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

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

Postby Ken Ho » Wed May 08, 2013 9:02 pm

Couple points.
The head injuries that I see in my ED come from cars, football, football, football, alcohol and anger.


The bicycle helmet is effectively a dunce cap and MHL's are teh authoritarian teacher that puts it on. The dunce cap labels us as people who are so stupid that we cannot partake in an activity that countless millions of other people around the world do every day, without our "special" protection. Much like the kid from special,school,who needs a helmet to walk down the street.
As a society, we collectively hate the humiliation that brings. That humiliation results in the random anger and rage against cyclists, who are easily identified by the hateful headgear.
People really want to ride their bikes in a spontaneous and carefree manner, like we did when we were kids, but the MHL kills all of that.
All arguments about helmet efficacy are irrelevant. Participation provides the greatest protection. That's is the social experiment that is always shown to be effective. Australia's MHL experiment, is like communism. A nice idea, that has failed utterly, and is only clung to idealists who refuse to acknowledge the bleeding obvious. It bewilders me to hear cyclists arguing so passionately to support a measure that kills participation and marginalizes them into a despised corner.
The obesity epidemic is the public health issue that takes precedence over everything. While we have cigarettes, alcohol and obesity, everyone else is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
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by BNA » Wed May 08, 2013 9:09 pm

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

Postby Ken Ho » Wed May 08, 2013 9:09 pm

Cople of more things to respond to in recent posts.
Th effect on participation is not postulated. When is comes to hard evidence, there is no doubt that MHL'S annihilated the utility cyclist, leaving a remnant core of sports and racing riders, which eventually gave rise to the perception of all cyclists as cyclists, rather than people who happened to use a bike for transport and the loathing of the Lycra bandit.
Yes, that cohort is growing, but where are the bike racks at schools packed with hundreds of bikes and are cyclists actually more despised as time goes by for being part of the Lycra clan ?

I thumb my nose at MHL's by wearing the worst, cheapest POS bobby dodger that I could buy with an AS sticker on it. It's ten years old, the shell has peeled off and it's a few sizes too big. The only thing its good for it keeping magpies off, and its not much chop at that, leaving my ears hanging out in the danger zone. Oh dear, I'm in so much danger, it's a wonder I'm still alive. Maybe I'm a zombie and I don't even know it.
Actually, it's really starting to give me bad scalp eczema and I can feel a medical exemption coming on. I bet if I get one though, I'll be harassed the crap out of by moronic plods with nothing better to do. Gunna be hard to explain how a zombie can get scabby head from a helmet.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Wed May 08, 2013 9:14 pm

Ken Ho wrote:Couple points.
The head injuries that I see in my ED come from cars, football, football, football, alcohol and anger.




Your ED? Are you a doctor/nurse/etc in a hospital emergency department? And you've never seen a cycling related head injury?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby newie » Wed May 08, 2013 9:15 pm

human909 wrote: And there is ZERO evidence to suggest that having MHLs is beneficial to safety.


Ummm, that would be incorrect. Here is the latest of several studies I am aware of that show MHL reduce injury and or fatality rates.

Bicycle Helmet Laws Decrease the Rates of Fatal and Incapacitating Injuries Resulting from Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Collisions in Children

William P. Meehan, Lois K. Lee, Christopher M. Fischer, Rebekah C. Mannix. Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, Boston, MA; Orthopaedics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.

BACKGROUND: Approximately 900 people die in bicycle crashes annually in the United States, ¾ of them from traumatic brain injuries. Many states have mandatory bicycle helmet laws for children. The effects of such laws on the national rates of injury are unknown.
OBJECTIVE: Assess the association between bicycle helmet legislation and bicycle-related deaths/incapacitating injuries.
DESIGN/METHODS: We conducted a cross sectional study of all bicyclists aged 0-16 years included in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) who died or suffered an incapacitating injury between January 1999 and December 2009. The FARS defines an incapacitating injury as one that prevents a person from walking or normally continuing the activities the person was capable of before the injury. Date law enactment was obtained from several sources including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Governor's Highway Safety Administration. We compared rates of deaths/incapacitating injuries per age-specific state populations, between states with helmet laws and those without helmet laws. We used a clustered Poisson multivariate regression model to adjust for factors previously associated with rates of motor vehicle fatalities: elderly driver licensure laws, legal blood alcohol limit (< 0.08% vs. ≥ 0.08%), and household income.
RESULTS: A total of 2,451 bicycle-related fatalities/incapacitating injuries were sustained by children <16 years old. There were no statistical differences in median household income, the proportion of states with elderly licensure laws, or the proportion of states with a blood alcohol limit of > 0.08 between states with helmet laws and those without helmet laws. The mean unadjusted rates of fatalities/incapacitating injuries was 2.0/1,000,000 in states with helmet laws, compared to 2.5/1,000,000 in states without helmet laws (p= 0.03). After adjusting for potential confounding factors, states with mandatory helmet laws continued to be associated with a lower rate of fatalities/incapacitating injuries (adjusted Incidence Rate Ratio 0.81; 95% CI 0.67, 0.98).
CONCLUSIONS: Bicycle helmet safety laws are associated with a lower incidence of fatalities/incapacitating injuries among pediatric bicyclists involved in motor vehicle collisions. Our findings support the legislation of mandatory bicycle helmet use by children.

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

Postby Ken Ho » Wed May 08, 2013 9:39 pm

The zob wrote:
Ken Ho wrote:Couple points.
The head injuries that I see in my ED come from cars, football, football, football, alcohol and anger.




Your ED? Are you a doctor/nurse/etc in a hospital emergency department? And you've never seen a cycling related head injury?


Yes, I'm an ED doctor, though not a FACEM. I see a lot of patients. If I have ever seen a cycle related HI, itwas not many.
Compared to the number of HI issue from occupants of cars, football players, football players, football players, drunk people, people who have been drinking and other drunk or drug affected people, and people who are either angry or bashed by an angry person, the number of cycling injuries I see does not rate a mention.
If you took alcohol, cigarettes and obesity from food alcohol and inactivity out of the ED, I would be on the dole.

Rugby league by far provides the vast majority of activity related injuries I see. The number of concussions, blow-out fractures, broken jaws, busted ribs, dislocated shoulders, broken ribs etc that I see is truly sickening.
If you want to get on a self-rigtheous soap-box and save the world from sports injuries, then rugby league is waiting for you.
Good luck though. Rugby league is worshipped and when the idiots that play smash together in repetitive acts of stupidity, people clap and cheer and kids can't wait to imitate them. I saw a kid on the weekend with his second dose of concussion for the season, who became dazed and stupid during the game without even knowing which tackle did it. The coach is going to be gutted, but I benched him for the season. I bet he plays again within a month.
I can and have been fined for cycling down a footpath in a sleepy western village with no traffic moving, when I was on my way home from swimming laps in the pool, to stay fit. Rugby is worshipped there too.
In the same town, when doing an aeromedical transfer, the rate of morid obesity is so high, that the RFDS co-odinator asks for a measurement across the beam of all patients, because if they are greater than 67cm, they won't fit into the plane. They ask this because so many people in that town are too fat to fly.
Which problem do you think is the greater one ? Honestly ?
Don't you think that we should be removing every barrier to physical activity ? What is the basis for your attachment to MHL's ? I really, really don't understand that. Have you never experienced the freedom of zipping along on a bike in bare feet with the wind blowing through your hair ? You should try is sometime. It's like skinny dipping. A truly liberating experience.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby newie » Wed May 08, 2013 9:50 pm

A few more, while I am on a roll....
All based on children, so valid questions remain around the necessity of MHL for adults.
The question of possible of health impacts around (claimed) reduced cycling rates also remains valid.
But please can we end this assertion that there is no evidence that MHL have a positive effect on safety.

Head injuries to bicyclists and the New Zealand bicycle helmet law
Paul Scuffham , Jonathan Alsop , Colin Cryer , John D. Langley

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of helmet wearing and the New Zealand helmet wearing law on serious head injury for cyclists involved in on-road motor vehicle and non-motor vehicle crashes. The study population consisted of three age groups of cyclists (primary school children (ages 5–12 years), secondary school children (ages 13–18 years), and adults (19years)) admitted to public hospitals between 1988 and 1996. Data were disaggregated by diagnosis and analysed using negativebinomial regression models. Results indicated that there was a positive effect of helmet wearing upon head injury and this effect was relatively consistent across age groups and head injury (diagnosis) types. We conclude that the helmet law has been an effective road safety intervention that has lead to a 19% (90% CI: 14, 23%) reduction in head injury to cyclists over its first 3 years.
Accident Analysis and Prevention 32 (2000) 565–573


Trends in Pediatric and Adult Bicycling Deaths Before and After Passage of a Bicycle Helmet Law
D. Wessen et al
OBJECTIVES. The goals were to examine bicycle-related mortality rates in Ontario, Canada, from 1991 to 2002 among bicyclists 1 to 15 years of age and 16 years of age through adulthood and to determine the effect of legislation (introduced in October 1995 for bicyclists <18 years of age) on mortality rates.
METHODS. The average numbers of deaths per year and mortality rates per 100000 person-years for the prelegislation and postlegislation periods, and the percentage changes, were calculated for each of the 2 age groups (1–15 years and ≥16 years). Differences before and after legislation in the 2 age groups were modeled in a time series analysis.
RESULTS. There were 362 bicycle-related deaths in the 12-year period (1–15 years: 107 deaths; ≥16 years: 255 deaths). For bicyclists 1 to 15 years of age, the average number of deaths per year decreased 52%, the mortality rate per 100000 person-years decreased 55%, and the time series analysis demonstrated a significant reduction in deaths after legislation. The estimated change in the number of deaths per month was −0.59 deaths per month. For bicyclists ≥16 years of age, there were only slight changes in the average number of deaths per year and the mortality rate per 100000 person-years, and the time series analysis demonstrated no significant change in deaths after legislation.
CONCLUSIONS. The bicycle-related mortality rate in children 1 to 15 years of age has decreased significantly, which may be attributable in part to helmet legislation. A similar reduction for bicyclists 16 years of age through adulthood was not identified. These findings support promotion of helmet use, enforcement of the existing law, and extension of the law to adult bicyclists.
Pediatrics Vol. 122 No. 3 September 1, 2008 pp. 605 -610

Impact of Mandatory Helmet Legislation on Bicycle-Related Head Injuries in Children: A Population-Based Study
A. Macpherson et al
Objective. Childhood bicycle-related head injuries can be prevented through the use of helmets. Although helmet legislation has proved to be a successful strategy for the adoption of helmets, its effect on the rates of head injury is uncertain. In Canada, 4 provinces have such legislation. The objective of this study was to measure the impact of helmet legislation on bicycle-related head injuries in Canadian children.
Methods. Routinely collected data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information identified all Canadian children (5–19 years) who were hospitalized for bicycling-related injuries from 1994–1998. Children were categorized as head or other injury on the basis of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes. Rates of head injuries and other injuries were compared over time in provinces that adopted legislation and those that did not.
Results. Of the 9650 children who were hospitalized because of a bicycle-related injury, 3426 sustained injuries to the head and face and the remaining 6224 had other injuries. The bicycle-related head injury rate declined significantly (45% reduction) in provinces where legislation had been adopted compared with provinces and territories that did not adopt legislation (27% reduction).
Conclusion. This country-wide study compared rates of head injury in regions with and without mandatory helmet legislation. Comparing head injuries with other non-head-injured children controlled for potential differences in children’s cycling habits. The strong protective association between helmet legislation and head injuries supports the adoption of helmet legislation as an effective tool in the prevention of childhood bicycle-related head injuries.
Pediatrics Vol. 110 No. 5 November 1, 2002 pp. e60
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Wed May 08, 2013 9:55 pm

I'm sorry, but did you realise that you posted a study that show a 0.5/1000 000 reduction in HI in children ?
Is that even statistically valid ? Studies often go wrong at the conclusion Steve. What that study really shows, is that at 2.5:1000 000, head injuries in children from cycling are rare.
Rd ad the rebuttals on http://www.helmetfreedom.org . Te numbers are bent.
I note you decline to engage in my debate the detrimental effects of MHL on participation.
Last edited by Ken Ho on Wed May 08, 2013 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed May 08, 2013 9:56 pm

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:Well, let me pose this question: assume that MHLs aren't working. One solution is to repeal them. Another is to consider ways of improving them. For example, is compliance a problem? That study that everyone's in such a huff about reported non-trivial numbers of un-helmeted cyclists, so it's at least plausible on its face.

WT??

Since when was compliance a problem? No the problem is that the solution is not applicable to the problem.

Furthermore it is a draconian law that impinges on basic freedoms without any justifiable reason.


I don't know whether compliance is a problem. That's kind of why I was asking the question. But that was just an example. The real question was whether MHLs can be made more effective.

As for your claim that it infringes on basic freedoms: which ones? I suppose it could, but I'm having a hard time thinking of any.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Wed May 08, 2013 10:01 pm

Ken Ho wrote:Yes, I'm an ED doctor, though not a FACEM.


Hey...thanks for the answer :D

If you want to get on a self-rigtheous soap-box and save the world from sports injuries, then rugby league is waiting for you


No argument here. Half of my employees play club league, and I can hardly wait for the season to end :lol:

Don't you think that we should be removing every barrier to physical activity ?


Yes.

What is the basis for your attachment to MHL's ?


Not so much mhl's, but I'll always wear one because my older brother died in an ED due to head injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. No vehicular involvement, sub 20km/h speed. Just outta luck. No helmet

Have you never experienced the freedom of zipping along on a bike in bare feet with the wind blowing through your hair ?


I have (old) photos of me riding my motorcycle across the Harbour Bridge sans helmet. So yes :wink: :lol:


As stated earlier...time and again. I don't care if people don't wear helmets. Go nuts :lol: Just don't be expecting everyone to support it, and don't blame me for you having to do it. It was always my choice, way before mhl's :D

Edit....my reply to the mhl question. sorry :oops:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed May 08, 2013 10:07 pm

newie wrote:
human909 wrote: And there is ZERO evidence to suggest that having MHLs is beneficial to safety.


Ummm, that would be incorrect. Here is the latest of several studies I am aware of that show MHL reduce injury and or fatality rates.

Bicycle Helmet Laws Decrease the Rates of Fatal and Incapacitating Injuries Resulting from Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Collisions in Children


In what universe are children who are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle considered safe because they are wearing a helmet?
Don't confuse injury reduction with safety.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby newie » Wed May 08, 2013 10:10 pm

Ken Ho wrote:I'm sorry, but did you realise that you posted a study that show a 0.5/1000 000 reduction in HI in children ?
Is that even statistically valid ?
Rd ad the rebuttals on http://www.helmetfreedom.org . Te numbers are bent.
I note you decline to engage in my debate the detrimental effects of MHL on participation.


Given that the NSW Govt level of unacceptable risk of fatality is 1/1000000 the order of number is the right ballpark to be considered significant.
And helmetfreedom are a really useful source of unbiased information.... not.

And yes I don't debate participation rates as an important factor to consider and I have said so before. It is the key reason why I repeatedly state that I am not necessarily a MHL supporter.
I am just yet to see any convincing evidence to support that this factor exists. I need to see a (peer-reviewed) published study where the data has not been subsequently seriously questioned in the follow-up literature.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby newie » Wed May 08, 2013 10:12 pm

[/quote]Don't confuse injury reduction with safety.[/quote]
????
I think that statement ends my participation in this thread for the forseeable future.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Wed May 08, 2013 10:14 pm

I'm sorry about the death of your brother. I had a similar grief, though different cause, with my young son.
However, without knowing the exact nature of his injury, it is not possible to comment on wheterh a helmet would actually have made a difference. Helmets do not protect against decelleration injury, which causes, for example, sub-dural haemtoma.
I also don't find that citing incidents where riders crash in clear uncomplicated conditions to be useful in the debate, as that clearly reflects on the specific conditions that caused that incident, rather than on riding conditions in general.
I don't really believe in "accidents". The aviation industry, for example, does not either. "Accidents" are always physics at work, and are repeatable if you replicate the conditions, or avoidable if you do not. The aviation industry always finds either mechanical error or human error to be the cause of incidents.
I would prefer to see efforts to reduce cycling injuries focus on improving rider skills and on a general movement toward every road user thinking about protecting more vulnerable road users than themselves.
I also chose to wear a bike helmet before MHL's were introduced, in situations that I felt warranted it.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed May 08, 2013 10:21 pm

high_tea wrote:
human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:Well, let me pose this question: assume that MHLs aren't working. One solution is to repeal them. Another is to consider ways of improving them. For example, is compliance a problem? That study that everyone's in such a huff about reported non-trivial numbers of un-helmeted cyclists, so it's at least plausible on its face.

WT??

Since when was compliance a problem? No the problem is that the solution is not applicable to the problem.

Furthermore it is a draconian law that impinges on basic freedoms without any justifiable reason.


I don't know whether compliance is a problem. That's kind of why I was asking the question. But that was just an example. The real question was whether MHLs can be made more effective.

If you mean in terms of reducing road trauma - YOU BETCHA!
1/ Make cyclists wear motorbike helmets. You would see an even greater reduction in head injuries among cyclists
2/ Apply MHLs to all motor vehicle occupants. This would make a bigger dent in road trauma than a measly number of cyclists. http://www.monash.edu.au/miri/research/ ... tsb160.pdf
3/ Apply MHLs to pedestrians.
4/ Introduce random helmet checking to ensure AS compliance, correct fitting etc... with an increase in penalties for non compliance
Should we start a petition?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed May 08, 2013 10:32 pm

newie wrote:
Don't confuse injury reduction with safety.[/quote]
????
I think that statement ends my participation in this thread for the forseeable future.[/quote]
Why?
Whilst a helmet can reduce the severity of head injury in a collision it does nothing to prevent the collision.
Speaking for myself, I equate my safety to the risk of a collision as I would rather not have the collision in the first place.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed May 08, 2013 10:40 pm

KenGS wrote:
high_tea wrote:I don't know whether compliance is a problem. That's kind of why I was asking the question. But that was just an example. The real question was whether MHLs can be made more effective.

If you mean in terms of reducing road trauma - YOU BETCHA!
1/ Make cyclists wear motorbike helmets. You would see an even greater reduction in head injuries among cyclists
2/ Apply MHLs to all motor vehicle occupants. This would make a bigger dent in road trauma than a measly number of cyclists. http://www.monash.edu.au/miri/research/ ... tsb160.pdf
3/ Apply MHLs to pedestrians.
4/ Introduce random helmet checking to ensure AS compliance, correct fitting etc... with an increase in penalties for non compliance
Should we start a petition?


Sure, petition away. I don't much mind the idea of better helmets(which is really what (1) is about). Helmets in cars, fine. It'll piss the RAC(whatever) off, so it can't be all bad, can it? I don't much care for (3); it is an actual infringement on an actual basic freedom and that doesn't sit well with me. (4), sure, I guess it could work.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Wed May 08, 2013 10:59 pm

The zob wrote:Yes. I believe that cycling in some situations for some people is dangerous.


Fine, I agree, so let these people make the choice as to when is appropriate for wearing a helmet. I commute on my bike and would not wear a helmet commuting. If I was bunch riding in a large group I would wear one. Unfortunately I do not have these choices.

The zob wrote:And anything that can be done to mitigate that risk is good. I'm not going to shove that opinion down anyone's throat (hey....any OH&S reps here? Safety comittee members? Maybe they can give us their opinion on whether or not wearing helmets on cycles would be mandatory if cycling was a workplace activity? Like a Grand tour for example :wink: :lol: ).....but I will take that attitude in my own house, with my own children. And I'd expect others to raise their children as they see fit. But don't be telling me that I'm doing something wrong, because it's none of your business :wink:


You may not be shoving your opinion down anyone's throat but the pro MHL lobby is. They are shoving their opinion on to my head because they have managed to have it legally mandated that I must wear a helmet on a bicycle. My opinion does not matter, only the pro MHL lobby's opinion matters because their opinion is now the law and I will get fined if I don't act in accordance with their opinion because their opinion is now law.

The zob wrote:
Would you want your kids undertaking an activity which is so dangerous they are legally required to wear a helmet?


As I've said already....yes. Why not? Just because you have to wear a helmet doesn't mean you're gonna die. :lol: Sheesh....bit dramatic this attitude innit? "oooo....you have to wear a helmet!!!!! This is soooooooo dangerous..." :lol: C'mon man.....give it up. That sort of argument lets you down :wink:


This is the very point, are you just missing it on purpose or do you really not see this? I have had arguments with countless people about this. They are of the opinion that cycling is too dangerous and don't cycle and don't want their kids to cycle. Why do they think it is so dangerous? Because the mandating of wearing helmets tells them it must be very dangerous. Only very dangerous activities require laws to ensure people wear head protection, cycling has laws requiring head protection therefore it must be very dangerous. Bit dramatic? I agree, but it is the MHLs which lead to this attitude.

Ken Ho, your posts are a breath of fresh air (fresh hair through my limited follicles maybe). The very problem with MHLs is that the risk factor on bikes is very low. One of the problems with bicycle injury and death stats is that they are derived from such low numbers. It's hard to see a trend in cycling fatality rates when we start from such low numbers as random variability swamps trends.

Meanwhile none of the MHL advocates can give me a decent answer as to why car occupants, who suffer over 50% of head injuries in Australia, are not forced to wear a helmet. Surely if we do then they should too?

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

Postby Ken Ho » Thu May 09, 2013 12:14 am

high_tea wrote: (3); it is an actual infringement on an actual basic freedom and that doesn't sit well .


OK, now I'm really confused. Making peds wear a helmet is an infringement of basic rights, but making cyclists wear them is not somehow ?
I think, that despite your alleged non-partisan position, that you have just made a strong statement against MHL's.

Is it worth me adding that over the last three years, I have locummed in about 19 locations in Queensland, from Ipswich to Mornington Island, including most of the big provincial cities and numerous towns through Central Qld and the Central West and everywhere I go, it's alcohol and football that cause head injuries, not bicycles. Oh, and old people slipping over in their own homes. We need to mandate helmets for everyone over 70 to be worn at alll times. I predict an easy win for the study that looks at the efficacy of that MHL.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Thu May 09, 2013 12:52 am

Ken Ho wrote:I'm sorry about the death of your brother. I had a similar grief, though different cause, with my young son.
However, without knowing the exact nature of his injury, it is not possible to comment on wheterh a helmet would actually have made a difference.


No sweat...it happens, and you're quite correct re the helmet. I'm pretty sure I didn't present it as being of any consequence. Still feel better about wearing one, and having my children wear one :D

This is the very point, are you just missing it on purpose or do you really not see this? I have had arguments with countless people about this. They are of the opinion that cycling is too dangerous and don't cycle and don't want their kids to cycle. Why do they think it is so dangerous? Because the mandating of wearing helmets tells them it must be very dangerous.


I'm not missing the point. Those people believe that because you have to wear a helmet then it's just too dangerous. Fair dinkum....they really based a decision on the mandatory wearing of helmets? And nothing else? Are you sure? Because if you are, then those people you have had arguments with are pretty stupid aye? :lol: Really...to make such a statement makes them look like dead set idiots :lol: . Word of advice....I wouldn't be associating with anybody that bases those sorts of decisions on that sort of evidence :wink:

"I'm not letting my kids ride a bike cos it's too dangerous"

"How do you know?"

"They have to wear a helmet. Only dangerous things need helmets"

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Don't talk to people like that. Don't associate with them, and hope that they don't breed, because they're the sort to perpetuate and expand the nanny state :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby citywomble » Thu May 09, 2013 1:50 am

Why is it high_tea that I often find myself wanting to address what you say.

I agree with Ken when he pointed out that if you think MHLs for pedestrians is an infringement of civil liberties then so it is for cyclists too - and it's hard to see why you wouldn't too.

Earlier you said:
And helmet-wearing has become normalised, at least to some extent. How much of the postulated effect on participation has gone away because of this and other factors, I wonder?


I suggest very little. I would agree that helmet wearing has become normalised by current cyclists - because it has been mandated, but only with the few who have come to accept it as a precondition of riding and have become so used to it they cannot envisage riding without. i didn't want to bring Lycra into it but helmets and Lycra tend to become a badge of office for a true cyclist.

Cyclists who do not wear Lycra are far more likely to not wear a helmet. in WA You see a significant number of who POBSOs that are not helmet wearers. Take away the MHLs and I suspect you would see many more POBSOs, who are not currently cycling and that we need to get cycling if we are to increase participation and hence safety in numbers.

An interesting thought, those POBSOs that don't wear helmets are the law breakers and therefore risk takers, so you would expect to see them in more accidents as a result. So, studies in MHL jurisdictions are very likely to see a higher risk profile for not helmet wearers. Take away the MHLs and you will get many more law abiding people taking to bikes and, consequently, many more risk averse cyclists who are far less likely to have accidents. What a surprise, now the results would not show as much (if any) difference with not wearing a helmet. Darwinian evolution?

Picking up on that theme, bY way of evidence I would draw your attention to the Darwin factor which has triggered an evolution into a cycling city. Here we have a jurisdiction that has already (done the unthinkable) removed The MHL for cycling on footpaths, shared paths and designated areas. What has happened:

More head injuries? NO
More cyclists? YES.
Mode-share for cycling is head and shoulders above anywhere else in Australia at about 6%! Furthermore because the majority are POBSOs they are not cycling faster than the 20 kph speed limit on all footpaths and shared paths so there are not the issues with bikes riding on paths. Go fast, go road and then wear a helmet.
And this is in a place where the city is probably the least conducive to cycling. So, what are your answers to that?

We can debate for ever on will it, won't it? We can hide behind no jurisdiction will ever be brave enough to remove MHLs.
But we don't need to. They did in Darwin and, did the roof fall in? No.

They didn't take away MHLs entirely, but they did for certain areas and it worked. We have the evidence so lets take this forward and state by state/territory reduce or eliminate MHLS.

Back to your quote above, helmet wearing is far from 'normalised' for the vast majority who (in part because of helmets) see cycling as a freak show for fanatics. Before you blow off at me this is not my view but very self evidently the view of many who react to cyclists in a way we see all to often in the forum topics, their driving and in response to cycling articles etc. In fact helmets become the means by which the cyclist is perceived to be different and not normal and yet another reason why many see cycling as NOT normal.

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

Postby VRE » Thu May 09, 2013 7:10 am

Well said, citywomble, and I agree with everything you said :) . I also lament the fact that our successive governments steadfastly refuse to consider the overwhelming evidence from all those other countries without MHLs that the absence of MHLs (a) promotes cycling and (b) doesn't cause catastrophes :roll: . Even when all our bike share schemes are financially unviable and are continually being subsidised by our state governments just to stay operating, our state governments refuse to see reason. It's a farce.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu May 09, 2013 9:52 am

Ken Ho wrote:
high_tea wrote: (3); it is an actual infringement on an actual basic freedom and that doesn't sit well .


OK, now I'm really confused. Making peds wear a helmet is an infringement of basic rights, but making cyclists wear them is not somehow ?
I think, that despite your alleged non-partisan position, that you have just made a strong statement against MHL's.


To my way of thinking, making peds wear helmets is a far bigger deal, because:

1. Walking around is a fundamental expression of a basic human right, about as fundamental as it gets.
2. Any added barrier to something so fundamental is a bad thing and need very careful justification. The threshold is much, much higher for laws about walking than laws about cycling.
3. Compare cycling and walking. Walking needs no special equipment (I guess clothing, but that's enforced by social mores than de jure laws). Cycling, by contrast needs special equipment, ie a bicycle by definition. One more piece of special equipment - a helmet - is less of an imposition than going from no special equipment to some special equipment.

For these reasons, I'm much less accepting of laws relating to pedestrians than laws relating to cyclists. I think pedestrian conduct is over-regulated as it is. Pedestrian helmet laws are going to need extraordinary justification to get me to accept them. I haven't seen anyone seriously try in this thread. It's just thrown in as another stalking-horse for cyclist MHL repeal.

Is it worth me adding that over the last three years, I have locummed in about 19 locations in Queensland, from Ipswich to Mornington Island, including most of the big provincial cities and numerous towns through Central Qld and the Central West and everywhere I go, it's alcohol and football that cause head injuries, not bicycles. Oh, and old people slipping over in their own homes. We need to mandate helmets for everyone over 70 to be worn at alll times. I predict an easy win for the study that looks at the efficacy of that MHL.


Agreed, there are bigger problems. That argues for legislating against the said bigger problems (or doing something about them, anyway), not repealing MHLs.

I hope I've made it clear I'm opposed to laws about pedestrians wearing helmets in public absent some extraordinary justification. My views on similar laws relating to private conduct are left as an exercise.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu May 09, 2013 10:07 am

citywomble wrote:Why is it high_tea that I often find myself wanting to address what you say.

I agree with Ken when he pointed out that if you think MHLs for pedestrians is an infringement of civil liberties then so it is for cyclists too - and it's hard to see why you wouldn't too.

Earlier you said:
And helmet-wearing has become normalised, at least to some extent. How much of the postulated effect on participation has gone away because of this and other factors, I wonder?


I suggest very little. I would agree that helmet wearing has become normalised by current cyclists - because it has been mandated, but only with the few who have come to accept it as a precondition of riding and have become so used to it they cannot envisage riding without. i didn't want to bring Lycra into it but helmets and Lycra tend to become a badge of office for a true cyclist.

Cyclists who do not wear Lycra are far more likely to not wear a helmet. in WA You see a significant number of who POBSOs that are not helmet wearers. Take away the MHLs and I suspect you would see many more POBSOs, who are not currently cycling and that we need to get cycling if we are to increase participation and hence safety in numbers.

An interesting thought, those POBSOs that don't wear helmets are the law breakers and therefore risk takers, so you would expect to see them in more accidents as a result. So, studies in MHL jurisdictions are very likely to see a higher risk profile for not helmet wearers. Take away the MHLs and you will get many more law abiding people taking to bikes and, consequently, many more risk averse cyclists who are far less likely to have accidents. What a surprise, now the results would not show as much (if any) difference with not wearing a helmet. Darwinian evolution?



Goodness me, it sounds like significant levels of non-compliance. Among people more likely to crash, you say? Seems like there could be room to improve helmet uptake in this group. Maybe it would help, considering that helmet efficacy is well settled.


Picking up on that theme, bY way of evidence I would draw your attention to the Darwin factor which has triggered an evolution into a cycling city. Here we have a jurisdiction that has already (done the unthinkable) removed The MHL for cycling on footpaths, shared paths and designated areas. What has happened:

More head injuries? NO
More cyclists? YES.
Mode-share for cycling is head and shoulders above anywhere else in Australia at about 6%! Furthermore because the majority are POBSOs they are not cycling faster than the 20 kph speed limit on all footpaths and shared paths so there are not the issues with bikes riding on paths. Go fast, go road and then wear a helmet.
And this is in a place where the city is probably the least conducive to cycling. So, what are your answers to that?

We can debate for ever on will it, won't it? We can hide behind no jurisdiction will ever be brave enough to remove MHLs.
But we don't need to. They did in Darwin and, did the roof fall in? No.

They didn't take away MHLs entirely, but they did for certain areas and it worked. We have the evidence so lets take this forward and state by state/territory reduce or eliminate MHLS.


I have to admit that the data I've seen on the Darwin experience is a little patchy, but okay, I'll accept that it supports your conclusions for the sake of argument. If you want to argue that the Darwin experience suggests that some exceptions to the general rule is a good thing, fair enough. It has some interesting corollaries (like you'd need to legalise riding on the footpath for it to make much sense. Fine with me, but that's not currently the case in all jurisdictions). I have my own pet exemption: kids in trailers. Making kids in trailers wear helmets is several kinds of stupid. But both of those points are about improving MHLs, not repealing them.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu May 09, 2013 10:21 am

high_tea wrote:I have to admit that the data I've seen on the Darwin experience is a little patchy, but okay, I'll accept that it supports your conclusions for the sake of argument. If you want to argue that the Darwin experience suggests that some exceptions to the general rule is a good thing, fair enough. It has some interesting corollaries (like you'd need to legalise riding on the footpath for it to make much sense. Fine with me, but that's not currently the case in all jurisdictions). I have my own pet exemption: kids in trailers. Making kids in trailers wear helmets is several kinds of stupid. But both of those points are about improving MHLs, not repealing them.


Why is it you accept that Darwin provides experience but not the rest of the world?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby g-boaf » Thu May 09, 2013 11:28 am

You have to wear a helmet - even if your name is Sir Richard and you are extremely wealthy:

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/ ... 6637900805

He'd be a great advocate for cycling in Australia. Generally likeable - very well known and with plenty of influence. And likely to not be influenced by the usual special interest groups.
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