Gympie Police officer Chris Watson.
Gympie Police officer Chris Watson. Renee Albrecht

Gympie cop reveals 'most frustrating' thing about cyclists

A GYMPIE police officer has named the "most frustrating” behaviours of cyclists not wearing helmets - or not wearing them properly, after it was revealed 154 riders had been pinged in the Gympie QPS division since 2013.

Gympie Road Policing Unit Acting Sergeant and Officer in Charge Chris Watson said loose or detached chin straps were a problem. on helmets continued to cause issues.

"Awareness of bicycle helmet rules is much better now than when the laws were first introduced,” A/Sgt Watson said.

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"Unfortunately there are still a number of cyclists that continue to either not wear bicycle helmets, or wear helmets that are ill fitting, not correctly adjusted or securely fastened.

"One of the most important things in relation to wearing a bicycle helmet is that it is an approved helmet that it is correctly adjusted to fit the rider.

"The most frustrating part is seeing cyclists with the chin strap too loose or not done up at all. In the case of a crash, if the helmet is not securely fastened to the riders head it will not be useful in eliminating or reducing the severity of any head injuries the rider may suffer.”

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Department of Transport and Main Roads statistics revealed "no helmet” infringement notices issued in the Gympie Police division had dramatically decreased between 2013 to 2018, this year's figures tallied up to July 31 had already almost equalled last year's.

The stats showed 11 Gympie riders (or passengers) had copped fines up to $130 in the first half of 2018, just one shy on the total 2017 amount.

A/Sgt Watson pointed to proven safety benefits behind using common sense and properly donning a helmet.

"Police would always urge all cyclists to use common sense and to obey all rules and regulations associated with the riding of cycles. This includes the wearing of approved bicycle helmets,” he said.

"Research shows that wearing a cycle helmet while riding a bicycle 'reduced fatal head injuries by around 65%'.

"Also, they show 'helmet use to be associated with about a 50% reduction in head injuries of any severity and about a 70% reduction in serious head injuries (typically skull fractures, inter-cranial bleeding or injury to the brain), and a 33% reduction in facial injuries'.

"The studies also show 'no link between wearing a helmet and neck injuries'.”