Should cyclists wear helmets? Here are the arguments for and against

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Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas recently called for helmets to be made compulsory for all cyclists in the UK.

Here, we discuss the pros and cons of such a law being enforced.

FOR - Richard Crawford, Owner of The Bike Shop, Leeds

The Bike Shop Leeds is a family-owned business formed by Janine and Richard Crawford.

Richard says the store are big advocates of wearing helmets and that they take cycle safety extremely seriously.

“It’s a difficult topic,” he said. “But I’m a great believer in wearing helmets.

“Whenever our staff are showing customers a bike they always wear helmets, but sometimes the customers do refuse to wear them.

“I have a friend who says a helmet saved his life when he fell badly.”

Richard, who has run the store on Crossgates Road since 2004, also believes that some people refuse to wear helmets purely due to how it will look.

“All sorts of people will spend hundreds and hundreds of pounds on these expensive bikes but then won’t fork out £35 for a helmet.

“All that I can do is advise them to buy and wear the helmets.

“We have a lovely range of helmets on sale here. We’ve lots of choice.

“There really is no excuse for not wearing them.

“I think if parents wear one then their children will follow suit.”

The Bike Shop is open seven days a week. For more information, visit leedsbicycle.com.

AGAINST - Rosslyn Colderley, North of England Director at Sustrans

Rosslyn Colderley works in various offices around the North but is regularly in Leeds and cycles to and from the station.

“I cycle to work every day and I do personally wear a helmet,” she said.

“But I think it would be a big step backwards if we made it compulsory to wear one.

“The evidence is inconclusive that wearing a helmet makes cycling safer.

“In cycling countries like Holland or Denmark, helmet wearing is not the norm and accident rates are much lower.

“It’s also a distraction from the real issues we need to tackle.

“Our roads are clogged with traffic, we have illegal levels of air pollution and an inactivity crisis.

“We should be doing as much as possible to make our roads safer and encouraging people to cycle and walk to work or study.

“When Australia passed a law in 2013 to wear helmets when riding a bike, levels of cycling declined.

“Let’s focus instead on building high quality, connected cycle routes where more people feel safe to cycle their everyday journeys.”

Sustrans is the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. They connect people and places and aim to deliver a happier, healthier commute. To find out more, visit their website at www.sustrans.org.uk.