A tweet from the Highway Code that said cyclists should wear helmets and ‘appropriate’ clothing has been branded ‘victim blaming’ by Cycling UK.
The tweet said cyclist should wear a cycle helmet which is the correct size and securely fastened, appropriate clothes for cycling, light-coloured or fluorescent clothing and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark.
You should wear
• a cycle helmet which is the correct size and securely fastened
• appropriate clothes for cycling
• light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light
• reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark pic.twitter.com/OCI6zzz0nJ
— The Highway Code (@HighwayCodeGB) January 3, 2019
Chris Boardman quoted the tweet and said: “It’s one of those picture -like the 1950’s healthy people smoke Marlborough messages- we will look back on in years to come and ask what were we thinking.”
A spokesperson for Cycling UK told the Guardian that the recommendation led to a culture of “victim blaming” of cyclists and allowed careless drivers to evade responsibility.
“Helmets are only really effective in low-impact collisions, we need better infrastructure for cyclists and education for drivers,” they said.
“If you look at places like the Netherlands and Denmark, where there are more cyclists, it’s not helmets that contribute to low death rates for cyclists but roadscapes and townscapes that are designed to keep people safe.”