Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Bicycle helmets and the law

Doubts about the BMA’s policy on bicycle helmets

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 23 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4340
  1. Stephen J Watkins, chair1,
  2. Jenny Mindell, vice chair1
  1. 1Transport and Health Study Group, Stockport SK1 3XE, UK
  1. stephen.watkins{at}

For many years the BMA opposed compulsory cycle helmets on the basis that helmets would reduce rates of cycling. It changed this policy only because of the Ontario study. Apart from this single study in unusual circumstances (high rates of voluntary wearing and the law not enforced) all studies of helmet legislation show that cycling rates fall. The serious doubts about the study described in this new work raise questions about whether the BMA should continue …

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