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Politicians rejected the law by one vote in 2010 - could it now be brought in?

The Chief Minister of Jersey has called an urgent meeting to discuss whether all cyclists should be forced to wear helmets, in the light of two incidents on the island.

Earlier this year, Paul Channing was killed at Beaumont Hill and now another 35 year old man is in a brain injury unit at Southampton Hospital in a very serious condition, both following crashes on the same stretch of road.

In 2010, politicians on the island rejected by a solitary vote a proposal to make it compulsory for all cyclists, including adults, to wear a helmet, although they approved by a margin of two to one similar measures for children aged under 18.

One opponent of compulsion, Deputy Sean Power, said: “I wear a helmet 99% of the time, but I don’t want to be forced to wear a helmet 100% of the time.”

Asked if it would interfere with a person's right to choose whether to wear one, a proponent of the law, Constable John Refault, told Channel Island TV: "Yes we are, but we're doing it for the public benefit.

"I'd rather have someone with a broken leg and still have a fully functioning brain than like the last two cyclists on Beaumont Hill, one losing his life and the other may well suffer life changing brain injuries.

"I don't want to see that again and if making people put the equivalent of a seat belt on - a cycle helmet - then that for me is the right way to go."

He added that the onus should also be on drivers to be careful around cyclists, telling the BBC: "Can we actually translate a transgression to points on a driving licence?

"I think we have to come up with a penalty that makes road users comply with the rules of behaviour on public roads."

The ruling that under-18s must wear helmets has not yet become law.

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.

15 comments

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Will they implement the same law for motorists next time a motorist dies of head injuries?

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Municipal Waste [239 posts] 3 years ago
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I saw a man walk into a lamp post last night and knock himself out (admittedly he was drunk). Does that mean we should all wear helmets whilst walking?

Wearing a helmet is common sense if you're going on a longer journey. But if I'm riding up to the shop, or just around the corner to my friend's house then I don't want to.

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felixcat [472 posts] 3 years ago
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Two accidents on the same stretch of road. Why not look into why the accidents happened, and then try and stop them happening again?
Helmet laws act as a diversion from tackling the cause of accidents.
Laws have not worked in NZ or Oz, which are worse than twice as dangerous as GB for cycling. Instead of looking at the source of the danger, and trying to find out why they are worse than us (never mind much worse than Nl or D) their governments made helmets compulsory, and have not been able to show any improvement in cyclist casualty rates.

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lycra vs lager [20 posts] 3 years ago
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Are they going to make all pedestrians wear Zoorbs?

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Son of Crunch [12 posts] 3 years ago
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Making helmet wear the law in mainland UK would stop a lot of people wanting to even start riding in the first place!  14

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mrmo [2075 posts] 3 years ago
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felixcat wrote:

Two accidents on the same stretch of road. Why not look into why the accidents happened, and then try and stop them happening again?

This a million times over.

Why with traffic accidents is PPE seen as the first step?

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felixcat [472 posts] 3 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

Why with traffic accidents is PPE seen as the first step?

I think we all know why.

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mrmo [2075 posts] 3 years ago
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felixcat wrote:
mrmo wrote:

Why with traffic accidents is PPE seen as the first step?

I think we all know why.

I know, just wish designers would look at the way roads work and get it sorted.

Helmets,Hi Viz, even seatbelts aren't really the solution. They are just sticking plasters hiding the failings of traffic designers.

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thebungle [103 posts] 3 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
felixcat wrote:
mrmo wrote:

Why with traffic accidents is PPE seen as the first step?

I think we all know why.

I know, just wish designers would look at the way roads work and get it sorted.

Helmets,Hi Viz, even seatbelts aren't really the solution. They are just sticking plasters hiding the failings of traffic designers.

You can't really blame traffic designers, I'd wager the vast majority of our roads were designed many, many years ago.

Unless of course you are advocating a massive road expansion program?

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felixcat [472 posts] 3 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

I know, just wish designers would look at the way roads work and get it sorted.

I did not have road designers in mind.
I was referring to the reluctance of politicians, police, or CPS to do anything to restrain motorists. The Highwaymen are a part of this too, I guess.

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mrmo [2075 posts] 3 years ago
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thebungle, your don't need a massive road building project. I am talking about little things.

Priority on traffic lights, the pointless painted cycle paths, how road is allocated, how bus lanes work etc etc.

Then on the new, why are new business and retail parks built with no thought to cyclists, why is it so hard to get around by public transport?

At the weekend was talking to someone about why is it there are no footpaths across a tesco car park? i know it is a little thing but it sets the tone.

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davebinks [149 posts] 3 years ago
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I really can't understand this.
Why not just remove the problem at source?

Ban cycling and walking.

Then there can be no more cyclists and pedestrians getting injured or killed on the roads, and drivers would not have to worry about taking care when passing them, or having people cross the road in front of them. And think about the savings in time on journeys and hospital beds etc.

Problem solved.

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purplemadwoman [31 posts] 3 years ago
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The length of the journey doesn't matter - would you say the same about wearing a seatbelt on a long or short journey? Just because it's a short journey, doesn't mean there will be no idiot drivers around.

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mrmo [2075 posts] 3 years ago
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purplemadwoman wrote:

The length of the journey doesn't matter - would you say the same about wearing a seatbelt on a long or short journey? Just because it's a short journey, doesn't mean there will be no idiot drivers around.

So maybe the solution is deal with the idiot motorists!

shall we just lock up women because men rape them!

Deal with the problem, drivers and road design, once there sorted then you can look at stupid cyclists.

Human nature is human nature it doesnot change, if you want change you have to make it happen.

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Matt eaton [742 posts] 2 years ago
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This is such a shame as Jersey is a great place to cycle. Adding rules that suggest that cycling on Jersey is more dangerous than on the mainland can only be a bad thing.

Somewhat related, I saw a mother and daughter walking close to my house the other day (I'm guessing on the school run), both in full high-viz. I should add this was during daylight hours with near perfect visibility in an area with pavements. It makes me sad that anyone feels the need to gear up in PPE just to walk to work or school.