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Denmark's government wants to make helmets obligatory

Ministers are concerned that the current law is open to exploitation. 

DENMARK could soon see a helmet law overhaul, following concerns that biker gangs are exploiting the current law.

In the Scandinavian country, riders are allowed to go helmetless if they obtain a doctor’s note or have a legitimate non-medical reason such as wearing a turban. However, government ministers believe that “biker gang types” often threaten doctors in order to obtain the note.

According to a report by The Local, the transport and health ministers have this week presented a proposal this week that would eliminate all exceptions.

Health minister Ellen Trane Nørby commented: “It’s unlikely that all have a good medical reason [for not wearing a helmet]. We certainly should not in any way accept biker gang types who either cheat or threaten their way to a doctor’s note that gives them a dispensation to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.”

Transport Minister Ole Birk Olesen agreed.

“You can see on the streets that many are riding without a helmet,” he said. “I can neither see nor believe that they have deformed heads or claustrophobia that would keep them from putting helmets on their heads.”

He added that if there really is a medical reason to not wear a helmet, those people shouldn’t ride motorcycles in the first place.

While the ministers conceded they had no idea if false or coerced doctors’ notes are a major issue in Denmark, they claimed it was an assumption based on “a clear hunch”.

Olesen also noted that the proposed change is for riders’ own good.

 “There is a much higher risk of being killed or seriously injured in a traffic accident when you travel by moped or motorcycle when compared to other forms of transport,” he explained.

“It is thus essential to the safety of moped and motorcycle operators that they wear a helmet, and there should be no exceptions.”

If the government’s proposal is passed the new rules will take effect on January 1st, while those with an existing doctor’s note will be allowed to continue riding helmetless until July 1st.

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