Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thread)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:45 pm

high_tea wrote:
human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:This argument is spectacularly bad. It doesn't get any better each time someone repeats it either.

Which premise of the argument do you dispute?................

More to the point, why do you believe the sort of pedestrian regulation being mooted is remotely acceptable?


But don't you see, that is exactly the point. No-one here is seriously arguing for pedestrian helmets, just like we are not supportive of MHL for cyclists.
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by BNA » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:14 pm

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:14 pm

il padrone wrote:But don't you see, that is exactly the point. No-one here is seriously arguing for pedestrian helmets, just like we are not supportive of MHL for cyclists.
[/quote]

The two aren't remotely equivalent.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:34 pm

high_tea wrote:The two aren't remotely equivalent.

Yes. Silly us. Nor is motoring, horse riding, skiing, rock climbing or wake boarding. But cycling of course that needs compulsory helmets. :roll:

Please explain to us high tea why cycling is so unique that it requires Mandatory Helmet Laws? Also what is so unique about Australia that mean that they are required? Why does cycling need to be coddled?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:07 pm

high_tea wrote:
il padrone wrote:But don't you see, that is exactly the point. No-one here is seriously arguing for pedestrian helmets, just like we are not supportive of MHL for cyclists.


The two aren't remotely equivalent.


Strange then how they seemed to be very equivalent in the frequent 'zone pedale' of Italian towns' ??

Image

Image



And, yes these same cyclists also ride on the roads of the crowded cities, in amongst the traffic..... BUT, not a helmet in sight :D
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:44 pm

human909 wrote:Also what is so unique about Australia that mean that they are required? Why does cycling need to be coddled?


Out here it was a conspiracy of control. The elites (RACS, RACV, MUARC, politicians) lobbied for it, to get "those renegade bike riders under control". They used spurious data which ignored any considerations (raised at the time by BV) that there would be a negative impact upon a sustainable, low-impact transport mode.

It was all backed up by some 'do-gooder' cyclists who thought if some cyclists use helmets for their safety or confidence it must be good to make sure that all cyclists do. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:03 pm

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:The two aren't remotely equivalent.

Yes. Silly us. Nor is motoring, horse riding, skiing, rock climbing or wake boarding. But cycling of course that needs compulsory helmets. :roll:

Please explain to us high tea why cycling is so unique that it requires Mandatory Helmet Laws? Also what is so unique about Australia that mean that they are required? Why does cycling need to be coddled?


Dunno, you'd better ask whoever said that. I don't recall saying anything about horse climbing or water boarding or any other such thing.

EDIT: I do contend that regulating pedestrians is a much bigger deal than regulating cyclists. In light of this, I find the repeated cries of "why not make pedestrians wear helmets" ridiculous and tiresome. Not quite as tiresome as demands to defend things I never said, but still.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:21 pm

Water boarding is different to wake boarding. If you require a demonstration let me know.

Seriously what is this obsession with "If I like wearing a helmet then all other cyclists MUST"? I dont remotely get that. I could care less if you ride a BMC or a BSA with or without turban. See through nicks only bother me if on blokes.. and then to tell the truth not heaps. I couldn't care if you guys wear tweed or tarten or SS or fixie. Although if I see someone riding my mates stolen Paconi trackie their next ride will be very very differerent. But overall... some of you guys seem to care way more about my well being than.. (and I spent the day in hospital with a mate) I am ever going to care about yours.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:55 pm

Percrime wrote:Water boarding is different to wake boarding. If you require a demonstration let me know.


Yeah, that was a play on words. Although, when I've tried wakeboarding it amounts to being dragged facefirst through the water behind a powerboat. So it's closer to waterboarding than might at first appear. If you do it all wrong, anyway.

PS: I'm glad you left horse climbing alone. I'm not sure what it means and I'm not sure I want to find out...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:09 pm

I left it alone assuming you did know what it meant.. and you know.. I try and leave sensitive stuff alone
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:46 pm

high_tea wrote:PS: I'm glad you left horse climbing alone. I'm not sure what it means and I'm not sure I want to find out...


Silly goat !!

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:58 pm

high_tea wrote:EDIT: I do contend that regulating pedestrians is a much bigger deal than regulating cyclists. In light of this, I find the repeated cries of "why not make pedestrians wear helmets" ridiculous and tiresome.


The cry of "why not make pedestrians wear helmets" is MEANT to be ridiculous! :idea: The hyperbole is used to display the ridiculousness of the MHLs for cyclists. But of course you completely ignore that.

high_tea wrote:Not quite as tiresome as demands to defend things I never said, but still.

So you don't believe Australia should have MHLs? Great! Otherwise stop being evasive.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:12 am

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:EDIT: I do contend that regulating pedestrians is a much bigger deal than regulating cyclists. In light of this, I find the repeated cries of "why not make pedestrians wear helmets" ridiculous and tiresome.


The cry of "why not make pedestrians wear helmets" is MEANT to be ridiculous! :idea: The hyperbole is used to display the ridiculousness of the MHLs for cyclists. But of course you completely ignore that.

high_tea wrote:Not quite as tiresome as demands to defend things I never said, but still.

So you don't believe Australia should have MHLs? Great! Otherwise stop being evasive.


I'm not so sure about the hyperbole to be honest.
"If it saves only one life..."*



*or any of a dozen variations :|
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:18 am

"If it saves just one life...."




Sorry, I know it has probably been here before, somewhere in this mega-thread, but it is so appropriately ridiculous :)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:35 am

If all you want to do is beg the question then yeah, talking about lifejackets or helmets for pedestrians is probably as good (actually: bad) as anything else. Hey, beg away. Just remember, it's a logical fallacy so notorious the ancient Romans had a name for it.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:21 pm

I'm glad we've found your weak spot though, HT. It simply goes to show that for all the pithy statements that could be made for MHLs, there is a line in the sand that provides ample evidence that the MHL is a garbage law. Fairness to humanity is not the sole premise of one group, egalitarian oppression is the not gift to the minority.

Cycling is not so different or dangerous to any other mode of transport that protection should be mandated. The speed and risk is directly proportional to the effort put in by the rider unlike motorised transport. There are few people riding at 60kmh without serious intentional effort to do so. :idea:

Now that we have this resolved... how do we move forward?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:58 pm

How do you move forward? If your best argument is that MHLs are somehow discriminatory, you don't. Your cause is doomed, find another windmill to tilt at. If you seriously want to improve the MHL situation, why not lobby to adopt Darwin-style MHLs?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:23 pm

high_tea wrote:How do you move forward? If your best argument is that MHLs are somehow discriminatory, you don't.

That is not the argument.

high_tea wrote:If you seriously want to improve the MHL situation, why not lobby to adopt Darwin-style MHLs?

Why campaign for a silly law to replace another silly law?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:17 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/b ... oad-safety

There's no ethical case for mandatory cycle helmets
Helmets do not provide sufficient protection to warrant the claim that they are highly effective – and the right to cycle bare-headed is by no means trivial

Researchers think that bike helmets provide some protection, but there is little consensus as to how effective they are. Photograph: Tetra Images/Alamy
Sometime in the third millennium BC, if not before, some entrepreneurial warrior donned a helmet to protect his brain from blows to the head. He may have been mocked as a coward, but soon enough copper and bronze helmets became a common sight on ancient battlefields. As Homer reminds us in the Iliad, these protective contraptions were not always effective:

The first to hurl, Great Ajax hit the ridge of the helmet's horsehair crest — the bronze point stuck in Acamas' forehead pounding through the skull and the dark came swirling down to shroud his eyes.

Nonetheless, this innovation in protective armour proved to have real staying power. Knights, for example, became very attached to their iron helmets in medieval times – even if they lost some of their manly imagery by wearing padded versions – and war helmets remained popular well into the early modern era.

Admittedly, helmets did drop out of fashion between the 17th and 19th centuries, but steel helmets were reintroduced during the Great War to protect soldiers from shrapnel and synthetic helmets are now widely used by modern day troops.

Warriors may have worn the first – and, if the Iliad is anything to go by, the most elaborate – helmets, but they were certainly not alone in their fondness for skull protection.

By the beginning of the 20th century a number of helmets had been devised to protect motorbike riders from injury and it is now possible to purchase protective head gear for a wide array of different occupational and recreational activities such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and skydiving.

It is somewhat difficult to calculate what the "helmet industry" is worth, but if we bear in mind that 1.2 million ski helmets were sold in 2007-2008 it is reasonable to conclude that total annual revenues may be counted in the billions of dollars.

Why does any of this matter from the ethicists' perspective? Frankly, if the evidence demonstrated that all of these different types of helmets were highly effective and if no one was forced to wear them there would be little to argue about. But this is not the case and so the ethicists' interest is piqued.

Currently, the most ferocious debate about the effectiveness of helmets – and the legitimacy of forcing competent adults to wear them – centres on cycling. It is not entirely clear why, but it may have something to do with the growing popularity of cycling as a sport combined with the visibility and ubiquity of "commuter cyclists" in our everyday lives. Whatever the reason, the debate about the relative effectiveness of cycle helmets is fierce and the debate about their mandatory use is even more so.

No one denies cycle helmets can protect cyclists from skull and brain injuries in some accidents. Instead, the debate focuses on how effective helmets are. Some researchers suggest that helmets reduce the risks of head and brain injury by as much as 63-88%. Others are less optimistic, claiming that the real figures are closer to 58-60%. Curnow has even argued that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that helmets provide any significant protection against serious injury to the brain.

In summary, the majority of researchers think that bike helmets provide some protection, but there is little consensus as to how effective they are.

This really matters because governments are increasingly showing a penchant for creating legislation that would force adults to wear helmets on pain of legal penalty. Australia took the initiative in the early 1990s when cycle helmets became compulsory in every state. Similar legislation now exists in a number of provinces in Canada and in a number of states in the United States, while Slovenia, Sweden, and South Korea have enacted laws requiring children to wear protective headgear. The Northern Ireland assembly also approved a cycle helmet bill back in January 2011 though it seems to have lost some legislative steam since then.

The ethical problems associated with legislation prohibiting adults from cycling without helmets are relatively obvious. First, John Stuart Mill's "Harm Principle" suggests that we should not interfere with competent adults who wish take risks with their own health. Second, even if we do not always agree with the letter of Mill's "law" we still have sound liberal reasons to avoid paternalism unless the risks we wish to prohibit are significant and unless there is a highly effective way of reducing them with little infringement of liberty.

Of course, some will argue that cycle helmet legislation conforms to these latter requirements. However, it is not clear that helmets provide sufficient protection to warrant the claim that they are highly effective and, as a keen cyclist, I would argue that the right to cycle bare-headed is by no means trivial.

I concede that cycling "sans helmet" will lead to higher costs to society in some situations. This is because a number of non-helmeted cyclists will require medical treatment following cycle accidents which they would not need if they always donned protective helmets. However, the total costs involved here are dwarfed by the costs generated by those who smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, eat unhealthily and fail to exercise regularly.

As such, it seems mighty odd to create legislation prohibiting people who are engaged in a healthy activity from taking a relatively small risk of creating a relatively small cost while allowing other people to engage in highly risky activities that will generate enormous social costs. Indeed, the whole thing smacks of discrimination against the cycling minority.

So where does all this leave us? Some will read the above and continue to advocate mandatory cycle helmet legislation. It is hard to know what to say to such people other than to ask them whether they would also agree to defend a compulsory pedestrian helmet law. This might seem like nothing more than a bad April Fools' joke. However, thousands of pedestrians are injured and killed each year and many of those who suffer the worst injuries do so because of head trauma. As such, pedestrian helmets could make a real difference to people's health and significantly reduce healthcare costs to boot.

Perhaps a very committed helmetologist will claim that a pedestrian helmet law is justifiable. Indeed, the logic of the helmetology argument seems to commit advocates of mandatory cycle helmet legislation to exactly this conclusion. But I imagine that most readers would join me in resisting those who would want to give us all a bad hair day, every day.



Its good to see a sensible article on MHLs. Pity rational discussion and consideration of the ethics of laws are largely devoid in Australia these days.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:34 am

Huh. This sort of thing comes up a bit, actually. It even has a name: theories of law. Helmet laws don't get mentioned much, it's true. Perhaps because they're fairly unremarkable, as these things go. If I wanted to get stuck right into theories of law, I wouldn't start with MHLS, that's for sure.

I will also note that baccy, grog and, increasingly food are quite heavily regulated.

PS Is the argument that helmet laws are somehow discriminatory or not? The emphasis is not, near as I can tell, in the original.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:56 pm

high_tea wrote:Huh. This sort of thing comes up a bit, actually. It even has a name: theories of law.

Um, 'quite a bit'? HA! Sure amongst legal academics and in the classroom it is a common discourse. But in regular society and policy discussion, surely you a kidding?

high_tea wrote:Helmet laws don't get mentioned much, it's true. Perhaps because they're fairly unremarkable, as these things go. If I wanted to get stuck right into theories of law, I wouldn't start with MHLS, that's for sure.

Um. This is a cycling forum and a topic of this thread is MHLs. :? :roll:

high_tea wrote:I will also note that baccy, grog and, increasingly food are quite heavily regulated.

And?
(Food generally has minimal concerning freedom of consumption. Health quality standards of are not about regulating and controlling consumption they help address information asymmetry issues in the market. I don't see many people here complaining about the existence of helmet standards either.) I also object to food "fat taxes" but that isn't the discussion here.

This is a cycling forum. I am objecting to MHLs because it harms cycling. You supporting this harm.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:38 am

So, here's a thought.
Another reason the MHL is a poor law, is because it is so un-necessary.
Voluntary helmet usage rates a re so high amongst any number of other sports. If MHLs were abolished today, discretionary helmet usage rates would remain very high in cycling, and there would not be a sudden epidemic of head injuries.
However, we would all be a little more free, and the innocent joy of a helmet free ride would return.
Currently I ride helmet free at least half the time, and the helmets I do use are pretty shite. I have a bobby dodger, which is epically shite, and a decent one that is a bit broken.
The dunce cap effect would be broken.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:13 am

Ken Ho wrote:So, here's a thought.
Another reason the MHL is a poor law, is because it is so un-necessary.
Voluntary helmet usage rates a re so high amongst any number of other sports. If MHLs were abolished today, discretionary helmet usage rates would remain very high in cycling, and there would not be a sudden epidemic of head injuries.


Agreed! I think many if not the majority of existing cyclists would continue wearing helmets. In all likelihood I myself would continue wearing my helmet for many rides.

But suddenly we open cycling up to many others and other bikeshare schemes have a chance to work!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:15 pm

Imagine the state of the full bike lane on PB then :D

Can someone with a blacker belt in Googlefu than me please have a go at finding the poll I did a way back on that very topic? IIRC, voluntary use would still be in the 80+% area.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lycraless » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:10 pm

I cant help with that but my own experience on the bike lanes of Amsterdam where I was very attentive to these things was that without a helmet law, easily 90% of the training, lycra, plastiuc bike riders were wearing helmets. Zero, absolutely zero, of the ordinary riders on the lanes and 30k roads wore a helmet. (Correction. I saw two but they were Brit/NewZealanders on holiday. They so stood out I had to ask.)
Going by this, voluntary use would easily be enough to satisfy the safety obsessives need to see plenty being worn by those taking risks in their riding.

Can someone with a blacker belt in Googlefu than me please have a go at finding the poll I did a way back on that very topic? IIRC, voluntary use would still be in the 80+% area.[/quote]
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:19 am

"Seriously these are people who think anecdotal helmet savior stories trump actual data " Yehuda Moon 2012-09-06
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