Call for cyclists to wear their helmets

ROAD safety experts at Notts County Council are reminding cyclists in the Dispatch district to wear their cycle helmets when out and about this summer.

Their call comes in the wake of Olympic gold medal winner Bradley Wiggins’ call for new laws to make cyclists wear helmets after a man died in a collision near the Olympic Park.

It has not been revealed whether the dead man was wearing a helmet but Wiggins said making cyclists take precautions would help to reduce injuries.

He also spoke out against cyclists riding whilst wearing headphones and other portable devices and urged riders to make sure they can be seen by other road users.

His comments were supported by Pam Shaw, Notts County Council’s road safety manager, who urged cyclists to make sure they are properly equipped when venturing out on to Nottinghamshire’s roads.

“Head injuries are the main cause of disability and death resulting from cycle accidents, but correctly chosen and worn cycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury in the event of an accident,” said Pam.

“Cycle helmets should be worn on every journey.”

When choosing a cycle helmet people should make sure that any helmet they buy has a “CE” mark and meets one of following standards: BS EN 1078:1997, BS 6863:1989, or SNELL B.95. Helmets that also have a British Standard kitemark are even better.

It is also important to ensure that the helmet is worn correctly:

The helmet should be level, and sit just above the eyebrows. It should not tilt backwards or forwards — the forehead should not be exposed, and your vision should not be restricted

It should fit closely to your head and feel comfortable – when you shake or nod your head, your helmet should stay in place

It should have an inner layer of polystyrene and either a hard plastic shell or a mesh cover

The helmet and straps should not cover your ears – the straps should go around the ears, forming a “V” shape under the ear lobe, and there should be no slack in the straps. For more details on cycle safety visit the county council’s website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/cyclesafety.