Cycle helmets are a far more complex issue than is often supposed. We have selected some key information resources that give a good introduction to the issues.

Suggested reading

  • Cycling UK briefing

    • Policy statement by Cycling UK. Includes a summary as well as a more detailed survey of the evidence.
    • According to Cycling UK, “cycle helmet laws and … helmet promotion campaigns … are almost certainly detrimental to public health”
    • “there are serious doubts about the effectiveness of helmets…Some evidence suggests they may in fact increase the risk of cyclists having falls or collisions”
  • The big bike helmet debate: ‘You don’t make it safe by forcing cyclists to dress for urban warfare’.

    • Article by Guardian journalist Peter Walker. He covers topics which include: why medical professionals are divided; the importance of psychological effects
  • Bicycle helmets and the law Ben Goldacre and David Spiegelhalter, British Medical Journal, 2013.

    • Discusses mandatory helmet laws and why they fail to reduce rates of injury in practice
    • “Canadian legislation had minimal effect on serious head injuries”

Also of interest

Cambridge Cycling Campaign policy

The Campaign passed the following motion at the 2012 AGM:

“Cambridge Cycling Campaign supports all cyclists as they go about their lawful business on the public road. We note that the law does not require helmets or high visibility clothing. The image of cyclists presented to the public has become so strongly skewed towards riders wearing those items that the legitimacy and status of those who do not wear them is being undermined. In order to help restore the balance the campaign reserves the right to decline to promote events or activities where helmets or high visibility clothing are required or implied.”

Reference material (academic)

Other resources