Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Legislation – Report

Cycling has many health benefits, such as improved fitness, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and reduction of traffic congestion, air, and noise pollution. Similar to all forms of transportation, cycling can result in collisions and in turn injuries and fatalities. Research demonstrates that a properly fitted bike helmet can protect the head by absorbing the force from a collision or a fall, and also decreases the risk of a serious heady injury by as much as 85 per cent.1,2,3

Currently, Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (1995) only requires cyclists 18 years of age or younger to wear helmets. A strategy, which has been explored and considered to reduce cyclist-related injuries and fatalities, is the enactment of all-age legislation for helmet use while cycling. To address this discussion, Public Health Ontario has released a comprehensive knowledge synthesis report which evaluates the impacts of bicycle helmet legislation on cyclists of all ages.

To access the full report and the executive summary, click here.


  1. Thompson DC, Rivara FP, Thomson R. Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in cyclists. Cochrane Review. The Cochrane Library. 2001; 4:1-37.
  2. Attwell RG, Glase K, McFadden M. Bicycle helmet efficacy: a meta-analysis. Accident Analysis and Prevention 2001; 33: 345-352.
  3. Thompson RS, Rivara FP, Thompson DC. A Case-Control Study of the Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets. New England Journal of Medicine 1989; 320(21).


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