Road Safety News

Tory MP accuses DfT of 'burying' cycle helmet report

Monday 22nd March 2010

A Conservative MP has claimed that the DfT has ‘buried’ research that proves that wearing cycle helmets would save the life of up to one in seven cyclists involved in a fatal accident. 

A report on says that Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, has called on the DfT to publicise the research which it commissioned last year from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

Mr Bone, who advocates compulsory helmet wearing for cyclists under the age of 14, said: “I am disgusted with the Government's attitude on this. If somebody said 16% of people who died in road accidents could be saved, you would bite their hand off.

“But there has been no press conference, no press release. I believe individuals can make up their own minds whether they want to kill themselves. Youngsters can't, however, and we have to do it for them.”

In reply, a DfT spokeswoman said: “We encourage cyclists, especially children, to wear helmets when cycling.

“However, taking into account the practicalities of enforcing such an offence as well as the possible impact on levels of cycling and the potential loss of wider health benefits, we are not persuaded that making helmets mandatory is the right option.”

Click here to read the full news report.



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What a pity Mr Bone MP hasn't bothered reading the report. It doesn't prove that cycle helmets would save 16% of cyclists involved in a collision, it merely makes an assumption that they would. Completely unproven in fact. However, it did find that there was no good evidence that cycle helmets saved lives, but why should an MP bother reading anything when they've got opinions? So much easier than bothering with little things like evidence and proof.
Richard Burton, Bristol

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In order for a helmet to be effective it needs to fit snugly and to be worn correctly with the straps fastened securely.

My perception is that many helmet wearers negate the protection afforded by the helmet by:
not fastening the strap;
wearing it over another piece of headgear;
wearing it on the back of the head so that the brow and temples are not protected;
wearing it at what can only be described as a "jaunty angle";
I have even seen some worn back to front.
Brian H. Road Safety GB

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Children should wear cycle helmets, however, the helmets generally seen are not up to the job and little testing is done. Many commuter cyclists seen in Sheffield use BMX helmets or snowboarding helmets which offer a much better standard of protection.
Nigel robson, Sheffield

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