Swiss MPs reject helmet law

Said that helmets are an issue for personal responsiblity

by Sarah Barth   June 18, 2012  

White cycle helmet

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.

11 user comments

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Switzerland, the land of common sense.

antonio

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posted by antonio [931 posts]
18th June 2012 - 15:07

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And cheese. Don't forget the cheese.

posted by benb [46 posts]
18th June 2012 - 15:24

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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!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
18th June 2012 - 15:46

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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?"

posted by Paul M [306 posts]
18th June 2012 - 17:45

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Good call as it will increase participation...but hemets are still compulsory on our holidays up in the Alps Wink

Tom

Brevet

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posted by Tom Eeles- Swis... [7 posts]
18th June 2012 - 17:53

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Do they mandate seatbelts, whether in cars or aircraft?

Gerard the Kiwi

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posted by GerardR [84 posts]
19th June 2012 - 0:54

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Cuckoo ...

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [299 posts]
19th June 2012 - 8:18

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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.

posted by alun [44 posts]
20th June 2012 - 13:40

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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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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [571 posts]
21st June 2012 - 8:30

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Another company who don't want my money.

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posted by Sven Ellis [31 posts]
21st June 2012 - 9:53

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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.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [952 posts]
21st June 2012 - 9:55

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