Helmets do save lives

Letter, Nov. 9.

Dr. Charles Tator states that statistics show helmets can prevent the majority of deaths from head injury among bicyclists. I have been researching helmet use and efficacy, as well as other cycling accident data, for more than 10 years and there is no scientific evidence to support his claim. In 28 years of Transport Canada data, the fatality trend for cyclists has been almost identical to that of pedestrians, despite that over the period as many as 50 per cent of cyclists have taken up helmet use.

Since pedestrians and car users suffer far more head injuries than cyclists, why doesn't Tator request his friends at the Legislature to extend the bill to include these road user categories? After all, when a head suffers a debilitating blow, does it make any difference whether it is the head of a cyclist, a motorist or a pedestrian? Cyclists account for only 1.6 per cent of Ontario traffic fatalities (about 20 per annum in Ontario). Science is on our side.

Avery Burdett, Accident Researcher, Ontario Coalition for Better Cycling, Ottawa

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