Should bike helmets be compulsory? Lessons from Seattle and Amsterdam

Should bike helmets be compulsory? Lessons from Seattle and Amsterdam

In Seattle, helmets have been mandatory for 12 years – but many cycling advocates argue such laws discourage cycling while doing nothing to improve road safety. Should London make wearing bike helmets compulsory?

Every day, Elizabeth Kiker cycles to her work through the streets of Seattle. As the executive director of a big bicycle club, she wants to show people that you don’t need fancy gear to ride a bike – so she rides in her skirt and office shoes. But she does wear a helmet. If she didn’t, she would risk a $102 (£67) fine.

Seattle is one of the few big cities in the world where cyclists of all ages are legally required to wear a helmet. “There’s an interesting conversation going on about this, because it could dissuade people from cycling,” says Kiker. “And yet, it is safer if you fall. I once slipped with my bike and fell on my helmet and I was glad I was wearing it.”

Cycling without a helmet is something I take for granted, I never give it any thought

It was feared the helmet law would hurt our new bike share programme, but it hasn’t

Related: The most cycle-friendly cities in the world – your pictures and stories

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Source: Guardian Transport

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