German Transport Ministers express support for compulsory helmets for cyclists
Transport Ministers for Berlin and Brandenburg have said that making helmets compulsory for cyclists in Germany would be a sensible decision. The German Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) is not so convinced.
Schreiner and Beerman support compulsory bike helmets
Responding to a request from the dpa, Transport Minister for Berlin Manja Schreiner (CDU) and Transport Minister for Brandenburg Guido Beerman (CDU) have expressed their support for imposing a highway code law that would oblige cyclists to wear a helmet.
“The helmet requirement would be a sensible contribution to improving road safety,” Schreiner told the dpa. Despite the discussion, no such rule is currently on the cards in local government, and even if such a law were to be enforced it would be up to federal-level government to do so.
German Cyclists’ Association rejects law for mandatory bike helmets
According to local newspaper Berliner Kurier, there were 7.450 bike accidents in the capital in 2022, 10 of which were fatal for the cyclist. But for the ADFC, the idea of imposing a mandatory helmet rule is a cop-out that puts the onus on the vulnerable group rather than developing infrastructure to keep cyclists safe.
While the ADFC is in favour of cyclists wearing helmets voluntarily, “The debate about compulsory helmets only attempts to distract from the issue [of how dangerous the roads are for cyclists]," ADFC spokesperson Stephanie Krone told IamExpat.
“More important for the safety of cyclists is improving infrastructure, such as dedicated lanes which are protected from cars, separated traffic light circuits and a widespread 30 kilometre per hour speed limit in the city,” Krone explained. “All of this is missing - also in Berlin.”
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