Now I vaguely remember what it was like to be a teenager, spots, Fosters Ice and wrist cramps. I was never particularly image conscious in fact I was just like Billy Ray Cyrus (minus the slutty daughter) I had a mullet. However there were some boys in my year who were always perfectly styled and gelled down. Unfortunately this teenage want to look amaze balls, can land the style conscious in trouble, sometimes terribly.
Teenager Ryan Smith tonight lies in a coma because he didn’t want to mess up his hair by putting on a helmet whilst riding his bike. He was hit by a van. His father Mark has been doing the media rounds today to try and make it compulsory for cyclists to wear a helmet.
Cyclists should wear helmets. There is opposition to this, Boris Johnson and the CTC who actually think such a move would be detrimental for the nations health. There was me thinking a coma induced by a head injury was a un-healthy thing. Apparently not. If putting a helmet on your head puts you off cycling, you obviously weren’t that committed in the first place so feel free to walk to your local pie shop and watch the world go by.
OK so there is doubt that the current crop of helmets will be any good in a major collision. Well if everyone had to wear one, the very best would become cheaper and better and provide more protection. But lets be honest, if there is anything that could reduce the risk of injury, wouldn’t you take it up.
In my opinion helmet laws are a good start. I would go one step further. I would make cyclists register their bikes, pay road tax and insurance. OK I’ll level with you at this point, I don’t own a bike and yes, I am a motorist. I am sick and tired of seeing cyclists riding like morons and running red lights. Only then to complain when a car driver nearly runs them down. Cyclists are capable of killing pedestrians, and they have in the not too distant past. This registration would hopefully make it easier for the police to trace those dangerous riders, who give the majority of law abiding cyclists a bad name.
The tax revenue collected could also help fund more cycle lanes, and education programs for new riders. So everyone would benefit. The regulations may put some people off, I think its fair bet those people not willing to comply are those same people who think red lights are there for other people, so it’s probably a good thing they won’t be on the roads.