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J R Soc Med. 2005 February; 98(2): 86.
PMCID: PMC1079402

Compulsory helmets for cyclists

Professor Gandevia (December 2004 JRSM1) says ‘Wearing helmets by all cyclists should also seem common sense’. Diffidently, I suggest that common sense dictates the use of protection, but not necessarily protection with a helmet. There are a few million Sikhs of the ‘Keshadhari’ faith. They wear their hair long, with a turban. A helmet over a turban would be hard to wear. As there are hundreds of thousands such Sikhs in Europe and Australia—and they do use the push-bike amongst other modes of transport—it should be possible to conduct an epidemiological study of the value of the turban in protecting against head injury. On a historical (and legal) note: Lord Devlin gave judgment some forty years ago in favour of a Sikh motorcyclist who refused to wear a helmet.


1. Gandevia S. Compulsory helmets for cyclists. J R Soc Med 2004;97: 612. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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