'Helmets should be compulsory for all cyclists', says mum of injured paperboy Louis Kadir
A Sherborne mother whose son was badly injured when he was in a collision with a car has called for wearing a helmet while cycling to be made compulsory by law.
Tina Kadir, of Lambsfield, says not enough is being done to protect people from the dangers of cycling.
Mrs Kadir’s son Louis, 14, suffered life-threatening injuries in November after a collision with a car during his paper round. He was not wearing a helmet.
Now Mrs Kadir wants to petition the Government for a new law making it compulsory for cyclists to wear a helmet.
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She said: “I don’t want any family to ever go through what we went through.
“Our whole life has changed. We aren’t how we used to be. Everything is a lot harder than it was before. I want something good to come of Louis’ accident. I don’t want his injuries to be in vain.”
Mrs Kadir admitted that she had not considered wearing protective gear before her son’s accident.
She said: “I used to cycle to work every day without a helmet and think nothing of it. Perhaps because it was only down the road and there are pavements either side.
“Every single one of us in the house has a helmet but we didn’t wear them as regularly as we should. Louis never wore his for his paper round.
“Had Louis been wearing his, he probably wouldn’t have been injured as badly. We were very lucky that he pulled through. There was definitely someone watching over him that day.”
Louis, a Gryphon School student, now makes sure his friends always wear helmets.
He suffered serious head injuries during the accident at the junction of Newland and North Road.
He was airlifted to hospital where he was placed into an induced coma. He was in a life-threatening condition for two days and returned home from hospital in January.
Mrs Kadir said Louis is making a slow and steady recovery.
She said: “When he came out of the coma, we saw his personality shine through straightaway.
“He certainly hasn’t lost his sense of humour.”
Mrs Kadir said her son won’t return to his paper round but he hopes to pursue an interest in catering. He has returned to school part time and receives one-to-one lessons. He is being integrated back into lessons with his Year 9 classmates but has difficulty concentrating.
Mrs Kadir said: “No one quite knows how long it will take for him to recover.”
Louis attends speech therapy classes and will return to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol for a check up in May.
The keen footballer is unable to play sport due to the risk of banging his head and is resigned to playing on his games console.
Louis, a former member of the school’s team, said: “I’m eager to get back on the pitch, my classmates need my skills to win again.”
Even if he does return to sport he may be required to wear a protective helmet.
Mrs Kadir has worked with Dorset Police to arrange for safety awareness assemblies which took place in Sherborne schools this week.
The talks were delivered by cycling charity the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust (BHIT).
PC Rhiannon Stroud helped to arrange the assemblies.
She said everyone should wear a helmet and it should be made a legal requirement as it is for motorcyle riders.
She said: “It needs to be drummed into people. I don’t think it is promoted enough.”
She said helmets were sometimes seen as uncool which led many to avoid wearing them. She urged parents to set an example to their children by also wearing head gear.
BHIT’s founder Angela Lee was approached to lead the assemblies.
Amanda Woodard, office manager for the BHIT, said Mrs Lee, a paediatric trauma nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, set up the charity after she realised too many children were coming into her care after being injured by not wearing a helmet.
She added that help is available for schools, through the BHIT, if they want to promote cycling safety to students.
For more information visit www.bhit.org.