Pedal Me bans staff riders from wearing helmets for safety reasons

Pedal Me has explained the reasons why it has banned staff riders from wearing helmets.

In a Twitter thread, the pedal-powered passenger and cargo service said people that are taking risks that are sufficient that they feel they need to wear helmets are ‘not welcome to work for us’ – because its vehicles are heavy and could cause harm, and because they carry small children on the bikes.

Instead, it said it systematically works to reduce risk at the source– by thorough risk assessment, a high level of training, and near-miss reporting.

“We know that increasing helmet wearing rates make cycling more dangerous per mile – although there are confounding factors here, this indicates that overall they do not provide a strong protective effect in the round – otherwise the opposite effect,” said the company. “Extensive reading of the literature suggests that this is because while helmets definitely help in the event of a crash, that risk compensation results in more collisions. So riders wearing helmets take greater risks, and those driving around them take greater risks too.

“A major cause of head injuries is going over the handlebars, which is not possible with a 3 metre long bike. Another thing that makes us unique is our training systems, maintenance systems, and ability to track poor rider behaviour.”

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Pedal Me said it observes that companies that use helmets while wearing cargo bikes seem to be ‘much more likely’ to jump red lights and take greater risks. The company said the majority of injuries to its riders occur off the bike, which it knows because of its near miss and incident reporting, and that’s its focus for tackling danger.

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