A Systematic Review of Bicycle Helmet Laws Enacted Worldwide
Submission Date: August 16, 2018 Journal
Suggested Citation: Esmaeilikia, M., Grzebieta, R., and Olivier, J. (2018). A Systematic Review of Bicycle Helmet Laws Enacted Worldwide. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 29(3), 30-38.
A systematic review was undertaken to summarise bicycle helmet laws (BHL) enacted around the world, when they were introduced, available information regarding enforcement fines and whether they were later repealed. Jurisdictions with some form of BHL were identified using several sources including European Commission, Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, government websites, and news articles. Wikipedia and advocacy group websites were also searched, but material was included only if verified from other sources. Road safety organisations in countries with existing BHL were also contacted. Information regarding date BHL was introduced, age of riders required to wear a helmet, what fines apply, and where and when BHL was modified or repealed, were gathered. There are currently 28 countries in total that have a helmet bicycle law. When the data is broken down in terms of countries, states, and cities, there have been at least 273 bicycle helmet laws enacted all over the world. Nine countries have bicycle helmet laws that apply to all ages as well as half of Canadian provinces, some US cities, urban travel in Chile and Slovakia, and interurban travel in Israel and Spain. To date, seventeen jurisdictions have modified their laws and only two laws have been fully repealed (Mexico City and Bosnia and Herzegovina). Although often presented as unique to cycling in Australia or New Zealand, bicycle helmet legislation has been enacted in many locations around the world. These laws are also robust with less than 1% of these laws (two instances) being fully repealed.