No Helmet Law

 

http://www.NoHelmetLaw.org.uk

Boris Johnson looking happy on a Boris Bike

Boris Johnson looking happy on a Boris Bike

No Helmet Law is my site detailing why bicycle helmet laws are a bad idea. A UK helmet law was defeated in 2004 and the current Government shows no obvious signs of any appetite for nanny-state legislation but given the recent fuss about two head injuries sustained in the first three quarters of a million Borisbike journeys it’s unlikely that the liddites are going away any time soon. Like spoiled children they will continue howling until they get what they want, and as the experience in Australia shows it is not enough to simply prove that that stated premise of the law has not been delivered, that the levels of cycling massively declined as a result, and that head injury rates rose; it has taken the travails of Australian attempts at bike hire schemes to really start the pressure on the Aussie government to repeal this manifestly failed law.

Boris with boris nikes

Boris invites you to comment on this issue.

To be clear, I don’t blame the Aussies. They didn’t know that they (and New Zealand) would provide the clinching proof that by forcing people to wear helmets, you don’t turn them or their journeys into the kind of people and journeys where helmets are worn voluntarily. It was an easy mistake to make… the first time. But not now. We know better now, and although the liddites still use the infamous and discredited 88% figure in pressing for laws, legislators are onto them and so are the cycle groups. I hope the day of lid laws has passed but the danger is not over until the zealots give up, and experience shows that they probably won’t while they still have breath in their bodies.

Cycling is no more dangerous than half a dozen activities we undertake without a second thought, top of the list being walking along the pavement. The first thing a Liddite has to do in order to promote the pro-helmet agenda is to ensure that people do not realise that cycling is safe. By building the false perception that cycling is dangeorus, raising the false fear of permanent brain damage, and implying that helmets are a solution to this without acknowledging the difference between the helmet test of a drop from 1.5m and the source of serious injuries, being hit by a car with substantial closing speed, they have created a fantasy world which has very little connection to reality. They propose helmet laws as a way of moving reality towards their fantasy world. I suggest we do the opposite and force them to accept reality.

  8 Responses to “No Helmet Law”

  1. “By building the false perception that cycling is safe,”   presumably a typo for unsafe ?

  2. Hi,

    How does one get around the fact of the farce that is the justice system, when they come up with ridiculous ruling in one case that a cyclist, hit by a car, contributed to his own death by not wearing a helmet and therefore the driver got off.

    Similar case where a cyclist was hit by 3 cars in quick succession, the last one hitting him at 40 mph while he lay on the road, and the coroner comes out with nonsense that wearing a helmet may have prevented his death.  Accidental death was the outcome, despite the 3 drivers admitting that they were all in some way responsible.

    This is what keeps me wearing a helmet, in the unfortunate event that I am hit by a car I want justice to be served by not giving them an easy way out of punishing the driver and that my family get some comfort from that.

    I am under no illusion that a helmet is going to stop serious injury from a high speed collision.

    It is the law concerning the penalties given to drivers that needs to change, not whether we should wear helmets or not.

    Mike

    • I entirely agree. No helmet in the world is designed to protect against motor vehicles, but there is this mad idea that drivers seem to have that you’re “safe” if you’re wearing a helmet, and there’s some evidence that they actually consume some of this perceived safety as a benefit to themselves by not bothering to overtake properly, skimming closer as they pass.

      On the plus side I am not aware of any case where a court has actually reduced damages due to failure to wear a helmet – though most cases are settled out of court and these days with no win no fee lawyers they will almost always advise you to accept the standard 10% discounted offer for contributory informed choice. Oh, sorry, negligence. I am going through this at the moment. Since the most lasting injury was to my knee and the most painful was a broken rib I am hopeful of success :-)

  3. Helmets are infantile, and an excuse to control how people think, by using fear, fear sells, I’ve cycled London’s streets since the 1960’s, without a helmet, and still do to this day, Make it law, I’ll break the law, it’s that simple, Tom, Crystal Palace, London

  4. As a parent of 7 children (5 of them cycles to school every school day across parks and also urban areas)  I am dead against safety helmets. Let me put it this way: kids learn space awareness and develop a much better sense of safe speed and control when not over-protected! Our whole family cycles a lot and none of us ever had a serious injury – even when we did have injuries they were always on the legs and arms, never the head.
    (Of course if it is a really serious one, let’s say a high speed collision with a motor vehicle – a helmet will just simply not save your life).
    Cycling -without helmet- is great fun. Plus we develop a responsibility through these basic beauties of life. Let’s keep riding as freely as we can :-)

  5. Hmph! Where I am (Canada), the only thing I find a helmet protects you from is a fine! It’s so sad. The rest of North America seems to be hell bent on making these helmet laws. Enough! It’s alright to disagree with someone’s choice, but it’s another thing to make that choice illegal!(Especially since helmets offer marginal protection at best)

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