Apart from being a superstar and all round general hero gold medalist (and a mod), Bradley Wiggins has been in the news recently for advocating the use of helmets whilst cycling.
I was personally surprised at the back lash of retorts he got for trying to suggest folk wear cycling lids whilst on the road. It seems that some of the arguements are based around allowing folk to have the choice to wear helmets and not forcing them to.
I’m a little devided on the matter . . . I’m a strong advocate for free will but I believe there comes a point when, living in an over crowded society, choices need to be made on behalf of the general public’s safety, rather than letting things get out of hand. So, I’m all for making helmet wearing compulsory.
But not just that either . . . Wiggins wanted to see a clamp down on the use of mobile phones and iPods too. And compulsory lights . . . and again I have to agree. It seems to me that London, in all its “go green and cylce” glory, is getting out of hand. Too many cyclists are taking advantage of their freedom on the road, either by jumping red lights, cutting cars and other cyclists up, using their phones, no helmets, no lights, iPods or drunk . . . or all of them at once. And believe me, we have seen it!
We go to cycle crashes/RTCs all the time – some are sadly fatal. Now, don’t get me wrong, putting in these measures wouldn’t mean an end to injuries or death. There would still be problems . . . cyclists are always going to be at the mercy of the vehicle driving past them. By putting in these measures or laws however, maybe we could reduce some of the accidents and perhaps increase people’s awareness and responsibility . . . who knows.
Sometimes though, it can just be the cyclist’s fault.
Just the other day we attended two cycle incidents on the same night. The first was to a young female who was found lying in the road with some of her teeth smashed in. Our immediate thoughts were, “hit and run” as this tends to happen a lot.
The poor girl didn’t remember what had happened other than flying through the air. After doing all the necessary procedures to procure her safety and comfort we noticed there were barely any scratches on her bike. And, after talking with some eye witnesses it turns out she’d pulled her front brake too tightly and gone flying over the handle bars. The young woman also admitted to several pints of beer and several glasses of wine.
The second incident was to a similar aged woman who was riding her bike at about 1mph. Whilst trying to put her helmet on. And had fallen off. She too admitted to several vodkas and whiskeys along with several beers. She had the tiniest cuts to her scalp . . . but like most scalp wounds, it had bled lots, leaving her hair and face matted in dried blood. She was not a happy bunny and appeared to be taking all her frustrations out on her partner – even stamping her feet like a three year old whenever he would try and comfort her.
Whoever is at fault with RTCs involving cyclists, ultimately it’s the cyclist who comes off the worse. Most of the time its cuts and bruises. Sometimes a lot worse. But, if you are unfortunate to collide with a car and hit the windscreen causing this . . .
. . . I reckon most would agree you stand better chance of walking away if you are wearing a cycle helmet.
No matter what happens with the law though, if you’re a cyclist, please pay heed and take responsibility for your own safety and please don’t end up having your grave stone being marked by one of these . . .
. . . there are already too many around London.