Cycling: Helmets

Department for Transport written question – answered on 13th June 2016.

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Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Conservative, Chippenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to make it a legal requirement for cyclists to wear helmets.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Government policy is that cycle helmets offer a degree of protection for cyclists in the event of a fall from a bicycle and some types of collisions. This is in line with the Highway Code rule 59 which states “you should wear a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened”

We encourage the use of helmets by all cyclists and in particular by children. However, people and parents are free to choose whether to follow this advice and we have no plans to legislate to introduce a mandatory requirement for the wearing of cycle helmets.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes21 people think so

No1 person thinks not

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Annotations

Andrew Avis
Posted on 14 Jun 2016 9:11 pm (Report this annotation)

It answers the question but note that the answer is carefully worded.

Government policy is that cycle helmets offer a degree of protection for cyclists in the event of a fall from a bicycle and some types of collisions.
Note that this is policy of the government, like locking up homosexuals used to be. There is no word here about any evidence that a degree of protection is offered or even how many degrees of protection is offered if any.

This is in line with the Highway Code rule 59 which states “you should wear a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened”

Note that this says should, not must, as there is no law currently enforcing this in the UK. Interestingly it refers to current regulations, of which there isn't any. Nothing like future proofing an unpopular clause.

We encourage the use of helmets by all cyclists and in particular by children.

Ah-ha. Its always the children. "If we save one childs life then it is worth it". But how many children are dying of obesity and heart problems etc, caused by a lack of exercise? (Or hanging themselves by accident from a climbing frame)

However, people and parents are free to choose whether to follow this advice and we have no plans to legislate to introduce a mandatory requirement for the wearing of cycle helmets.
But it isn't for the want of trying from both leading parties.

The truth is that apart from a few "elf n safety" loonies, the people who are pushing for compulsory helmet legislation are the helmet manufacturers, the helmet retailers and those who would like see cycling diminish and eventually disappear. I wonder why they would do that?
Next British Association Tabacco would like a word about the health benefits of cigarettes.