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Said that helmets are an issue for personal responsiblity

Swiss MPs have voted overwhelmingly against making cycling helmets mandatory for children under 14, saying that it was an issue for ‘personal responsibility’.

As part of the debate over road law revisions, MPs voted 136 to 46 against the requirement.

The opposition to the move, made up of representatives from across the political spectrum, noted that 70 per cent of children already wear helmets.

Transport Minister Doris Leuthard disagreed however. She told World Radio Switzerland: “It is not that we think parents won’t pay attention to kids, and thus put this helmet rule in place.  Every head injury we can prevent makes this regulation worth it.”

Australia and New Zealand began to implement helmet laws for all cyclists in 1990 and 1994 respectively. A survey in New Zealand earlier this year suggested that helmet requirements had halved the number of cyclists on the road.

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.

12 comments

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antonio [1126 posts] 4 years ago
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Switzerland, the land of common sense.

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benb [81 posts] 4 years ago
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And cheese. Don't forget the cheese.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 4 years ago
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I don't know how the rules stand in Switzerland BUT one of the problems with introducing compulsory helmet laws for children is that it is difficult, or sometimes impossible, to enforce laws against minors. In the UK, anyone under the age of 10 cannot commit a criminal offence. Therefore, if this rule was in place here, you could get a ticket, just tear it up and nothing would happen. Brilliant!

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Paul M [360 posts] 4 years ago
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I think it is rather older in most of Europe, including Switzerland - you can't prosecute below 14.

There might of course be a liability falling on the parents, but how would that work? "I told the little blighter to wear his helmet, but does he listen?"

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Tom Eeles- Swis... [7 posts] 4 years ago
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Good call as it will increase participation...but hemets are still compulsory on our holidays up in the Alps  3

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GerardR [124 posts] 4 years ago
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Do they mandate seatbelts, whether in cars or aircraft?

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phax71 [287 posts] 4 years ago
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Cuckoo ...

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alun [45 posts] 4 years ago
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GerardR wrote:

Do they mandate seatbelts, whether in cars or aircraft?

Seatbelts in cars, but not helmets. Not sure about aircraft.

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fatbeggaronabike [823 posts] 4 years ago
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I remember the three stooges whinging about "stupid laws aimed at motorists" on top gear once whilst driving through Switzerland now reading about this decision regarding cycle helmets I can only conclude that they must be the most sensible people around.

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fatbeggaronabike [823 posts] 4 years ago
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I remember the three stooges whinging about "stupid laws aimed at motorists" on top gear once whilst driving through Switzerland now reading about this decision regarding cycle helmets I can only conclude that they must be the most sensible people around.

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Sven Ellis [38 posts] 4 years ago
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Another company who don't want my money.

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 4 years ago
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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:

I remember the three stooges whinging about "stupid laws aimed at motorists" on top gear once whilst driving through Switzerland now reading about this decision regarding cycle helmets I can only conclude that they must be the most sensible people around.

As a Swiss, I have to concur.