Xplora wrote:Hightea, this is precisely the point... MHL blocks out cycling for a significant chunk of the population, for a number of reasons, by abnormalising riding and these people won't change because their choices are taken away. How many times have you been protected by your seatbelt? Me, 2-3 times over 32 years in cars.
Maybe, but the answer still begged the question that was asked. A logical fallacy with an obscure and widely misunderstood name is still a logical fallacy.
A seatbelt really is something I can leave off, and have a good understanding of the risk involved. If you never have an accident, the seatbelt doesn't mean anything. In the same way, a helmet is so unlikely to be needed that most people don't realise that its not necessary for most casual riding. But they think to themselves "oh crap, there is a law, I must wear my helmet/seatbelt" and misunderstand that these protections are there to stop you from PERMANENT DISABLEMENT in an accident. I don't want to reduce such an injury - I don't want to have the accident in the first place. But it reveals a deeply flawed understanding of crashes for most people, that the mandated protection is going to stop you going to hospital. It doesn't.
I don't understand why you bring up seatbelts. Seatbelt efficacy is well settled, as is seatbelt law efficacy. They're not necessarily going to protect you from injury - the manic who pioneered seatbelt tests by being strapped to a rocket-powered sled earned a scary list of injuries in his career - but they're clearly way better than nothing.
And (my point) if you were afraid of going to hospital on a bike, then you SHOULD be afraid of the same result in a car. The same people who say the road is too dangerous for a bicycle are the same people who don't appreciate the severity of accidents in a car. The road is too dangerous for a car as well, and the likelihood of hospitalisation for a car accident is about the same.
That's a new one on me. Do you have a citation?
But abnormalising cycling takes away this basic logic. And as a result, a bunch of people just won't cycle because they have been indoctrinated into believing that riding is dangerous.
Huh. People believe it's dangerous to walk places too. Apparently only motorised transport is safe. Which is to say, I'm not disputing that there's a problem. I do dispute that MHL repeal is some kind of panacea. Attitudes suck, infrastructure sucks and MHL repeal won't change that. I'm not talking about dedicated cycle lanes either. I'm talking about basic things, like decently wide footpaths and lights that let pedestrians cross in less time than it takes to roll a smoke and have a cup of tea. You know, infrastructure that works for anything except a car.
Let's stipulate that MHLs are a result of car-centric thinking. Such being the case, it sounds like a symptom to me. Assuming your oft-repeated claim that you need mad sk1llz to ride in Sydney traffic to be true (and from my limited experience, it ain't a patch on Brisbane or London traffic, let alone Taiping traffic) that's another symptom. The root cause - the completely rubbish attitude to active transport - is a much harder problem. It's more productive to look at the root cause, though.
Oh, but Repeal will help these attitudes! you say. Hmmm, maybe. Certain people have made some rather grandiose analogies with various civil rights movements. I sure hope that isn't an accurate analogy, because meaningful change there took a century or more and legislative change was just part of a long, hard struggle to, guess what, change attitudes. They have made progress, but they are struggling still.
I remain unconvinced that MHL repeal is the biggest obstacle to elevating cycling to its rightful place. I could come at the claim that MHLs aren't pulling their weight like, say, DUI or seatbelt laws, but that's another matter entirely. Those on the anti-MHL side of the fence seem to have accepted that you need more than "meh, this law isn't doing much good". That's the inference I draw from the bold claims about cycling participation, the obesity epidemic, Kable, various human rights instruments, diffuse axonal injury and various other fascinating matters.
PS, I'm equally unimpressed by a lot of the pro-MHL arguments, in case I haven't made that clear in the past.