The Roads & Traffic Authority of NSW has commissioned an advertising campaign to promote bicycle helmets. As many of those campaigns are, it is deceptive, while portraying cycling as more dangerous than it really is. Here is a short extract from the ad:
“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”
The underlying message is:
- Cycling is dangerous
- Wearing a polystyrene hat makes cycling ‘safe’
These misconceptions have been refuted many times, for example here.
The core message people retain from such ad is “cycling is dangerous”. Helmet promotions like this one are known to scare people off cycling.
A bicycle activist created an amusing parody of this deceptive ad, pointing out what is missing.
HelmetFreedom has also some sample letters you can use to write to your MP.