Road Safety News

Helmet-less cyclists must share blame for injuries, rules judge

Monday 23rd March 2009

A High Court judge has ruled that cyclists are partly to blame for their injuries if they fail to wear a helmet, even if the accident was not their fault (Times Online).

The ruling, which has caused consternation in the cycling world, could see damages for injuries cut by 15%. Critics believe it could be a backdoor means of forcing cyclists to wear helmets.

The judge ruled on a case brought by Robert Smith, who was riding in Brightlingsea, Essex, in 2005 when a motorcycle collided with his bicycle. As a consequence, Mr Smith sustained a serious brain injury.

He had not been wearing a cycle helmet and Mr Justice Griffith Williams ruled: “There can be no doubt that the failure to wear a helmet may expose the cyclist to risk of greater injury…any injury sustained may be the cyclist’s own fault.”

Click here to read the full Times Online news report.



Comment on this story
Report a reader comment

What's your view - comment on this story:

I confirm that I have read and accept the moderation policy and house rules relating to comments posted on this website.
Your comment:
Your name and location:
Your email:

Another completely misleading headline! Is your headline writer an ex-Daily Mail reporter?

The judge did not make a ruling as described, he did say in an obiter dictum, that not wearing a helmet could lead to a reduction in damages, but this has no legal standing. The judge has been roundly criticised for making his comments, which he is not qualifed to comment on, flies in the face of all reliable evidence, and the evidence in the case before him.

Every time that the car insurance companies have tried to reduce damages to a cyclist not wearing a helmet, they have withdrawn the claim at the doors of the court, because they know it would be thrown out. It's just another scare tactic to frighten cyclists into wearing a useless piece of plastic and save money for the insurance companies.

Cycle helmets are a money-making scam by the helmet manufacturers, supported by misguided do-gooders.
Richard Burton, Bristol

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

When are we next going to see a court ruling or an insurance company arguing a similar point in reference to what a motorcyclist was or was not wearing? Its only time and I am waiting for it.
Bob Craven - Lancs

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)