Ok. It will probably take a few more words than that, but the above word pretty much sums it all up.
Laura you are undoubtedly an amazing track and road sports cyclist, one that me and my family were shouting for at the top of our lungs at the recent Glasgow track World Cup event in Glasgow. Today you told us that cyclists are muppets and that the only way to protect muppets is to get the muppets to wear helmets.
|From Toy Nerd wesbite|
Seriously though, let's get one thing straight. Helmets are NOT the answer. Helmets, will not make our roads safer. Helmets will not save people lives.
Sure, we've all heard it...
I fell off my bike my helmet cracked! I'm only here because I wore my helmet!
I'd really love to know how you know your sister was saved by her helmet?
You know what, I can't actually be bothered getting into the science of helmets, the fact that if they are cracked that they have actually failed in their protection, the fact that they are only rated in a collision with a very particular type of impact at below 12mph. The fact that by increasing the cross-sectional area of your head it can actually increase the likelihood of your head hitting the ground in a crash.
I'm not going to even link to any information from experts that show that at best the jury is out on whether helmets actually improve outcomes or make them worse. Yes, that's right, it is possible that helmets could actually lead to more deaths and injuries.
I'm going to do one thing. I am going to post a link to this video and I am going to ask you to watch it. After you have watched it I am going to ask you one question. Watch it closely.
Ok. My question is this....how many cyclists were wearing helmets in that clip?
Remember this is in rush hour. Not only that, but some of these cyclists were weaving in and out of other traffic (yes cyclists are traffic), and....yes I know it's terrible, some of them even ran red lights...the scoundrels.
Yes Laura the answer is none.
So is Amsterdam (the place that this rush hour video is from) awash with cycling deaths and injuries? Are these cyclists taking huge risks with their lives by not wearing a magic piece of plastic?
Oh, look, I've come to the same word I started off with.
Do we need helmet compulsion?
Will forcing people to wear helmets make cycling significantly safer?
When you look at helmet adverts in the magazines do they ever focus on how this helmet is better than any other helmet, not because it has better ventilation or it's a pretty shape, but instead because it is safer than it's competitors?
Did Amsterdam, the rest of the Netherlands, and a growing number of enlightened nations and cities make cycling safe for it's citizens by calling cyclists muppets and forcing them to wear polystyrene on their heads?
Let's end all this nonsense once and for all. We do not need helmets.
We do not need people who happen to be able to make bikes go faster than the rest of us, but who obviously haven't spent a lot of time researching cycle safety (sorry Laura, but that is blatantly obvious), telling us that we need helmet compulsion. The problem is that because you can ride a bike faster than the rest of us, people listen to you. Therefore, you have a responsibility to us all to research your comments on safe cycling before you make them. If you had, you would realise what we really need is investment in our streets to make them cycle safe, just as Amsterdam has done and continues to do. Yes, you mention this, but mentioning it at the same time as helmet compulsion....well.....the article is only going to go one way, isn't it?
Laura, I beg you, if you really want to make Britain a cycle friendly nation, put pressure on the government to invest REAL money in cycling, and take a step back from the victim blaming helmet nonsense. Support #space4cycling, support Get Britain Cycling, support us at Pedal on Parliament up here in Scotland and write to your MP.
Please, please, PLEASE don't mention helmets again.
P.S. Please don't support the Nice Way Code either.....