• Cycling hero walks out on Spanish traffic director
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  • 30.04.2013


Communications Officer at ECF since ever

Cycling in Vitoria Gasteiz – photo credit Eltis

More and more people are opposing the mandatory helmet threat in Spain. But not yet succesfully.

Pedro Delgado, winner of the 1988 Tour de France and Spanish professional cycling spokesman, suddenly walked out of a recent meeting with the director of the Spanish national traffic authority (DGT), María Seguí, after a heated discussion about government plans to ban cycling without helmets. Pedro Delgado told María Seguí that he was opposed to mandatory helmet legislation because it would discourage people from cycling. As Pedro says himself on his blog (my translation)

“These proposals to ban cycling without a helmet reflect the pig-headedness of the minister of the interior and the traffic director. The government has made no effort to find a consensus with the long-established bicycle legislation working group (GT-44), nor with the parliamentary road safety commission, nor with any of the city councils. The minister and director say that it is the victims of accidents who want cycling without a helmet banned. Yet several associations of traffic accident victims have contacted me to say that the government refuses to meet them.”

Currently a total of 19 city councils have joined Spanish cycling organisations in publicly opposing the proposed ban on cycling without helmets – including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, and Bilbao. Last week, the national consumers’ organisation (OCU) also announced that it opposed mandatory cycle helmets.

ConBici, the national association of urban cycling groups, has started an internet petition calling for the resignation of the director of the Spanish national traffic authority (DGT) because of her refusal to discuss proposed changes in legislation with cycling organisations.

Cyclists from Europe can lend their support to Spanish cyclists by signing the petition at: Simply add your name (Nombre), email address, country of residence (País), postal code (Código postal), and sign by clicking on (Firmar).



Guest Contributor John Rawlins

  • Jo Simon

    I could understand that helmets were compulsory in places where cyclists are, more or less, exposed to a statiscically proved or commonly admitted DANGER:
    all streets or shared spaces, BUT NOT ON DEDICATED AND PROTECTED LANES.
    This would be a supplementary argument to create more lanes of that category, and avoid steril discussions.

  • Dave Holladay

    Do we take it that said ministers have shares in companies producing polystyrene foam? The key proponents of compulsory helmet wearing are those who sell helmets, and those sponsored by same – That speaks volumes.

  • tomthumb015

    Big Brother knows best? Govts of all European nations treat us all like little children.

  • Faustino Gomez

    Spanish central government does not support pro-bicycle policies. It lacks any positive attitude for the development of the Euro-Velo network in the european parliament even against the touristic interest of Spain. In fact the only effort in transport promotion has been the PIVE plan to increase the sells of private cars. They call this “ecology” since new cars are “ecological”. They consider bicycle as the sign of a marginal and left wing social group. Completely crazy.

Last Updated April 30, 2013