It talks about Melbourne’s bike share scheme; the experience in Europe (where cyclist numbers are higher, but injuries are lower) vs Australia (which it sounds like is the only country with compulsory bike helmet laws, since 1990, and is now cited in Europe has how not to do things); what really makes cyclists safe (investment in separate bike paths and lanes); the changing attitudes to road investment in European cities (concentrating on cars in the 50s, but switching back to cyclists and pedestrians in the 70s and ever since); and the ego and antagonism from both cyclists and motorists.
On an individual level, your risk of injury is undoubtedly lessened by wearing a helmet. (One of the medical experts said you’re four times less likely to incur head injuries.)
But on a communal level, it’s quite possible that society might well be better off by not having compulsory helmet laws — because they discourage people, and in cycling, safety comes in numbers — and instead concentrating on more bike lanes and bike paths, as they have in the most successful cycling cities in Europe.
(Certainly for me the concern about sharing space with cars and trucks is my biggest worry about cycling.)
In turn, cities with less people cycling means less overall health benefit from active transport, so a less healthy society overall.
One contributor to the programme suggested that a study needs to be conducted, which could involve one state repealing (at least temporarily) its helmet laws, to see what happens.