Compulsory cycle helmets UK initiative

Posted on February 24th, 2011 by David Williams MBE

GEM Motoring Assist is delighted to be one of the sponsors of an outstanding initiative by the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust.

During the next few weeks teacher packs including notes and DVDs will be sent to every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  These packs provide information and guidance to allow teachers to create stimulating and interesting lessons on why all young cyclists should always wear a helmet.  Teachers can also apply for a free demonstration kit which shows how an egg can be prevented from breaking when ‘fitted’ with a helmet like protector.

This scheme is a fantastic way of reminding youngsters of the need to use helmets.

However, the scale of the problem of young cyclists receiving severe head injuries also requires government action.  It is unreasonable to expect children to make an informed choice as to whether to wear a helmet or not.  There needs to be clear guidance from Government in the form of legislation making it compulsory for all cyclists under the age of 14 to wear an approved safety helmet.  A similar law already exists for young horse riders.

Recent figures showed that in 2009/10 nearly 6,000 young cyclists were admitted to hospitals and of these 40% had suffered head injuries.

Around 83% of young cyclists suffering head injuries were not involved in a collision with another vehicle but merely hit their head after falling from the cycle.  It is, therefore, clear that cycle helmets could not only save life and limb but could prevent a huge drain on our hospital resources.