In November you may have heard about a little 11-year-old girl from Hampshire (Maisie Godden-Hall) who was crushed under a car and received some nasty injuries, from which she is still recovering.  Maisie was riding her bike to school and as a result of rushing a bit more than usual, she braked too hard and went over her handlebars.  Fortunately, her family insisted that she always wear a bicycle helmet and she believes it saved her life, which there is no denying.

Thus the debate for the compulsory wearing of bicycle helmets for children has been reignited and Maisie wants it law.  Her helmet saved her life and she wants the world to know and to make a difference to others.  I have to say that I am wholeheartedly in agreement with Maisie and her mum Jane, and would like to see nothing more than every child on a bike wearing a helmet with or without a law.  Let’s shout about this and see what we can do.

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Some stats from Brake – the road safety charity

  • While road casualties are falling at unprecedented rates in the UK, cyclist casualties are increasing. In 2010 cyclist deaths increased by 7% and serious injuries increased by 2% [1].
  • Evidence suggests that approximately 40% of pedal cyclists admitted to hospital in England suffer head injuries [3], which is why cycle helmet laws could make a huge difference. Scientific research into the protective effect of bicycle helmets has shown that they reduce the risk of head injury by 85%, brain injury by 88% and severe brain injury by at least 75% [2].
  • In Britain, cycle helmet wearing rates remain shockingly low for children (much lower than among adults), having failed to increase in recent years: just one in five children (18%) are observed to be wearing a helmet, with the figure for boys lower still (13%) [3]. Research shows that legislation increases helmet use among cyclists, particularly in younger age groups and groups which are least likely to wear helmets before the introduction of legislation [4].


Cycle-Smart have made a great short film which is worth a view .  They also have some very useful information and guides.


[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: main results, Department for Transport, 2010

[2] Cycle helmets and the prevention of injuries: recommendations for competitive sport, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, 1998

[3]The potential for cycle helmets to prevent injury: review of the evidence, Road User Safety and Cycling, Department for Transport Road Safety Research and Statistics Division, 2009

[4] Effectiveness of bicycle helmet legislation to increase helmet use: a systematic review, University of Alberta, 2005