Bradley Wiggins calls for compulsory cycle helmets – possibly

Bradley Wiggins’ celebrations of his amazing Olympic Gold follow-up to the Tour de France victory were marred by the death of a cyclist outside the Olympic Park, apparently run over by a bus turning left at a junction.

Bradley Wiggins (one is tempted to call him Sir Bradley, as it can’t be long now), said of the crash that the government should be “legalising helmets to make them the law to wear” and said that he had been knocked off his bike a few times when growing up.

He added, “I think we have to help ourselves sometimes. Ultimately, if you get knocked off and you don’t have a helmet on, then you can’t argue. You can get killed if you don’t have a helmet on. You shouldn’t be riding along with iPods and phones and things on. You have lights on. Once there are laws passed for cyclists then you are protected and you can say, ‘well, I have done everything to be safe’.”

However, Bradley Wiggins later said on Twitter that he was simply calling for the use of cycle helmets rather than making them compulsory. Fellow Olympian, Mark Cavendish agreed with Wiggins, saying “I would not go out without a helmet.”It won’t affect a car but it will affect you.”

Everyone would agree, but the big problem is that a helmet can’t protect a cyclist in a serious accident. While car fatalities have generally dropped over recent years (although not last year), cycling deaths have been rising as more people take it up, especially in London. One of the biggest killers is when large vehicles turn left, crushing a cyclist. In London, some barriers are being removed from junctions, so that cyclists have somewhere to escape to if the worst happens.

In the case of the death involving the Olympic media bus, the driver was held on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.