Advanced search

To wonder why wearing a cycle helmet isn't made law?

(280 Posts)
sensuallettuce Sat 26-May-12 16:48:33

I struggle to make my kids wear a cycle helmet as they perceive it to be very uncool ( and don't listen to me suggesting it may be more uncool to be dead or brain damaged sad.)

I lived in New Zealand for a while where it is law to wear one which seems to take away the "option" for school kids esp - everyone wears one - there is no debate.

Driving through town today I passed a lady on a push bike wearing a sam brown and loads of reflectors on her backpack but no helmet - so its our responsibility to see her rather than for her to protect herself.

AIBU to wonder what the reason is for it not being law to wear a helmet on a bicycle as it is on a motorcycle in this country? Even if not just for kids?

yakbutter Sat 26-May-12 16:51:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mishy1234 Sat 26-May-12 16:54:04

I think it should be the law, but I was listening to a discussion on the radio a while ago and apparently wearing one can make people more reckless (cyclists and motorists). I must admit I cringe when I see kids not wearing one and after a friend of mine being in a bad accident in which she would have died had she not been wearing one, I would always wear one myself.

sensuallettuce Sat 26-May-12 16:54:55

Obviously I know that hmm. What I meant was she is not taking responsibility for herself - and I have never in my life been on a cycling forum.

Birdsgottafly Sat 26-May-12 16:55:44

The research is mixed on the death/serious injuries being down to a lack of wearing a safety helmet and that is why it isn't made law.

In the UK we tend to want all statutory policies backed up with research that shows there is a good reason for putting them in place.

I wouldn't ride a bike if i had to wear a helmet, tbh.

It's also what penalties that would be given out for not wearing one, would the police be responsible? and would children be taken home by them, bikes seized etc.

It isn't that simple,it's how worthwhile that use of public money would be and whether everyone wanted the law.

seeker Sat 26-May-12 16:56:19

Because the jury is still out on whether they actually have any impact at all on death and serious injury.

There was one study that showed a significant factor in the perceived reduction in reported head injuries following new zeland's law was brought about by the dramatic reduction in girls cycling at all if they and to wear a helmet!

yakbutter Sat 26-May-12 16:58:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Sat 26-May-12 16:59:58

Just because you haven't been on a cycling forum before doesn't mean you can't go on one and read the reasons why many adults choose not to wear one. Doing research on something you don't understand is never a bad idea.

It might help you enforce the rule with your children, it doesn't mean that your 'rule' should be enforced. There are very reasonable reasons why some people feel they do more harm than good.

I don't like wearing one (for several reasons) but I do feel safer on busy country roads with one on when the trucks come thundering past... so sometimes I wear one and sometimes I don't - my choice.

Noqontrol Sat 26-May-12 17:01:39

I read some research somewhere that showed motorists give cyclists a wider birth if they see they are not wearing helmets. I don't wear a helmet myself, but I do make the kids wear one. I guess I'm giving a message of do what I say and not what I do though.

AgentZigzag Sat 26-May-12 17:02:29

It's probably not law because they're trying to encourage people to use their bikes and know loads wouldn't if they had to pay out more for a helmet and put up with helmet hair.

Me and DH don't wear helmets out cycling but the DDs do, I'm not convinced by the arguments made for wearing them, mostly because of the research already mentioned showing how wearing a helmet can affect the way drivers behave around the cyclist, which although doesn't prove anything either way, does show everything's not always as it's portrayed.

Olympia2012 Sat 26-May-12 17:02:29

Hmm, well I think ALL road users should wear them, including notability scooter/buggy riders

AgentZigzag Sat 26-May-12 17:04:36

This is the research paper if anyone's interested

puds11 Sat 26-May-12 17:06:23

If my DD wont wear a helmet on her bike, then i will take her bike away. As far as im concered, if a parent allows their child to go out on the roads without a helmet on, they may aswell run then over themselves. Dramatic, i know, but this is my opinion. It is also based on my experience of having nearly lost my dad in cycle accident. The only thing that saved him was his helmet. They have proven their worth, without them i would have lost my dad aged 10. Thats my dad, not my child, and i know which would be worse.

McHappyPants2012 Sat 26-May-12 17:07:33

Why is there a law on seatbelts, I have to wear a seat belt in a car by law and also the car makes a beeping sound until I put it on.

I know it's a law for my own safety, so surly helmets come under the same thing

sensuallettuce Sat 26-May-12 17:08:21

Yakbutter - do you not think motorcyclists should use them then?

I think it should be law for kids yes - adults are another matter - but to make your kids wear one and not wear one yourself is quite crap I think tbh.

If they are not effective then surely the design of the helmet needs to be changed?

AgentZigzag Sat 26-May-12 17:09:24

What happens when the DC hits 15/16 and refuses to wear a helmet but you want them to be out and about on their bike and leave you in peace?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 26-May-12 17:10:28


1. Research shows that wearing helmets may not have that much effect of injury

2. Research shows that wearing helmets makes people act in a riskier manner.

3. Research shows that deaths from not wearing helmets are more than offset by the health benefits of cycling. It has beeen shown that compulsory helmet wearing reduces cycling levels a) because of vanity b) compulsory helmets make it seem like a riskyactivity.


sensuallettuce Sat 26-May-12 17:10:33

They can't refuse if it's law - that's my point.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 26-May-12 17:11:10

My husband didn't always wear one.

Then he was knocked off his bike at a roundabout by a driver who wasn't looking where she was going - and landed on his head. On a day when he wasn't wearing one.

He was lucky to get away with a scar on his forehead as the only permanent damage.

Now he wears a helmet. And keeps a particular eye out for 4 wheel drives at roundabouts.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 26-May-12 17:11:57

BTW compulsory helmet wearing in cars would save more lives...

PatTheHammer Sat 26-May-12 17:14:58

Hmmm, I'm not sure. I wear one, even though it makes me look a dick and I mainly cycle on cycle paths not roads. Unless I read some research that says the helmet will actually harm me if I fall off my bike, I don't see the problem as I'd rather not land on my head without it on.

My kids are fine about it, possibly because they are very little and also they see me wear one.

Now, what needs to be against the law is fecking cyclists with earphones in, one nearly ran my DD over the other week as he couldn't hear an effing thing so never heard her approaching the junction (she could have also been a car.....its a blind junction into a residential road with a massive hedge.....he would have been very seriously hurt). My DH was able to grab his handlebars to stop the bike flipping over, that still didn't stop the arsehole ranting about DH keeping DD under control...................umm, she is 6 and was about 5 foot in front of DH, clearly out of control!

sensuallettuce Sat 26-May-12 17:15:51

Hmm not sure I'd risk my kids lives on the "research" itsallgoingtobefine.

AgentZigzag Sat 26-May-12 17:16:01

'1. Research shows that wearing helmets may not have that much effect of injury'

It's also that they only protect cyclists from certain types of impacts, like no use if it's to the side of your head, but the cyclist behave differently thinking they have more protection than they actually do and take more risks.

ComposHat Sat 26-May-12 17:17:04

I always wear one, but don't kid myself it will make an iota of difference if I get hit by a speeding car.

I think they are intended to minimise low speed low impact spills.

My pet bugbear is people putting helmets on their kids and not tightening up the chinstrap so the moment the kids come off the bike the helmet will go flying.

sensuallettuce Sat 26-May-12 17:17:40

So you let your kids cycle without one do you Agentzigzag?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now