High vis, low priority

Chris Boardman’s no-nonsense approach to safer cycling

Good on yer Chris Boardman. It’s increasingly rare to have anyone in even a vaguely political role speak frankly and honestly these days. That’s certainly not a criticism that can be levelled at British Cycling’s policy adviser for daring to speak his mind about cycling safety issues.

Never has anyone caused such controversy for not wearing a helmet as Boardman did in a film clip shown on BBC Breakfast last week.

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“I understand exactly why people feel so passionately about helmets or high-vis. I understand why people wish to use them. But these actions seek to deal with an effect,” he said after the broadcast.

“I want to focus the debate on the cause, and campaign for things that will really make cycling safe. That is why I won’t promote high-vis and helmets; I won’t let the debate be drawn onto a topic that isn’t even in the top 10 things that will really keep people who want to cycle safe.”

The former Olympic champion drew plenty of support at cyclingweekly.co.uk where a consensus agreed that helmets are injury mitigation and not really prevention.

We all know that whether you choose to wear a helmet or not really isn’t the issue. Only a wholesale change in infrastructure and attitude will truly make cycling safer.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

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