An Economic Evaluation of the Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Legislation
in Western Australia
by Delia Hendrie, Matthew Legge, Diana Rosman
and Carol Kirov
Road Accident Prevention Research
Unit, Department of Public Health,
The University of Western Australia, Nedlands WA 6907, Australia
The researchers estimate that helmet legislation in WA has cost
A$21.6 million (mostly for helmet purchases) and reductions in the
cost of hospital admissions are only in the range of A$11 million
to A$23.6 million. If a realistic estimate of the cost of treating
a patient admitted with a typical head injury is used, the reduction
in cost drops into a range from A$7.6 million to A$15.1 million.
The most optimistic scenario for Western Australia is a A$2 million
dollar net benefit. The real figure more likely is a loss of up to
The authors state:
"In monetary terms, it is unlikely that the helmet wearing
legislation would have achieved net savings of any sizeable
magnitude. Under the assumptions used in the study, the most
favourable estimate of the Net Present Value of the bicycle
helmet legislation was $2.0 million, and this calculation
excluded any costs associated with reduced cycling activity."
Impact on Health in WA by Chris Gillham.
Helmet Laws, Numbers of Cyclists and Accident Rates by Dorothy Robinson.