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Your chance to have say on helmet issue and suggest how roads could be made safer for cyclists

Road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is currently running a poll on its website that seeks to assess cyclists’ views on the issue of helmet compulsion. It’s a topical subject for the poll, given the recent Private Member’s bill introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly that seeks to make the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory in the Province.

Despite its name, the IAM is increasingly focusing on issues affecting cyclists, as well as providing cycle training, and last month launched a new membership category specifically for bike riders.

You’ll find the poll here. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete and is open to non-members as well as non-cyclists, but the more cyclists who respond, the more representative the results will hopefully be.

The poll isn’t a straight ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ choice between whether or not helmets should be made compulsory, with other questions asking whether you or someone close to you has been involved in an accident in which a helmet prevented injury, for example.

The final question asks your opinion on the three most important cycle safety measures, and of the choice of seven factors provided, we’re disappointed that all of them are centred on the cyclist, rather than other road users, for instance requiring cycle awareness training to be undertaken before a new driver takes to the road.

Having said that, there is a choice for ‘Other’ with a comment box alongside it, so if there are issues not mentioned that you feel deserve inclusion, feel free to do so and perhaps let us know what you’ve told IAM in the comments box below.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

8 comments

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37monkey [138 posts] 4 years ago
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Helmets shouldn't be compulsory for kids - if this was the case then as soon as a child was 16/18yrs old they would abandon helmets to prove they're not children.
Badly fitted helmets are good for nothing, helmets don't make you impervious to injury even when correctly fitted, a helmet offers nowhere near as much protection as a car, cyclists will always come off worse in a collision with anything solid.
Just my opinions

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 4 years ago
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Well just took part and somewhat offended that there was nothing under the list of most important steps for cycling safety referring to drivers responsibility - luckily they included an 'Other' option  1

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joemmo [1146 posts] 4 years ago
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I don't know how much influence this body has (limited I expect) but reading through their website, it seems they are at least positive towards cycling.

My 'other' comments re: safety were "Better attitudes, training and discipline from drivers towards cyclists and other road users"

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neildmoss [264 posts] 4 years ago
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Just curious about the stance of those that think that helmets should not be compulsory - what do you think should be the rules for scooters?

A road cyclist can easily match the speed of a restricted scooter, so why the current difference in rules?

btw, my "Other" was to maintain awareness and anticipate the actions of all other road users.

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timlennon [209 posts] 4 years ago
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"A road cyclist can easily match the speed of a restricted scooter".

And therefore helmets should be compulsory for people who pop to the shops, ride in cycle lanes, or otherwise rarely exceed 10mph.

Cycling IS NOT a dangerous activity, and is not a dangerous mode of transport. The only time I've needed a cycle helmet was when someone pulled straight out in front of me.

Still, look at how helpful compulsory helmet laws have been in the Netherlands, dong a fine job of getting a vast number of people on bicycles. Oh, wait ....

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t1mmyb [87 posts] 4 years ago
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My "Other" was for drivers to cycle as part of learning to drive, in order to experience what it's like on two wheels and hopefully know how to drive near cyclists.

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step-hent [718 posts] 4 years ago
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timlennon wrote:

Cycling IS NOT a dangerous activity, and is not a dangerous mode of transport

Well, I'd say it IS dangerous (there's certainly potential for serious injury), but on balance it is NO MORE DANGEROUS than all sorts of everyday activities that can result in injury (e.g. walking to the shops, cooking). People need to be conscious of the danger, but forcing them to wear safety equipment doesn't remove it. As with all those other activities where safety equipment is not compulsory, people should be able to choose whether to wear it (I do, but I can see that others want to exercise their freedom not to).

Oh, and in reply to neildmoss - I think scooter helmets should be optional too. And seatbelts in the front of cars (no seatbelt in the back means you put the person in front of you at risk). But laws often result in arbitrary distinctions between activities.

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neildmoss [264 posts] 4 years ago
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timlennon wrote:
neildmoss wrote:

"A road cyclist can easily match the speed of a restricted scooter".

And therefore helmets should be compulsory for people who pop to the shops, ride in cycle lanes, or otherwise rarely exceed 10mph.

That wasn't the perspective I was thinking of at the time, but I see your point.

My take was - if I can go at 30mph on a bike without a helmet, why must a scooter rider wear one? I'm not advocating that scooter riders be allowed to ride without helmets, I'm just highlighting what I see as an inconsistency.