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MP calls for cycle helmets to be mandatory amid constituent’s campaign

Mark Pawsey told the Commons how the then teenage Oliver Dibsdale sustained a serious brain injury after falling from his bike without a helmet.

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A Conservative MP has called for the mandatory wearing of cycle helmets on public highways following a campaign spearheaded by his constituent.

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, told the Commons how the then teenage Oliver Dibsdale sustained a serious brain injury after falling from his bike without a helmet in 2015.

Mr Pawsey said Oliver was told by his doctor “that had he been wearing a helmet he may still have sustained an injury, but that it would have been far less severe”.

He added: “He bitterly regrets his decision on that particular occasion to ride without a helmet.

“He has spoken to me in a very moving way about the impact that his injuries have on his family, the guilt that he feels for the amount of time they have had to spend caring for him and he very much wants to help other families avoid this fate and this Bill will achieve this aim.”

Mr Pawsey went on: “Oliver makes the point that it will be far easier for parents to insist that their children wear a helmet if it becomes a legal requirement … He finds it extremely frustrating whenever he sees cyclists on the road without helmets because from his personal experience he knows all too well the risk that they are taking.”

Addressing arguments that such legislation would be difficult to enforce, he said: “While it would certainly create an additional burden on the police, it doesn’t strike me as being particularly difficult to enforce in comparison with other offences.”

He added: “If mandatory safety measures are acceptable for car drivers they should surely be acceptable for cyclists. Now we know that cyclists are the most vulnerable road users.”

His Road Safety (Cycle Helmets) Bill was listed for a second reading on Friday November 24, but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

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