Safe cycling advert criticised for showing rider without a helmet

A television advert aimed at promoting safe cycling is bidding to cut the number of cycle accidents by reminding motorists to treat riders with care and respect.

However, the ad, part of a campaign by Cycling Scotland, has found itself in hot water after it showed a cyclist not wearing a helmet.

Accident Advice Helpline’s solicitors can help those injured while out cycling claim bicycle accident compensation.


A voiceover in the advert said: “Not a lot of people know this but you should treat a cyclist the way you treat a horse … slow down, treat them with care and give them their space on the road.”

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received five complaints from viewers who thought it was irresponsible and harmful of Cycling Scotland to show a rider without protective head gear.

In response to the complaints Cycling Scotland pointed out that it is not against the law to cycle without a helmet in Scotland. It said it tried to reflect the personal choice for cyclists in the advert by including footage of a variety of different riders, some of whom were wearing helmets while others were not.

It also referenced its helmet policy, which highlights the possible undesired outcomes of wearing helmets, such as reducing the number of people who take up cycling and causing drivers to behave with less care on the road.

Good practice

The ASA acknowledged the ad’s intention was to encourage motorists to be careful when driving near cyclists.

But a spokesperson said: “Under the Highway Code it was recommended as good practice for cyclists to wear helmets. Therefore, we considered that the scene featuring the cyclist on a road without wearing a helmet undermined the recommendations set out in the Highway Code.”

If you’re looking to make a claim after a cycling accident you need to seek out a solicitor to help with the case. Accident Advice Helpline has a large nationwide team of solicitors, one of whom is sure to have the experience needed to handle your case. To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.

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