Council launch campaign to protect younger cyclists

Wokingham Borough Council is today launching its new bike safety campaign ‘Break the Cycle’, to encourage cyclists from across the borough to set a good example to our younger generation by wearing a helmet.

The council’s hard-hitting campaign coincides with national ‘Cycle to Work Day’ which is back this year with a twist. With lots of workplaces remaining closed and many people working from home, but still wanting to ride and stay connected, people are being encouraged today to ride not just to work but anywhere and, most importantly, to always wear a helmet.

Riding a bike outside is a great way to connect with friends, family or colleagues while still practising social distancing but the council’s My Journey team, through their campaign, want to highlight the need for helmet use and safer cycling practice throughout Wokingham Borough and beyond.

Helmets have been shown to be effective in reducing potential injury to a young cyclist's head and brain in the event of an accident and this is why the council are reaching out to their residents to help break the cycle and lead by example.

It is not just younger residents that will benefit from wearing a helmet. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), although cyclists suffer a number of different types of injury during accidents, head injury has been identified as a key cause of death and serious injury in cycling collisions.

One study found that in a sample of 97 patients admitted for over 24 hours with head injuries to a major trauma centre in London; those not wearing a helmet were significantly more likely to suffer a skull fracture or intracranial injury (traumatic brain injury).

Cochrane Review systematically analyse primary research in human health care and health policy and are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. They found that five case-control studies from different countries showed the large protective effect of helmets. The review suggested that helmets decreased the risk of injury to the head and the brain by 65% to 88% and the upper and mid-face by 65%.

 “Wearing a helmet can make a dramatic difference to the outcome of a head or brain injury. Many of the accidents children and young people are involved in, such as performing stunts and falling due to immature cycling skills can cause damage the brain system. Simple learnt actions and memories could be lost or affected and this could be permanent”, said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways.

Brain injury is devastating - it is not worth leaving it to chance. Our main priority is always the safety of our residents and we are asking our community to work with us to break the cycle, lead by example and wear a helmet”.

For further details about cycle helmet safety and how to fit a helmet safely visit local charity website Cycle Smart Foundation at www.cycle-smart.org/