Transport Under Secretary of State Norman Baker supports MAG policy!

I am delighted to report that Transport Under Secretary of State Norman Baker MP, used an interview with John Humphrys on this morning’s Radio 4 ‘Today Programme’ to state his support for MAG’s founding principles!

In a discussion about the compulsory use of helmets for cyclists, Norman Baker said

“We (the Government) think adults are capable of making up their own minds as to whether they should wear a helmet on or not.”

It is fantastic news that the current administration thinks adults are capable of making their own decisions, and in the light of compulsory protective clothing use in Iceland, it’s good to know that our Government will help us twart any such proposals here.

This may sound a little flippant, but core MAG policy is the rider’s right to choose, whether that be to buy a Honda or a Harley, or wear dayglo clothing or black leather. The current EU Regulation absorbing much of our time, plans to make ABS compulsory without the option of switching it off for certain purposes, like when on gravel roads, and the spectre of mandatory personal protective equipment regularly rears its head. The weather in Brighton is not always the same as it is in Aberdeen and some of us feel the cold more than others. Being comfortable when riding a bike is essential to being able to concentrate.

When the nation’s road network is congested with four wheel traffic, as few barriers as possible should be placed in the way of people choosing
alternative transport, and forcing people to buy and wear expensive or inconvenient clothing would certainly make motorcycling prohibitive for some. Luckily Minister Baker also concurs:

“There is an issue of whether or not cars give a wider berth to cyclists with or without helmets, but there’s also the point that whether making people wear helmets will actually discourage them from cycling. There are enormous benefits in getting people cycling in terms of health, in terms of tackling obesity, in terms of dealing with air pollution and environmental problems and I don’t want to put obstacles in the way of people cycling. I think we should encourage the freedom of cycling, rather than place restrictions on it.”

Well done Norman, I’m glad you grasp all the basics of the argument and I’m sure you’ll remain consistent when you are referring to motorcycling.
Words by Paddy Tyson