Bikebiz.co.uk was at ‘An evening with David Coulthard’ thanks to BHIT’s helmet sponsor, Fisher Outdoor Leisure.
The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust was founded by paediatric nurse Angela Lee in 1998.
From 1992 Lee campaigned for greater helmet use in Reading. Helmet use grew from 23 percent to 69 percent and there was a claimed fall of 45 percent in the number of youngsters admitted to hospital with cycling related head injuries (whether this was due to a decrease in cycling by Reading youngsters is not recorded).
David Coulthard uses cycling in his fitness training and wears a helmet when riding.
However, when he said he agreed with BHIT’s eventual aim to make everyone wear helmets, there were sharp intakes of breath from some members of the cycle trade present at the posh evening bash.
When BikeBiz.co.uk later asked about Coulthard’s comment, Angela Lee admitted that her first goal is to get a mandatory helmet law for under 12s first. It would be a multi-phase campaign, with 12-16 year olds next and, later, perhaps even adults.
Who was she targetting?
"Department of Transport. It’s a votes thing. They’re wimps. Everyone else has brought this law in. Australia, America," said Lee.
But what about stats that show cycle usage declines when mandatory helmet use is introduced?
"That doesn’t happen. It depends how you promote it. Anyway, it’s all in here (pointing to her left temple), if it’s promoted positively there will be no decrease."
Upper: The MAD aerial display team wore MET helmets and BMX flatties as well as the black tie garb. And MAD’s Giles Wolfe MCed the display.
Above: Carl Eady, Fisher Outdoor Leisure’s marketing manager, was the ‘volunteer’ to be jumped over by the MAD team.
Above: Coultard signed and signed and signed.
Base: Angela Lee