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

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

Postby high_tea » Thu May 09, 2013 11:31 am

human909 wrote:
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?


Because Darwin has tried having MHLs and then relaxing them. The rest of the world hasn't. I also suspect that the legal and cultural environment in Darwin is closer to that in the rest of Australia than, say, Copenhagen.
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by BNA » Thu May 09, 2013 11:43 am

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

Postby human909 » Thu May 09, 2013 11:43 am

high_tea wrote:Because Darwin has tried having MHLs and then relaxing them. The rest of the world hasn't. I also suspect that the legal and cultural environment in Darwin is closer to that in the rest of Australia than, say, Copenhagen.

What does that have to do with REQUIRING helmets to protect our heads?

Are you now suggesting that MHL are not appropriate for the rest of the world but ARE uniquely appropriate to Australia?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wilddemon » Thu May 09, 2013 12:07 pm

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:Because Darwin has tried having MHLs and then relaxing them. The rest of the world hasn't. I also suspect that the legal and cultural environment in Darwin is closer to that in the rest of Australia than, say, Copenhagen.

What does that have to do with REQUIRING helmets to protect our heads?

Are you now suggesting that MHL are not appropriate for the rest of the world but ARE uniquely appropriate to Australia?


Do you really think that this is what high_tea is suggesting? Why ask these ridiculous questions when the answer is obvious. You may think you are painting someone as a fool but you are splashing paint all over yourself.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:13 pm

wilddemon wrote:Do you really think that this is what high_tea is suggesting?

No. I am not sure. That is why I am asking.

I am genuinely not sure if high-tea (or you for that matter) thinks MHLs are appropriate for Australia alone or the cycling world in general.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu May 09, 2013 12:14 pm

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:Because Darwin has tried having MHLs and then relaxing them. The rest of the world hasn't. I also suspect that the legal and cultural environment in Darwin is closer to that in the rest of Australia than, say, Copenhagen.

What does that have to do with REQUIRING helmets to protect our heads?

Are you now suggesting that MHL are not appropriate for the rest of the world but ARE uniquely appropriate to Australia?


Nah. I'm saying that the claims about the effects of MHL repeal are speculative. It's never been tried. It's clearly different to never having MHLs in the first place. The Darwin experience is the nearest thing, and it involves relaxation, not repeal.

I don't know if it's the only example of MHL relaxation, but it's fairly unusual, no? I freely admit I don't know enough about it to have a decided view, but OK, if it works in Darwin, why not elsewhere in Australia? There are some caveats, e.g. the footpath laws and the relatively low population density, but is it an interesting and worthwhile discussion to have? I certainly think so.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Thu May 09, 2013 1:03 pm

Out of interest....has anybody raised the Worksafe etc question? I found no reference t it when I read through, but it's easy to miss in 230 pages :lol:

By Worksafe I mean the workplace authority in your stae (Worksafe is Victoria). If I had employees that commuted to work they'd either wear a helmet or get another job. Not my ideal situaton, but I'll not take responsibility for someone else. Not with Worksafe.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu May 09, 2013 1:15 pm

The zob wrote:Out of interest....has anybody raised the Worksafe etc question? I found no reference t it when I read through, but it's easy to miss in 230 pages :lol:

By Worksafe I mean the workplace authority in your stae (Worksafe is Victoria). If I had employees that commuted to work they'd either wear a helmet or get another job. Not my ideal situaton, but I'll not take responsibility for someone else. Not with Worksafe.


So now you think you can dictate how your employees get to work? You have got to be kidding?

This only show how insane Australian attitudes are to cycling. In Amsterdam 30% of the workforce ride bikes to work and 99.9% without helmets!

The zob wrote:Like I said....I'm pro choice 8) You want to take the chance that the helmet's not gonna help, go nuts.

It seems your pro choice attitude didn't last very long. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu May 09, 2013 2:38 pm

The worksafe angle is a fantastic one that lines up with my comments about helmets for car passengers, buses, peds... these groups are at risk of head injuries because the human head is not good enough to resist vehicular impacts either inside or outside the vehicle. Cyclists are not uniquely exposed to these risks, as any examination of accident statistics will demonstrate. I will let other people draw conclusions about the sense of helmets for peds. I'm OK with your opinions and decisions. What I take offence to is that you believe cyclists should be discriminated against in this thought process. We are all vulnerable. But we are not all free.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Thu May 09, 2013 3:32 pm

Xplora wrote: But we are not all free.

Oh fer petes sake, mate - we're not auditioning for the final scene in Braveheart here. :D

One advantage for repealing MHLs is that you might help save lives of people on organ-donation wait lists.

From the article:
A recent study shows that organ donation among motor vehicle accident victims rose by about one-third after Florida repealed its motorcycle helmet law.
...one organ donor killed in a motorcycle wreck can save the lives of up to eight people with his or her organs.

...Coincidentally, the primary argument for repealing motorbike helmet laws there was "freedom".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Thu May 09, 2013 3:55 pm

human909 wrote:
The zob wrote:Like I said....I'm pro choice 8) You want to take the chance that the helmet's not gonna help, go nuts.

It seems your pro choice attitude didn't last very long. :roll:


Now now, cheap shots are so.....cheap :lol:

So now you think you can dictate how your employees get to work? You have got to be kidding?

This only show how insane Australian attitudes are to cycling. In Amsterdam 30% of the workforce ride bikes to work and 99.9% without helmets!


You're not an employer, are you? :wink:

Lookee here....I stand by what I said re the choice. But there could be legalities involved here. And those legalities could easily cost me my business, my house....everything I and my wife have worked for. IF what I suspect is true. That's why the question :D

As an employer, I'm responsible for providing a safe workplace for the blokes. It's not that simplistic, but most of you would be pretty familiar with how it works. That "workplace responsibilty" can extend further....to include trips too and from work as well. This is why for instance that I won't allow alchohol consumption on my work premises.....if there is an alchohol related incident on the way home, I can be held accountable to a degree. This HAS happened :wink:

Something to ponder.....
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu May 09, 2013 4:20 pm

Zob, fair enough call because employers really are screwed by a very litigious and blameshifting judicial system. But you aren't talking about baseline rights anymore, and it's not a MHL issue afaik.

howzat, you're talking about motorcyclists. Riding at much faster speeds than the pro peleton can manage unless they are rolling down a BIG hill. And yes, freedom is important. You'd notice an enormous increase in Iraqi organ donation after Saddam and the Yanks started arguing over who owned the toys in the sandpit as well...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby MichaelB » Thu May 09, 2013 4:37 pm

Holy Batman ! :shock:

240 pages and people still arguing. :roll:

1st world problems :D
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Thu May 09, 2013 4:49 pm

MichaelB wrote:Holy Batman ! :shock:

240 pages and people still arguing. :roll:

1st world problems :D


Well, it's the world we live in, so it's makes sense that we try and shape it.
Th only reason this thread is so long, is because it's the only place where MHL discussion is allowed.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:00 pm

The zob wrote:Lookee here....I stand by what I said re the choice. But there could be legalities involved here. And those legalities could easily cost me my business, my house....everything I and my wife have worked for. IF what I suspect is true. That's why the question :D

As an employer, I'm responsible for providing a safe workplace for the blokes. It's not that simplistic, but most of you would be pretty familiar with how it works. That "workplace responsibilty" can extend further....to include trips too and from work as well. This is why for instance that I won't allow alchohol consumption on my work premises.....if there is an alchohol related incident on the way home, I can be held accountable to a degree. This HAS happened :wink:


But what does that have to do with dictating to your employees what they wear on the way to work? Should you ban them from riding motorbikes as well. They are far more dangerous than riding a bicycle, helmet or no helmet. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Thu May 09, 2013 5:23 pm

MichaelB wrote:Holy Batman ! :shock:

240 pages and people still arguing. :roll:

1st world problems :D

For a while there I was getting worried that we'd never make it to 300 pages. Now we have it in our sights
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Thu May 09, 2013 5:32 pm

Xplora wrote:Zob, fair enough call because employers really are screwed by a very litigious and blameshifting judicial system. But you aren't talking about baseline rights anymore, and it's not a MHL issue afaik.



Au contraire ....... In this case, it IS mhl. Just that the enforcing body is different. Worksafe has much bigger teeth, too

And it's not a "litigious and blameshifting judicial system". It's Occupational Health and Safety. :wink:

Human you're missing my point in your righteous indignation......if Worksafe was to get hold of this issue, there'd be no point in fighting or even arguing it. Been there, done that. I've been rorted by ex-employees for year(s) at a time, to the point where my Worksafe agent sics Worksafe onto them. I'm not saying I'd refuse to employ non-helmet wearing blokes if there were no mhl's out of hand. I'm saying that if they didn't wear helmets I'd take serious industry-based legal advice on the question. What's wrong with due diligence? And as far as right now...with the law as it stands....is concerned? No helmet, no job. Blame me if you really want to....but truth is it's the law. You're not expecting me to take responsibility for someone else's actions are you?

You know you can get the sack for refusing to wear a long seeved shirt on the job in civil construction nowadays? You really think that MHL's are that far a stretch.....and repealable? :shock:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:50 pm

The zob wrote:Human you're missing my point in your righteous indignation......if Worksafe was to get hold of this issue, there'd be no point in fighting or even arguing it. Been there, done that. I've been rorted by ex-employees for year(s) at a time, to the point where my Worksafe agent sics Worksafe onto them. I'm not saying I'd refuse to employ non-helmet wearing blokes if there were no mhl's out of hand. I'm saying that if they didn't wear helmets I'd take serious industry-based legal advice on the question. What's wrong with due diligence? And as far as right now...with the law as it stands....is concerned? No helmet, no job. Blame me if you really want to....but truth is it's the law. You're not expecting me to take responsibility for someone else's actions are you?


And your ignored my question. Do you ban people from riding motorbikes to work?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wilddemon » Thu May 09, 2013 9:09 pm

human909 wrote:
And your ignored my question. Do you ban people from riding motorbikes to work?


Can you honestly say you don't know the answer to your own question?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Thu May 09, 2013 9:18 pm

human909 wrote:
The zob wrote:Human you're missing my point in your righteous indignation......if Worksafe was to get hold of this issue, there'd be no point in fighting or even arguing it. Been there, done that. I've been rorted by ex-employees for year(s) at a time, to the point where my Worksafe agent sics Worksafe onto them. I'm not saying I'd refuse to employ non-helmet wearing blokes if there were no mhl's out of hand. I'm saying that if they didn't wear helmets I'd take serious industry-based legal advice on the question. What's wrong with due diligence? And as far as right now...with the law as it stands....is concerned? No helmet, no job. Blame me if you really want to....but truth is it's the law. You're not expecting me to take responsibility for someone else's actions are you?


And your ignored my question. Do you ban people from riding motorbikes to work?


I didn't ignore your question. I thought it was rhetorical.

Of course I don't ban people from riding motorcycles; any more than I ban people from riding bicycles :lol:

1. I said

If I had employees that commuted to work they'd either wear a helmet or get another job. Not my ideal situaton, but I'll not take responsibility for someone else


I'd sack them, not ban anybody :wink: Big difference. Basically....I can't make people do what the law says to do, and what's more I'm not paid to nor do I have any interest in doing so. What I can do is protect my business from unnecessary potential Worksafe issues. IF that was the possible consequence of Employee X breaking the law with my knowledge or aquiescence.

2. The danger.....real or percieved in either activity (cycling or moto) is irrelevant. It is merely a question of law and it's interpretation. IF an employee insisted on riding his motorcycle to work, sans helmet, then yes, I'd give him a choice. Job or lifestyle. But realistically that doesn't happen (I actually have 2 employees that ride motorcycles to work, one of whom also alternates that with a bicycle).

There is another question here, as well. Our wok is typically High Risk, and is carried out in work crews of at least 3 men (no...I'm not discriminating :lol: Women welcome to apply). Each person has a well defined position, and each is interchangable with the other. But none are able to be avoided, and each member of that crew relies on the others quite literally to look out for his life. Part of my assessment when considering a new employee is how well they'll fit into the crew and business as a whole. A person who chooses to break the law (MHL scenario) or ride without a helmet (Non MHL scenario) is not going to give me a lot of confidence given our work depends on safety both personal and reciprocal. Again.....we are talking about OH&S here. A subject I take very seriously.

Now, again I have to ask YOU the question

You're not expecting me to take responsibility for someone else's actions are you?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wilddemon » Thu May 09, 2013 9:45 pm

All good points Mr The zob but I think there is no employer liability for journeys to and from work now, at least in NSW.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Thu May 09, 2013 10:12 pm

Sadly, Zob is clearly not speaking from inexperience.
It just shows how much impact a coercive law like the MHL extends.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The zob » Thu May 09, 2013 10:39 pm

Ken Ho wrote:Sadly, Zob is clearly not speaking from inexperience.
It just shows how much impact a coercive law like the MHL extends.


Ken....a large part of me speaks from fear. At least where worksafe is concerned. An excellent, absolutely necessary body that can unfortunately be rorted mercilessly by the less scrupulous and that can destroy a small business faster than a speeding bullet :wink: :lol:

Xplora claimed earlier

it's not a MHL issue afaik


And even though in my eyes it's a extension of MHL's, the issue I outline is more than that. When converted to an OH&S issue all concerns are amplified and there is no such thing as an "opinion". This is the legacy of a modern, "enlightened" society that prides itself on equality and opportunity for all. How many people haven't seen a worksafe type ad on TV extolling the virtue :lol: of coming home alive? When the tide began to turn against them, building unions embraced OH&S as the rock upon which to anchor their legitimacy. Ban Shoppies? No worries...yesterday's Shoppy is todays Safety Rep. Computers came on the scene, in order to make our lives easy? Hello RSI :lol: Worksite safety is a behemoth that stands alone in it's all powerful glory, ready and willing to protect us all, rich or poor, smart or dumb. Preferably poor and dumb :wink: The very idea that Safety can be bargained down or lessened in any way is anathema to today's society. And you think that MHL's can be repealed? :shock: :lol: As I asked earlier...who is going to go into a classroom of 8 year olds and tell them that wearing helmets is selfish and not necessary (both common claims here)? I think that opponants of MHL's would do well to treat the issue as one that requires the Safety questions to be addressed and negated, and not as one of personal distaste, an impost on individual freedoms or other such ideas.

Personally...in this society, with the range of political options we have, I can't see that ever happening.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Thu May 09, 2013 11:17 pm

Zob, as an employer you are not responsible for your employees' safety on their journey to or from work. The only possible exception I could see is the one you mentioned about drinking on your premises and having an accident on the way home, that one they could claim you contributed to, but that is more of a comment on the legal system than anything else.

No-one here has said that wearing a helmet is selfish, what is selfish is forcing others to follow your dictates. And, yes, I would go into a classroom of 8 year olds and tell them how safe cycling is and how I, as an 8 year old on roads with less cars but a road toll about 3-4 times what it is now, safely rode around when I was 8 without a helmet and I see no reason why they should be forced to wear one. The fact of the matter is that I would be howled down if I did this today. But, if I did this 40 years ago (when the roads in Victoria were so dangerous 1,000 people died on the roads each year) I would be seen as a cycling advocate and encouraging fitness, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for our children. But attitudes have changed and MHLs have contributed to this. Cycling is seen as a dangerous way to get around and MHLs are largely responsible for this change in attitude. The effect of MHLs is even more obvious when you consider school children. I ride past two schools and near another on my daily commute and I see no kids riding to school day after day after day.

As far as I'm concerned anyone who supports MHLs is an advocate for reducing the number of people who cycle.

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

Postby human909 » Fri May 10, 2013 12:28 am

The zob wrote:
Of course I don't ban people from riding motorcycles; any more than I ban people from riding bicycles :lol:

1. I said

If I had employees that commuted to work they'd either wear a helmet or get another job. Not my ideal situaton, but I'll not take responsibility for someone else

So why do you consider riding a motorbike to work acceptable but not riding a bicycle without a helmet. Or would you fire people for riding motorbikes? Riding a motorbike is SIGNIFICANTLY more dangerous than riding a bicycle to work without a helmet.

The zob wrote: And you think that MHL's can be repealed? :shock: :lol:

It already has occured partially in Darwin. :idea:

The zob wrote:As I asked earlier...who is going to go into a classroom of 8 year olds and tell them that wearing helmets is selfish

Say What? How the hell do you figure that? Nobody is saying wearing helmets is selfish!

The zob wrote:I think that opponants of MHL's would do well to treat the issue as one that requires the Safety questions to be addressed and negated

The safety questions have been addressed 100s of times. MHLs do no improve safety! Furthermore if comes down to a safety question the real elephant in the room is getting rid of the killing machines, cars! :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Fri May 10, 2013 6:25 am

Ya know, I can argue against MHL's all day, but I think that it is a testament to the bloody-minded ess of human nature how ore all suddenly expects on workplace industrial law, telling Mr Zob he is wrong, when he clearly knows, and needs to know exactly what his rights and obligations are.
Sometimes people, black is actually black, you know.
However, I do see it as part of the larger problem of coercive laws, "gotcha" legal culture and our adversarial legal system.

Another issue is that he needs a certain type of personality to fit his team. No problem there. Sounds like high tension power line work or something
The problem arises whe it is not acknowledged taht a different personality type that does not fit that team, is still valid. For example,, I often work in remote areas where AI am the only doctor, I don't have a team, I have to think on my feet and react quickly to evolving and changing circumstances. sobs team personality type typically sees me as an unreliable maverick, and tries to confine me but I need my style to do what I do.
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