darth vadar
The German government wants more people to wear helmets when cyclingGerman Minsitry of Transport

Darth Vader is appearing on billboards across Germany to encourage cyclists to don a helmet, a country in which cyclists are not legally obliged to wear a helmet.

The Transport Ministry (BMVI) wants more people, especially youngsters, to protect themselves and has turned to the Star Wars villain for a little help.

His imposing figure comes with the strapline: "The saga continues: Thanks to the helmet. Applies in each galaxy. And on the bike."

The posters will be put up in Berlin, Cologne and Munich as part of a campaign which will see a raffle of thousands of helmets being offered to young cyclists.

"The helmet is part of promoting safe cycling," said German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt (CSU), adding that he hoped to build on the increase in cyclists wearing helmets.

According to recent figures, 69% of children between the ages of six and 10 wear a helmet but only 7% of people aged 17 to 30 do so.

Disney International, Disney Deutschland and LucasFilm International gave the government rights to use the image of Darth Vader free of charge.