Courier readers have backed a Blairgowrie family’s campaign to make cycling helmets compulsory by law.
More than 450 people responded to our poll on the issue, after Keiran Lamond’s family called for the introduction of Keiran’s Law.
And more than 85% agreed it should be mandatory to wear a helmet when cycling.
Keiran was left fighting for his life when he suffered horrific head injuries after crashing his bike into a lamppost in October.
Surgeons removed three blood clots from his brain but the teenager will need lifelong care.
His devastated family believes his injuries would have been less severe if he had been wearing a helmet and have launched a petition calling for a change in the law.
However, cycling groups are against the move, saying the health benefits of cycling are greater than the risks involved.
Should helmets be mandatory when cycling?
More than 90% of voters in our poll said helmets should be compulsory in some capacity.
The vast majority believe they should be mandatory for all cyclists, with around five percent saying they should only be for children.
Only around seven percent said they should not be.
Arguments in support of mandatory helmets
Keiran Lamond, 15, was cycling home from an errand to the shops when he fell off his bike.
He was in intensive care after surgeons at Ninewells Hospital removed three blood clots from his brain.
Keiran remains in hospital where he is receiving support from his family and staff.
His family say helmets should be compulsory to prevent other cyclists going through the same.
His mother Nicola Lamond said: “Making helmets law will save so many people having to go through what we have had to go through, or having to lose someone they love because they didn’t think a helmet was cool or they didn’t think it would happen to them.
“Let’s make this law.”
She thanked everyone who has supported the campaign so far.
The Scottish Government currently encourages cyclists to wear helmets despite it not being a legal requirement.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “We encourage cyclists to wear correctly fitted helmets, and Scotland’s Road Safety Framework endorses the Highway Code which recommends that cyclists wear a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened.”
Arguments against mandatory helmets
But some cycling groups believe helmets should not become law.
Cycling UK believes the health benefits of cycling “are greater” than the risks involved.
A spokesperson said: “Cycling UK is opposed to both cycle helmet laws and to helmet promotion campaigns because these are almost certainly detrimental to public health.
“The health benefits of cycling are so much greater than the relatively low risks involved.
“[Helmets] are, and can only be, designed to withstand minor knocks and falls, not serious traffic collisions.”
Meanwhile, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) believes cyclists should be able to choose whether or not to wear a helmet.
ECF Policy Officer Ceri Wolsgrove said: “ECF are very sorry to hear about [Keiran’s] terrible crash and injuries, and we sincerely hope he inspires us all with a good recovery.
“However we do not believe that we should only allow cycling on condition of wearing a particular piece of clothing.
“Cities across the UK and the EU are all trying to provide options for people to move from dangerous, polluting motorised vehicles to safer modes of transport like walking, cycling, and public transport, and putting a barrier in the way of cycling no matter how well-intentioned will not help that.”