Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

uart
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby uart » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:05 pm

human909 wrote:Half a dozen Helmet Optional rides across Australia and NZ.

From my understanding it was only the Sydney cops who decided to turn up the notch on a police state attitude. 7 cop cars taken off other important duties to come out and fine people for riding without helmets.

That's not good. :(

Are there any links to this story yet, or is that currently just "through the grapevine"? I'm not even seeing it on their facebook page yet.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:13 pm

Through a couple online sources. I saw one media item reporting it but I'm mobile now so can't readily link it.

uart
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby uart » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:27 pm

Ok, yeah there are a few media reports now that I look. It seems that they wanted to shut the ride down completely. :(

https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/ma ... elmet-laws

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:58 pm

Yep. NSW continues to have the most actively anti cycling government and law enforcement of all the states.

Mind you go back about 5 years and VIC had a similar response to a helmet optional protest ride. VIC still isn't great with a state government apathetic to cycling. But apathy is better than active targeting.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby uart » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:08 pm

https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/ma ... elmet-laws

From the above link:

“For every person that wants not to wear helmets, there is a large body of people that do,” an officer told a group of protesters who debated the decision to stop the protest.


So I wonder why the officer thinks that anyone is trying to stop that "large body of people" from doing so? It almost sounds like he might have a poor grasp of the meaning of "optional"

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:14 pm

I was present for the ride but missed most of the excitement with the Police as I was late after returning from a training ride on the Northern Beaches.

There was quite a significant police presence. I was told seven squad cars. I counted at least 4. Maybe they were expecting us bikers would have a shoot-out or something. Two fines were issued for helmet non-compliance, including one for Sue Abbott.

We were directed by Police to ride on a gravel path. The path was loose and soft - challenging enough to ride on my 29er hardtail with 2.35" wide tyres, but doable if you concentrated on not making any sudden moves. The others without my practice riding in such conditions found it too risky and gave up and walked. To my mind this shows that Police are primarily concerned with legal compliance and are not interested in safety at all.

There was someone with a professional grade video camera. Not sure who they were. It was very clear that Police were determined to shut it down.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:35 pm

human909 wrote:Apparently they claim they have no discretion. BS. That discretion is being chosen every day across Sydney, the State and the Nation.

Wow, that travelled around the country quickly!

I made an off-the cuff comment about that to one of the officers about discretion and he responded by saying "we have no choice" which is of course not true - they have an entire section in their procedures manual on the subject. Another section is on "community interest" - I've had that given to me as a reason for not prosecuting a close pass.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:55 pm

This movement is apolitical.

Senator Leyonhjelm's disciples tried to politicise it today, despite being told it was not a forum for promoting their party. Sue Abbott put them very firmly in their place, telling them they can put their relaxation of gun control laws where the sun don't shine. :)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby g-boaf » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:01 pm

uart wrote:https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/march-2018/freestyle-cyclists-arrange-nationwide-protest-of-australian-helmet-laws

From the above link:

“For every person that wants not to wear helmets, there is a large body of people that do,” an officer told a group of protesters who debated the decision to stop the protest.


So I wonder why the officer thinks that anyone is trying to stop that "large body of people" from doing so? It almost sounds like he might have a poor grasp of the meaning of "optional"


Large body of people being who exactly? It's like that statement "fact of the matter" loved by politicians. I didn't go to the rally, I totally forgot about it.

Leyonhjelm is certainly not helpful in this cause. He should just bugger off and stop hijacking other causes to further his interests. If he thought it'd get gun control relaxed, he'd probably lobby to ban cycling completely.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:13 am

trailgumby wrote:
human909 wrote:Apparently they claim they have no discretion. BS. That discretion is being chosen every day across Sydney, the State and the Nation.

Wow, that travelled around the country quickly!


Sorry. I'm not if sure I'm misinterpreting your comment or not....

But the movement of Freesytyle Cycle (aka anti MHL) has travelled quickly. Last year was their first ride** organised in Melbourne. This year they have managed it across the nation and even across the Tasman. Keeping things in perspective, it is still small. But it has grown and still growing.

**Today was claimed to be the second annual ride. As far as I know there was one held by associated members about 4-5 years ago in Melbourne.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:43 pm

Did the Melbourne ride go on road at all?

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DavidS
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:13 pm

fat and old wrote:Did the Melbourne ride go on road at all?


Hard to recall really, I know we went on a fair few roads last year. I'm more than happy to ride on a road without a helmet, if only it didn't attract a fine.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:11 pm

fat and old wrote:Did the Melbourne ride go on road at all?

It was almost entirely off-road on the Capital City Trail, Merri Creek Trail, and Main Yarra Trail. The on-road sector was just a side-street to access the Merri Creek bridge. In future we may have more on-road riding. Personally I rode a good 20-25 kms, on roads, with no helmet, in order to get to and from the ride.

The fear of riding on-roads with no helmet is entirely a socially-contrived one, the result of three decades of misguided public propaganda.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:38 pm

As far as I can tell single vehicle bicycle accidents still account for a significant proportion of bicycle accidents both here and overseas. In light of this factoid the paranoia of road riding vs off road riding doesn't fit with factual reality.

Whether you are riding on road or off road should not be seen as a defining risk factor. If we are approaching this in a statistical fashion a more relevant question might be was the person wearing cycling specific clothes.

But before anybody gets too sensitive about bringing up cycling clothes, please realise the point. Choice. Choice of where you ride, how your ride and what you wear on your body and your head should be a fairly basic thing.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:48 pm

Scintilla wrote:
The fear of riding on-roads with no helmet is entirely a socially-contrived one, the result of three decades of misguided public propaganda.


Yes, I've had this argument with a few people and it is really hard because of the ingrained attitudes promoted by the silly laws.

My fear of riding without a helmet is a fear of being fined. I have better things to spend $200 on.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:09 pm

I solved the initial 'fear-factor' by doing a helmetless ride wearing a cycle-cap (helmet accidentally left at home). The feeling was just the same as riding with the helmet. Now I do many rides about town wearing a cap.

Ultimately last year I rode the whole Gibb River Road in WA wearing just a sun-hat.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:15 pm

human909 wrote:Whether you are riding on road or off road should not be seen as a defining risk factor. If we are approaching this in a statistical fashion a more relevant question might be was the person wearing cycling specific clothes.


Recent studies of hospital admissions done at the Alfred Hospital, and details taken of the rider's situation have indicated the strongest factor in head injury severity has been the speed of the rider. Riders travelling at over 30 kmh have about a 5-times higher risk of serious injury than a rider doing 20 kmh.

Yes, cycling clothing may well be a strong indicator of this style and speed of riding.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:22 pm

Scintilla wrote:I solved the initial 'fear-factor' by doing a helmetless ride wearing a cycle-cap (helmet accidentally left at home). The feeling was just the same as riding with the helmet. Now I do many rides about town wearing a cap.

Ultimately last year I rode the whole Gibb River Road in WA wearing just a sun-hat.


The times I’ve chosen not to wear a helmet (cruisy rides) recently the only fear relating to a helmet is fear of a fine, not injury to cranium.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:18 am

Scintilla wrote:The fear of riding on-roads with no helmet is entirely a socially-contrived one, the result of three decades of misguided public propaganda.


I think your basic premise is correct, but I think that would depend on the rider IP. I feel more vulnerable on road than on a path sans helmet myself. Speeds (me and my surrounds) are wholly the issue there.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Jmuzz » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:00 am

trailgumby wrote:I made an off-the cuff comment about that to one of the officers about discretion and he responded by saying "we have no choice" which is of course not true


If multiple cars are there then command ordered it, so it actually is true that they had no choice at the ground level.
Someone at the top has decided that the flaunting of the law has to be met with a show of force that laws apply.
May have been a senior cop, may have been Minister right at the top.

Most people wouldn't make that call realising that it is better to ignore. But of course bad decisions are made every day by people in power, so it happens.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby trailgumby » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:37 pm

Jmuzz wrote:
trailgumby wrote:I made an off-the cuff comment about that to one of the officers about discretion and he responded by saying "we have no choice" which is of course not true


If multiple cars are there then command ordered it, so it actually is true that they had no choice at the ground level.
Someone at the top has decided that the flaunting of the law has to be met with a show of force that laws apply.
May have been a senior cop, may have been Minister right at the top.

Most people wouldn't make that call realising that it is better to ignore. But of course bad decisions are made every day by people in power, so it happens.

I think you're quite correct. Nevertheless, discretion is possible, but the senior cop who ordered the operation failed to exercise it.

The minister doesn't get involved in operational decisions. He has no operational authority. I'm not at all sure how the relationship between the commissioner and the minister works.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby trailgumby » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:43 pm

human909 wrote:
trailgumby wrote:
human909 wrote:Apparently they claim they have no discretion. BS. That discretion is being chosen every day across Sydney, the State and the Nation.

Wow, that travelled around the country quickly!


Sorry. I'm not if sure I'm misinterpreting your comment or not....


I was talking about the claim they have no discretion. I challenged one of the officers on them not using their discretion and he said they have none. However, I've since learned that Sue earlier made the same challenge and got the same response.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:50 pm

trailgumby wrote:I was talking about the claim they have no discretion. I challenged one of the officers on them not using their discretion and he said they have none. However, I've since learned that Sue earlier made the same challenge and got the same response.

I'm sure similar claims were made 40 years ago on Oxford St. :(

It's a load of cobblers: police officers use their discretion every day (it's the only way they can function). More to the point, the squad cars didn't arrive there accidentally. The plod was there on purpose, with very specific instructions, from the police hierarchy.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:58 pm

Shame I can't post pics. Got one of a nurse after she finished shift at RMH, riding happily up royal Pde sans helmet. Not everyone in the med profession is hardcore. :)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby NASHIE » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:43 pm

Geez, glad i ride in Perth. Wear a helmet about 70% of the time and the other 30% never any issue with police. The time i did get stopped when they had a RBT crossing the PSP, i told the officer i was enjoying a Sunday ride with the wind i my hair. His response was to lift his cap and state he wished he had hair :wink: .
Love seeing the young ladys in the CBD without helmets riding to work with the hair flying. Seems to be increase in non helmet wearing riders in Perth, which hopefully is a sign of more people jumping on a bike.

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