The case against compulsory helmets

Chris Peck's picture
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Surely helmets must be a good idea? That's the first reaction from most people when they hear CTC's policy against compulsory helmet use. So what's the case for CTC's position?
Unhelmeted cycling is the norm in the Netherlands, even for children
Unhelmeted cycling is the norm in the Netherlands, even for children

Cycling is healthy

Cycling regularly gives you a level of fitness equivalent to being 10 years younger and a life expectancy 2 years above the average. In terms of life-years gained and lost, the Government acknowledges that the health benefits of cycling far outweigh any risks involved – by a factor of 20:1 according to one estimate, and even higher according to a recent study from Spain.

Tens of thousands of people die annually from diseases attributed to physical inactivity, whereas only a relatively small number die in crashes on bicycles each year.

Cycling is also a very popular form of exercise, ranking only behind swimming and athletics in popularity. Furthermore, when asked which activity people wish to do more of, cycling is second only to swimming.

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