Thursday, February 27, 2014

Only silly people think that wearing a helmet makes cycling safe; it is the infrastrcuture, stupid!

Cycling is dangerous, and should be banned unless participants wear helmets. That at least is the message an independent observer would take from reading that – a few weeks ago – the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an advert from Cycling Scotland. This seems to make sense, doesn’t it? People who ride bicycles without wearing a helmet get brain damage. It stands to reason that banning cycling without protective clothing is a good thing, doesn’t it? Just as it stands to reason that aspirin is good for viral fevers and that an anti-emetic is good for treating morning sickness. There haven’t been any clinical trials, but the ASA, the Highway Code and many people I know all hold that cycling without a helmet should be a criminal offence. The evidence that a 20 quid piece of plastic and foam can save your life must be incredibly compelling. Some jurisdictions have taken the step of banning cycling without a helmet. In Australia for example, it is now illegal even for children to ride around without a helmet. And in Australia, cycling-related deaths have fallen. But what’s intriguing is that cycling overall has also fallen, at a faster rate than cycling-related fatalities. Read on in The Guardian. 

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