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

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Comedian » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:04 am

twizzle wrote:
il padrone wrote:You'll note that yes, it looks like a decline pre-law. but there is only data collected every 5 years (census I believe) so between 1986 and 1991 in Vic, NSW, Tas and SA there was a decline - cause: helmet law introduction (and enforcement) in 1990*. A pretty clear connection.


* the graph has an incorrect date for Victoria - laws came into force in 1990 and they were enforced then. I saw numbers decline very rapidly at my school within a few months - 300+ cyclists to just 20 !!


And wasn't the early-mid 80's the period where interest rates went stupid, no-one had money, and it only started to come good in the early 90's?

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Oh, look - perhaps cycling was related to money, not helmets.


I can see some merit in what you are saying and I think it could be at least somewhat attributed to the rise of sport cycling. However children and young adults rarely have large debt burdens, and these are the people that are missing from cycling.

If I wanted to be critical about your theory I could point out that even though interest rates have been low, the cost of housing is at historical highs relative to inflation that we have never seen before in Australia so people are forced to commit more of their income to housing repayments.

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This graph hasn't been refreshed in the last 12 months to reflect the higher interest rates that are in place now, but we can still see a record amount of household income going to housing costs. I'm sure everybody here would agree that other aspects of cost of living are also very very high at the moment. Anecdotally people are struggling at the moment. I would argue that if finance were the primary driver of cycling then the GFC has made it more attractive than ever.

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Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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by BNA » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:56 am

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby twizzle » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:56 am

Comedian wrote:I can see some merit in what you are saying and I think it could be at least somewhat attributed to the rise of sport cycling. However children and young adults rarely have large debt burdens, and these are the people that are missing from cycling.


My graph is a possible explanation of the increase of cycling in the 80's and the decrease in the early 90's in relation to disposable income. I know that back between '87 and '90, I would catch the bus when I had the spare money rather than ride to Uni in the rain with a backpack full of books.

The world has changed since '91, I don't think events of the 80's and 90's have a role in the popularity (or lack) of cycling today. Twenty years ago, kids went to local schools, there were local shops. My kids go to three different schools, distances range from 8km to 20km, the morning drop-off run by my wife takes an hour. The local 'corner shop' (1km away) has only just re-opened after being closed for a year, the nearest 'full service' supermarket is 11km away.

We've shagged 'quality of life' on the altar of shareholder returns, cycling is just one of the victims.

I think people should stop harping on about helmet laws as THE REASON why not as many people ride today.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby human909 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:59 am

Most people aren't saying that MHL are the only reason why less people ride today. But it certainly has played its part. It certainly is the main reason why Melbourne's bike share is failing so badly.

MHLs are a failed experiment by this country that very few other countries felt the need to copy. We should recognise this and get rid of the law.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby twizzle » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:50 am

human909 wrote:Most people aren't saying that MHL are the only reason why less people ride today. But it certainly has played its part. It certainly is the main reason why Melbourne's bike share is failing so badly.


Or maybe it's because people don't want to be 'first'. Where's the actual study showing the factors influencing the bike share scheme?

And who in their right mind would invest in something like that without having done their homework first???
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The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Comedian » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:50 am

twizzle wrote:
human909 wrote:Most people aren't saying that MHL are the only reason why less people ride today. But it certainly has played its part. It certainly is the main reason why Melbourne's bike share is failing so badly.


Or maybe it's because people don't want to be 'first'. Where's the actual study showing the factors influencing the bike share scheme?

And who in their right mind would invest in something like that without having done their homework first???

Melbourne and Brisbane have jumped in without thinking.

I don't think helmets are the sole cause of the decline of utility cycling. However I do think they were a significant contributor. Also, the decline of cycling may itself have been a contributor to the other contributing factors if you know what i mean.

Also, research is hard to come by as no one wants to prove themselves wrong. Also as you've said there has been many studies that point either way. This in itself should tell you that helmets aren't clearly effective.

The problem is they are a polystyrene hat that don't offer any impact absorption qualities. If they get a good hit they just crack apart. They do offer some protection from abrasions but so would a nice hat. :o
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Eugene » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:53 am

human909 wrote:Most people aren't saying that MHL are the only reason why less people ride today. But it certainly has played its part. It certainly is the main reason why Melbourne's bike share is failing so badly.

MHLs are a failed experiment by this country that very few other countries felt the need to copy. We should recognise this and get rid of the law.


I could not agree more, to see bike share facilities work to thier capacity, helmet laws need to be changed, people get up in arms about removing MHL's but the removal of these laws doesnt mean you CANT wear a helmet if you want to, it just gives you the choice, as a mature adult, to make decisions for yourself, without an overbearing NANA Govt telling you to.

I wear a helmet for two reasons, I dont like fines and I want to set a good example for my kids, if however, helmets were not required by law, I would not wear one, I am 42 years old and feel I can make up my own mind regarding my head.

Maybe a requirment for wearing if riding on 60kph+ roads, or under 16 years old etc could work???
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby human909 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:21 am

And as I have said 100 times before in such debates. I CHOOSE TO WEAR A HELMET WHILE COMMUTING

I choose to wear a helmet while mountain biking, rock climbing and skiiing DESPITE the lack of laws forcing me to wear a helmet in such more risky activities. Why do people on this forum think cycling is requires such laws? Skiing, mountain biking and rock climbing don't have such laws and the risks are generally greater.
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The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Comedian » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:32 am

human909 wrote:And as I have said 100 times before in such debates. I CHOOSE TO WEAR A HELMET WHILE COMMUTING

I choose to wear a helmet while mountain biking, rock climbing and skiiing DESPITE the lack of laws forcing me to wear a helmet in such more risky activities. Why do people on this forum think cycling is requires such laws? Skiing, mountain biking and rock climbing don't have such laws and the risks are generally greater.

So would I. Wouldn't it be nice to leave it off if you were pootling in the park with the kids or down to the local shops?
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby human909 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:47 pm

I've already started not wearing a helmet on the rare occasion when I do 'pootle' along in the park. It is an absolutely pleasure, I was really amazed how much better it feels.

Though I must admit the main reason I do it is as a minor form of civil disobedience as a protest against the laws. 8)
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby martinjs » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:05 pm

human909 wrote:I've already started not wearing a helmet on the rare occasion when I do 'pootle' along in the park. It is an absolutely pleasure, I was really amazed how much better it feels.

Though I must admit the main reason I do it is as a minor form of civil disobedience as a protest against the laws. 8)


If you get caught are you going to cough up the dough? :lol: Or perhaps wait till they lock you up, have a bad experience and then leave the country to a more FREE sociaty? :wink:

Said in FUN! 8) :lol: :wink:

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby human909 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:10 pm

martinjs wrote:
human909 wrote:I've already started not wearing a helmet on the rare occasion when I do 'pootle' along in the park. It is an absolutely pleasure, I was really amazed how much better it feels.

Though I must admit the main reason I do it is as a minor form of civil disobedience as a protest against the laws. 8)


If you get caught are you going to cough up the dough? :lol: Or perhaps wait till they lock you up, have a bad experience and then leave the country to a more FREE sociaty? :wink:

Said in FUN! 8) :lol: :wink:

Martin


The humour was lost on me.

Also last time i checked police don't care, especially in parks and quiet bike paths. There are far more serious things to care about than bike helmet enforcement. :roll:
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby damhooligan » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:20 pm

human909 wrote:I've already started not wearing a helmet on the rare occasion when I do 'pootle' along in the park. It is an absolutely pleasure, I was really amazed how much better it feels.

Though I must admit the main reason I do it is as a minor form of civil disobedience as a protest against the laws. 8)


Jus be carefull with that, once you have smelled the freedom of riding without, you don't wanna go back... :D
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby martinjs » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:22 pm

Sorry, forgot how serious the subject gets sometime, I was referring to an article on that dodgy WA anti helmet website that had a story on a gentleman who went to jail for not wearing a helmet "NOT".
The article goes on to tell why he did it and ends up saying hes moved to another country that is more free. I felt it was more funny then serious because to PROVE his point he wasted his time, the polices time the courts time, and as you said the Police have more important things to do.
I only said it to you in jest,


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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:24 pm

human909 wrote:I've already started not wearing a helmet on the rare occasion when I do 'pootle' along in the park. It is an absolutely pleasure, I was really amazed how much better it feels.

Though I must admit the main reason I do it is as a minor form of civil disobedience as a protest against the laws. 8)

How ironic :P

I started wearing a helmet on the occasions when I rode some busy roads commuting to work. It was not such a pleasure, it felt hot and uncomfortable however I was really amazed how much room drivers gave me.

Though I must admit the main reason I did it was as a protest against the conventional driver behaviour at the time.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:47 pm

my first post. hello everyone.

a bloke pointed me in the direction of this web site which made for a bloody interesting read: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/ it helped me understand a bit more about what a helmet will/won't do for you.

there's currently some interesting material on the homepage comparing the Melbourne bike share with Dublin's. if anyone doubts whether the helmet laws have prevented the Melbourne scheme from working, they should read about it. Mike Rubbo has also posted several short pieces on how Spain and Ireland are getting on without helmet laws vs. how we aren't getting on with helmet laws: http://www.youtube.com/user/MikeRubbo.

and the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_sharing_system#Australia

it's all rather embarrassing really, because Australia with it's disastrous bicycle scheme(s) and woeful safety records is now cited as the shining example as to why a country shouldn't implement mandatory helmet laws! nice.

ultimately, i think it's safe to say that no one wants to take away your right to wear a helmet. conversely, what appears to be the more, um, globally accepted viewpoint is that an individual should possess the civil right to not wear a helmet.

i deliberately refrained from saying whether i would or wouldn't wear a helmet because it's actually not relevant.

i hope that doesn't upset anyone. at least not too much or we wouldn't have anything to bang on about :D

cheers
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby damhooligan » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:16 pm

tristen wrote:my first post. hello everyone.

a bloke pointed me in the direction of this web site which made for a bloody interesting read: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/ it helped me understand a bit more about what a helmet will/won't do for you.



Very nice post..

I like the link, it has a very realistic vieuw of the helmet.


My favorie bit :
cyclehelmets.org wrote:If the styrofoam is compressed, it still doesn't prove that a helmet had a protective effect. This can be demonstrated with a fist and a brick wall.

If you 'shadow box' at the wall but carefully stop your fist about 50 mm before it reaches the wall (be sure it's limited by your arm's length), no harm will come to your fist. If, without changing your position, you slip a 75 mm thick piece of styrofoam against the wall and repeat the punch, you'll get compressed (and cracked) styrofoam and false 'evidence' that it saved you from harm. In other words, many impacts of helmets would be near misses with bare heads.
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:14 pm

Mmmmm it’s simple really.........wear lycra cycling gear ............must wear helmet.............wear casual clothes............no helmet required.

That will teach those darn lycra clad road warriors and their clicky shoes going round pretending they are Lance Armstrong. :mrgreen:
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:32 pm

Yeah, cheers :)

Thinking about it: It's hard to see how our politicians could go back on the law. Too many Australians believe helmets prevent head trauma, when at best they'll prevent cuts or abrasions. The reaction from the voting public would therefore be a bit: "you monster! you're going to kill all our children" or "you'll be sorry when i run you over and your brains are leaking out onto the road". Hysterical and crazy stuff like that.

A compromise clearly needs to be made.

Perhaps the compromise would be to initially keep helmets mandatory for the young 'uns, say 16 or maybe 18 and under. This would allay the fears of the all-important parent-voters. The mandatory law for adults could hopefully then be dropped without upsetting too many people (or should I say voters). The government can continue to address the concerns of the public (I mean the voters) by the ongoing maintenance of the helmet safety standards which are of course already in place.

Once the mandatory helmet laws are altered:

- Our shared bicycle schemes would flourish (145-odd cities with wildly-successful implementations of the bike share scheme surely can't be wrong).
- We would see an increase in cyclists and enjoy the proportionate drop in injuries.
- the Australian public would rediscover the safest, healthiest, cleanest, most efficient form of transport ever invented.
- Who knows? Perhaps we might even lose our crown of "fattest nation on the planet".

Everyone's a winner.

It's a corker of a problem for our politicians. Sadly, the only reason it's a corker of a problem is because our politicians have long since abandoned leadership in favour of obsessing over voter reactions.

And meanwhile: the rest of the developed world isn't laughing at us, they're just feeling sorry for us.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby il padrone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:51 pm

tristen wrote:And meanwhile: the rest of the developed world isn't laughing at us, they're just feeling sorry for us.

And the developing world as well.

Shanghai has a bike share up and running now.

Mexico City set theirs up a year ago with 1,200 bikes and they've had over 1 million hires (that's over 2700 hires per day, compared to Melbourne's 400 :roll: ). They scrapped their helmet rule to ensure the scheme succeeded.

The largest bike share scheme in the world is in Hangzhou, China - 50,000 bikies at 2000 docking stations (no helmets in sight of course)

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A few hours before catching the train from Hangzhou back to Shanghai, I visited a bike station booth to get my deposit back. After returning my card, the woman at the booth put one finger up. I couldn’t imagine what she was referring to, since the rental fees I had accumulated couldn’t have possibly been more than the deposit. I finally asked, “yi quai?” She nodded, I handed her a one yuan coin, and she paid me back the full 300 yuan deposit. I basically paid 15 cents to rent bikes for two days. The price was completely out of proportion with how much biking enhanced my trip to Hangzhou.

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:35 pm

il padrone wrote:And the developing world as well.


Absolutely!
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:32 pm

I wear a helmet for two reasons, I dont like fines and I want to set a good example for my kids, if however, helmets were not required by law, I would not wear one, I am 42 years old and feel I can make up my own mind regarding my head.

Maybe a requirment for wearing if riding on 60kph+ roads, or under 16 years old etc could work???


There you have it. Helmet wearing has to be mandatory to be effective.
Last edited by notwal on Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:49 pm

From the Sydney Morning Herald
Nagging doubts raised over helmet safety
Deborah Gough
April 3, 2011

FRESH doubts have been cast about how useful helmets are in preventing head injuries to cyclists.

An analysis by Norwegian researchers of existing studies has suggested previous scrutiny was biased towards helmets and relied too heavily on research into 1980s ''stack-hat'' style hard-shell helmets. They argued that today's ''soft-shell'' helmets were less effective at reducing brain injuries.
The paper, to be published in next month's edition of the international journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, found helmets reduced head injuries by 55 per cent when statistics included all helmet styles and data from previously omitted studies. Studies with both helmet styles, but without the omitted results, showed they reduced head injuries by 60 to 75 per cent. Hard-shell helmets have been found to reduce head injuries by as much as 88 per cent.

The paper, by Norway's Institute of Transport Economics, found that hard-shell helmets protected against neck injuries but that the modern soft-shell helmets preferred by most riders today may cause neck injuries.
The findings are certain to fire further debate about Australia's compulsory helmet laws, which are already being questioned in the cycling and research communities and overseas.

The findings were welcomed by Cyclists' Rights Action Group, which believes helmet laws should not be compulsory.
The group argues that there is evidence to suggest helmets may cause the brain to rotate in an accident.
Spokesman Dr Chris Rissel - a Sydney University professor in its school of public health - said the Norwegian paper was significant because it exposed biases in earlier research. He said cyclists haven't enjoyed the same reductions in deaths and injuries as other road users. ''The effectiveness of mandatory helmet legislation has been questioned since it was introduced in Australia, but now there is doubt about whether modern soft-shell helmets protect heads at all,'' Dr Rissel said.
''Compulsion to wear helmets discourages casual and spontaneous cycle trips, particularly among non-regular users.''

The Metropolitan Transport Forum, which represents 20 local councils, has called for the state budget to fund an analysis of helmet research. Mandatory helmet laws were introduced in Victoria in 1990.

Forum spokeswoman Jackie Fristacky said helmet safety and laws needed to be re-evaluated. ''The assumption is that they make it safer - and I feel safer when I wear one - but is it a valid belief.''

Professor Max Cameron, a former ministerial advisor whose transport research helped develop the helmet laws, said the laws could discourage people from cycling.
He said research was needed to see whether cycling had recovered from the initial dip in riding numbers that he had found with the introduction of compulsory helmets.
''No one knows whether that is still true two decades later and I wish we could do the research,'' Professor Cameron said.

He believed the compulsory helmet laws should stand
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby damhooligan » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:05 pm

notwal wrote:
I wear a helmet for two reasons, I dont like fines and I want to set a good example for my kids, if however, helmets were not required by law, I would not wear one, I am 42 years old and feel I can make up my own mind regarding my head.

Maybe a requirment for wearing if riding on 60kph+ roads, or under 16 years old etc could work???


There you have it. Helmet wearing has to be mandatory to be effective.


If helmets where effective, they would not need to be mandatory, everybody would wear them..
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:17 pm

damhooligan wrote:
notwal wrote:
I wear a helmet for two reasons, I dont like fines and I want to set a good example for my kids, if however, helmets were not required by law, I would not wear one, I am 42 years old and feel I can make up my own mind regarding my head.

Maybe a requirment for wearing if riding on 60kph+ roads, or under 16 years old etc could work???


There you have it. Helmet wearing has to be mandatory to be effective.


If helmets where effective, they would not need to be mandatory, everybody would wear them..


Do you really believe human beings are that rational?
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:21 pm

damhooligan wrote:...

I like the link, it has a very realistic vieuw of the helmet.


My favorie bit :
cyclehelmets.org wrote:If the styrofoam is compressed, it still doesn't prove that a helmet had a protective effect. This can be demonstrated with a fist and a brick wall.

If you 'shadow box' at the wall but carefully stop your fist about 50 mm before it reaches the wall (be sure it's limited by your arm's length), no harm will come to your fist. If, without changing your position, you slip a 75 mm thick piece of styrofoam against the wall and repeat the punch, you'll get compressed (and cracked) styrofoam and false 'evidence' that it saved you from harm. In other words, many impacts of helmets would be near misses with bare heads.


That's pure sophistry.
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