The Cyclists (Protective Headgear) Bill In NI

Barry Heaven

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Sep 19, 2009
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This bill was approved by the Northern Ireland assembly in January. It now goes to their Environment Committee, after which it may become law and will be the first part of the UK to have compulsory wearing of helmets.

I always wear a helmet but I do believe it shouldn't be compulsory. This article has a link to a petition organised by the CTC and Sustrans and can be signed by anyone in the UK: Cycling groups launch petition against Northern Ireland bike helmet law | Matthew Sparkes | Environment | guardian.co.uk
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,496
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This bill was approved by the Northern Ireland assembly in January. It now goes to their Environment Committee, after which it may become law and will be the first part of the UK to have compulsory wearing of helmets.
And the only part of the UK. Our mainland governments of both persuasions are firmly against compulsion, knowing how it decimates bicycle use. Even a private member's bill to enforce helmets for children was instantly blocked by the government of the day.

Ulster may come to regret this if it comes into force, since the rate of cycling may slump as it's done in the other locations where compulsion exists.
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Barry Heaven

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2009
162
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And the only part of the UK. Our mainland governments of both persuasions are firmly against compulsion, knowing how it decimates bicycle use. Even a private member's bill to enforce helmets for children was instantly blocked by the government of the day.

Ulster may come to regret this if it comes into force, since the rate of cycling may slump as it's done in the other locations where compulsion exists.
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That's good to know Flecc, but governments change and there is no harm in making the depth of feeling known, if only for NI's sake.
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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That's good to know Flecc, but governments change and there is no harm in making the depth of feeling known, if only for NI's sake.
Quite true, best to be vigilant, but I'm confident that British policy to encourage much more cycling will take precedence. They are well aware of the effect of compulsion with high enforcement in Australia, the lowest rate of cycling in the world.

In the Netherlands where hardly anyone ever wears a helmet they have the highest rate of cycling in the world.

It's obvious really, jumping on a bike for local journeys is as easy and convenient as setting off walking, especially if the bike has a chainguard. Having to use a helmet loses that instant convenience aspect, and it also makes bike hire schemes like the "Boris Bikes" impractical for most.
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tonio

Pedelecer
Aug 15, 2009
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Ive had more than enough of the big brother experiment that northern ireland is becoming {along with the rest of the u.k}. Why wasnt there a law to wear helmets when all sorts of missiles were flying in the streets over here for thirty years?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,496
28,373
Thanks Barry, exactly as I forecast the outcome will also be if tried again in Britain. As the main parties say, a step too far of intrusion, and that's the issue really. It's not about whether helmets are good or bad, it's about freedom of choice and quality of life for the vast majority.
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