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Girl saved by cycle helmet launches petition to make them compulsory Main Image

Girl saved by cycle helmet launches petition to make them compulsory

Wed 18 Apr 2018

A year after her life was saved by a cycle helmet, a 12-year-old girl from Hampshire has launched a campaign urging the government to make them compulsory.

Maisie Godden-Hall was run over by a car on her way to school in November 2016.

Whilst recovering in hospital, she was amazed to find out that wearing one wasn’t a law and has been inspired by her own experience to campaign on the issue. 

On the day of the accident Maisie was running late for school.

She said: “I was rushing around as I couldn't remember where I'd put my cycle helmet. It was a strict rule that I wasn't allowed to cycle without it.

“I was travelling quite fast to make up some time and approached a junction on the route where I generally move onto the bus lane as there is a wall that blocks the view for drivers.

“I noticed that car at the junction was moving out and I needed to break hard.

“I flew over the handle bars and landed in front of the car but the driver didn't see me, and instead seeing his gap in the traffic, they ended up driving over me.”

Luckily the car’s passenger had seen her fall and alerted the driver so the car didn’t completely go over Maisie. However, she was still left pinned under the vehicle with her head resting on its exhaust. She had also shattered her pelvis and collarbone, injured her face and lost a number of teeth.

Her skull had been protected by the helmet and it also stopped her from being burnt by the car’s scorching exhaust.  Whilst in hospital, her consultant told her loved ones that if she hadn’t been wearing one she would have died.

As Maisie recovered, she realised how vital it was that she was wearing her helmet and decided that it should be made compulsory but wasn’t sure how to raise awareness on the issue.

But after appearing in her local newspaper, she was approached by the Road Safety Team from Hampshire Constabulary which asked her if she would feature in a safety film aimed at school children.

Her story was then picked up by the local BBC TV team, as well as the national BBC News website. Maisie said that the experience of being in the press had spurred her on to keep raising awareness about the issue and had convinced her to launch a petition calling for the government to talk about it in parliament.

She said: “I really want to use what happened to me to fight the cause for wearing cycle helmets.

“I think it should be law. It has been life changing for me and my family but I survived because of the helmet. I want other people to understand that it could happen to anyone. It happened to me!

“Please sign and share the petition with as many people as possible.”

Headway’s stance

We believe helmets should be compulsory for all child cyclists, who do not possess the same level of competency or experience as adults and are therefore more vulnerable.

We also support calls for a range of additional measures to improve cyclists' safety, including more dedicated cycle lanes and educational campaigns aimed at both cyclists and motorists.