More harm than good? Martlew suggests parents buy sub-£5 supermarket helmets

BBC.co.uk has a video interview with Eric Martlew, the MP who wants children under 16 to be forced to wear helmets. But does Mr Martlew believe people should buy helmets with the best safety features and tested to the toughest international standards so children are truly protected? Er, no. He said there were helmets available from supermarkets that "cost less than a fiver."
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Last month, Eric Martlew threatened to expose a Carlisle bike shop to the media as a business more interested in profits that child safety. Why? Because the bike shop owner didn't agree with Martlew's private members' bill.

When the Association of Cycle Traders tackled Martlew on this threatening behaviour, three members of the ACT heard Martlew brand the assocation as "cycling fascists."

In today's interview on the parliament section of BBC.co.uk, Martlew now labels opponents of his bill as "cycling fundamentalists."

This was in response to a misquoted question from a member of the public put to Martlew by the BBC reporter.

Tom McClelland, of Northern Ireland, had emailed this question:

"Is Mr Martlew aware that one of the principal sponsors of the BHIT is a helmet manufacturer? Why is he promoting the interests of helmet manufacturers and wholesalers above the interests of cyclists, young and old? Looking at his photo, Eric could do with weight loss and more exercise! What is he doing about his own personal integrated daily activity? Does cycling short journeys instead of taking the car feature in his regime?"

In the video, the presenter said McClelland had said BHIT was a helmet manufacturer. This mistake was easily deflected by Martlew.

In fact, no companies in the British bicycle trade support the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust. Fishers Outdoor Leisure, importer of high-quality Met helmets from Italy, sponsored BHIT two years ago but withdrew its support when it was found out BHIT was turning into a political lobby organisation with the hidden aim of getting legislation enacted to force all cyclists to wear helmets.

The video interview is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/.../3623089.stm

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