Danish Cops Give Out Hugs and Helmets

Looks like you don’t have to be cruel to be kind, after all. In an effort to increase helmet use and show that they care, Danish police officers stopped bicyclists and offered hugs, as well as helmets. This 2009 campaign to promote helmet use came from the Municipal District of Aalborg in Denmark in association with the North Jutland Police and the Danish Cyclists Federation. Advertising agency SHRPA designed the concept and executed the campaign to drive home the point, “use a helmet because we love you.” (You might also enjoy reading this post on how buses help “spread the love” in Copenhagen.)

Denmark does not have any mandatory laws for helmet use among bicyclists, but bicycle culture in Denmark is widespread with cycling a common part of people’s daily lives.

Bike helmet usage and mandatory laws urging for its use have recently come into question for their safety. Critics argue that wearing a helmet deters individuals from bicycling because the use of helmets is inconvenient, less comfortable and not fashionable. Critics also argue that wearing a helmet gives a false sense of safety, leading bicyclists and private vehicle drivers into riskier behavior. (Read our Q&A with Mikael Colville-Andersen on the controversy over bike helmets.)

What’s your opinion on helmet use? Do you use one? What other arguments have you heard for and against helmet use? Share with us in the comments section.

Also, check out these other funny and informative pro-helmet public service announcements and campaigns:

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