South Shields MP, David Miliband will be highlighting the dangers of cycling without a helmet during a visit to Harton Primary School on Friday, September 9, 2011.

Mr Miliband will be talking to pupils about the importance of wearing cycle helmets to avoid brain injury in the event of an accident.

His talk comes just a few weeks before The Cycles (Protective Headgear for Children) Bill receives its second reading in parliament on November 4, 2011.

The Bill, if passed, aims to protect children from head injuries and the devastating effects of brain injury by making it compulsory for those under 14 to wear a cycle helmet whist riding a bike.

Thompsons’ Serious Injuries Team

During his visit at the school Mr Miliband will hand out 30 cycle helmets, donated by Thompsons Solicitors in South Shields. Thompsons’ serious injuries unit sees first hand the effects of brain injury.

Mr Miliband said: “Children love riding their bikes, but it is crucial that they protect themselves – and the way to do this is to wear a helmet. I am delighted that Headway and Thompson’s have joined forces to donate potential life saving helmets to the young people of Harton Primary School”

Also attending the school visit will be Alastair White, the North East Regional Co-ordingator for Headway, the brain injury charity, Miranda Barty-Taylor from the Child Brain Injury Trust, Paul Brown and Mick Laffey from Thompsons Solicitors.

Alastair White of Headway - the brain injury association, said: "At Headway, we know how devastating a brain injury can be. If this action prevents just one child and family from suffering from the effects of brain injury, it will be a success. If the Bill is passed, we have no doubts it will save many lives.

“We believe that all cyclists should wear helmets - particularly children who do not possess the insight or experience of adults and are therefore more vulnerable on the roads."

Hopefully reduce the amount of brain injuries and fatalities on our roads

Miranda Barty-Taylor at the Child Brain Injury Trust said: “This Bill, once passed, will help prevent head and brain injury in children and will save lives. We are grateful to Mr Miliband for his support in this campaign and for helping children locally to see how important it is to wear a cycle helmet.”

A serious injury specialist at Thompsons Solicitors said: “We deal with many cases following road traffic accidents where children are seriously injured. We therefore see the devastating effects that brain injury can have on children and their families. We are therefore committed to raising awareness of brain injury, promoting road safety and reducing accidents.

“It is by undertaking awareness campaigns such as this, in partnership with the school, which will hopefully reduce the amount of brain injuries and fatalities on our roads.”

David Miliband MP will be attending Harton Primary School, East Avenue, South Shields at 1pm on Friday, September 9, 2011.