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Titelbild der Aktion „Runter vom Gas"

Source: BMVI

According to a recent representative survey commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the German Road Safety Council (DVR), young cyclists are well aware of the dangers and personal risks of a serious cycling accident. Nevertheless, most of them do not wear a helmet every time they cycle because they feel it is not practical, uncomfortable and it does not look good. A new road safety campaign launched by the BMVI and the DVR in cooperation with star photographer Rankin and “Germany’s next Topmodel” is designed to change this.

Berlin, 22 March 2019 – New figures published by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) show that only 8 percent of young cyclists between the ages of 17 and 30 wear a helmet. These figures are based on representative observations of 17,278 cyclists in traffic in 2018. Of all the age groups observed, this is the lowest share. The results of a representative online survey carried out in February 2019 by the policy and social research institute forsa corroborate this finding. They asked 1,006 young cyclists between the ages of 17 and 30. Even though the self-perception of the respondents is better than the actual observations made by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), only 28% state that they wear a helmet every time and 16% most of the times they ride a bike.

Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer said:

More than half of the young cyclists state that they rarely or never wear a helmet. Why not? Because, supposedly, it does not look cool. Our new campaign ‘Looks like shit. But saves my life.” is aimed particularly at young people, in order to encourage them to wear a helmet for their own protection. This slogan is probably not the usual German administration jargon. Nevertheless, it gets to the heart of the message: Helmets save lives!

Many young people decide not to wear a helmet when riding a bike for reasons of aesthetics. We want to change that. One of the ways we are trying to do that is through a joint campaign by the BMVI, Runter vom Gas (Kill your speed) and Germany’s next Topmodel/Rankin. Our message: Helmets save lives!

According to a study conducted by forsa, most young cyclists either do not own a helmet (40 percent) or wear it only rarely (10 percent) or never (6 percent). However, the young respondents are very well aware of the dangers inherent in road traffic: A total of 43 percent of cyclists believe their personal risk of being involved in a serious bike accident with head injury is very high or quite high. The majority of young cyclists fear a collision with a passenger car, a heavy goods vehicle or a motorcyclist (59 percent). More than half of the respondents (53 percent) stated that they had had a bike accident with injury. And although almost all respondents (95 percent) agree that a helmet is the best protection against head injuries, only 28 percent wear a helmet every time they cycle.

“Germany’s next Topmodel“ contestant Alicija is one of the faces of the new bike helmet campaign.

The share of young adults wearing a bike helmet is still far too small, especially since, as vulnerable road users, cyclists are particularly at risk in road traffic.

Our ‘Kill your speed’ campaign has chosen a new approach this time. We received support from ‘Germany’s next Topmodel’ and star photographer Rankin. Certainly unusual for ‘Runter vom Gas’. However, it is all about attracting attention. I am pleased that Alicija, Rankin and the entire ‘Germany’s next Topmodel’ team are supporting our important objective and contributing to improving road safety. I am convinced, that this campaign will succeed,

said Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer.

This campaign can certainly help to improve the image young people have of bike helmets, in a similar way as ski helmets. Such campaigns aimed at achieving better acceptance are necessary, because bike helmets can prevent most life-threatening head injuries. Nothing is more important that protecting your health and your own life,

said Professor Walter Eichendorf, President of the DVR.

These powerful motifs of Alicija and other models can be seen as city light posters along streets and bike paths in major cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich as of next week. The campaign is also supported by our cooperation partner Wall GmbH.

The ‘Kill your speed’ campaign encourages everybody through social media channels and on www.runtervomgas.de/Fahrradhelm to follow Alicija’s and the other models’ lead and post a picture wearing a bike helmet using the hashtag #HelmerettenLeben (helmetssavelives). Ten lucky winners will receive a bike helmet signed by Rankin and Alicija and many others will receive campaign calendars.

Download poster motifs and infographics

“Kill your speed” campaign background

The “Runter vom Gas” campaign was launched by the Federal Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure (BMVI) and the German Road Safety Council (DVR). Since 2008, “Kill your speed” has been addressing road users in an emotional way, raising awareness for the risks in road transport and numerous reasons for accidents. Their aim is to make roads in Germany safer. 3,180 persons were killed in road accidents in 2017. In 2011, there were 4,009 fatalities. The same year, the objective of 40 percent less road deaths by 2020 was defined in the national Road Safety Programme.