Helmet use is one of the least important cycling safety measures, according to British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman
Talking to the road.cc website at the London Bike Show, Chris Boardman said: “I think the helmet issue is a massive red herring. It’s not even in the top 10 of things you need to do to keep cycling safe or more widely, save the most lives.
“It’s a bit like saying people are sniping at you going down this street, so put some body armour on.”
He went on to suggest that even talking about making helmets mandatory “massively puts people off” cycling.
He described the Government’s encouragement to wear helmets as “a big campaign to get people to wear body armour, by the people who should be stopping the shooting”.
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, thanks to segregated cycling infrastructure.
He added that 30% of journeys in the Netherlands are made by bike, as are 50% of children’s journeys to school.
Chris Boardman said: ”The best way to deal with [the head injury issue] is what the Dutch have done. Where you have the highest rate of helmet use, you also have the highest rate of head injury: us and the US.”
Click here to read the full road.cc report.