Cycle helmets compulsory for under-18s

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The States of Jersey have voted overwhelmingly in favour of making cycle helmets compulsory for under-18s.

Deputy Andrew Green's proposition was passed 33 to 16.

Politicians voted in favour of the compulsory law despite opposition from St Mary Deputy, Daniel Wimberley. Deputy Wimberley said any law forcing islanders to wear helmets would reduce the number of cyclists taking to the roads. He says little or no evidence exists to prove the head or brain would be any better protected in an accident by wearing a helmet.

A vote to force adults to wear cycle helmets was defeated by just one vote.

Deputy Daniel Wimberley now wants to hear from any like-minded islanders. He can be contacted on 485455.

What do you think? Should under 18s be forced to wear helmets, while adults aren't? Do you have your own story of how wearing a helmet has saved your life or prevented a serious injury? Let us know by posting your comments below. We'd love to hear from you.

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Currently displaying the top 15 comments View all 70 comments
[No Subject] Report Abuse
Posted By: rodjames on 05-Jun-2011
But this guy talking does not have the right to mandate over other peoples lives! who the hell does he think he is?. Everyone on that island should do what they feel is best for them and their children then see where their power is when people on mass stop aquiescing with this fascist slavery.

Cycle Helmets Report Abuse
Posted By: Chris B on 21-Mar-2010
A few points: 1. In no country where compulsory cycle helmet wearing has been introduced has the rate of head injury or death because of head injury been reduced, indeed the rate has always increased. 2. The lowest rate of helmet wearing in the Western world is in the Netherlands, where the rate of deaths/serious injury to the head is the LOWEST, and the number of cycle journeys per person is the highest. 3. Cycle helmets do NOT protect the wearer in collisions with motor vehicles (according to the helmet manufacturers), only when falling from a height of 1 metre at a speed of up to 12 mph. 4. The majority of serious/fatal injuries to cyclists are from collisions by motor vehicles - why make the victims wear ineffective polystyrene hats when the cause is the motorist? 5. Wearing a cycle helmet does not stop a collision with a motor vehicle. 6. Those who say a cycle helmet "saved their life" need to repeat the incident without the helmet to prove the point.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.... Report Abuse
Posted By: Typical on 15-Mar-2010
As a 40 year old cyclist and motorcyclist, I totally agree with the wearing of helmets and the protection that they can give if worn correctly. But I do not believe that my age gives me any imunity from injury. Tarmac is fairly hard and would suffer almost no damage whatsoever if my head smashed into it. Whichever way you try to sell it, this law is going to be seen by those it affects as another way of the States trying to control the youth of Jersey. It would make far more sense to make it compulsory for EVERYONE or NO-ONE to wear a cycle helmet, thereby eliminating the feeling of alienation to our youth and the complications of enforcing such a law amongst Jerseys young adults, who will no doubt have to prove their age when confronted. Most of the youth I see today do wear helmets, if anything the adults are the worst offenders. I feel that this law will reverse the good progress that has recently been made. Typical.

[No Subject] Report Abuse
Posted By: Mr Bourgaize on 15-Mar-2010
Well the head is the most important bit we dont want people to have a suit of armour. What is the fuss really. If I had it my way everyone would have to wear one. I always have I don't ride a lot now but helmets don't put me off but not having one does. I have seen a case where a helmet was badly damaged in a crash and if it was not on his head he would be dead.

Compulsory to wear cycle helmets Report Abuse
Posted By: John Hallard on 15-Mar-2010
Going back to April 2002 I was cycling along a cyclepath to work when I had a crash and I was not wearing a helmet at the time even though I normally do. Sod's law really. Because if I was wearing head protection I may not of had the fall that split my pultrum between my nose and mouth, also. I had to go to hospital for stitches and was off work for three weeks. My point is that even though I do still wear a cycle helmet, I do think that they can only prevent some injury as not all cycle accidents are head injuries.

[No Subject] Report Abuse
Posted By: trevor , st.Helier on 14-Mar-2010
i wonder how i ever survived to the age i am now without all these nanny state laws .will never be policed ,whatever happened to common sense

Cycle Helmets Report Abuse
Posted By: Sanity on 14-Mar-2010
Education with respect to Cycle Helmets has been almost 100% effective over the past 20 years with these now being worm in all cycling sports and almost very rider going faster than walking speed. From the accident statistics it would appear that currently helmets are worn in about every instance where they will benefit the rider. Conversely Cycle Helmets are very dangerous in some incidents or not worn correctly. It is logical therefore that Deputy Greens Law will cause serious injury to many riders who are now forced with the threat of criminal prosecution to wear a helmet. Why do so many people think this Law is a good thing. It will cause more injuries than it will prevent, create criminals of otherwise law abiding citizens, cause resentment of the Police and divert Law enforcement resources from what I would define as real issues such as public disorder. The knock on effect is that again the authorities are again lying to our youth You will wear a cycle helmet because we are the Law, the same as you will not take drugs or drink alcohol. And that really works well!

[No Subject] Report Abuse
Posted By: Arnold on 13-Mar-2010
@Tony on 13-Mar-2010 I think seat belts are an entirely different proposition. That situation arose from the data collected that showed an alarming amount of passenger and driver fatalities that occured where they shot through the windscreen on collision, or into the internal structure of the vehicle. A cyclist is a) hardly likely to build up that kind of momentum, and b) the helmet simply would be too ineffective over the 12mph ANSII/SNELL tested range. I also think comments such as "saved my life" rely too much on faith rather than fact. We WANT to beleive it to be the case as it reassures us. Sometimes we need to see cold, hard facts and face the truth. Helmets dont do all that much, other wise the evidence would be as overwhelming as the seatbelt evidence.

Helmets Report Abuse
Posted By: Tony on 13-Mar-2010
You know what, the more i read these objections , the more i think of the seat belt law , front and recently the back- what a lot of noise all that made !! Now it is just accepted, no one even questions the need to wear a seat belt. The same will apply to cycle helmets in time, yet to me the evidence is very clear. Would ANY objector to this common sense law be prepared to take a test and fall onto the ground not wearing a helmet to see if you end up with a brain injury ? I am truly amazed by the comments and objections of Daniel Wimberley. I can only presume he has never fallen off his bike and had a near miss bashing his head on the pavement. His primary role now should be, serving the public . protecting them from themselves ( if need be ) . Personally, i have had a very near miss and i count myself very fortunate. I have also seen a few cyclists in my professional capacity who have not been so. My view is, go out- enjoy cycling-it is brilliant. But be safe. Remember, it does not have to be your fault. YOU just end up with the result .

Cycle Helmets Report Abuse
Posted By: Kevin - St Helier on 13-Mar-2010
The debate is NOT about whether a helmet might or might not protect one from serious head injury, I for one believe that there are some benefits from donning a helmet and indeed did so for many years and also insisted that my children also did so, however, the debate is about FREEDOM OF CHOICE. We must be free to decide what risks we take in life inclusive of childen learning from a young age that their own decisions bear risks. Where will it all end, I guess we will live in a world akin to that displayed in 'Logins Run' where all decisions, inclusive of child birth and the age that you are terminated, are decided by the state.

cycle helmets Report Abuse
Posted By: Basil Hollington on 12-Mar-2010
I am an experienced recreational and touring cyclist of 60 years of age, and have twice been "saved" by wearing a helmet when crashing over the handlebars (both occasions, due to pedal failure). Both occasions, my helmet disintegrated but I walked away virtually uninjured - I can only assume saved from serious head injury. The head is very heavy and cannot be controlled during a sudden crash, and tarmac is very, very hard and unyielding. My 4 children, all keen cyclists have worn helmets from a very young age and would now never ride without , like me.It never deterred them, but then dad was the example. I am not necessarily in favour of mandatory helmet wearing but I would most certainly strongly advise wearing one. Out of interest, I am also a keen squash player and Wales, where I live, makes it manadatory for juniour players to wear eye protection in competition

Licensing will be next Report Abuse
Posted By: Arnold on 12-Mar-2010
@Ian on 12-Mar-2010 Licensing could well be next. They have just passed this into law for the Isle of Man I notice. They are going to charge 30 for a license iirc, and at a 30 loss on admin. I think proposals such as this are highly limiting. When my nephew was hurt one of the nurses who was australian said they have helmet laws over there, but theres no drop in head injuries - people assume too much about them.

[No Subject] Report Abuse
Posted By: redman st brelade on 12-Mar-2010
off topic slightly i know but those buggies that parents tow their kids around in behind their bikes are a far more worrying subject in my opinion......

Cycling helmets - compulsory or not Report Abuse
Posted By: Micaela Wiencke on 12-Mar-2010
Hi there, I would like to share an experience of mine where my helmet has saved my life. I was cycling into work one winter morning and as I was doing a turn from a larger road into a side street my I lost control of my handle bars due to non-visible ice on the ground. I fell on my head and could still feel the bang quite a lot despite the helmet. I do not want to know what could have happened had I not worn the helmet. As you may be able to image I prefer wearing a helmet, particularly when cycling on the road. However, as a teenager I used to hate it and to some extent it used to make me cycle more carefully. Whether the law is introduced or not, I think the main priority of cyclists has to be their own interest in their safety and cycle accordingly! Thanks and best wishes, Micaela

Cycle helmets compulsory for under-18s Report Abuse
Posted By: Alan Jones on 12-Mar-2010
If this law is passed and then stretched to adults (which seems likely if it was only defeated by one vote) later Jersey will be one holiday destination I shall not be going to.

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