Are helmets now compulsory?

chewa
chewa Posts: 164
edited June 2010 in Commuting chat
Just been watching BBC London and the reporter has said that cyclists can be fined in London for jumping red lights, riding on pavements, using mobiles while riding or not wearing a helmet.

Now, I'm in favour of fines for the first three but, although i personally wear a helmet (and don't want to start the debate) don't favour compulsion.

So, unless I've missed something has the BBC cocked up?
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Comments

  • asprilla
    asprilla Posts: 8,440
    Not compulsory.
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  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    BBC Blooper ! :?
  • MrChuck
    MrChuck Posts: 1,663
    fossyant wrote:
    BBC Blooper ! :?

    Yeah, and an annoying one because Joe Public watching that will think it's compulsory, which isn't great because he probably already thinks that cyclists that get injured are asking for it, and the ones without helmets are asking for it even more.
  • Not compulsory, mandatory or any other -tory.
    Especially not at 27 chuffing degrees.
    I like the main photo on the London Cycle Challenge home page
    "Consider the grebe..."
  • Fireblade96
    Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    Not compulsory, thank goodness !

    The single greatest increase in my riding enjoyment over the last month has been due to not wearing a helmet :D

    (I still wear one while MTBing though)
    Misguided Idealist
  • ketsbaia
    ketsbaia Posts: 1,718
    Brilliant. Just seen the report on BBC London and the main focus of the piece? Fining cyclists who jump red lights.

    Nothing on motor vehicles encroaching in the ASL. Nothing.

    Cheers, BBC. Nice, impartial piece, that. :x
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    Or, for that matter, cars jumping red lights (not to mention that last time I looked amber was stop if safe to do so rather than floor it before it turns red). Some lights, eg Hyde Park Corner, often 7 or so cars will go through on red.
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    As someone who was nearly killed by a car jumping a red light - I was also in a car and he was doing 50mph (more or less removed the front of my car) - I can't get too worked up about cyclist jumping red lights (I don't do it BTW) until they stop cars doing it - or at least try. Up here, the practice is rife.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Mark Elvin
    Mark Elvin Posts: 997
    The school my two daughters attend (8 & 5 y/o) and my wife teaches at have regulkar cycling events, but the headmaster point blank refuses to make it a requirement that helmets are worn stating "there is no proof that they prevent injury".

    I've quized him as to how he feels a skull hitting a pavement unprotected can be as safe as a skull protected by a helmet, but he simply refuses to justify his actions.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    "there is no proof that......

    I've quized him as to how he feels a......

    Two different things. :wink:

    If you want your kids to wear helmets then put helmets on them. As will most other parents. It does bug me while MTBing when I see kids on Cannock Chase with their parents, riding over proper rocky stuff without helmets.

    But the headmaster isn't wrong in what he says, I would have thought he';d err on the side of caution though.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Mark Elvin
    Mark Elvin Posts: 997
    But common sense says that in the event of an off, you are better wearing a helmet to prevent ground/skull interface occuring.

    We insist out kids wear helmets, and they, thankfully won't ride without them, by choice.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Common sense isn't proof though. Find some scientific proof, and then he'll have the proof he needs to bring in a rule change.

    In actual fact all he's saying is "Doing 'X' has not been proven to be a way of decreasing risk of injury/death, therefore we won't do 'X'".

    If 'X' was encasing the entire school in lead to protect from nuclear explosions, or making children wear safety goggles all day, it would seem a bit ridiculous. :wink:
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Seems to me all the head is saying is that kids are welcome to wear them, and parents can insist if they want to, but he has no desire to prevent kids from taking part if they don't wear one. Pretty simple to me. Wear one if you want, but I'm not going to force you.

    There's a world of difference between that and not allowing kids to wear a helmet.
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    CiB wrote:
    Seems to me all the head is saying is that kids are welcome to wear them, and parents can insist if they want to, but he has no desire to prevent kids from taking part if they don't wear one. Pretty simple to me. Wear one if you want, but I'm not going to force you.

    There's a world of difference between that and not allowing kids to wear a helmet.

    Yeah, spot on, so my post should actually have read "....So we won't MAKE YOU do 'X' but you can if you want to"
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    The school my two daughters attend (8 & 5 y/o) and my wife teaches at have regulkar cycling events, but the headmaster point blank refuses to make it a requirement that helmets are worn stating "there is no proof that they prevent injury".

    I've quized him as to how he feels a skull hitting a pavement unprotected can be as safe as a skull protected by a helmet, but he simply refuses to justify his actions.

    Surely he has justified his actions. He has pointed out that there's no proof that they prevent injury, so doesn't insist that they are worn. If you think that position is wrong then all you have to do is prove that helmets prevent injury and he will no doubt change his position.

    Good luck with that. :-)

    Cheers,
    W.
  • gbsahne001
    gbsahne001 Posts: 1,973
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    We insist out kids wear helmets, and they, thankfully won't ride without them, by choice.

    not necessarily; on my way to work I see a large no. of kids cycling with the helmet hanging on the crossbars. Obviously the parents have put their darlings on the bikes, made sure they're wearing the helmet and when the kids are round the corner; off they come.
  • petejuk
    petejuk Posts: 235
    He's placed the responsibility in the hands of the parents to make the best decision they deem as appropriate to their child. That's a good thing and should be applauded. As long as he informs the parents fully as to what the riding entails, they will be able to make that decision.
  • Mark Elvin
    Mark Elvin Posts: 997
    gbsahne wrote:
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    not necessarily; on my way to work I see a large no. of kids cycling with the helmet hanging on the crossbars. Obviously the parents have put their darlings on the bikes, made sure they're wearing the helmet and when the kids are round the corner; off they come.

    The first thing out kids do when they get their bike out is pop on their helmets.

    I simply refuse to belive that anybody can be naive/stupid/bl;inkered enough to think a helmet is of no benefit.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    petejuk wrote:
    He's placed the responsibility in the hands of the parents to make the best decision they deem as appropriate to their child. That's a good thing and should be applauded. As long as he informs the parents fully as to what the riding entails, they will be able to make that decision.
    Indeed.

    And what are these 'cycling events' that expose the 5-8 year-olds to such danger that they must wear protective head gear in case they tumble over? Have you ever watched kids fall off bikes, or tip their pedal cars over? I have. [It's quite funny actually :)]. They tuck themselves in instinctively. In all my 109 years of seeing kids fall off bikes all I've ever seen is cuts to hands; elbows & knees etc.

    Force your own kids to wear protective head gear for low-risk activities if you must, but don't expect the rest of us to follow suit, and don't have a pop at someone who takes the view that this school head takes. Just because he hasn't fallen for the 'won't someone think of the poor children' line he's not a bad person; he's just given it some rational thought.

    It's your choice in the end, until of course some brainless MP or worse MEP decides that something must be done.

    Sorry to bang on. Helmets do my 'ead in. :)
  • petejuk
    petejuk Posts: 235
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    gbsahne wrote:
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    not necessarily; on my way to work I see a large no. of kids cycling with the helmet hanging on the crossbars. Obviously the parents have put their darlings on the bikes, made sure they're wearing the helmet and when the kids are round the corner; off they come.

    The first thing out kids do when they get their bike out is pop on their helmets.

    I simply refuse to belive that anybody can be naive/stupid/bl;inkered enough to think a helmet is of no benefit.

    Just because its a benefit to safety, it doesn't need to be compulsory. ABS on a car is advantageous but not compulsory. Similarly, wearing protective clothing on a motorcycle is, in my opinion, bafflingly stupid, but not compulsory. The right to choose, to take risk or to be cautious is fundamentally important.
  • Mark Elvin
    Mark Elvin Posts: 997
    CiB wrote:

    Sorry to bang on. Helmets do my 'ead in. :)

    One probably saved my life a few years back, hence why I feel so strongly about it.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse
  • Fireblade96
    Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    petejuk wrote:
    Just because its a benefit to safety, it doesn't need to be compulsory. ....The right to choose, to take risk or to be cautious is fundamentally important.
    +++++ many

    Blimey, parallel helmet threads this morning ! Some posters seem to be getting a little hot-headed - maybe they should take their lids off and let the wind cool them ;-)
    Misguided Idealist
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    ..One probably saved my life a few years back, hence why I feel so strongly about it.

    Yes. This clearly demonstrates a key point.
    This is the experience of a large number of people, and many, many more can cite similar experiences from a friend or relation. It's clear there have been a very large number of lives saved by the widespread adoption of helmets.. why one only has to look at the dramatic reduction in head injuries to cyclists over the last twenty to thirty years to see how effective they are. Just ask anyone in their forties how many of their contemporaries suffered head injuries during their youth.... and look at the number of people who still suffer the effects today.

    Take me, for example. I was so seriously brain damaged when I was a child that I actually choose not to wear a helmet much of the time!! Insane, isn't it!

    Cheers,
    W.
  • DVV
    DVV Posts: 126
    But what about the gene pool?

    I for one think that no one should wear helmets. Then primarily the stupid, and/or dangerous/incautious riders will be at greater risk of injury.
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    DVV wrote:
    But what about the gene pool?

    I for one think that no one should wear helmets. Then primarily the stupid, and/or dangerous/incautious riders will be at greater risk of injury.

    Ah, but you are still assuming they are effective, despite the lack of evidence to support that assumption!!

    Cheers,
    W.
  • DaveHudson
    DaveHudson Posts: 290
    I'm of the opinion that if you make them compulsory, fewer people will cycle or end up buying cheap poor fitting helmets which could potentially do more damage.

    I wear one on every journey I make, But I won't force my opinion onto others. Personal choice. :)
  • Mark Elvin
    Mark Elvin Posts: 997
    On the basis that helmets are not proven to do anything, why wear then on motorcycles?
    2012 Cannondale Synapse
  • WesternWay
    WesternWay Posts: 564
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    The school my two daughters attend (8 & 5 y/o) and my wife teaches at have regulkar cycling events, but the headmaster point blank refuses to make it a requirement that helmets are worn stating "there is no proof that they prevent injury"..

    This is 100% the approach that I think the headmaster should take.

    You want your children to wear a helmet, make them wear a helmet, that is your responsibility not the school's.

    Bikes should be quick, easy things, free of faff. Having a helmet is faff.

    I always wear a helmet. I wouldn't like to be without it, but I am very, very anti the idea that helmets should be compulsory or that a cyclist without a helmet is irresponsible.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,686
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    On the basis that helmets are not proven to do anything, why wear then on motorcycles?
    Motorbike helmets are quite different to bicycle helmets. That's like saying "Why wear a seatbelt if there's no evidence that a piece of string tied around you will help in a crash?"
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    On the basis that helmets are not proven to do anything, why wear then on motorcycles?

    Riding a motorcycle wearing a cycle helmet would be illegal.

    I expect that wearing a motorcycle helmet to ride a bike would offer significantly better protection than a cycle helmet... I wonder why more people don't do that? perhaps they perceive cycling as safer than motorcycling?

    Cheers,
    W.