My comment to Radio 2 on cycle helmets

As widely reported elsewhere, a judge has ruled that cyclists may be partly at fault if they are knocked off their bikes while not wearing a helmet.html. The issue was discussed on BBC Radio 2 by Matthew Bannister, standing in for Jeremy “Daily Mail FM” Vine.

Just after the intro to the piece, there was an advert for the BBC’s coverage of Formula 1 car racing (something that encourages some drivers to drive like idiots), an unfortunate juxtaposition but typical for the MSM, where “dog bites man” or “car driver kills people” isn’t news.

Seeing as my comment wasn’t read out, I thought I’d publish it here.

bq. Cycle helmets aren’t a panacea. They tend to cause cyclists to take more risks, and some research has shown that helmet-less cyclists are shown more respect and given more overtaking room than helmet-wearing ones.

bq. The only thing that compulsory helmet wearing will do is reduce the number of cyclists. Fewer cyclists = less safety for those who remain. The greatest thing that would increase cycle safety is more cyclists.

There were lots of messages and calls saying “yes, you should wear a helmet” “a helmet saved my life” and “helmets should be compulsory”.

They should all go and read The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation. The issue isn’t as simple as “wearing a helmet = greater safety”.

There was also the usual “serves them right, pavement terrorists” rubbish, as well. This person should ride a bike for a bit, and then comment further.