Sir Bradley Wiggins: Cycle helmets should be compulsory, and iPods banned while riding bike
Meanwhile Laura Trott says cycle training should be on the National Curriculum
Sir Bradley Wiggins says that cyclists should be required by law to wear helmets and banned from listening to music through headphones while they are riding a bike.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist and first Briton to win the Tour de France was giving his opinion on an interview shown on the BBC children’s news programme, Newsround.
Speaking on the subject of cycle safety, the father of two said: “I think certain laws for cyclists need to be passed to protect us more than anything.
“Making helmets compulsory on the roads, making it illegal to maybe have an iPod in while you’re riding a bike, just little things like that would make a huge difference.”
Trott, winner of Olympic gold medals in the Omnium and team pursuit at London last year, repeated an appeal she made in May for a Briitish Cycling video in support of the Get Britain Cycling petition, saying that regular cycle training in schools would lead to improved safety.
“Not all cyclists are that safe on the road either, and I think that would help young kids especially if we could get it in the National Curriculum once a week,” she said.
It’s not the first time Wiggins has spoken about cycle helmets.
Last year, when he was told at a press conference that London cyclist Dan Harris had been killed when he was struck by a media bus outside the Olympic Park, he said: “Ultimately, if you get knocked off and you don’t have a helmet on, then you can’t argue. You can get killed if you don’t have a helmet on.
"You shouldn’t be riding along with iPods and phones and things on. You have lights on. Once there are laws passed for cyclists then you are protected and you can say, ‘well, I have done everything to be safe."
"It is dangerous and London is a busy city. There is a lot of traffic. I think we have to help ourselves sometimes."
Later that day, Wiggins said on Twitter that he wasn’t calling for compulsory helmet laws: "Just to confirm I haven't called for helmets to be made the law as reports suggest. I suggested it may be the way to go to give cyclists more protection legally I [sic] involved In an accident. I wasn't on me soap box CALLING, was asked what I thought."
His latest comments, however, suggest that he is in favour of compulsion.
Mark Cavendish is another high profile cyclist who has said that cyclists shouldn’t listen to music while they ride.
Asked in 2011 by TV personality John Inverdale at an event hosted by the charity Right To Play whether he liked to do so, Cavendish gave the firm reply: “Don’t cycle with an iPod in, it’s dangerous!”
Cycling organisations such as CTC opposese helmet compulsion, saying that it should be a matter of individual choice.
Yesterday, talking about the case of a teenage boy left brain damaged after being struck by a van while out riding - he wasn't wearing a helmet because he didn't want to mess up his hairstyle - CTC's Campaigns Director, Roger Geffen, said: "My heart goes out to Ryan Smith and his family.
"What they are going through now must be unimaginable.
"However, faced with heart-rending stories like this, decision-makers need to remember that the only known impact of helmet laws is to drastically reduce cycle use, typically by over 30%, with much deeper reductions for teenage cycling."