18th February 2011
In March 2010 the States of Jersey voted to make it compulsory for every cyclist under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. The motion had originally been tabled by deputy Andrew Green MBE, founder of the Jersey branch of the brain injury charity Headway.
Deputy Green’s proposal was underpinned by a body of evidence, taken from various countries around the world that have brought in helmet laws, and the opinions of health professionals who deal with this type of trauma on a daily basis. The A2 Psychology students have been learning about similar evidence as part of their Health Living module and decided they would like to hear about the developments of the legislation almost a year on from the when the States agreed to the legislation.
On 18th February deputy Green was questioned by the students about how the law would be implemented – could Jersey’s police force spare the time to pursue such minor offences? Who would be held responsible: the rider or their parents? How would families on low incomes be supported in purchasing cycle helmets? Deputy Green’s answers were thought provoking and helped the students to understand how legislations can be used as an effective method of health promotion in the island.
JCG students are already expected to wear their helmets to school when cycling. After all, cycling is sustainable, cheap, healthy and good for the environment, and our students should be encouraged to enjoy these benefits whilst staying safe on the journey to and from school.