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Helmet rule won’t make cycling safer

Bicycles offer us a low-risk, healthy means of transport and hours of healthy fun for our children.

Until now. Now politician Pat Ramsey proposes to make riding bicycles illegal without a helmet. If our youth need more reasons to conflict with the police, if we need to put on weight and lose fitness, if we need to turn a daily jaunt into an uncomfortable drudge, he might deserve our support.

Helmet laws have failed everywhere they have been tried. They have done nothing for head injury rates.

In places that have actually enforced such laws, the only demonstrable effects have been less cycling, further alienation of young people who wanted a peaceful ride around, and a few unfortunate children strangled by their own helmet straps.

Cycling has been reduced to a tiny, semi-professional, Lycra-clad rump.

I hope that our politicians can think of better things to do. They will have a hard time coming up with something worse.

There are far better ways to make cycling, and our roads in general, much safer.

Dr Richard Keatinge

Anglesey

Belfast Telegraph

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