Olympic medallist Chris Boardman has been criticised by viewers for refusing to wear a cycling helmet on a BBC programme about cycling safety. The medallist was seen cycling around the streets of Manchester in dark clothing and without a helmet, despite the fact that presenter Louise Minchin was wearing high visibility clothing and the appropriate headgear.
Viewers responded by complaining on social media, saying that he was ‘setting a bad example’ to young children who may be watching the show when the segment aired. The cyclist later said that he did not wear a helmet as it discourages people from cycling and stated that people are ‘as safe riding a bike as they are walking’.
More than 300 viewers complained that he behaved irresponsibly and one viewer stated that her friend’s helmet saved his life in a cycling accident. One same viewer was also forced to discuss the importance of wearing a helmet with his three daughters who saw the segment and questioned the safety of wearing headgear.
A spokesman for the BBC stated that it is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet and therefore they were unable to force the medallist to wear one during the show. Safety charity Brake says that it encourages wearing headgear to prevent serious head injury in the event of an accident but it suggests that more needs to be done to prevent accidents in the first place.
Safety gear when cycling
Although safety gear cannot prevent an accident, it can prevent serious injury if there is an accident on the road. Wearing a cycling helmet can protect your head from injury and wearing protective padding can absorb shock if you are knocked from your bike. High visibility clothing and bike lights can help to prevent an accident by making cyclists more visible to drivers.
There is no guarantee that an accident will not happen as there are still careless road users out there. If you have been knocked off your bike and someone else was at fault, you could claim compensation.
Claims for failings in road safety
Accident Advice Helpline can assist you in making a personal injury compensation claim if an accident on the road was the fault of another road user.
You may have suffered injuries as a result of an accident and therefore could be entitled to compensation.
Call us free on our 24-hour helpline to discuss your claim with one of our trusted advisers.