This is CTC’s view on helmets:
CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation – always works in the best interests of all cyclists. If we felt that making helmet wearing compulsory would be better for cyclists and for cycling, of course we would support the move.
However, after years of examining all the available research on helmets, we believe that there is no clear or conclusive evidence to support the view that compulsory helmet-wearing would either advance the cause of cycling, or necessarily improve cyclists’ safety on the roads.
Cycling is by no means an exceptionally dangerous pursuit and it’s certainly no more risky than lots of other routine activities. For instance, you are more likely to be killed in a mile of walking than in a mile of cycling.
In fact, cycling is much more likely to do you good than harm, because it’s such a healthy thing to do. In other words, the benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks.
Forcing everyone to wear a helmet may well put some people off cycling altogether. Studies from Australia and New Zealand show that compulsion leads to a drop in cycling levels – which means that fewer people gain from the exercise.
We don’t want anything to put people off cycling – not just because it’s healthy, but also because there is clear evidence that the more people who cycle, the safer it gets for each individual cyclist.
We recognise that some people choose to wear a helmet for their own personal reasons, and we will always support a person’s right to make that choice.
We are not experts in skiing; but we are experts in cycling – and we have been for over 130 years.