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Helmet promotion

Should the promotion of cycle helmets be banned? Given that all the reliable evidence shows that they do not improve the safety of cyclists, why are they still so heavily promoted as “the answer” to cyclist deaths? Cycling is much safer in Holland and Denmark and other European countries where few people wear a helmet, so whatever makes cycling safer, it isn’t helmets. Helmet promotion has two proven effects: a reduction in the number of cyclists and obscene profits for those making and selling helmets, there is no safety benefit. Regular cyclists live longer and are slimmer, fitter and healthier, suffering less from all forms of illness, to quote the BMA, which is bizarrely in favour of a helmet law. The people deterred from cycling lose the overwhelming health benefits, get fat and sick, so the effects at a population level are both massive and entirely negative, so why are helmets still promoted?

Answers


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Absolutely. Cycle helmets have done nothing for cycle safety at all. Instead they have become a convenient stick to beat cyclists with – cyclists who don’t wear helmets are seen as ‘asking for it’. Helmets have also made cycling less attractive by showing it is a dangerous activity that requires special equipment (answer, it’s not – the only thing dangerous about cycling is sharing the roads with cars – see next point). Helmets have also distracted from the real solution to cycle safety – changing our streets. Of course, it’s much easier to flog people useless plastic hats than it is to challenge the prevailing car culture…


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It depends who is doing the promoting. If a bike shop or similar business are trying to promote their sales in any way, then yes they should be allowed to include helmets in their advertisment. But promoting helmet wearing by newpapers being allowed to include “the cyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet” when the person died due to a lorry running over their chest, has got to stop. So have the courts got to stop taking into consideration the wearing or non-wearing of a helmet when they sentence a motorist for harming a cyclist. Bicycling TV programmes seem to be terrified of not showing every cyclist with a helmet. Those that organise rides insist that that everyone wear a helmet. It’s all wrong and really needs to stop.


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