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Should the law be changed to make cycle helmets compulsory?

Bradley Wiggins has re-sparked the debate on making cycle helmets compulsory for cyclists, commenting on the controversial topic following the death of a cyclist close to the Olympic Park. The Tour de France winner, Olympic gold medallist and all-round man-of-the-moment made the comments in a media interview shortly after his gold medal winning race. During the interview, Wiggins commented: “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.’

Posting on Twitter later on in the day, Wiggins said: “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.’

Despite the later clarification of his position, Wiggins’ comments had already sparked a fierce debate in the media. Many road safety campaigners and charities who have long been calling for a review of the law regarding cycle helmets have welcomed Wiggins’ comments.

There are many, however, who dispute the potential benefit cycle helmets have in an accident and indeed those who claim that making helmets compulsory would simply serve to reduce the number of cyclists on the road.

The fact is that there is contradictory evidence regarding the effectiveness of wearing cycling helmets.  There is evidence to suggest, however, that the number of serious and fatal accidents involving cyclists is on the increase.

Despite all the arguments against wearing cycle helmets, there is little dispute that wearing a helmet has a greater potential to prevent serious head injury than not wearing one at all.

As a personal injury solicitor, I have helped many clients pursue cycle accident claims after their relatives have been killed or left severely injured following a collision on the road. A number of these cases have tragically involved riders who have not been wearing safety helmets. Surely if helmets have the slightest chance of helping to prevent or lessen injuries, some consideration must be given to making them compulsory.

What are your thoughts on the cycle helmet debate? Are you pro or against changing the law to make their use compulsory on our roads?

By Nick Molyneux, Fatal Accident Claim Solicitor

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