A UK Parliament Private Members’ Bill that sought to make it compulsory for under-14s to wear cycling helmets has failed.
The Cycles (Protective Headgear for Children) Bill, put forward by Lib Dem MP Annette Brooke, was due for a second reading on 4 November but failed to be heard. There is no indication when, or if, it will progress any further. The law, had it made it into the statute books, wouldn’t criminalise those caught without a helmet, instead requiring proof of purchase of one within 28 days to avoid a fine.
Brooke claimed the bill had the support of the British Medical Association, brain injury charity Headway, Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, Child Brain Injury Trust, road safety charity BRAKE, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust, who all deal directly with the effects of brain injury.
Cycling-specific campaign groups have long argued that making helmets compulsory would put people off cycling in the first place. CTC believes any helmet compulsion law in Britain would, as has been seen in other countries who’ve adopted a similar law, reduce the number cyclists on the road and that it should be left to the individual, or parent, to decide whether one should be worn.
RoSPA – the Royal Society for the prevention of accidents – don’t believe it would be a desirable exercise for the police to stop 10-year-olds in the street who aren’t wearing helmets, especially in light of deep budget cuts.