J-P Wooding: Cyclists should wear helmets, simple as that

Cyclists should wear helmets, says J-P
Cyclists should wear helmets, says J-P

It astounds me to see parents riding on bicycles with their children without helmets on.

Why do some people need a major accident or heaven forbid worse still to realise the importance of not just helmets, but road safety in general?

We always hear and see road safety campaigns reminding car drivers about giving cyclists and motorcyclists appropriate safety margins and the respect they need, yet all parties involved need to use common sense.

Undoubtedly many accidents involving cyclists of all types are due to a lack of care from car drivers, but certainly not all of them.

Time and time again I have approached a pair of cyclists riding side-by-side, who make no attempt to position themselves into single file, as I believe the Highway Code states.

It would seem that a lot of drivers have difficulty in overtaking a solitary cyclist with the necessary care, so why make it even harder?

Traffic lights are often ignored too and some cyclists seem to have a “stealth-fetish”; riding at night in the darkest clothing without any lights.

I’ve seen some horrific accident awareness videos concerning motorcycle safety but again there always seem to be those who slice in and out of traffic with the assumption that it is everybody else’s job to accommodate their dangerous manoeuvres.

It is every road user’s responsibility.

Perhaps there should equally be campaigns pointing out what the more exposed commuters could do for themselves, not just the one-way traffic we seem to have, which puts the onus on the car driver.

A good quality cycling helmet costs about £20.

Is that really too much to pay to help protect oneself?

Perhaps for some they feel that the cost of vanity outweighs this; sadly some things never surprise me to be honest.

I suppose you could say that at least some parents insist their children wear them, even if they don’t.

You could say it, but in my opinion you’re wasting your breath; which to be honest, you can’t be that bothered about.

The child may be safe, but I’m sure they’d rather have their parents with them for a bit longer, just for the sake of wearing a helmet.

Cigarette packets have introduced shocking pictures to try to dissuade people from smoking.

Is something similar needed for helmets?

Am I being a bit over the top, or do people need to be reminded in such a severe way?

Some of us only learn through accidents, but believe me; you don’t want to learn the hard way where this subject is concerned.

I just feel that we cannot rely on fellow road users to keep us safe, so we should make every effort to look after ourselves as much as we can to start with.

After that, accidents do happen but at least you’ve done everything you can. If you or your children use a bike and you don’t have helmets, please buy one.

If you’re a biker, please be aware that sometimes we can’t react as quickly as your bikes, so give yourselves a chance by giving us one.

Read more from J-P here.