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Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of cycling (a) injuries and (b) deaths which may have been prevented had the cyclist been wearing a helmet in each of the last five years. (96297)

The evidence indicates that cycle helmets provide protective benefits in the event of a collision and therefore prevent and reduce injuries. Research suggests that between one third and one half of pedal cycle casualties attending hospital sustained an injury to the head or face.

However, we do not know how many head injuries may have been prevented or reduced had the cyclist been wearing a helmet, since we do not know what level of protection is offered in different types of accidents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on advertising the dangers of cycling without wearing a helmet in each year since 1997. (96298)

The Department's activity to promote cycle safety forms part of the THINK! road safety campaign and encourages riders to wear protective clothing including helmets whenever they are out on their bikes. We have developed on and offline resources aimed at 7 to 16-year-olds containing cycle safety messages which include Cyclesmart, a partnership with Disney, Cyclesense and Skillz on Wheelz campaigns aimed at teens. This activity has been ongoing since 2003.

In fiscal year 2003-04, we ran advertising focused on schools (primarily school diaries) costing £65,000.

In fiscal year 2005-06 we invested £205,000 on advertising promoting Skillz on Wheels and the Cyclesmart websites.

Due to departmental reorganisations, sourcing total expenditure figures for prior to 2002 would involve disproportionate costs. The Department's executive agencies have not run separate campaigns focusing on cycling helmets in the past four years.