Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
So is the idea to actively campaign against MHL's (that's Mandatory Helmet Laws, yeah?) and through that make cycling more popular?
I AM NOT AN ANIMAL!!!!!!! LOL
It has been found that the larger the proportion of cyclists in a given population the lower number of of cyclist deaths/serious injuries per cyclist.
This could be because drivers are more aware of cyclists.
It could be because the fewer cyclists there are the higher the proportion of risk taking cyclists in the set of cyclists.
It could be that the more cyclists there are the better the cycling facilities are (i.e. more separated facilities a la Amsterdam and Copenhagen). Or, it could be that the better the cycling facilities there are, the more cyclists there are - particularly the low risk taking type.
Helmets fit in here somewhere.
Zob, cycling WAS popular. I don't think it's realistic to assume that we'll see very high/Dutch levels of riding without it, but the key difference during the early 90s was an active (and uninformed) campaign by several groups about the dangers of riding on the road and as a result we have the MHL. It has been shown to have made riding more dangerous than without it, because cyclist injuries are rare and reduced cyclist numbers make them more common.
Ross blithely posts the hammer but consistently failed to acknowledge that there is an entire cohort of people who would consider riding more except that the MHL is a significant deterrent. 1 in 6 would ride more except for the MHL. Around half the population won't because it is "dangerous" and helmet laws contribute to that. Let's look at simple facts here - does anyone refuse to drive because of the seatbelt law? Do they realise that seatbelt was put there because people get thrown out of cars in car accidents?! It is sheer complacency and cognitive dissonance that leads people to the conclusion that commuting is perfectly safe, and yet our laws don't truly address disparity in transport modes. Our culture certainly does not. Cars Will Kill.
For me personally, the risk of going helmetless is not worth it. Not because I fear for my head (I don't) but I fear that a car driver will escape proper sanction because I could be seen by the court to have negligently contributed to my injury/demise. I've already paid the penalty for any personal errors by getting hurt. My family is the main concern after that point. Our ridiculous laws imply that a cyclist, adequately fit for the road and very savvy to commuting (500-800kms a month for over a year now), is somehow responsible for their injuries when hit by a 2 ton lump of metal and glass driven by someone with inadequate patience and motivation to look after my family. The simple fact that people don't realise that their CTP insurance is a tax on their risk to the rest of the population is quite scary.
I descended Mt Bowen on the weekend, and spent a lot more time at 50-60kmh than I normally feel comfortable with. Glad I saw the "100m left before T intersection" sign as well. There are a lot of times where a helmet is going to be good practice, either on or off the road. But MHL lumps all types of riding together. Riders require a LOT of effort to even break the speed limit in a school zone, focussing on rider risk is pointless because cars are the killers out there.
I also got hit in the head with a branch while on the bunch ride before the climb, fell out of a tree. That's the second time I've needed a helmet in 12 months. Conceivable that a pedestrian with an iPod would have been hit just as easily... sometimes, random things happen. Control for what you can, but you have to be reasonable about it. A helmet is not a reasonable imposition, because you don't ask car users or pedestrians to wear them on the road or footpath, and they are at just as much risk as the motor/cyclist.
1. Yes. Anything to increase cyclist levels is a good thing. Remember all that ETS/Carbon tax stuff they were banging on about? There are multiple benefits of improving cyclist numbers (and ped numbers as well)
2. I think it would be reasonable to assume that people willingly to enjoy the benefits while being in an outgroup might also be more willing to behave in measures that would be condemned by the majority. There are many parents who think cycling is dangerous. The kids left over... they might be more willing to embrace risk. Hypotheticals, but I am happy to agree.
3. Chicken, meet egg, meet chicken, meet egg. And here is my good friend, chicken. He came with egg. They specifically embraced cycling, and built a legal and transport system around it. Impossible to say, but given how cheap cycling infrastructure is, it is silly to refuse to invest in it.
If there was a global epidemic of rider head injuries that didn't exist in MHL jurisdictions, your point about the helmet would hold water, but it doesn't because of the rider number vs rate of injury paradox. It doesn't matter what the nature of the increased ridership is, it reduces the risk of injury for ALL cyclists, and it costs NOTHING to implement. I can't stress this enough. Bike paths cost money. Even little bits of money. But removing a law is a day in the Parliament. The increased ridership will lead to improvements in legal and infrastructure frameworks over time, because that's how democracy works.
Unfortunately the opposite has happened in Australia and cycling is now restricted to people who are happy with helmets. As a result you actually have OPPOSITION ( ) to getting rid of restrictions from the very community that is being restricted.
It just shows how selfish some people are. Just because you find helmets tolerable doesn't mean that should be forced on all cyclists.
It does, IMHO.
Take Manly for instance. Lots of (pretty average) shared paths (but shared paths nonetheless) put in 3-4 years ago(? maybe 5?) going to useful places. Loads of new riders - most without helmets. In this case, assuming no other significant unknown variable involved, it was quite clearly the shared paths that started it all. This has not translated to lots of non-helmeted riders riding the full way to the city on their commute, just local riding and to ferry etc.
It does not necessarily reduce the risk to all cyclists. Thought experiment:
1) 100 risk taking cyclists
2) 5 injuries per year = 5%
3) Helmet law removed + cycle facilities added attracts 100 additional non-risk taking cyclists, (defined as non-risk taking because they were not willing to risk riding on the road) = 200 cyclists total
4) 6 injuries per year = 3%, however 5 of those injuries are from the same group of risk taking cyclists as their behaviour has not changed so their risk is not actually reduced
Could you please elaborate here. Why would you expect local shared paths to suddenly encourage cyclists to ride to the city. Surely the cyclists you are describing are the ones who would prefer local short trips etc. So how is this a bad thing that these people have been encouraged to ride? More people on bike means more drivers being aware of cyclists. This occurs even if the number of cyclists on YOUR route hasn't increased.
I didn't realise that riding on the road means that you are a risk taking cyclist! Geez, we have a long way to go with attitudes like that. But even so. The more cyclists there are then there more cars will be aware of cyclists and look out for them. The correlation between the % of people cycling and safety is extremely strong.
Did I write that it was a bad thing? No, I did not. That wooshing sound was the point that the cycle/shared paths came first.
There is only one (reasonable) route from Manly to the City, and it goes up Parriwi Rd. So it is very easy to gauge the number and type of commuter out of Manly to the City (or at least to the top of Parriwi, so if you want to be a pedant just count the top of Parriwi instead of the city), very easy.
If riding on the road is not more risky then why bother with shared/cycle paths/tracks?
The correlation between % of people cycling and decent cycle facilities is even stronger.
Manly is a fantastic example. I was shocked at the number of bikes down at the Corso when I was there recently. Cycling has indeed exploded!
The "population" of cyclists is a moving figure. Manly bike use is unlikely to affect my personal safety around Richmond, however it WILL affect the overall population stats, because the safety of Manly/Northern Beaches will be improved. I'd argue that all people are safer around the Corso because more bikes means less motor vehicles of different sizes. But that's another topic. If there are 5 accidents per 100 riders per year, then with the explosion of riders it goes to 4 accidents per 100 riders per year (but there are now 300 riders), then we are arguing either the new riders suffer even less injuries than expected (this is good) and the old riders suffer the same rate, or the overall rate of injuries declines, so high risk takers have less than expected.
Either way, you cannot expect to pinpoint this kind of statistic. In the end, more cycling is good, and lower injury rates are good. You haven't created a justification for putting a helmet on the heads of all if the infrastructure lends itself to encouraging low risking cycling.
HUH? Of course shared paths came first!!! We are still waiting for MHL abolition!
And this relates to MHL how?
Stop moving the goal posts. I wont continue to debate this strawman, suffice to say your demarcation is absurd.
Don't be infantile. Both have extremely strong correlations. Comparing which is stronger is a joke. You might as well compare batman to superman.
You are trying to create false dichotomy of building shared paths or getting rid of mandatory helmets. Its not one or the other!
Ermm.... nope. There were not many people riding around Manly at all and those who did generally wore a helmet. Now, after the creation of reasonable cycle facilities, there are loads of people who ride around without helmets regardless of MHLs.
There are poor cycle facilities leading into the city. It is rare to see cyclists not wearing a helmet, which is not the case in the area where they are (likely to be) riding from.
I am not changing any goal posts and it is a bit rich you bring up a strawman, which this is not.
The whole point of separated cycle facilities is to reduce the risk of serious injuries/death to cyclists, is it not? If not, can I ask you what the point of them is?
No I am not. I was responding to:
...and pointing out that there is a more compelling correlation between number of cyclists vs serious cycle injury/death rate, and cycle facilities than there is with MHLs.
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... 751304.htm
Summary from the Medical Journal of Australia.
Debate continues regarding the health benefits and consequences of helmet use in pedal cyclists.1 Australia is one of few countries in the world with mandatory helmet laws for both pedal cyclists and motorcyclists. To place the protective effect of helmets in pedal cyclists into perspective, we report on the relationship between helmet use and head injury severity in a retrospective cohort of both pedal cyclists and motorcyclists.
Trauma registry data on such patients admitted to seven tertiary level hospitals in Sydney, New South Wales (Liverpool, St George, Royal Prince Alfred, Westmead, Royal North Shore, St Vincent’s and Prince of Wales hospitals) between July 2008 and June 2009 were obtained. Patients were included if they were aged 15 years or over with an incident occurring on a public road. The Abbreviated Injury Scale and Injury Severity Score were used to classify body regions and severity of injury, respectively. Helmet use, incident and other injury details were routinely collected by trained data and case managers from standard ambulance and trauma clinical case notes. Inhospital costs were calculated using standardised cost weights (NSW Program and Product Data Collection, 2008–09). Primary outcomes were any head injury and severe head injury (Abbreviated Injury Scale severity score ≥ 3), including significant intracranial haemorrhages, and diffuse axonal injury. Logistic regression was used to determine odds ratios for head injury and severe head injury, adjusting for age (as a continuous variable) and location of incident (based on incident postcode) as a-priori confounders based on previous work.
There were 398 cases identified. Of these, 50 patients (13%) had missing helmet information, leaving 348 cases analysed. Baseline characteristics stratified by helmet use are shown in the Box. For any head injury associated with helmet non-use, the adjusted odds ratio was 5.6 (95% CI, 2.1–14.9; P < 0.001) for pedal cyclists and 2.2 (95% CI, 0.9–5.0; P = 0.06) for motorcyclists, compared with helmeted patients in each group. For severe head injury associated with helmet non-use, the adjusted odds ratio was 5.5 (95% CI, 1.5–20.6; P = 0.01) for pedal cyclists and 3.5 (95% CI, 1.3–8.9; P = 0.01) for motorcyclists, compared with helmeted patients in each group. For the 50 patients with severe head injury, inhospital costs (AUD) were around three times higher in non-helmeted patients (median, $72 000; interquartile range, $33 000–$140 000) compared with helmeted patients (median, $24 000; interquartile range, $15 000–$60 000) (P = 0.02).
The protective effect of helmet use with respect to head injury prevention therefore appears to be greater in pedal cyclists compared with motorcyclists. There was no association observed between helmet use and diffuse axonal injury. Limitations to our study include the small number of patients with severe head injury, and the inability to control for other incident factors such as speed, collision details and intoxication. The use of hospital data biases observations towards patients with more severe injuries. Nevertheless, the results add to the growing weight of observational data supporting the use of helmets, 3-5 which should therefore be considered at least as protective for pedal cyclists as they are for motorcyclists.
Study failure lol
1. Cyclists should reasonably assume that they will be more protected by a helmet than a motorcyclist because they cannot propel themselves to the same speeds as a motorbike rider. A moto is likely to hurt arms and collarbones etc more than the head because they are going faster. This is not a reasonable argument to build on cycle helmets on, because it fails to acknowledge the reasonableness of acquiring a head injury on a bike. Speed, collision details and intoxication were not controlled for. That's a HUGE amount of variation. We have to acknowledge that cyclists aren't going to break as many collarbones or necks because the lower speed will mean more head impacts as a percentage of overall trauma - because there are less leg/arm/torso injuries to balance that out.
2. We have no comparison data for pedestrians or car users. Perhaps cyclists were similarly expensive to peds? Anyone can run SPSS on a dataset. It's REALLY easy to find significant results if you are obtuse enough.
3. This is a very thin correlational study comparing moto helmet use to cyclist helmet use. It has no bearing on an MHL argument (the opening paragraph FOCUSSED ON THIS) because there is nothing conclusive to draw. I can equally demonstrate that fat people should be banned, because they are clearly more expensive than thin people in a hospital context. It's a pointless exercise. Accidents are inevitable across a population. How likely they are, how reasonable is it that they bear responsibility for those accidents, do most people feel that the accident is likely if they personally perform the activity, these are the key questions.
I would have gotten a serious knock to the head as a branch fell on me during the bunch ride on Saturday. Is this a reasonable injury to account for? The helmet law is about hysteria. Not reasonable expectations. If you worry about cyclists, clamp down on four wheeled death machines.
Nobody here is disputing the benefits of infrastructure simonn I don't know why you are rabbiting on about it.
How are you addressing this? Are you saying that reducing the number of cyclists doesn't make things less safe?
Again. Shifting the goal posts. This is quite hillarious! Lets go back to what I said.
So now you are agreeing with me?
Bike helmets: an emergency doctor’s perspective
http://theconversation.com/bike-helmets ... tive-13935
What do emergency doctors know about the likelihood of cycling accidents? You could write the same article about ladder accidents. Not many people here are arguing that helmets don't offer some degree of protection for people's heads.
If we want to encourage a higher percentage of high speed enthusiast cycling the MHLs are a great way to go about it. If we want to encourage everyone to cycle then MHLs are NOT the way to go.
I'm glad you quantified that with your second part. Indeed, what do emergency doctors know about the likelihood of any accident, in that case. They don't. They know about the results of said accident. Bike, ladder, sharp knife, alcohol, the list goes on.
Personal opinion: having to wear a helmet is an excuse for people to not ride, not a reason. You want to ride, you'll find a lid without too much trouble. You don't want to ride, find an excuse.
This made me smile.
MY RIDES: My Velospace Profile
That is not a personal opinion. The effect MHLs had of cycling at the time of introduction is well documented. The facts don't change -whatever your personal and distasteful view of people who don't cycle due to the laws.
You enjoy being selfish? Or are you making some suggesting that allowing choice is selfish?
Yes... "facts". All "well documented".
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
Aye? How has he shown a "distasteful" view here? Because he tells the truth? I don't know a single person who views the need to wear a helmet when cycling as a reason not to. What's more...I haven't seen any evidence at all.....none....that can prove an overall downturn in cycling due to the introduction in MHL's. None, and I've spent days trawling through this thread and it's links and so on. Sure...a lot of statistical "evidence" which can be manipulated to prove whatever you want it to (ask any statistician how fluid "statistics" can be).
Like it or not, when you ride a cycle in this country you have to wear a helmet. Like it or not the last 20 years have seen the vast majority of people accept them for what they are...a safety device. I cannot believe that so many people here can be so passionate about their lifestyle yet be so myopic about what they percieve as an imposition. Who here realy believes that the way to promote cycling is to show up at the local primary school and tell parents that their 7 year old is better off without a helmet? Fair dinkum...that'd go down well aye? Do you reckon those parents would think they are being addressed by a responsible, intelligent representative of the cycle industry? Or by a selfish so and so who's only agenda is personal?
Perception is where it's at.
Edit.....i gotta bow out of this discussion here. While I strongly believe in personal choice (yes you should be able to choose to wear a helmet) I also believe in personal accountability, and standing on your own two feet. That means making your arguments based on you and your situation. Not trying to use statistics and other people's situations to bolster your argument. Who cares about the rest of the country and whether they'd ride or not? What's it to you? Why use me as a number to support your agenda? etc etc etc. Believe it or not...if a person is going to continue riding after they reach 18 and get a license they will. Helmet laws or not Until then they're just another number in somebody else's statistics, being used and abused without their knowledge or consent.
Oh yeah...I had no issue with making my sons wear helmets when riding as young fellas. Same goes with skateboards, roller blades and motorcycles. Call me stupid, but I felt better for it
Last edited by The zob on Tue May 07, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I AM NOT AN ANIMAL!!!!!!! LOL
Ah, but it is a purely a personal opinion, being formed on no basis of scientific or empirical evidence or fact. I don't believe my words mark people who don't ride for helmet reasons as distasteful.
Nope, I smile because of the way MHL's are touted as some sort of bicycling anathema almost across the board. The 17% (article linked earlier, will need to trawl and cross reference) of people say "I'd ride if I didn't have to wear a helmet". When push comes to shove, that may be the 17% of people who say "I'd ride if I had a bike path to work", or "I'd ride if I didn't have to pedal".
I don't, however, believe MHL's are being forced by people who enjoy their helmets so much they can't go without them. They appear to be put forth more by people who are usually involved in the repair and care of persons injured without them. Would you agree with this statement of personal observation (again, based on no empirical evidence)?
If/when the law is repealed: thousands will throw their helmets in the air with joy, allowing them to clatter and explode on the ground. I will still wear my helmet even if not mandatory. Personal choice.
Play the ball.
MY RIDES: My Velospace Profile
Great. And I agree with you. But that wasn't what was being said.
I did too The zob. I found the anti MHL here to be fanatical to the point of irrational. And try to have your own opinion or choice contrary to their own and you're selfish or stupid. Flame suit on.
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