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

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

Postby Xplora » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:08 am

jules21 wrote:i thought helmets were 'useless above a certain speed'? now they're more important in higher speed crashes. i'm not sure i understand.

Bicycle helmets certainly are... they don't mandate moto helmets on pushies, funnily enough. I'll leave the moto MHL crowd to do their thing.

I haven't seen any cyclists doing 110kmh on the flat recently, in fairness to the argument.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:21 am

Xplora wrote:
jules21 wrote:i thought helmets were 'useless above a certain speed'? now they're more important in higher speed crashes. i'm not sure i understand.

Bicycle helmets certainly are... they don't mandate moto helmets on pushies, funnily enough. I'll leave the moto MHL crowd to do their thing.

I haven't seen any cyclists doing 110kmh on the flat recently, in fairness to the argument.


Bicycle helmets are not tested above a certain impact velocity, that's true. How do you get from there to "useless above a certain speed"?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:40 pm

Maybe because above a "certain" speed, all the magic mushroom does is let you live the rest of your existence being fed through a pipe up your nose as you drool uncontrollably onto the pillow you will never leave as the people you love are slowly destroyed by caring for you? NOT how I want to spend my time...
...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 Biffidus » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:24 pm

Heh, don't get me started on folks who do 60+ kph downhill on 6kg of carbon with only a foam cap and a layer of spandex for protection.

As a non-fred who also rides a motorbike I think you're all insane :P
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:56 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Maybe because above a "certain" speed, all the magic mushroom does is let you live the rest of your existence being fed through a pipe up your nose as you drool uncontrollably onto the pillow you will never leave as the people you love are slowly destroyed by caring for you? NOT how I want to spend my time...


Above a certain head impact velocity, maybe. That's completely different to speed, though. Speed isn't a good predictor of whether there will be a head impact, nor of how severe it will be. I'm with you on that hypothetical, though. Trouble is, I can't think of any satisfactory way of predicting how bad a head impact is going to be in advance. Such is life.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby jules21 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:25 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Maybe because above a "certain" speed, all the magic mushroom does is let you live the rest of your existence being fed through a pipe up your nose as you drool uncontrollably onto the pillow you will never leave as the people you love are slowly destroyed by caring for you? NOT how I want to spend my time...

but shaun that's the same for seatbelts and all other protective equipment. i agree it's a problem, but it's not specific to bike helmets. you can always pull the plug on someone who is fed through a straw, but you can't get someone back who will spend the rest of their life dribbling over themselves who would have been Ok if they'd worn a helmet. now how can you argue with that? :)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:32 pm

Except that the "useless" speed for seatbelts is just a tad higher than I'll ever manage on my scoot.

And I don't have to take the seatbelt with me when I park the smokebox :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:54 pm

jules21 wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:Maybe because above a "certain" speed, all the magic mushroom does is let you live the rest of your existence being fed through a pipe up your nose as you drool uncontrollably onto the pillow you will never leave as the people you love are slowly destroyed by caring for you? NOT how I want to spend my time...

but shaun that's the same for seatbelts and all other protective equipment. i agree it's a problem, but it's not specific to bike helmets. you can always pull the plug on someone who is fed through a straw, but you can't get someone back who will spend the rest of their life dribbling over themselves who would have been Ok if they'd worn a helmet. now how can you argue with that? :)

Do we have any stats on improved brain injuries relating to helmets? It was argued that MHL improved cyclist safety but actually as a population we are no better off because head impacts aren't the only problem facing riders...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:18 pm

Xplora wrote:
jules21 wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:Maybe because above a "certain" speed, all the magic mushroom does is let you live the rest of your existence being fed through a pipe up your nose as you drool uncontrollably onto the pillow you will never leave as the people you love are slowly destroyed by caring for you? NOT how I want to spend my time...

but shaun that's the same for seatbelts and all other protective equipment. i agree it's a problem, but it's not specific to bike helmets. you can always pull the plug on someone who is fed through a straw, but you can't get someone back who will spend the rest of their life dribbling over themselves who would have been Ok if they'd worn a helmet. now how can you argue with that? :)

Do we have any stats on improved brain injuries relating to helmets? It was argued that MHL improved cyclist safety but actually as a population we are no better off because head impacts aren't the only problem facing riders...


Forests and trees mate, forests and trees :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:05 pm

Xplora wrote:Do we have any stats on improved brain injuries relating to helmets? It was argued that MHL improved cyclist safety but actually as a population we are no better off because head impacts aren't the only problem facing riders...


One helmet study.


More helmet studies for you to check.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Philipthelam » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:17 pm

Sorry. I'll admit that my other posts here were done when I was tired and grumpy and didn't really think when I posted (which I have done in other places throughout BNA :( ) so let's have a good discussion.

Q.1 Say that repealing MHL will actually encourage more people to cycle. If MHL was repealed right now, do you think there will be a sudden increase in cyclist or it will change over time?

For me if MHL was repealed another time I think there might be an increase in cyclist BUT if it was repealed now I think that the effect will be a lot less or not at all. If you look at other countries where cycling numbers are high (other than MHL) there is also one big thing in common. It is that they have a bicycle network. I know in the Netherlands they have a huge and sophisticated network (of course) as does many other countries. For example my friend who came back from Japan said that sooo many people cycle there. You see massive groups of children riding together to school, people riding to work etc. but no one wears a helmet...... And no one rides on the road. Same in NT where MHL is relaxed and (as I have heard) many people just ride on the footpath and you don't really have to ride on the road to get from A to B. Now in Sydney you have to ride on the road. To others/those who don't cycle, this can be seen as dangerous. This idea is furthered by things you hear on the news, videos you see on YouTube etc. In a survey which I quoted in one of my other posts, of 1000 people surveyed the biggest reason for people not riding was because they felt they were not safe riding amongst cars/traffic. If we can change this then the MHL barrier, rather than being a smaller lesser thing compared to other reasons, will suddenly become the deciding factor in getting people to start cycling. This is when I believe that repealing MHL will have the greatest effect. If it was repealed now I think that most of the people who don't ride and don't like helmets will still not ride because they still think that the roads are unsafe to ride on. When we get to the stage where these other reasons for not cycling become a lot smaller, then I think is the only time when repealing MHL will encourage more people to cycle. Do you know what I mean?

Another thing to consider: a lot of you are saying that the current helmets don't offer much protection. Would you support MHL if the aus helmet standards were a lot higher and people had to wear better helmets that offer more protection? What if they changed the law and we all had to wear better helmets and there was actually evidence to suggest that with better helmets there was less people getting head injuries from cycling?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:51 am

Philipthelam wrote:Another thing to consider: a lot of you are saying that the current helmets don't offer much protection. Would you support MHL if the aus helmet standards were a lot higher and people had to wear better helmets that offer more protection? What if they changed the law and we all had to wear better helmets and there was actually evidence to suggest that with better helmets there was less people getting head injuries from cycling?

No. Would you support MHLs for all car occupants if the evidence showed there would be less people getting head injuries from driving?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:19 am

Philipthelam wrote:Q.1 Say that repealing MHL will actually encourage more people to cycle. If MHL was repealed right now, do you think there will be a sudden increase in cyclist or it will change over time?


As said previously, the damage to cycling has been done and recovery will take time. (I would expect a rapid improvement in Bikeshare use though.) MHLs are certainly not the only barrier to cycling, so continual improvements need to be made. Driver attitude is shocking and education and enforcement is needed, this poor attitude is partly a symptom of the decline of cycling numbers.

So no, the immediate improvement won't be huge, but we also need to ask ourselves what benefits has MHL brought us? What justification is there to impose on people's basic freedom in such a way. There is no evidence that MHLs have improved safety and significant evidence to show that it has made things worse. Nobody is taking helmets away, if you ride in such a way that you believe you are at risk of falling then you are still free to wear a helmet.

Why are we (and NZ) the only country with blanket MHLs? Why do we think that we are so right and the others are so wrong despite evidence to the contrary?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:37 am

I don't think anyone on here is arguing that the removal of MHLs is a 'magic bullet'. The requirements to encourage a more rapid shift to bike use are much more complex. I do believe however that the MHL is a significant stumbling block that will limit the effectiveness of other cycling promotion and encouragement strategies.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:18 am

Philipthelam wrote: Now in Sydney you have to ride on the road. To others/those who don't cycle, this can be seen as dangerous. This idea is furthered by things you hear on the news, videos you see on YouTube etc. In a survey which I quoted in one of my other posts, of 1000 people surveyed the biggest reason for people not riding was because they felt they were not safe riding amongst cars/traffic.


A phobia is a twisting of the normal fear response. The fear is directed toward an object or situation that does not present a real danger. The sufferer recognizes that the fear is unreasonable, yet cannot help the reaction. Over time, the fear tends to worsen as the fear of fear response takes hold.


Many 'normal' people are already there regarding their phobia of riding of bicycles :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:33 am

il padrone wrote:I don't think anyone on here is arguing that the removal of MHLs is a 'magic bullet'. The requirements to encourage a more rapid shift to bike use are much more complex. I do believe however that the MHL is a significant stumbling block that will limit the effectiveness of other cycling promotion and encouragement strategies.


Oh, some people are, I'm afraid. Take the claim that "MHLs are killing utility cycling".

In the interests of balance, there's always the "my uncle's dog's best mate's piano teacher once suffered an injury that a helmet would surely have prevented" nonsense presented on the other side of the debate. It really gets on my nerves that this debate descends into hyperbole time and time again.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:38 am

human909 wrote:So no, the immediate improvement won't be huge, but we also need to ask ourselves what benefits has MHL brought us? What justification is there to impose on people's basic freedom in such a way.

What imposition? It's trivial. I wouldn't even dignify such complaints by calling them a first-world problem. It's no worse than mandatory seatbelt-wearing, for example. I accept that seatbelt efficacy is well-settled and helmet efficacy isn't, but the effect on basic rights is about the same.

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

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:44 am

high_tea wrote:
il padrone wrote:I don't think anyone on here is arguing that the removal of MHLs is a 'magic bullet'....

Oh, some people are, I'm afraid.

Who?

high_tea wrote:Take the claim that "MHLs are killing utility cycling".

Which could quite well be true but it is not an equivalent statement to "the removal of MHLs will is a 'magic bullet' fix to utility cycling".

Simply put there is a host of changes necessary to improve cycling, one of the major ones is MHL. Moreover it was MHL that helped decimate cycling and brought us to wear we are now. However in the absence of other improvement simply dropping MHLs is unlikely to result in a miraculous explosion in utility cycling.

high_tea wrote:What imposition? It's trivial. I wouldn't even dignify such complaints by calling them a first-world problem. It's no worse than mandatory seatbelt-wearing, for example. I accept that seatbelt efficacy is well-settled and helmet efficacy isn't, but the effect on basic rights is about the same.

The majority of people DON'T see it as trivial. Wearing a stupid foam hat is a big imposition. You might not see it like that because YOU are a cyclist. However the general public do see it as an imposition.

If it wasn't an imposition then why the need to make it mandatory? Why the debate in cycling in skiing and in rockclimbing? As a rock climber I would much rather go climbing bareheaded or with a sun hat. But due to my OWN choice I choose to climb with a helmet.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:49 am

high_tea wrote:
il padrone wrote:I don't think anyone on here is arguing that the removal of MHLs is a 'magic bullet'. The requirements to encourage a more rapid shift to bike use are much more complex. I do believe however that the MHL is a significant stumbling block that will limit the effectiveness of other cycling promotion and encouragement strategies.


Oh, some people are, I'm afraid. Take the claim that "MHLs are killing utility cycling".

You seem to be misinterpreting the meaning of the magic bullet. I would certainly agree the MHLs have reduced utility cycling dramatically.

The reverse does not apply - it will be a long road back. Hwever gradually, over say 5-10 years we should expect some significant improvements with the use of complementary strategies - engineering, enforcement, encouragement, education.... (well look at that, the good ol' 4 E's from the 1977 Geelong Bikeplan :idea:)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:57 am

high_tea wrote:What imposition? It's trivial. I wouldn't even dignify such complaints by calling them a first-world problem.

From 4:00 onwards (and these are people who regularly ride bicycles :roll: )




In Copenhagen there was a significant decline in cycle use when there was simply a campaign run to promote greater use of helmets. The messages sent are very negative for the average person (no-committed, non-enthusiast cyclist).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:01 pm

So, can anybody give me a rough idea of the timeline to the paradigm shift on cycling from "Slightly risky fun for all" to " AAAAARGH!!! DANGER, Suicidal fools only"?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:18 pm

BTW, back in 1977 when the Geelong Bikeplan was released the helmet did not even enter the picture. And guess which of the 4 E's was poorly followed up on, in Geelong and in other city's bikeplans?

Yes, enforcement. And especially the hidden enforcement - enforcing motorists to follow road rules and respect cyclists' place on the road.


There is a long history of negligent policy and enforcement actions towards cycling on the road by our traffic authorities and the MHL has been a poor stop-gap strategy that involves placing the blame solely on the cyclist.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:52 pm

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:
il padrone wrote:I don't think anyone on here is arguing that the removal of MHLs is a 'magic bullet'....

Oh, some people are, I'm afraid.

Who?

high_tea wrote:Take the claim that "MHLs are killing utility cycling".

Which could quite well be true but it is not an equivalent statement to "the removal of MHLs will is a 'magic bullet' fix to utility cycling".


Well, it assumes some pretty dire consequences for utility cycling if they stay in place.

human909 wrote:Simply put there is a host of changes necessary to improve cycling, one of the major ones is MHL. Moreover it was MHL that helped decimate cycling and brought us to wear we are now. However in the absence of other improvement simply dropping MHLs is unlikely to result in a miraculous explosion in utility cycling.


That's an important qualification, a reasonable one and one that is often not made.

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:What imposition? It's trivial. I wouldn't even dignify such complaints by calling them a first-world problem. It's no worse than mandatory seatbelt-wearing, for example. I accept that seatbelt efficacy is well-settled and helmet efficacy isn't, but the effect on basic rights is about the same.

The majority of people DON'T see it as trivial. Wearing a stupid foam hat is a big imposition. You might not see it like that because YOU are a cyclist. However the general public do see it as an imposition.

If it wasn't an imposition then why the need to make it mandatory? Why the debate in cycling in skiing and in rockclimbing? As a rock climber I would much rather go climbing bareheaded or with a sun hat. But due to my OWN choice I choose to climb with a helmet.


The Netherlands have seatbelt laws, right? I doubt that they are any more convenient there than there. In fact, if I may digress, they are for more inconvenient to me, and I suspect anyone else who has ever tried to get a toddler into a 5-point harness. I resist the urge to march against seatbelt laws because the impact on my freedom is, not to put too fine a point on it, trivial.

If the "majority of people" really think it's a non-trivial imposition on basic rights, they really need to think twice about cloaking themselves in Liberty's flag every time they clear their throat. Pardon my saying so. They can say it's mildly inconvenient, I won't cavil with that.

At the risk of digressing, I don't see a helmet as a big drama because I wear a hat most (outdoor) places and one hat is much like another. It's got nothing to do with being a cyclist. Ironically, it's easier for me to find a big, stupid foam hat that fits than, say, a big stupid straw hat or a big stupid cap of any kind. Indeed the hats that fit are really big and, if I'm not careful, really stupid.

(Disclaimer: by "stupid" I mean, "likely to make me look like a farmer or something, which is stupid since I'm a computer programmer from the suburbs". Farmers looking like farmers is fine. Computer programmers looking like farmers is stupid.)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:08 pm

high_tea wrote:Well, it assumes some pretty dire consequences for utility cycling if they stay in place.

Exactly. :idea: And those dire consequences have already occurred! :idea: :idea: The only areas in which I have seen a mass turn around have been in some inner city area where a bicycle is SIGNIFICANTLY more practical than a car.

high_tea wrote:That's an important qualification, a reasonable one and one that is often not made.

Thank you. But it is a qualification that would have been made at LEAST a hundred times in this thread.

high_tea wrote:The Netherlands have seatbelt laws, right? I doubt that they are any more convenient there than there. In fact, if I may digress, they are for more inconvenient to me, and I suspect anyone else who has ever tried to get a toddler into a 5-point harness. I resist the urge to march against seatbelt laws because the impact on my freedom is, not to put too fine a point on it, trivial.

Fair enough that is YOUR opinion... In MANY other peoples opinion helmets are not and simply a trivial inconvenience. That is THEIR opinion. The opinions of the Dutch is quite clear from that video and the rate of helmet wearing which is <<1%. If it was trivial surely more Dutch would be wearing one for the minor safety reasons.

But the fact is the safety benefits of helmet wearing is little more on a bicycle than it is as a pedestrian. Would you MHLs as a sensible idea for pedestrians? Why not?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:41 pm

Mulger bill wrote:So, can anybody give me a rough idea of the timeline to the paradigm shift on cycling from "Slightly risky fun for all" to " AAAAARGH!!! DANGER, Suicidal fools only"?


I can't ride because I might be run over or abused by someone like myself in a car. QED.

While I'm typing this, would the people who equate MHL with seatbelt legislation work on the concept that an unbelted passenger/s in a motor vehicle crash may cause injury to other passengers and even people outside the vehicle crashing.
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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