Swiss cyclists may be forced to wear helmets

The Federal Roads Authority of Switzerland plans to force through helmet compulsion for all cyclists if by 2012 less then less than half of all cyclists choose to wear them of their own volition.
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The putative law has been criticised by Swiss cycling associations, who are calling for alternative measures.

The Swiss Bicycle Advocacy Association takes the same position as Britain's CTC: helmet use should be up to the individual. However, the SBAA does advocate wearing cycle helmets.

If less than 50 percent of cyclists are using helmets by 2012, the era of choice will be over.

“We will have no choice but to make helmets obligatory,” roads authority spokesman Thomas Rohrbach told new agency SwissInfo.

This would be a retrograde move, believes SBBA director Christoph Merkli.

“Cycling would become less attractive and the number of cyclists would drop off," he said.

Käthi Diethelm, a member of the association's board and vice-president of the European Cyclists' Federation, said:

“Specialists tend to agree that helmets by themselves are of very little use in protecting cyclists from life threatening head injuries."

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