Government Raises Spectre of Compulsory Bike Helmet Laws

By Gary Cutlack on at

Comments made by transport minister Jesse Norman have been taken to mean that the government's considering implementing laws that would make helmets compulsory for cyclists, with a review of cycling safety potentially handling the radioactive potato in the future.

Don't get your bib shorts in a twist right now, though, it's only at the pre-consultation, thinking-about-it stage at the moment, as any move to legislate for compulsory helmets and/or hi-vis clothing first needs to be put forward to the consultation.

As pointed out by Bike Biz in reaction to the over-keen headline in The Times, Norman was hypothetically answering a question about what might be included in the second part of an upcoming cycling safety consultation. Norman said: "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."

So any future helmet law for UK cyclists is dependent on some agency or other suggesting the idea for inclusion in the review, then it getting in to the consultation, then everyone agreeing it's a good idea. That's a lot of steps for something so polarising to get though. [The Times via Bike Biz]