För snart två veckor sedan skrev jag om EU-parlamentarikern och cykelutredaren Kent Johanssons besök här. När lokaltidningen skrev om detta så kom det mesta att handla om cykelhjälmar. I dag publicerar tidningen mitt svar på deras artiklar, se bilden till vänster. På förekommen anledning publicerar jag här nedan en engelsk översättning* av insändaren;
”Stockholm residents better than people in Norrköping? Following articles on August 28 , we can conclude that the newspaper Norrköpings Tidningar plunged the chance to, in the context of the Government’s bike investigator Kent Johansson’s visit , discuss cycling in other than already beaten tracks. Instead, the largest space is given the bicycle helmet. According to a study of bicycle helmet use , we wear helmets in very low numbers when almost everyone in Stockholm does. Theese figures are not shown in relation to either accident numbers or bicycle use. Nor is how helmet use affect cyclists and its environment discussed, or if helmet propaganda affect the public image of the bicycle as mode of transport and bicycle use in generall.
Cycling is not dangerous. A study published in the British Medical Journal of cycling in congested and polluted Barcelona showed that the benefits outweighed the risks of 77:1 . This with no widespread helmet use. Other studies show that the benefits outweigh with between 13 to 415 times the risk . Cyclists live longer and are happier than motorists. Cyclists have fewer sick days and higher productivity.
The only thing we can be expected to happen at eagerly helmet advocacy is that we will see fewer cyclists on our bike paths and streets. Studies show that even if the bicycle related injuries decrease, so does also the number of cyclists on a larger scale , which means that we in fact have more injuries per cyclist. More damage and fewer cyclists !
We are then faced with the choice to propagate , with questionable data , bicycle helmet greatness and then risk that fewer people cycle . This at a time when inactivity is perhaps the greatest threat to our health. Instead, we should all work to increase bicycle use by making it more accessible . Continue expanding the infrastructure and improve the maintenance. In locations where separate infrastructure is not possible should speeds , like here in Norrköping, held on a human scale .
Do you see a cyclist ? Rejoice , if only because it means one less car on our streets.
Magnus, Velonavia”* ev fel skyller jag på Google translate