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Why is Dan Walker’s claim that a bike helmet saved his life so controversial?

“Don’t be a helmet, wear a helmet,” says the presenter – but what’s the evidence behind the slogan?

Earlier this week, as I’m sure most of you know by now, the broadcaster Dan Walker was involved in a nasty collision with a motorist while riding his bike.

Footage has since emerged of the terrifying spill, captured on a motorist’s rear-view camera, which shows the Channel 5 presenter riding on the busy Moore Street roundabout near Sheffield’s city centre, before a driver veers across into his lane, clipping him from behind and sending him clattering to the ground.

A clear case, then, of careless, or some may argue dangerous, driving, which left Walker with a bloodied and bruised face and feeling “glad to be alive”.

Dan Walker (Twitter/Dan Walker)

> Dan Walker "glad to be alive" after being hit by a driver while cycling

So, why then did the former BBC Breakfast host become the centre of a social media storm this week, one which appears to have divided cyclists into two distinct camps?

The whole furore, which Walker has himself addressed both on Twitter and in an article for the Sunday Times, stems from a seemingly innocent comment he made on the day of the collision concerning the usefulness of his helmet.

The 45-year-old claimed that a police officer and paramedics who attended the scene told him that he wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for his helmet, a revelation that prompted Walker to inform his Twitter followers to “get one on your head” when riding their bikes.

The fact that the presenter chose to focus on his helmet as the one variable that affected the outcome of the collision appeared to some on social media to suggest that, in Walkers’ eyes, bike helmets are an integral component of cycling safety, and that if everyone wore one more lives would be saved on the road.

That suggestion provoked two distinct sets of responses, crudely summarised as follows:

  1. ‘Yes, helmets are extremely important – why would you not leave the house without one?’
  2. ‘Prioritising the importance of helmets is just another example of our car-brained, victim-blaming culture.’

The presenter addressed these two points of view in a Sunday Times article about the incident (which also touched on the anti-cyclist reaction from motorists unhappy that Walker was riding on “their roundabout”) and in particular the claim that, by urging others to wear helmets, he was “doing the heavy lifting for militant drivers”.

> Motorists blame crash victim Dan Walker for not riding on underpass cycle lane – described by locals as “filled with broken glass”

“My helmet is smashed and I’m glad that it wasn’t my head,” Walker writes. “I have always worn a helmet since I attended an awful traffic accident in Manchester when I first started out as a journalist.

“Every police officer can tell you about a cyclist’s head they have had to try to put back together at a road traffic accident so they can be identified by their loved ones. They are never wearing a helmet.”

The presenter concluded the article by suggesting a new campaign slogan for cyclists, based on a message sent to him by a well-wisher this week: “Don’t be a helmet. Wear a helmet”.

While it’s clear that Walker never intended to provoke such a heated debate with what on the face of it seemed a fairly innocuous comment, relayed to him by an emergency services member in the wake of a traumatic crash, the backlash that followed his tweet – and the presenter’s own response to it – has nevertheless highlighted the complicated and often confusing relationship between helmets and road safety.

Should everyone riding a bike, as Walker claims, wear a helmet to keep them safe? And, to stretch the presenter’s point to its logical conclusion, should helmet wearing be made mandatory?

Chris Boardman, the former Olympic champion-turned-active travel champion, doesn’t think so. In fact, back in 2014, the then-British Cycling policy advisor described the “helmet issue” as a “massive red herring” which is “not even in the top ten of things you need to do to keep cycling safe or more widely, save the most lives”.

> Chris Boardman: "Helmets not even in top 10 of things that keep cycling safe"

There are a number of case studies which support Boardman’s stance, perhaps the most famous – and hotly-debated – of which was conducted by psychologist Dr Ian Walker of the University of Bath, who concluded that motorists tend to give more space to cyclists not wearing helmets, therefore lowering the possibility of a collision, and the potentially grisly consequences outlined in Dan’s Sunday Times piece, in the first place.

So, what role, if any, do helmets play in keeping cyclists safe? This most divisive of issues can be split into two discrete factors: the scientific and the societal.

The science

When it comes to the science around helmets, the answer is: it’s complicated.

A 2017 review by statisticians at the University of New South Wales found that, based on 40 separate studies, helmet use significantly reduced the odds of head injury, and that the probability of suffering a fatal head injury was lower when cyclists wore a helmet (though, the authors noted, helmets cannot eliminate the risk of injury entirely).

Another study from the same year, this time from Norway’s Institute of Transport Economics, concluded – based on an overview of almost 30 years’ worth of analysis – that bike helmets reduced head injury by 48 percent, serious head injury by 60 percent, traumatic brain injury by 53 percent, facial injury by 23 percent, and the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34 percent.

The protective ability of helmets has also increased in recent years, thanks to the use of different materials in the design process and the advent of technologies such as MIPS, designed to reduce rotational motion to the brain in the event of a crash.

However, while they are certainly useful when it comes to lessening the potential severity of a serious head injury, helmets have proved markedly less effective when it comes to preventing concussion, a reality of their protective limitations recognised by only one in five competitive cyclists, according to a recent study.

“Our conclusions are not that cycling headgear doesn’t afford protection, but that more independent research underpinning new technologies marketed for reducing concussion is needed,” said the study’s lead, and former racing cyclist, Dr Jack Hardwicke last year.

Volvo Cars and POC develop world first  car bike helmet crash_test (1).jpg

> Could Volvo and POC end the helmet debate? Swedish firms partner for "world first" car and cycle helmet crash tests 

However, perhaps the most important limitation associated with helmets – and one that is particularly pertinent in Dan Walker’s case – is their ability, or rather, their inability to protect riders involved in collisions with a vehicle.

In 2020, Eric Richter, the senior brand development manager at helmet manufacturer Giro, sought to clarify the “many misconceptions” about helmets.

“We do not design helmets specifically to reduce chances or severity of injury when impacts involve a car,” Richter said.

Current bike helmet testing procedures are fairly rudimentary, involving helmets being dropped from different heights on either a flat or an angled surface, and do not take into account collisions with vehicles.

According to Richter, “the number of variables” – including the speed, mass, and profile of the vehicle, as well as the angle of impact – “is too great to calculate”.

Despite their ability to prevent serious head injuries, helmets then, as Giro points out, are not designed to protect cyclists from dangerous drivers. Which brings us onto the second major factor influencing the role of the helmet in the wider road safety discussion: societal and cultural norms.

Societal factors: Where do helmets sit on the safety pyramid?

In the UK, a nation where proper, protected cycling infrastructure is in its infancy, and can at best be described as geographically variable, helmets have long played a central role in cycling culture.

Right from the time your parents popped off the stabilisers on your first bike, the call to ‘wear your helmet’ has been a constant one. So, it stands to reason that helmet use must lead to safer cycling, right?

In 2016, a study by the Toole Design Group analysed the correlation between helmet use and fatality rates amongst cyclists on the roads in eight countries.

The Netherlands – the world leader for safe cycling infrastructure with a strong bike riding culture – reported the lowest rates of helmet use and the lowest cycling fatality rate per distance travelled.

On the other hand, the USA, of the eight countries examined, reported the highest rate of helmet use. But it also reported the highest fatality rates too.

In his Sunday Times article, Dan Walker noted the gulf in infrastructure and culture between the Netherlands and the likes of the UK, which he argues provides all the more reason for British cyclists to don helmets out on the road.

“I have cycled in Amsterdam where ‘hardly anyone wears a helmet’ and it’s great, but the whole transport culture revolves around two wheels,” he says.

“In the UK, we don’t have the same respect for vulnerable road users. I have witnessed terrible driving and awful cycling everywhere. We desperately need better infrastructure, better training, and more respect for other road users, but a bike is never going to win a tussle with a car and the questions always seem to be centred around what a cyclist should do to stop getting killed, rather than safer driving.”

On the other hand, the kind of figures presented by the Toole Design Group could also be used to add credence to Ian Walker’s theory that, in some motorists’ eyes, helmets can represent a kind of protective shield which seemingly permits them to drive dangerously around lid-wearing cyclists – despite, as Giro have said, their dubious effects when on the receiving end of a two-tonne vehicle.

Another study from 2019, presented at the National Road Safety Conference, also suggested “a higher accident/injury rate may result from helmet usage” and argued that “there is strong evidence that helmeted cyclists suffer a higher rate of upper body limb injuries than non-wearers, suggesting a higher rate of falls than non-wearers.”

> Wearing a cycle helmet may increase risk of injury, says new research 

As Chris Boardman noted over nine years ago, it’s clear that simply reinforcing the notion that reactive protective gear such as helmets and hi-vis clothing are an essential element of everyday cycling cannot simply act as a replacement to proactively building safe cycling infrastructure and addressing driver behaviour.

“It’s a bit like saying ‘people are sniping at you going down this street, so put some body armour on,’” Boardman said in 2014.

Chris Boardman in Copenhagen (copyright Britishcycling.org_.uk)

Chris Boardman cycling in Copenhagen, sans helmet

Encouragement to wear helmets, either from governments or TV presenters on Twitter, are according to Boardman’s analogy “a big campaign to get people to wear body armour, by the people who should be stopping the shooting.”

The chair of the Road Danger Reduction Forum, Dr Robert Davis, was one of the most prominent critics of Walker’s claim that his helmet “saved” his life, and has argued that such a claim feeds into society’s inherent anti-cyclist bias and acts as a “red herring”.

Culturally defined safety measures such as helmets, lights, and hi-vis, Davis says, “can act as a diversion from what needs to be done for real road safety”, placing the onus once again on the more vulnerable road user to be wholly responsible for their safety.

Davis’ vocal criticism of Walker’s call for cyclists to wear helmets is, in many respects, a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

With cyclists – a group, you would imagine, united in the goal of making the act of riding a bike as safe as possible – at loggerheads over a safety issue such as helmets, attention naturally was diverted from the dangerous driving that caused the Channel 5 presenter to clatter to the ground with an unceremonious thump.

By focusing on helmets (and their contentious ability to mitigate the effects of a collision with a car, such as the one suffered by Walker), the ability and desire to tackle dangerous driving, as well as creating suitable, safe spaces for cyclists, is impeded – and the blame shifted away from the dangerous driver and back onto the vulnerable road user.

Societal factors: Should we all wear helmets?

Finally, the implication, spread by Walker, that his helmet was crucial in saving his life raised the inevitable question: Should all cyclists wear helmets at all times?

That was certainly the argument put forward this week by Nick Freeman, the lawyer nicknamed ‘Mr Loophole’ for his ability to obtain not guilty verdicts for celebrities charged with motoring offences.

Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio’s Jonathan Vernon-Smith in the wake of Walker’s crash, Freeman called on bike helmets to be made compulsory for cyclists.

“Cyclists are so vulnerable,” he said. “They are exposed to massive dangers on the road from motorists, from the road surface itself, and it just seems to be common sense to say you need to wear these items to protect yourself.

“It’s going to be a mandatory requirement because, as Dan Walker very happily said, it saved his life. Irrespective of blame.

“We all make mistakes when we’re cycling, we all make mistakes when we’re driving, but if those mistakes could be fatal and that could be avoided by simply wearing something, then surely as a society we have no choice, we have to adopt that.”

However, despite Freeman’s claims, the issue around mandatory helmets is not quite as simple as that.

In December, the Department for Transport insisted that the UK government has “no intention” of making wearing a helmet while cycling a legal requirement.

Minister of state for the department, Jesse Norman, responded to a question on the matter in the House of Commons by pointing out that the issue had been considered “at length” during the cycling and walking safety review in 2018.

Norman said that while the Department for Transport “recommends that cyclists wear helmets”, the “safety benefits of mandating cycle helmets are likely to be outweighed by the fact that this would put some people off cycling”.

Chiswick High Road 02 copyright Simon MacMichael

> Government shuts down mandatory cycling helmets question from Conservative MP 

The UK government’s approach to mandatory helmets is in line with a school of thought which suggests that mandatory bike helmets – and their apparently inherent association with danger and the need to protect yourself – could discourage cycling, which on balance is much healthier for the population to practice without protective equipment, rather than simply not doing it at all.

In Australia and New Zealand, two of only four countries in the world to have implemented a universal, nationwide helmet requirement (the others being Argentina and Cyprus), the number of people cycling has fallen in the thirty years since the laws were introduced.

A recent analysis of census data found that, since New Zealand made helmets mandatory in 1994, children’s cycling “reduced from 23 million hours to 13.6 million hours in less than a ten-year period and currently is about four to five million hours per year”.

A 2019 article by law professors Julia Quilter and Russell Hogg argued that Australia’s mandatory helmet laws “have become a tool of disproportionate penalties and aggressive policing”, with failure to wear a cycling helmet the most-commonly issued on-the-spot fine in New South Wales.

In the US city Seattle, mandatory cycling helmet laws were dropped in February last year after officials expressed concerns about the laws unfairly impacting black people and the homeless.

One of Australia’s most prominent opponents of the mandatory helmet laws, Sue Abbott, says that “it beggars belief that in the 21st century we take something as benign and beneficial as bike riding and we punish people.”

Todd added: “We accept that a helmet might help in the event of an accident … [but] you must distinguish between crash data and population data. It hasn’t had any measured safety benefit at the population level. Across population, the reduction in injuries was no more than the drop in cycling.”

Meanwhile, Edward Hore, the president of the Australian Cycle Alliance, argued that wearing a helmet “should be a choice”.

“We’re not talking about banning helmets, we’re talking about making them optional,” he said.

“If you’re in a peloton down a beach road, and you’re not wearing a helmet, you’re a bloody idiot, let’s be frank.

“But we’re talking about the rider in the park with a family, the local commuter, the gentle ride down the street. Once you’ve measured your risk you can decide whether or not you want to don a helmet.”

Conclusion: One group, two debates

In many respects, the fierce social media debate that arose in the wake of Dan Walker’s call for cyclists to wear helmets is evidence of one group engaging in two separate conversations at the same time.

Yes, helmets are certainly beneficial, and in some cases essential, and can play a key role in preventing and reducing serious head injuries and fatalities.

But they cannot be viewed as a simple like-for-like replacement for safe infrastructure and addressing dangerous driving at its source.

By placing the helmet at the centre of a discussion concerning a high-profile and well-reported collision between a cyclist and a motorist, the onus for road safety – as Walker himself noted in his Sunday Times piece – is once again “centred around what a cyclist should do to stop getting killed, rather than safer driving”.

Helmet child

The social media storm that engulfed Walker’s bike helmet advocacy is perhaps indicative of the fact that most cyclists are unaware of the two-sided nature of the debate – he clearly didn’t intend it to be a loaded statement, it’s his opinion and choice to wear a helmet while cycling, and he meant no harm by what he said.

However, as we’ve noted above, there is plenty of evidence to support the view that he could have used his profile to promote things that are shown to improve cyclists’ safety much more than protective equipment.

Nevertheless, there could have been a whole host of reasons why he didn’t though, and it’s understandable that after such a nasty and traumatic experience he was just thankful for the equipment that he was told prevented his injuries from being much worse.

There’s nothing wrong with wearing a bike helmet – as odd as calling for all cyclists to wear a helmet is, it’s arguably just as weird to be actively against helmet wearing in all instances – and lots of studies have outlined their benefits.

Cycling overall though is a relatively low risk activity, especially when riding on designated cycling infrastructure at low speeds, and, as has been the case in Australia and New Zealand, mandating helmet use only puts people off riding their bikes.

To paraphrase Dan Walker himself, don’t be a helmet – make your own choice.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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151 comments

Avatar
JustTryingToGet... replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
4 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB wrote:

and a helmet will make not a jot of difference.

How can you possibly know this? There are so many variables, it's certainly true to say that it might make a difference to the outcome. But then again, it might not.

If you really think it won't make a difference, I don't understand why you'd bother wearing a helmet at all.

For the cycling I do, the risk comes from concussion and being flattened by a motorist so the liklihood of helmet saving me seems pretty low. Certainly lower than the benefits I get from cycling when a helmet is inconvenient.

I wear a lid most of the time because
A) I love, really really love, showing up a motorist who thinks I appeared out of nowhere despite being head to toe hi-vis including a helmet that looks like a day-glo knob.
B) should I get flattened, the insurance will try to scam my family despite my injuries in no way preventable by a helmet.

Neither of us will change each others mind.

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 12 months ago
0 likes

Well the important thing is you wear a helmet. I hope that if you have an accident, it helps you.

Avatar
PhilipH | 12 months ago
0 likes

Bike helmets are so light, well ventalated, unobtrusive and for the more cycling fashion conscieous of us, it completes the look... There's no viable reason not to wear one, just hot-air and opinions. God forbid, if you ever need the protection you'll be glad you had when you did.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to PhilipH | 12 months ago
5 likes

Well that's all good. However I just read the article above so aren't you worried the presenter's message will be lost amongst the thousands of news articles where presenters who'd survived crashes were urging motorists to drive to the conditions, or not drive on the pavement, or not run red lights, or saying that cycling infra saved their life, or that junctions in the UK were a major safety issue, or we need to fix potholes, or that people should keep up with their bike's maintenance...

Nothing to stop you taking some small safety precautions. I'm pretty sure that helmets in the UK are not an unknown safety silver bullet - they're pretty salient, don't worry on that score. Seems odd that this one issue always gets so much noise and *mainstream media publicity* though, would you not say?

Avatar
Backladder replied to PhilipH | 12 months ago
4 likes
PhilipH wrote:

Bike helmets are so light, well ventalated, unobtrusive and for the more cycling fashion conscieous of us, it completes the look... There's no viable reason not to wear one, just hot-air and opinions. God forbid, if you ever need the protection you'll be glad you had when you did.

Well I find them hot, noisy and uncomfortable so that is why I avoid using one wherever possible.

Avatar
Hirsute | 12 months ago
3 likes

Backside sorted anyhow
https://www.airbagjeans.com/

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 12 months ago
7 likes
hirsute wrote:

Backside sorted anyhow https://www.airbagjeans.com/

Pffft! You can make a homemade version by cable tying your ankles and eating a whole bunch of beans.

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Pffft! You can make a homemade version by cable tying your ankles and eating a whole bunch of beans.

Pffft indeed. And paaarp too. But you risk being turned away from Edinburgh hostelries.
https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/07/tourists-turned-away-from-edinburgh-pub-f...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Dnnnnnn | 12 months ago
5 likes
Dnnnnnn wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

Pffft! You can make a homemade version by cable tying your ankles and eating a whole bunch of beans.

Pffft indeed. And paaarp too. But you risk being turned away from Edinburgh hostelries.
https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/07/tourists-turned-away-from-edinburgh-pub-f...

"Jobby catchers" - am I immature if that makes me chuckle?

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
5 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

"Jobby catchers" - am I immature if that makes me chuckle?

Yes. As much as many of us.

Avatar
Steve K replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
4 likes

Reminds me of the old joke

Doctor: when did you realise you were suffering from diarrhea?

Cyclist: when I took off my trouser clips.

 

Avatar
HoarseMann | 12 months ago
9 likes

The car that hit Dan is a 2019-21 Nissan Qashqai. These come with Automatic Emergency Braking as standard - including pedestrian detection.

Watching the video again, the vehicle applies instant and harsh braking immediately there is contact. This could be the driver reacting very quickly, but could it also have been the AEB system kicking in?

What definitely saved Dan's life, was not getting run over by the vehicle. It would be interesting to know if AEB played a part in that.

Looking at a video of the system in action, it does seem to brake in a similar way:
https://youtu.be/FTKxCE5qmQM?t=116

Avatar
Cycloid | 12 months ago
5 likes

A Helmet DID NOT Save My Life

I wish we could put Helmets (and Hi-vis) away for ever, but as we are going around the loop again I will add my ten penn'orth.

Several years ago I came off my bike when I was not wearing a helmet. The result was not nice, I went over the bars at about 18mph,  landed on my head and lost a piece of my scalp about the size of a Jaffa Cake. That was my only injury, if I was wearing a helmet I think I would have walked away and become a member of  the "A helmet saved my life club". As it was I lost a whole summer of cycling thanks to a wound which refused to heal.

Some time later I had a helmet which was way over it's use by date. Rather than throw it away I put some sand into a garden refuse bag to make a sphere about the size of my head, put the helmet onto it, then set about it with a length of 3x3. I was surprised how much punishment it took to break the helmet and this scientific experiment left me with the feeling "I'll have some of that (protection)"

My personal advice :-

Always Wear a Helmet But Ride Like You Are NOT.

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to Cycloid | 12 months ago
0 likes

Hear hear. What's your view on bite-proof jackets? Asking for a friend  3

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
2 likes

You *should* wear one before posting on road.cc - but of course we're not saying the moderators should enforce that?

(It's the dangerous cynics...)

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to chrisonabike | 12 months ago
0 likes

A poo-proof jacket would be more useful in here. That way I might be able to just let the BS wash over me without feeling the need to call it out.

Avatar
Steve K | 12 months ago
14 likes

I'd love to hear prominent health experts/campaigners say something like - 

"If you are going cycling, I'd suggest you wear a helmet, because it can offer some protection.  However, it's a personal choice and the health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks.  From a physical and mental health viewpoint you are better off cycling without a helmet than not cycling at all."

Avatar
ejocs | 12 months ago
28 likes

I think it's important to separate out a few key points that tend to get all jumbled together, since a lot of the helmet "debate" is really just people talking past each other.

  • Even if it's true that helmets somewhat reduce the harm from some collisions/falls, it's definitely true that by far the most important thing for increasing cycling safety is improving infrastructure/attitudes/enforcement related to road usage.
     
  • As a matter of personal choice, it's probably a good idea to wear a helmet, as 1) they can likely reduce the harm from some collisions/falls and have little downside *when chosen to be worn on an individual level*, and 2) even if infrastructure/attitudes/enforcement related to road usage *should* be improved, I think we can all agree that *in reality* they are woefully inadequate--and, after all, the way things should be doesn't protect us from dangers that actually are.
     
    (However, if for whatever reason you personally don't want to wear a helmet, go ahead and cycle anyway! Although cycling isn't as safe as it should be, it's still safe enough that your mental and physical health will be better for doing it.)
     
  • As a matter of public policy, it's not a good idea to insist on helmets, because 1) since helmets are nowhere near the most important thing for increasing cycling safety, helmet requirements simply divert our limited resources (including attention) away from the most useful improvements and toward relatively trivial ones, 2) helmet requirements have a negative impact *when enforced at a policy level* due to point number 1 above plus the likelihood that helmet requirements decrease the amount of cycling overall, which has a number of drawbacks for city design, the environment, public health, and the safety of the remaining people who do cycle, and 3) it's none of your fucking business what I choose to do on a personal level in this case because it doesn't relevantly affect you on a public level--and if you don't want to be personally responsible for splattering my helmet-less head all over the pavement, then maybe don't drive like a fucking asshole.
Avatar
Mungecrundle replied to ejocs | 12 months ago
14 likes

I don't often descend to personal slurs in response to other's posting, but honestly ejocs, you must be utterly sane to espouse such rational views.

Avatar
LeadenSkies replied to ejocs | 12 months ago
8 likes

That sums up my view perfectly and much more eloquently than I could manage! I always wear a helmet when I take a bike out with me even though I am not convinced they offer huge amounts of protection. I don't take a helmet with me every time I go in to the city in case I want to hire a bike to get to and from the station instead of taking a taxi. Mandating helmets would simply mean I took a taxi every time. Great for the taxi trade I suppose, not so good for my health, congestion or the environment. A far more effective societal response to concerns over vulnerable road user safety would be to educate all road users on their obligations and then strictly enforce breaches of existing road laws with meaningful punishment for those who break them.

Avatar
ErnieC | 12 months ago
2 likes

Who cares. If that is what he thinks, so what. If you agree - great. If you disagree - great. His view and he is entitled to say so as much as you are allowed to disagree. Storm meet teacup. 

Avatar
Velophaart_95 replied to ErnieC | 12 months ago
2 likes

Yes, exactly! I really don't get the angst people show because someone suggests people wear a helmet.....

I don't wear a helmet in case a car hits me, I wear one in case I come off on my own, or when I'm riding off road.....

Avatar
giff77 replied to ErnieC | 12 months ago
8 likes

Dan was also in a position to highlight the dangers presented by inattentive and aggressive motorists. He also had the opportunity to increase awareness of how poor infrastructure is- this roundabout being a classic example.

Instead he choose to put the emphasis on the wearing of a helmet while falling back on police and medical comments of "it was a good job he was wearing one". I have not seen one comment on mainstream media pointing out that the motorist was at fault when you clearly see them drift across the lanes and into the back of Dan. They've all been a pile on of anti cyclist bingo. 

Avatar
HarrogateSpa replied to giff77 | 12 months ago
1 like

This x100

Avatar
Hirsute | 1 year ago
29 likes

"Imagine Dan Walker had been attacked by a dog. Now, instead of talking about muzzling dangerous dogs, we were telling people to wear bite proof jackets and check they weren't carrying sausages. That's where we are just now."

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to Hirsute | 12 months ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

"Imagine Dan Walker had been attacked by a dog. Now, instead of talking about muzzling dangerous dogs, we were telling people to wear bite proof jackets and check they weren't carrying sausages. That's where we are just now."

10 likes and counting for this obvious false equivalence. What a joke.

Avatar
brooksby replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
6 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:
hirsute wrote:

"Imagine Dan Walker had been attacked by a dog. Now, instead of talking about muzzling dangerous dogs, we were telling people to wear bite proof jackets and check they weren't carrying sausages. That's where we are just now."

10 likes and counting for this obvious false equivalence. What a joke.

13 and counting right now.  Please can you explain why its a false equivalence?

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to brooksby | 12 months ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:
hirsute wrote:

"Imagine Dan Walker had been attacked by a dog. Now, instead of talking about muzzling dangerous dogs, we were telling people to wear bite proof jackets and check they weren't carrying sausages. That's where we are just now."

10 likes and counting for this obvious false equivalence. What a joke.

13 and counting right now.  Please can you explain why its a false equivalence?

If you're too dense to realise that wearing PPE to reduce the risk associated with every-day hazards in a dangerous environment is not the same thing as wearing PPE to reduce the risk associated with an event that occurs so rarely every occasion makes BBC news, then explaining it to you is just wasted effort. Including this comment.

Avatar
marmotte27 replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
6 likes

I find a number of over 7 and a half thousand hospital admissions per year for dog related injuries. Not really rare then is it...

Avatar
Backladder replied to marmotte27 | 12 months ago
3 likes
marmotte27 wrote:

I find a number of over 7 and a half thousand hospital admissions per year for dog related injuries. Not really rare then is it...

It just shows how poor people are at estimating risks.

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