The CDU politician Thomas Bareiß has to be held up to one thing: he is late with his call for helmets to be compulsory for cyclists. It usually comes with the first spring sun and not until mid-August. The motives are very different. Since the presumption of innocence also applies to the transport policy spokesman for the Union faction, it must be assumed that he only has the health of cyclists in mind and completely ignores any thought of the car industry in his homeland of Baden-Württemberg. But ultimately it’s about who owns the street.

Does it mainly belong to the cars – and the cyclists ideally protect themselves with helmets, protective vests, bright lights and prayers to their respective god? Or does a decent chunk belong to the cyclists who are driving the mobility revolution in the city? To do this, they need a functioning infrastructure, which can only be created at the expense of space for cars. “Sooner or later we’ll have to talk about compulsory helmets in Germany,” Bareiß told the “Welt”. That’s wrong.

We now need to talk about new bike lanes.

And when they’re done, Mr. Bareiß, the cyclists protect each other, so to speak. Because in a city full of cyclists, every driver checks whether they can turn right without endangering you. Almost nobody wears a helmet in the bicycle city of Amsterdam. Bicycle traffic is so dense in Copenhagen that no motorist can really miss it. But anyone who introduces compulsory helmets will drive people away from their bikes. Rental bikes would become completely unattractive. But every city needs them. Also, many whose helmet ruined their hair instead of keeping their bald head warm like mine would dismount forever. All this has been known for a long time and is not very original. It also doesn’t change the fact that it makes sense to wear a helmet on the bike. Nothing speaks against it if transport politicians promote it.

But it is strange when new regulations are proposed by those who rely on more personal responsibility elsewhere. Incidentally, Bareiß writes on his website about his constituency that it is “also in the interest of the local economy – it is crucial that the existing federal roads are expanded to meet needs”. Maybe that would really make sense. And hopefully there will be a cycle path separated by a green strip in addition to the needs-based federal roads that can be used safely with or without a helmet.