Contrast it to the original ad.
A bicycle activist has created an amusing parody of a fearmongering ad commissioned by a government agency to promote bicycle helmets.
The ad makes this extraordinary claim:
“Don’t think that little ride to the shops warrants wearing [a helmet]? Well I’ve got news for you. Even on a short ride you can have a big fall and you can suffer a MAJOR brain injury”
This is misleading nonsense for two reasons:
- The chance of getting a major brain injury while cycling gently to the shops is less than when crossing the street as a pedestrian. To tell cyclists they have been singled out to wear a helmet when their risk of head injury is lower than others makes no sense.
- It is suggested that wearing a helmet would prevent a severe brain injury. That is not true. Bicycle helmets are not capable of doing that. On the contrary, they are known to increase the risk of brain injury. It is ludicrous to use brain injury scare tactics to push people towards the “safety” of polystyrene helmets that are known to increase the risk of brain injury.
This ad misleads people by reinforcing two myths:
- Cycling is dangerous
- Wearing a polystyrene hat makes cycling “safe”
These myths have been refuted many times, like here for example:
- Cycling is safer than netball.
- Bicycle helmets increase the risk of accidents and injury.
The core message people retain from such ads is that “cycling is dangerous”. Helmet promotions like this one are known to scare people off cycling. This turns people away from a safe, gentle and healthy mode of transport.
This “message” was commissioned by “road safety” bureaucrats who are very generous with taxpayer’s money to fund propaganda. How can it be money well spent to tell people that cycling is dangerous when other bureaucrats from the health department are spending taxpayer’s money to encourage cycling?