Making cycle helmets law for minors
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Ever since I took up cycling for leisure and charity rides I've become shocked at the amount of people who don't wear bicycle helmets. The accidents I've seen on some charity rides are awful and whilst many cycling organisations don't agree with the law to change for having a wear a helmet, I think that if it became law the standard of helmets sold would also have to change, hence possibly saving more lives. James Cracknell for instances states categorically he wouldn't be alive if he didn't have a helmet on and disagrees with the organisations that state the deaths would still be the same. I've read articles from consultants in London Hospital brain injury units, who don't wear helmets. I cannot understand their reasoning. Of course there will still be deaths and serious injuries but I believe wearing a helmet would reduce these. Cycling proficiency centres in schools don't insist on the wearing of helmets. This has to change. By starting at the root of teaching about riding a bike and safety, surely a helmet being worn is step 1. If you educate the children from a young age hopefully there will be less accidents, less reckless riding and safer roads. In the last year since my eldest daughter started secondary school, I've witnessed many young children riding recklessly, at a high speed, even wearing headphones. Today there were 5 children riding towards me at speed on the road, a look of invincibility which many a child thinks they are, not only riding at speed but dangerously as well, weaving in and out of each other. Not one of them were wearing a helmet. They are not only a danger to themselves, but to other road users and should an accident occur, a death or serious injury of the cyclist could be on the conscience of the vehicle driver, through no fault of their own for the rest of their life. Even cyclists who do ride sensibly can be injured, be it caused by someone else or just being unfortunate and coming off. Education throughout schools, showing injuries, using case studies, showing images can reinforce why these things are so important. Whilst this may not change, a law of having to wear helmets for under 18's may make them realise there is no 'street cred' when you are dead. A few years ago I witnessed a young man flung over a vehicle in front of me, the driver at fault, however the cyclist had no helmet, he hit his head on the kerb and I stopped to help. He was shaken by the accident obviously as was I and my children. Luckily he was ok but I asked him whilst waiting for the ambulance "please get a helmet". Whilst I'd like to see the law change for everyone I hope by making a start with under 18s that will pave the way for a full law for all cyclists in years to come. Thank you
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