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But only a quarter of parents give their kids' bikes an annual safety check...

The vast majority of parents think helmets should be compulsory on the road, according to a survey by the children’s bike manufacturer Frog timed to coincide with National Bike Week.

In the poll of more than 1,000 people, it turned out safety concerns were paramount for those with children riding, with 85 per cent backing mandatory helmets and 74 per cent saying they would pay to ensure the children took a cycling proficiency test.

But that’s not putting parents off, with only one in five (22 per cent) saying the roads were too dangerous to allow their child to cycle more often.

However it does seem that kids’ bikes need a tune up more often than they currently receive with only a quarter (24 per cent) having an annual MOT and safety check.

Frog Bikes Technical Manger Stephen Johnson said: “Just like an adult bike a child’s bike is not just a toy and also needs to be inspected and serviced by a qualified mechanic at least once a year, all the moving parts such as cables, bearings, brake pads, chain and tyres over a period of time will start to wear and if not attended to could become unsafe and in extreme cases dangerous to ride.

“A basic service/ inspection at a reputable bike store is not expensive and would give you peace of mind knowing your child is safe, as well as keeping up the bikes second hand value.”

There is no fear about the new generation of cyclists according to the study, with over 99 per cent of parents still believe learning to cycle is important.

71 per cent of parents felt their children should cycle more than they currently do but lack of time was cited by 38 per cent of respondents. A quarter of respondents said they do cycle at least three times a week however.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

43 comments

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Simon E [2539 posts] 1 year ago
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The vast majority of parents questioned didn't know their arse from their elbow regarding helmet compulsion. Probably too busy using their mobile while driving.

99% might believe that it's good to learn to ride but many drivers feel cyclists should keep off their roads, they are for cars. Fear of traffic is the number 1 reason why 95% of kids are ferried to school (and everywhere else) in cars.

If you charge for Bikeability you'll get even lower uptake than now, when it's free.

It's bollocks, the level of hypocrisy is stunning.  13

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Some Fella [890 posts] 1 year ago
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I remember when i was growing up and we all rode bikes and didnt wear helmets.
The streets were littered with dead or dying children who had fallen off their bikes. It was carnage.
Its the same when you go to the continent where, despite the British knowing best with regards helmets, almost no-one seems to follow our lead and consequently the segregated bike paths are lined with dead, helmetless people.
This slaughter must stop and mandatory helmet laws are the only answer.

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Belaroo [44 posts] 1 year ago
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This parent doesn't want mandatory helmet law. This parent is moving her kids to the Netherlands where we can cycle to our hearts content without wearing one.
I've been over to find a place to live and within a week of being back iin the UK I'm having arguments with police as to why they don't think cars ignoring the highway code should get a talking to at the very least. The police couldn't see a danger to other users, as in drivers, completely oblivious to the school kids on foot trying to cross a busy junction littered with parked cars who weren't technically breaking the law because there were no lines on the road.
The highway code says they are wrong but the highway code isn't law. Helmets wont protect kids walking across the road or young cyclists who are trying to turn right with their view obscured by selfishly parked cars. Junctions with cycle provision will, banning all street parking in towns unless it's in an officially marked parking space will.
The idea that helmets will protect children from the lawlessness and complete ignorance of the police and the general poor standard of driving here, is horrible and tragic.
I've been forced to leave my my own country because I don't want to drive a car and being made to wear a helmet is just one more insult on top of the rest. I've had enough, the car is not more important than people whatever the police seem to think.
I don't need a helmet, I need a country that gives a damn about cyclists.

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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Most parents will cling to any illusory safety simply to feel better about their anxiety re their kids... So of course they would.

Or they could just buy their kids a helmet...

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Paul_C [393 posts] 1 year ago
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mandatory helmets? I'll bet that survey question was a leading one as well designed to get the answer they wanted...

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antigee [276 posts] 1 year ago
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"But that’s not putting parents off, with only one in five (22 per cent) saying the roads were too dangerous to allow their child to cycle more often."

a little surprising and I hate to be negative but as far as I can see looking at the Frog website the 1000 respondents would be Frog customers which would make them more interested in cycling than many parents and possibly a little more aware of the dangers of riding in traffic and how to deal with it or live in an area where cycling isn't an unusual way of getting around

live in Melbourne Aus' with compulsory helmets even for kids on scooters - I ride to school with my younger daughter and the dangers are cars and trucks too close and too fast because the drivers aren't looking beyond the vehicle very close in front and drivers simply not observing you at junctions - helmets only mitigate the injuries in some collisions or falls - they don't make riding any safer

making helmets compulsory won't move kids out of cars - here's a survey (one class in a 600 pupil school but representative) and we have manned crossings and some car free cyclepaths

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pmanc [194 posts] 1 year ago
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What a load of rubbish.

"Parents want mandatory helmet law (says seller of bike helmets)."

As a parent I don't want a helmet law, but I definitely DO want safer streets, and fewer cars (especially driving down the pavements outside my daughter's school).

So I won't be buying a frog bike any time soon then.

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Ush [584 posts] 1 year ago
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I was considering Frog as an option for my 7 year old's next bike. Currently we're the proud owners of an Islabike for the kids.

Frog have just crossed themselves firmly off the list for wantonly straddling the Bike Danger highwheeler.

So, thanks for that, it simplifies my choices greatly and removes any temptation to be unfaithful to a brand that started the decent bikes for kids niche.

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Ush [584 posts] 1 year ago
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Simon E wrote:

\
If you charge for Bikeability you'll get even lower uptake than now, when it's free.

Excellent point.

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Northernbike [229 posts] 1 year ago
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if these parents who want a helmet law are unable to make their children wear one without legislation effecting the whole country they'll also soon be after laws forcing everyone to go to bed by 8 on a school night, not have sweets before meals and no playing video games before they've done their homework.

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gazza_d [451 posts] 1 year ago
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Parents concerned about children's safety & want them to wear helmets

But...

Can't be arsed to make sure bikes are correctly maintained. Use to do Dr bike sessions & most kids bikes were only ever checked then.

Can't be arsed to ensure children have lights at night. Most unlit people on bikes I see are kids

Can't be arsed to drive at or below the speed limit.

Can't be arsed to give plenty of time and space when overtaking children cycling

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joemmo [1145 posts] 1 year ago
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Before you start sharpening your pitchforks and marching on Frog HQ because they asked a question whose answer you object to, you may wish to re-read the article. They aren't endorsing the opinion but given the response this debate generates it's a bit foolish using it as click bait.

Several people also seem to be building a straw man argument that because a parent wants their child to wear a helmet that they do not also want better infrastructure, driver behaviour and enforcement. That's just nonsense.

Both Frog and Isla bikes sell kids helmets through their websites by the way. Neither of them make any recommendation on whether or not they should be worn though.

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graham_f [166 posts] 1 year ago
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Saw a guy trying to teach his kids to ride bikes in the park last weekend. Bikes they were using appeared to be his bmx's, rather than actual kid's bikes. He was berating his son for not using his brakes and nearly crashing into someone walking their dog, making sarcastic comments about what the brake lever was for. It was only as the boy rode past me later on i noticed that one of the brakes was missing a cable. I nearly went and had a word, but British reservedness stopped me. I've regretted it since.

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dafyddp [322 posts] 1 year ago
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“A basic service/ inspection at a reputable bike store is not expensive and would give you peace of mind knowing your child is safe, as well as keeping up the bikes second hand value.”

Or, you can learn the basics of cycle mechanics yourself, and get in the habit of keeping an eye (and ear) out for problems before they arise. Bikes are fundamentally very simple - that's a big part of the appeal.

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stumps [3184 posts] 1 year ago
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I find it very amusing that so many people get so wound up over such a simple thing as a piece of polystyrene painted a nice colour.

It seems that at the moment virtually evey article put on the forum literally gets slagged off and ends up in an arguement between posters, its quite sad really. Just look at this one, it started off about a company simply putting out a result of a small survey they carried out and within 7 posts it had become a slag off of infrastructure, cars and police and not forgetting the holier than thou "highway code".

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arfa [694 posts] 1 year ago
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Whatever happened to the ability to exercise judgment ? Why the survey respondents think a change in law is going to make the difference utterly baffles me ! If you think mandatory helmets "are the clincher" in terms of deciding to send your nippers out on bikes you:
A) have no idea what little protection they provide
B) have no idea about the causes of most cycling accidents
C) probably have no intention of getting your children out on bikes in the first place.

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ChairRDRF [294 posts] 1 year ago
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Excellent post Belaroo.

Excellent parent!

BUT, it would be nice to stay here and fight the good fight with us.

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severs1966 [293 posts] 1 year ago
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"[...] kids’ bikes need a tune up more often than they currently receive with only a quarter (24 per cent) having an annual MOT and safety check."

I wonder how the question was phrased, that produced this answer? Was it simply "do you have an annual safety check?"

My answer to this question would be no, of course not. And why? Because checking the mechanical state of a bike - your own or your kids - should not wait such an incredibly long time.

And that answer may be the one that many respondents gave; but the survey results imply that no maintenance is happening.

Badly worded surveys...

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oldstrath [494 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:

I find it very amusing that so many people get so wound up over such a simple thing as a piece of polystyrene painted a nice colour.

It seems that at the moment virtually evey article put on the forum literally gets slagged off and ends up in an arguement between posters, its quite sad really. Just look at this one, it started off about a company simply putting out a result of a small survey they carried out and within 7 posts it had become a slag off of infrastructure, cars and police and not forgetting the holier than thou "highway code".

The 'holier than thou' highway code? If you don't like the highway code, by what secret protocols do policemen and other advanced motorists drive?

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SteppenHerring [322 posts] 1 year ago
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I was out earlier supporting some of our riders in the 24 hour TT. A father/son duo rode through the other way. The (small) kid did have a helmet on but positioned only to protect the back of the head. Had the child fallen on his face (common) then his forehead would've definitely hit the ground first. But I suppose that technically he was wearing a helmet.

I do ask that my son (14) wears a helmet most of the time - rare exceptions include when he's testing out his fettling in our quiet residential road. I wear a helmet most of the time unless I'm riding with people I trust not to do stupid stuff. We don't need legislation we need education. Or common sense - which appears not to be that common.

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leqin [155 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:

I find it very amusing that so many people get so wound up over such a simple thing as a piece of polystyrene painted a nice colour.

It seems that at the moment virtually evey article put on the forum literally gets slagged off and ends up in an arguement between posters, its quite sad really. Just look at this one, it started off about a company simply putting out a result of a small survey they carried out and within 7 posts it had become a slag off of infrastructure, cars and police and not forgetting the holier than thou "highway code".

OMG - you not actually suggesting people should try to be reasonable with each other and at least try to see the others point of view and not make vile insensitive remarks about them just because, in their life experience, they have reached a different conclusion based upon what they have had happen in their own life - how dare you  14 - you jumped up self centered obnoxious toe rag  102 - do you realise that the every forum infrastructure on the internet will fall apart at the seams if people start being nice to each other  20 - what you are proposing beggars belief and you ought to be shot/eviscerated/be dangled by a piece of dental floss tied around you testicles until you plead for forgiveness - people like you are worse than Hitler.

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james-o [232 posts] 1 year ago
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"So I won't be buying a frog bike any time soon then." .. and similar sentiments ..

Aren't Frog simply highlighting the responses received and putting it up for discussion? I'd be concerned about 85% believing in compulsion rather than common sense and freedom and raising that as a topic, asking why etc, is not a bad thing.
It's an endless debate but the response is a fair reflection of the current perceptions held by parents.

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stumps [3184 posts] 1 year ago
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james-o wrote:

"So I won't be buying a frog bike any time soon then." .. and similar sentiments ..

Aren't Frog simply highlighting the responses received and putting it up for discussion? I'd be concerned about 85% believing in compulsion rather than common sense and freedom and raising that as a topic, asking why etc, is not a bad thing.
It's an endless debate but the response is a fair reflection of the current perceptions held by parents.

Exactly mate.

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 1 year ago
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One small problem. Children under the age of 10 cannot commit a criminal offence. How would you enforce it? Not to mention the complete waste of time of police chasing kids trying to persuade them to wear one.

The fact that it's probably a good idea doesn't mean that you need a law to encourage it. The law should stay out of this one.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1111 posts] 1 year ago
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oldstrath wrote:
stumps wrote:

I find it very amusing that so many people get so wound up over such a simple thing as a piece of polystyrene painted a nice colour.

It seems that at the moment virtually evey article put on the forum literally gets slagged off and ends up in an arguement between posters, its quite sad really. Just look at this one, it started off about a company simply putting out a result of a small survey they carried out and within 7 posts it had become a slag off of infrastructure, cars and police and not forgetting the holier than thou "highway code".

The 'holier than thou' highway code? If you don't like the highway code, by what secret protocols do policemen and other advanced motorists drive?

Oh, that Holier-than-thou highway code! It really winds me up. What does it think it is, with its 'shoulds' and its 'musts'! Parading around with its nose in the air, acting like its better than the rest of us!

It should mind its own business like other more unassuming codes that know their place. You don't catch Morse or Enigma, or even Da Vinci, telling people what to do!

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Ush [584 posts] 1 year ago
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Aren't Frog simply highlighting the responses received and putting it up for discussion?

Ha ha. I look forward to their follow-up survey on "should women be allowed to ride bikes?" and "should must cyclists be banned from the public roads for their own good" along with the burning question "should cyclists be made to pay Road Tax, just like the rest of us?".

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joemmo [1145 posts] 1 year ago
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Ush wrote:

Aren't Frog simply highlighting the responses received and putting it up for discussion?

Ha ha. I look forward to their follow-up survey on "should women be allowed to ride bikes?" and "should must cyclists be banned from the public roads for their own good" along with the burning question "should cyclists be made to pay Road Tax, just like the rest of us?".

Yes, clearly they've set up a bike company purely as a front for creating marketing surveys to push a sinister political agenda on niche interest websites. It's pretty obvious if you think about it.

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Ush [584 posts] 1 year ago
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joemmo wrote:
Ush wrote:

Aren't Frog simply highlighting the responses received and putting it up for discussion?

Ha ha. I look forward to their follow-up survey on "should women be allowed to ride bikes?" and "should must cyclists be banned from the public roads for their own good" along with the burning question "should cyclists be made to pay Road Tax, just like the rest of us?".

Yes, clearly they've set up a bike company purely as a front for creating marketing surveys to push a sinister political agenda on niche interest websites. It's pretty obvious if you think about it.

And apparently you don't have to be clever or have to get the point in order to be sarcastic.

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joemmo [1145 posts] 1 year ago
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Ush wrote:
joemmo wrote:
Ush wrote:

Aren't Frog simply highlighting the responses received and putting it up for discussion?

Ha ha. I look forward to their follow-up survey on "should women be allowed to ride bikes?" and "should must cyclists be banned from the public roads for their own good" along with the burning question "should cyclists be made to pay Road Tax, just like the rest of us?".

Yes, clearly they've set up a bike company purely as a front for creating marketing surveys to push a sinister political agenda on niche interest websites. It's pretty obvious if you think about it.

And apparently you don't have to be clever or have to get the point in order to be sarcastic.

And so easy to grasp the wrong end of the stick isn't it ?

Note that BikeRadar didn't even mention the helmet question in their regurgitation of this press release but if there's one thing road.cc loves it's a good old chin wag about bike hats.

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700c [817 posts] 1 year ago
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Just because the parents questioned may not be regular posters on forums about helmet compulsion doesn't mean they don't know - or haven't considered - the implications of a law.

And just because they hold a different view to you does not make their view invalid and being parents makes them pretty important stakeholders in matters concerning safety of their children.

That said, its a bad, unworkable, idea!

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