Campaign aims to make wearing a helmet the norm

08.46 | 22 September 2023 | | 3 comments

Authorities in Bedfordshire have launched a new campaign to promote the wearing of cycle helmets.

The three local authorities across Bedfordshire, along with their partner agencies, hope to make wearing helmets the norm, as is the case in Australia. 

They are particularly keen to reach children between 6-18 years, encouraging them to wear helmets from an early age.

The campaign features a suite of resources, including posters and short film. They centre round the caption: ‘don’t be like Ted, wear a helmet on your head’.

In order to get the message across,  all schools have been sent the resources to add to their social media accounts and to include within newsletters to parents.

A comment said: “We are trying to make wearing a helmet the norm, as it is in Australia.

“To do so, we are targeting all age groups to change their habits – as has happened with the wearing of seatbelts over the years.”

The campaign runs for three weeks.


 

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    I only wear a helmet as a way to improve my visibility for other drivers.

    It’s bright yellow and really shiny and reflects really well at night. I feel that’s a much better use of a helmet rather than pretending that it’ll protect your head in an accident.


    David Weston, Newcastle upon Tyne
    Agree (7) | Disagree (3)
    +4

    I absolutely agree with Peter Cinch. You need to do some basic research on what helmets do and what they don’t do. When helmets were made compulsory in Australia, the number of cycle journeys FELL by about 50%. Is that what you’re after?


    Gordon Burgess-Parker, Stoke on Trent
    Agree (6) | Disagree (2)
    +4

    Making helmet wearing the norm in Australia has turned out to be a public health own-goal that hasn’t reduced the rate of cycling head injuries but has put a lot of people off cycling (an overall healthy lifestyle choice) at all.

    Cycle helmets have a track record going back decades of not actually making cycling safer. What they do achieve is placing an unnecessary barrier to cycling and with examples like this seek to belittle and shame people making a perfectly reasonable choice to ride without them (just as its reasonable to ride in a car without one despite car crashes being a far greater cause of head injury than cycle crashes)
    .
    For a well argued child-centric piece on how helmet efficacy isn’t all it’s widely assumed to be please read the Annex of https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cycling-rpt-gill-05.pdf

    Helmets don’t do much beyond their design specification of mitigating minor injuries in low energy falls (i.e., about the same as a child would get falling over and hitting their head in a game of chase in the school playground, for which we give them a sticker and some TLC) so we really need to stop making a fuss about them and concentrate on the *causes* of road danger rather than blaming victims.

    This campaign is, I’m sure, well meant, but it is ill-informed and ill-conceived. For an evidence based view of why this should be removed and rethought please read the Cycling UK Helmet Policy, available at https://www.cyclinguk.org/briefing/cycle-helmets


    Peter Clinch, Dundee
    Agree (30) | Disagree (2)
    +28

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