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Bicycle helmet prevalence two years after the introduction of mandatory use legislation for under 18 year olds in Alberta, Canada

Abstract

Objective: To determine changes in helmet use in cyclists following the introduction of a bicycle helmet law for children under age 18.

Methods: Cyclists were observed by two independent observers from July to August 2004 (post-legislation) in Edmonton, Alberta. The data were compared with a similar survey completed at the same locations and days in July to August 2000 (pre-legislation). Data were collected for 271 cyclists in 2004 and 699 cyclists in 2000.

Results: The overall prevalence of helmet use increased from 43% (95% CI 39 to 47%) in 2000 to 53% (95% CI 47 to 59%) in 2004. Helmet use increased in those under 18, but did not change in those 18 and older. In the cluster adjusted multivariate Poisson regression model, the prevalence of helmet use significantly increased for those under age 18 (adjusted prevalence ratio (APR) 3.69, 95% CI 2.65 to 5.14), but not for those 18 years and older (APR 1.17, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.43).

Conclusion: Extension of legislation to all age groups should be considered.

  • legislation
  • repeat cross sectional survey
  • bicycle helmet

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