Mr Ex-Cyclist asks whether the helmet issue is "a ploy by manufacturers to get people to part with money" and wonders "are these firms backing the MPs that are doing the shouting?" The answer to the second question is a big, fat resounding NO.
MET importer Fisher Outdoor Leisure used to support the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust but pulled its support when, two years ago, it was revealed by BikeBiz.com that BHIT was in favour of helmet compulsion. No company in the British bicycle industry supports BHIT. Quite the opposite. Suppliers know that there might be an increase in helmet sales but this would be offset by a huge drop in cycle use levels. There is no 'helmet lobby' at work in the British bicycle trade.
It's slightly different in the US. And, in answer to Mr EX-Cyclist's first question, at least one helmet manufacturer does provide support to helmet campaigners. Bell recently sponsored a helmet survey by the US Safe Kids campaign. This survey - Headed for Injury: An Observational Survey of Helmet Use Among Children Ages 14 and Under Participating in Wheeled Sports - was launched by Linda Armstrong Kelly, the mother of a noted Tour de France winner who ditches his UCI-sanctioned helmet when in the last few kms of extra-steep mountain stages.