Peter Bothe owes his life to his bicycle helmet but says wearing one should be a choice for adults.
The Sacred Heart College principal was left with permanent injuries after he fell off his bike in Iluka in 2011.
“I was riding along the bike path and had two little girls scattered on the path in front of me — I went off the path, over the front bars and head first into a ditch,” he said.
“I couldn’t move anything. I had fractured my C3 and C4 and had a badly bruised spinal chord.”
The neurosurgeon who operated on Mr Bothe told him his helmet, smashed to pieces in the crash, saved his life.
Mandatory helmet laws came under the spotlight this week as national cycling lobby the Bicycle Network pushed to relax helmet laws.
Network chief executive Craig Richards said people aged over 17 should be able to choose whether they wanted to wear a helmet when riding on cycling paths or trails.
Mr Bothe supported this view but said he hoped his story would help educate people about the importance of helmets.
“I am all for individual freedom but I think legislation does not go anywhere near as far as good education,” he said.
Westcycle chief executive Matt Fulton said he did not support Bicycle Network’s view and that people must wear helmets when riding bikes.
Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said there were no plans to relax helmet laws in WA.