Ban on 'no helmet' Cycling Scotland advert overturned

still from advert Image copyright Cycling Scotland
Image caption The ASA accepted drivers must give cyclists the correct amount of space whether they are wearing a helmet or not

A ruling against a safe cycling advert which showed a rider without a helmet has been overturned.

The advert was part of a campaign by Cycling Scotland.

It was initially banned after complaints that it showed a female rider in the middle of the road without a helmet or any other safety equipment.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now reversed that decision because wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement.

The ASA also accepted Cycling Scotland's argument that the rider was in a safe position given the road conditions.

And they noted that several riders featured elsewhere in the See Cyclist, Think Horse advert were wearing protective headgear.

The ASA ruling says: "We acknowledged Cycling Scotland's evidence that some drivers perceive cyclists wearing helmets to be less vulnerable road users and that this can influence driver behaviours to be less cautious around cyclists.

Image copyright Cycling Scotland
Image caption Some of the cyclists in the advert were wearing helmets

"We agreed that the ad was primarily targeted at motorists with the aim of raising awareness of the different kinds of real life scenarios in which they may encounter cyclists on the road.

"We noted that the ad featured a realistic situation, in that not all cyclists wore helmets and that the ad illustrated that the same care should be given to all cyclists, whether or not they wore a helmet."

Cycling Scotland thanked the public for getting behind the campaign to overturn the ban.

Chief executive Ian Aitken said: "The advert shows drivers the correct amount of space to give when overtaking someone who is cycling.

"People cycle for a variety of reasons, and, as such, drivers will encounter people cycling in a range of clothing styles, some with, and some without, a helmet.

"So, regardless of the reason why someone is cycling, or what they are wearing while doing so, drivers need to slow down and give as much space as they would a car when overtaking a person on a bike."

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