This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 21.
Colin Breed, Liberal Democrat MP for South East Cornwall, is promoting an Early Day Motion, number 1708, in the House of Commons, demanding compulsory cycle helmets for under 16s. EDMs have very little hope of becoming law, but this may well be the sign of things to come. Is this the thin end of a wedge which could see compulsory helmet wearing for everyone in the future? It is possible that the EDM has come from the work of a new organisation, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, which has been formed with the sole purpose of getting people to wear helmets when riding bikes. The motion reads:
‘That this House believes that too many young cyclists die each year because of a lack of protective headwear and that the wearing of bicycle helmets can greatly reduce the odds of a head injury; notes that if cyclists are involved in an accident and are not wearing a helmet they are three times more likely to suffer a head injury than if a helmet had been worn; and to this end supports the compulsory wearing of helmets by under 16 year olds to prevent unnecessary death and injury.’
The next international Velo-City conference will take place in not one, but two locations: Graz, in Austria, and Maribor, in Slovenia, on 13-16 April 1999. We hope that at least one or two Campaign members will be able to attend. Get in touch with Clare for details.