The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted in legislation that will make the wearing of bike helmets compulsory whilst cycling. The Irish Parliament is also soon due to debate this issue. I am just hoping, perhaps optimistically, that this debate will not start in Westminster.
Wearing a bike helmet is undoubtedly a good idea. I own one and I wear it on some rides and not others. This is my choice. Choice seems to be a difficult concept for some politicians and supporters of this legislation to understand. You take a risk when you ride a bike and how you choose to manage that risk, is in my opinion, your decision.
Politicians should not interfere in how people choose to ride their bike. If helmets should be compulsory, why not elbow and knee pads? That would help to prevent the more common injuries. What about shoulder padding too? Since breaking your collarbone is the most common fracture on a bike. Let’s make pedestrians wear a flashing red light at night too so that motorists could see them better in the dark. This would save lives.
I always choose to wear good quality cycling gloves as, when I’ve fallen off in the past, grazing your hands on tarmac stings like mad. But I don’t think that others should be forced to through legislation.
Bike helmets should not be compulsory. It should be left to the cyclist to decide whether he or she wants to wear one. There is no evidence to suggest that in a collision or a fall that it will actually help.
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