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Latest UK law attempt fails

Annette Brooke is the latest MP to fail to get the UK Parliament to pass a bill forcing cyclists to wear helmets. Her bill to require children under 14 to wear helmets when cycling on the road or in open spaces failed to get a second reading.

Previous private members' bills from MPs Peter Bone (Tory) and Eric Martlew (Labour) also failed to generate support from MPs.

Ms Brooke claimed that "More children wearing helmets will mean a reduction in child deaths and serious brain injury. Through this Bill I hope we can make cycling even safer, and encourage children to get out on their bikes."

But she is believed not to have presented any evidence to show that this would be the outcome while forcing parents to make their children wear helmets is known to reduce the demand for cycling.

Brookes did not have the support of many MPs in her own party. Julian Huppert, LibDem MP for Cambridge, and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentarty Cycling Group, said at the time of the bill's first reading: "The Lib Dem transport team disagrees with her. I've tried to persuade her! Lib Dem (and coalition) policy is not to have compulsory helmets."

Tue 8 Nov 2011

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