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 Jun 13, 2013 5:41 pm

To me, the article seemed to mostly be about motorcycle helmet standards, and about how designing meaningful experiments is harder than it looks. All good stuff! I didn't see anything that would challenge the contention that a bicycle helmet is better than nothing, nor that helmet efficacy is well-settled.

Another interesting point was the magazine that went and tested and compared helmets cf a simple pass/fail wrt the standard. It's highly likely that some bike helmets are better than others, but how'd you ever know?
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by BNA » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:20 pm

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

Postby Xplora » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:20 pm

The interest I had in the article revolved around the fact that the standards are not necessarily suitable for purpose, and don't support the argument that they deserve legislative weight. Honestly, I don't know if I'd come up with anything better if I was Standards Australia, but the beef with MHL is at a legal level - because of the social/health/psychological impacts of the law.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:04 pm

high_tea wrote:To me, the article seemed to mostly be about motorcycle helmet standards, and about how designing meaningful experiments is harder than it looks. All good stuff! I didn't see anything that would challenge the contention that a bicycle helmet is better than nothing, nor that helmet efficacy is well-settled.

Another interesting point was the magazine that went and tested and compared helmets cf a simple pass/fail wrt the standard. It's highly likely that some bike helmets are better than others, but how'd you ever know?


Nor did I. But I simply posted it in the other head because it actually had sensible and analytical discussion regarding rigid vs less rigid helmet design.

There is alot of room for discussion. Furthermore once you explore the issues you quickly come to the conclusion that bike helmets are not an optimal helmet for high speed road riding. However an optimal helmet would be far to heavy to for road cyclists to tolerate. Overall it should be clear to most that a helmet is still not very good protection against head impacts. Its no magic bullet. Helmets do improve the safety of an individual but sometimes people give bicycle helmets more credit than they deserve. :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby jcjordan » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:10 pm

human909 wrote:
jcjordan wrote:Governments have put limitations on choice for the good of social welfare since the beginning of time, as is there central purpose. MHLs are no different to speed limits, DUI laws, littering, etc in their general purpose.

As with all these laws the belief is that the restrictions place on society are overall beneficial. Where the majority of members disagree, such as with prohibition, they can rise up and work towards changing them.

No disputes there. Except all those things you mention are individual actions that significantly and regularly hurt others in society. Me not wearing a helmet doesn't.

jcjordan wrote:In this case I have seen no evidence which shows a overall benefit to improved cycling numbers which would warrant the removal of the laws when compared to protection aspects.

So remind me again what public benefit have MHLs had?


high_tea wrote:I dunno, but from my personal experience, that attitude predates MHLs. Have they reinforced that attitude? It's plausible, but I can't see how you'd ever get a definitive answer.

In my personal experience as a child pre-MHLs was one of riding around the neighbourhood on my bicycle. All the neighbourhood children did this. We set up jumps and race down hills and launched ourselves off them. We rode everywhere and anywhere in the neighbourhood. Helmets were rarely see. Scraped knees and elbows we occasionally had but no bid dramas or head injuries. (Probably 50% of my riding was on roads, 50% on footpaths, carparks, backalleys, etc.) Around the start of my teens I lived in Holland, again only 50% of the riding here was on roads without a helmet.


I find it sad that we tell our children that the roads are too dangerous. :(

MHL just like seatbelts, speed limits have evidence behind them that shows are injury reduction and therefore a overall benefit to society.

Yes I can also remember as a kid being able to ride on the streets. But this is a misguided desire for our modern world. The fact is that over the last 15 years car numbers have nearly tripled. The fact is with that many vehicles are street are busier and less safe for children
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:41 am

jcjordan wrote:Yes I can also remember as a kid being able to ride on the streets. But this is a misguided desire for our modern world.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Are you kidding me!?

How is it so misguided to have our streets safe for kids?


jcjordan wrote:The fact is with that many vehicles are street are busier and less safe for children

Which book of facts are you getting this rubbish from?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:36 pm

[quote="jcjordan"]MHL just like seatbelts, speed limits have evidence behind them that shows are injury reduction and therefore a overall benefit to society. /quote]

Really? Find some that isn't provided or funded by vested interests or axe grinders like that Brit lady that got thrown in here for no other reason than pot stirring.

I'm pretty sure that there's been studies published stating that at a societal level, Australians ARE the fattest people on Earth. One of the best ways to reduce or stop this at a personal level is to increase the amount of incidental exercise, one possible way would be by riding the 800m to the shops instead of driving.
Of course this is an impossible dream because the roads are so dangerously congested by all the people who believe that they can't use active transport because the roads are so dangerously crowded.

Dozens or hundreds of deaths a year from our sedentary lifestyle versus maybe a few dead cyclists from head injuries...

Tree, meet Forest.
...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 Ken Ho » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:55 pm

There is a great Yehuda Moon strip illustrating that.
All the Moms who drive heir kids o school are creating the xact hazard they want to protect them from.
You have officially become your parents.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:05 pm

jcjordan wrote:MHL just like seatbelts, speed limits have evidence behind them that shows are injury reduction and therefore a overall benefit to society.


Really? Care to provide some evidence that MHLs reduce injuries or are you content to leave it as just an assertion?

jcjordan wrote:Yes I can also remember as a kid being able to ride on the streets. But this is a misguided desire for our modern world. The fact is that over the last 15 years car numbers have nearly tripled. The fact is with that many vehicles are street are busier and less safe for children


Aah yes, the good old days. When people drove home from the pub drunk. When most cars had drum brakes, ponderous steering and rubbish suspension. When speeding was something to brag about. When the road toll in Victoria was well over 1,000 per annum.

Are they the days of safe roads you are referring to?

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

Postby jcjordan » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:23 pm

human909 wrote:
jcjordan wrote:Yes I can also remember as a kid being able to ride on the streets. But this is a misguided desire for our modern world.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Are you kidding me!?

How is it so misguided to have our streets safe for kids?


jcjordan wrote:The fact is with that many vehicles are street are busier and less safe for children

Which book of facts are you getting this rubbish from?


As shown by the Australian Bureau of Statistics

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/9309.0

From 2007 to 2012 we have had a 13.3% increase in the number of cars on the road

In 2010 we were ranked 8th in the world with 695 vehicles (not including motorbikes) per 1000 people

Streets these days are simply busier.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby jcjordan » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:26 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
jcjordan wrote:MHL just like seatbelts, speed limits have evidence behind them that shows are injury reduction and therefore a overall benefit to society. /quote]

Really? Find some that isn't provided or funded by vested interests or axe grinders like that Brit lady that got thrown in here for no other reason than pot stirring.

I'm pretty sure that there's been studies published stating that at a societal level, Australians ARE the fattest people on Earth. One of the best ways to reduce or stop this at a personal level is to increase the amount of incidental exercise, one possible way would be by riding the 800m to the shops instead of driving.
Of course this is an impossible dream because the roads are so dangerously congested by all the people who believe that they can't use active transport because the roads are so dangerously crowded.

Dozens or hundreds of deaths a year from our sedentary lifestyle versus maybe a few dead cyclists from head injuries...

Tree, meet Forest.


when you look at the reasons that we put up in the CPF study (would they not be one of your vetted interest groups, oh sorry there on our side so its ok) MHL only accounted for around 13% of responded as a reason to not ride. If we want to get people exercisisng we need to get past the impression that people have busy lives and don't have the time to pop round to the shops on a bike.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby jcjordan » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:27 pm

Ken Ho wrote:There is a great Yehuda Moon strip illustrating that.
All the Moms who drive heir kids o school are creating the xact hazard they want to protect them from.


That I can agree with, you should see how the School Zones are treated around where I live.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:32 pm

Not interested in what the CPF has to say.
What I'm interested in is YOU providing reasonably valid evidence to back up your claim.

We may be too busy to ride 800m to the shops but not too busy to drive 3km to the shopping centre and circulate for 10" looking for a spot near the door or indeed 5kms to the health club/gym/personal trainer.

Now where's my Alannis Moustache?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:45 pm

The biggest problem here is that MHL is NOT the answer to the problems you are talking about, jc. An increase in cars means greater responsibility on the people that choose to drive. They are making it slower and more anxious to drive, not cycling. 2-3% of the traffic - and arguably a good chunk on segregated paths. I know about a third of my 42km daily commute is on paths well away from cars. If the roads are busier, then drivers have to take more care, because pedestrians don't have seatbelts to protect them. A crumple zone is definitely not preferable PPE :shock: Reducing car traffic and increasing driver responsibility is the only answer to the increase in cars. Bikes are not the problem; people aren't dying en masse from head injuries on public roads because they didn't wear bicycle helmets; it's collisions with careless cars.

All the tests I"ve seen have "I don't like helmets" sitting around 1 in 6, but stretching to 1 in 8 is fine. It's certainly a side issue, but it has direct impacts on cycling that are unacceptable, mainly that it denormalises cycling. Busy roads absorb most of the extra cars; not backstreets where cycling takes a far smaller penalty since the average speed isn't affected as much. But ultimately, you have to pull your finger out - I'm a lazy bastard looking for an excuse is the biggest unwritten reason that stops people from riding. Can you imagine people believing they needed special walking shoes just to walk to the shops? That has no tangible impact on the ability to walk? That's a helmet in a nutshell. You have a special hat that is going to achieve nothing for 9999 of 10000 journeys. My knicks have created more comfort and wellbeing than my Oracle helmet that was destroyed in my prang last year.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:27 pm

Xplora wrote:All the tests I"ve seen have "I don't like helmets" sitting around 1 in 6, but stretching to 1 in 8 is fine. It's certainly a side issue, but it has direct impacts on cycling that are unacceptable, mainly that it denormalises cycling. Busy roads absorb most of the extra cars; not backstreets where cycling takes a far smaller penalty since the average speed isn't affected as much. But ultimately, you have to pull your finger out - I'm a lazy bastard looking for an excuse is the biggest unwritten reason that stops people from riding. Can you imagine people believing they needed special walking shoes just to walk to the shops? That has no tangible impact on the ability to walk?


As a matter of fact, I can. People believe this very thing. Walking around with bare feet is regarded as eccentric, if not downright socially unacceptable. I can't remember all the lame-brained claptrap I've heard justifying this ridiculous stance over the years, but risk has come up. But thongs are okay, despite the fact that I can't think of any risk severe enough to get my attention and minor enough that thongs will provide meaningful protection. Let me point out that this completely illogical attitude to risk persists in the absence of any de jure requirement to wear shoes.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Baldy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:56 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Really? Find some that isn't provided or funded by vested interests or axe grinders like that Brit lady that got thrown in here for no other reason than pot stirring.


You do know how easy it is to send an email right? Things are going well thanks for asking, I've had responses from the main ones I was after. What they do now is up to them.

Maybe you should spend less time rolling your eyes at legitimate posts and more time worrying about members making snide and irrelevant remarks about a womans weight.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:15 am

high_tea wrote:I've heard justifying this ridiculous stance over the years.


Sorry but please remind me again what this 'ridiculous stance' is? Or were simply you referring the stance that helmets should not be mandatory while riding a bicycle?

I find it odd that you see this as ridiculous when it is actually entirely normal in the rest of the world. :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:05 am

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:I've heard justifying this ridiculous stance over the years.


Sorry but please remind me again what this 'ridiculous stance' is? Or were simply you referring the stance that helmets should not be mandatory while riding a bicycle?

I find it odd that you see this as ridiculous when it is actually entirely normal in the rest of the world. :wink:

I was talking about attitudes to footwear.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:22 am

high_tea wrote:I was talking about attitudes to footwear.

...around here, you can't change minds and you can't change subjects. :D
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:37 am

Howzat wrote:
high_tea wrote:I was talking about attitudes to footwear.

...around here, you can't change minds and you can't change subjects. :D


LOL. I believe I'll pay that...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KonaCommuter » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:27 pm

An injustice
Bare-headed cyclists at 'some fault' for injuries http://m.thelocal.de/society/20130617-5 ... qus_thread

Published: 17 Jun 13 14:49 CET | Print version

Cyclists who suffer head injuries in a collision but are not wearing helmets are at least partly to blame – even if the crash itself was not their fault, a German court has ruled.

The Higher Regional Court of Schleswig Holstein state ruled that although there was no law to force cyclists to wear helmets, they so obviously offered protection against injury that all reasonably minded people would do so.

Helmets were also affordable, so there was no reason not to wear one, the court said.

The ruling came after a woman sued the driver of a car for damages following an accident. She had been riding past the car on her way to work when the door was opened, and she smashed into it, banging her head on the ground as she fell.

She suffered serious head injuries which kept her in hospital for two months, and needed further treatment afterwards. She asked the court to rule on the car owner's fault in the incident, so she could pursue her for damages.

But the judge ruled that the injuries she suffered were 20 percent the fault of the cyclist for not wearing a helmet. She said a helmet would not have prevented the accident but that the cyclist had failed to take reasonable measures to protect herself because she was not wearing one.

"Cyclists these days are exposed to a particular risk of injury in daily traffic. The traffic these days is particularly tight, with motorized vehicles dominating and cyclists often only seen by drivers as hindering the free flow of traffic," the judge's verdict read.

She said there was no serious doubt that helmets were effective protection against head injury and that they were affordable – meaning that any reasonable person would buy and wear one.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:49 pm

A somewhat similar ruling from the UK: Reynolds v Strutt and Parker [2011] EWHC 2263. I've mislaid my copy of "German Torts Law for Dummies", so a discussion of the exact similarities or differences is beyond me. Both cases seem to take the view that helmet efficacy is well settled. A discussion of how applicable the UK case's reasoning is in Australia is, likewise, beyond me...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby citywomble » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:27 pm

But the judge ruled that the injuries she suffered were 20 percent the fault of the cyclist for not wearing a helmet


Some interesting considerations here. Assuming that this sets a precedent why is it applicable only to cyclists?

Now apply the same precedents to a pedestrian suing a cyclist or motorist, or even to a motorist suing another motorist after a traffic accident. It is just as proven that a helmet will mitigate head injuries to both pedestrians and car occupants, so what is to stop a lawyer arguing the same for their defendant and what possible grounds would the judge have for rejecting that precedent too.

MHL for pedestrians and car occupants?

Just shows how 'silly' it is to place any blame on the cyclist here.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:40 pm

citywomble wrote:Some interesting considerations here. Assuming that this sets a precedent why is it applicable only to cyclists?


Great point.

It is applicable to cyclists because society dictates that it is appropriate, practical and sensible to wear a helmet while cycling while it is not appropriate practical and sensible to wear a helmet while driving a car.

While law loves to consider itself impartial, it generally is not. It is guided by social norms even if those social norms impinge on the very freedoms the law is supposed to uphold. In short the law is an ass. Such a ruling would never occur in a country like The Netherlands simply because not wearing helmets while cycling is considered very normal. In Australia if it came to a civil suit you'd be lucky to get anything if you weren't wearing a helmet. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby citywomble » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:18 pm

It is applicable to cyclists because society dictates that it is appropriate, practical and sensible to wear a helmet while cycling while it is not appropriate practical and sensible to wear a helmet while driving a car.


Why not just as appropriate, practical or sensible for car drivers, or pedestrians for that matter?

Even at 252 pages it seems we have a lot more potential for 'mass debating' here.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:56 pm

citywomble wrote:Why not just as appropriate, practical or sensible for car drivers, or pedestrians for that matter?


I was just stating the reason. Doesn't mean I agree with it. :wink:
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