We stumbled across these images on the bicycle site PinkBike.com and noted parallels with the helmet-use debate in motorcycling. With our curiosity piqued, we researched the photos and discovered that they appear to have been part of a 2007 campaign in favor of motorcycle helmet use by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP). According to AIP, their “mission is to provide life-saving traffic safety knowledge and skills to the developing world with the goal of preventing road traffic fatalities and injuries.”

The AIP works with local governments and other communities and hopes to accomplish its goals through a “five pillar” approach to preventing traffic related injuries and deaths. First, they run targeted programs promoting helmet safety, pedestrian safety and overall road safety. They follow up with education and public awareness programs. Their global, legislative advocacies “advocate for improved road traffic conditions and protection for vulnerable road users.” Fourth, AIP is involved in helmet production at its Protec helmet manufacturing facility to deliver low-cost helmets suitable to the climates of much of the developing world. Finally, AIP follows up its initiatives with studies to make sure that its efforts are data-driven with provable results.

Family of five on a scooter

In much of Asia and the developing world, motorcycles are a primary means of transportation, and it is not uncommon to see entire families squeezed on to a scooter – often with no one wearing a helmet. By promoting education and donations of helmets, AIP hopes to reduce the risks these people are exposed to.

The advertisements show some of the real consequences of not wearing a helmet. The photos are not easy to look at, but sometimes taking an honest approach to something requires facing things we may not want to see. We believe these photos highlight the foolishness behind many riders’ reasons for not protecting themselves. When viewed in this context, the reasons seem pretty silly, don’t you think?

Readers of Motorcycle.com know that we favor the use of helmets and other protective gear. Our only regret about posting these photos is that they are of such a low resolution.

Go ahead, flame away anti-helmet folks. We always wear our protective gear.

[Source: Asia Injury Prevention Foundation]