Friday, November 24th 2017 at 8:45AM GMT
The front cover of today’s Times newspaper leads with a misleading claim that the government is considering mandating cycle helmet use. The government is not itself considering this, as transport minister Jesse Norman made clear at a conference on Tuesday, which BikeBiz attended.
The Times leads with this headline: “Compulsory helmets plan for all cyclists on British roads”. The story is probably based on a question asked at the DfT-sponsored conference by Mark Hookham, the transport correspondent for The Sunday Times. The minister made it clear that the review will only consider submissions made by others so if no individual or organisations raises the use of helmets, it won’t be considered by the review. Nor has the review process opened so there is nothing yet to consider.
Hookham asked the minister “Do you wear hi-vis and a cycle helmet when cycling and do you think they should be compulsory?”
Norman replied: “I have made it perfectly clear in previous conversations that I don’t take a position on hi-vis or helmets. That is something in relation to the Cycle Safety Review where we will see what the evidence and the submissions say.
“If you want to have a society where a 12-year-old can get on a bicycle it’s a serious issue as to whether you’re going to mandate hi-vis or helmets and there will be many arguments about whether the safety benefits outweigh or do not outweigh the deterrent effect that might have on people cycling. So we’re going to leave that to the review.”