Netherlands’ report recommends compulsory cycle helmets
A new report in the Netherlands has recommended the introduction of mandatory cycle helmet use for children and the elderly, according to Cycling Weekly.
The report, written by the country’s Road Safety Research Foundation (SWOV), suggests that compulsory helmet use for children could prevent five deaths per annum.
However, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Netherlands’ minister for infrastructure and the environment, has admitted that the helmet recommendation is unlikely to become law.
This is not the first time that Dutch road safety campaigners have highlighted the risks posed to more vulnerable cyclists.
In April 2013, Marco Brugmans, director of Dutch road safety institute VeiligheidNL, said: “Just like children, older people often fall. And we make children wear a helmet on their bikes.”
Here in the UK, the issue of cycle helmets divides opinion.
In July 2014 TRL produced a report for the authorities in Jersey which concluded that compulsory helmet wearing would prevent injuries to cyclists.
However, earlier last year Chris Boardman, British Cycling’s policy advisor, described helmets as a “massive red herring” and one of the least important cycling safety measures.
He cited the Netherlands as “a better solution to the problem of cycle safety”, pointing out that just 0.8% of cyclists wear helmets yet the Dutch have the lowest rate of cycling head injury.