OLYMPIC cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is calling for laws to make it compulsory for people to wear helmets when riding their bikes.
The Tour de France 2012 winner knows only too well how important protective headgear is after he was knocked off his bike in Crow Orchard Road, Wrightington, while out training after dark in November 2012, suffering injuries to his ribs.
And being a professional road and track cyclist, high-speed falls in races are an accepted hazard of the job.
And now he told London Evening Standard that all cyclists need to protect themselves while on the road.
He said: “I think cyclists have to help themselves in terms of wearing helmets and things.
“I think that probably should go some way to becoming the law soon.”
This is not the first time Wiggins, whose wife Catherine hails from Shevington, has spoken about the need for head protection.
In 2013 he warned against the use of headphones, as it was a distraction and prevented cyclists from hearing traffic.
Wiggins, who also lives locally and is a staunch Wigan Warriors supporter, said: “I think certain laws for cyclists need to be passed to protect us more than anything.
“Making helmets compulsory on the roads, making it illegal to maybe have an iPod in while you’re riding a bike, just little things like that would make a huge difference.”
He also sent out a strong warning about just how vital helmets are, by saying: “Ultimately, if you get knocked off and you don’t have a helmet on, then you can’t argue...
“You can get killed if you don’t have a helmet on.”
A number of countries, including Australia and Canada, already have laws making helmets mandatory for cyclists, but there are worries in the UK that such a law would discourage people from using two-wheeled transport.
Meanwhile, Wiggins clocked 17:58 to win the City RC 10-mile time trial in Hull at the weekend, but he was disappointed to miss out on beating Alex Dowsett’s competition record by over half a minute. However he was due to have another crack at the record in and around the East Yorkshire city today.