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 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:11 pm

ozzymac wrote:
human909 wrote:
ozzymac wrote:The point I am making is there are always rules that some people won't mind and others just get a bee in there bonnet because they are made to do something they don't want to.


Nobody is a disputing that. By why would you support a rule that harms Australian cycling and makes you less safe on our roads?


How the hell does wearing a helmet make me less safe on the roads?

That is the weirdest thing I have ever read!!


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As I understand it, the reasoning goes like this: Cycling fatality rates go down as cycling participation rates go up. A sharp drop in cycling participation has been observed, one that correlates strongly with the introduction of MHLs in Australia. Ergo, MHLs have made cycling more dangerous. Note that causation hasn't been shown, only correlation, simply because showing causation with this sort of thing is extremely difficult.

I'm not, however, aware of any data that demonstrates that introducing MHLs actually increased cycling fatality rates. To the best of my hazy recollection, they've remained more or less the same. The argument I recall being run against MHLs (by the CTC in the UK, I think) is that they drive cycling participation down while not making the fatality rates appreciably better. This argument was based, in large part, on the Australian experience with MHLs.

FWIW I don't think it's a stupid question at all. The best answer I can give is that assuming that MHL repeal made participation rates go up and that you personally continued to wear a helmet, you'd probably get the protective effects of the helmet plus the safety-in-numbers effect. How to come up with a policy that does this is an interesting question, but not a popular one in this thread...

EDIT: clarify
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by BNA » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:17 am

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

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:17 am

ozzymac wrote:
human909 wrote:
ozzymac wrote:The point I am making is there are always rules that some people won't mind and others just get a bee in there bonnet because they are made to do something they don't want to.


Nobody is a disputing that. By why would you support a rule that harms Australian cycling and makes you less safe on our roads?


How the hell does wearing a helmet make me less safe on the roads?

That is the weirdest thing I have ever read!!


I never said that wearing a helmet makes you less safe on the roads. I said that MHL makes you less safe on the roads!! Massive difference.

You still have the option of wearing a helmet and most likely you will be safer if you wear a helmet. However MHLs make the roads more risky for cyclists as there are less cyclists on the roads.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:23 am

high_tea wrote:The best answer I can give is that assuming that MHL repeal made participation rates go up and that you personally continued to wear a helmet, you'd probably get the protective effects of the helmet plus the safety-in-numbers effect. How to come up with a policy that does this is an interesting question, but not a popular one in this thread...


Huh? It is a popular one. The best policy to do this is a simple repeal of mandatory helmet laws. What makes you think that the majority of cyclists won't continue to wear helmets?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:58 am

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:The best answer I can give is that assuming that MHL repeal made participation rates go up and that you personally continued to wear a helmet, you'd probably get the protective effects of the helmet plus the safety-in-numbers effect. How to come up with a policy that does this is an interesting question, but not a popular one in this thread...


Huh? It is a popular one. The best policy to do this is a simple repeal of mandatory helmet laws. What makes you think that the majority of cyclists won't continue to wear helmets?

(emphasis in original)

By the same token, what makes you think the injury/fataility rate will improve? The objection to MHLs is, correct me if I'm wrong, that they didn't really affect injury/fatality rates but that participation went down. It doesn't follow that repealing MHLs will improve the injury/fatality rate either.

There are at least the following choices on offer:

MHLs as implemented in Australian states
MHLs as implemented in Darwin
MHLs as implemented in sundry US states and probably elsewhere (not so familiar with them myself)
some other, yet-untried flavour of MHL.
no MHLs at all

That's just for starters.

You will note that in the UK the courts have put their oar in, holding that not wearing a helmet can be contributory negligence in certain circumstances. There's a policy right there. Not a statute and certainly not a criminal one, but a policy nonetheless.

So there's a lot more to talk about than the Australian-state MHLs and whether or not to repeal them.

EDIT: "statute", not "de jure law". Sheesh, what was I thinking? :oops: :oops:
Last edited by high_tea on Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:07 am

Just to throw a cat amongst pigeons, I think you might be safer around drivers without a helmet in a lot of situations. If a driver doesn't have the presence of mind to care about you with a helmet they won't are about anything that does not present as a clear and present danger. My kids are not safer against cars with a helmet because I am not interested in peeling them off the footpath with 20 vs 80 % brain impairment while they are still paralysed. Helmets create the illuson of safety. The people who should wear them have a reasonable expectation of Accidental head contact. some MTB riding, abseiling, many construction sites... But riding down the street? There will be one or two paralysed a year riding on the road, so it can happen, but the same number of children drown in buckets each year. Legislation does not eliminate risk and MHL will never resolve that, as our unchanged injury rate attest.

Contributory negligence is a funny thing. I would argue that the driver is the negligent one, using a vehicle far beyond its necessary purpose at speeds which belie the danger that the vehicle presents the public. I understand the argument... But philosophically it just can't hold water. The reason I take this angle is that pedestrians are just as vulnerable as cyclists without a helmet, but walking without regulation is a human right, so I don't think we would hold a ped to be negligently contributing to their injuries because they were hit and did not wear a helmet. Courts can be biased and wrong.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:39 am

high_tea wrote:By the same token, what makes you think the injury/fataility rate will improve? The objection to MHLs is, correct me if I'm wrong, that they didn't really affect injury/fatality rates but that participation went down. It doesn't follow that repealing MHLs will improve the injury/fatality rate either.

There are at least the following choices on offer:

MHLs as implemented in Australian states
MHLs as implemented in Darwin
MHLs as implemented in sundry US states and probably elsewhere (not so familiar with them myself)
some other, yet-untried flavour of MHL.
no MHLs at all


Why would I support anything that reduces cyclists freedoms in such a draconian way and yields no benefits to cyclists?

I'm confused why your would too.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:26 am

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:By the same token, what makes you think the injury/fataility rate will improve? The objection to MHLs is, correct me if I'm wrong, that they didn't really affect injury/fatality rates but that participation went down. It doesn't follow that repealing MHLs will improve the injury/fatality rate either.

There are at least the following choices on offer:

MHLs as implemented in Australian states
MHLs as implemented in Darwin
MHLs as implemented in sundry US states and probably elsewhere (not so familiar with them myself)
some other, yet-untried flavour of MHL.
no MHLs at all


Why would I support anything that reduces cyclists freedoms in such a draconian way and yields no benefits to cyclists?

I'm confused why your would too.


More to the point, why would you conclude a priori that all MHLs are bad, based on the Australian experience?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:34 am

Thanks for not answering the question.

I support cycling and would like to see it grow in Australia. MHLs have been one of the clear impediments to that. The Australian experience of MHLs have not been a success by any measure of cycling rates and accessibility.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:51 am

Xplora wrote:Contributory negligence is a funny thing. I would argue that the driver is the negligent one, using a vehicle far beyond its necessary purpose at speeds which belie the danger that the vehicle presents the public. I understand the argument... But philosophically it just can't hold water. The reason I take this angle is that pedestrians are just as vulnerable as cyclists without a helmet, but walking without regulation is a human right, so I don't think we would hold a ped to be negligently contributing to their injuries because they were hit and did not wear a helmet. Courts can be biased and wrong.


I suggest you go and read the cases. It's much easier than reading back through this monster thread. I don't recall them having anything to say about the analogy with pedestrian regulation, probably because no sane person considers pedestrian and cyclist regulation to be remotely equivalent. Surprise surprise, they do consider why cyclists should wear helmets (tl;dr lots of cyclists in the UK do, apparently, and helmet efficacy is well-settled) and the reasoning doesn't apply to pedestrians. Anyway, don't take my word for it. They're fairly short cases, and easy to find. I personally think there's a bit wrong with the policy they impose.Basically, you're only ever going to get a finding of contributory negligence in a low-speed, bike-only crash. Pretty much the exact situation where you don't have to wear a helmet in Darwin. Go figure. In fairness, the policy is there because of issues of causation rather than anything else, but I still reckon it's a pretty odd result.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:00 pm

human909 wrote:
ozzymac wrote:The point I am making is there are always rules that some people won't mind and others just get a bee in there bonnet because they are made to do something they don't want to.


Nobody is a disputing that. By why would you support a rule that harms Australian cycling and makes you less safe on our roads?


Cycling through red lights does more harm to Australian cycling. Just the other day I watched a current affairs program which set up a camera on Oxford St, Paddington and observed around 50 cyclists riding through red lights over a short period of time. They interviewed a blind man who had been struck by cyclists riding through the red light on three separate occasions. The public relations damage riding through red lights does to cycling advocacy is enormous. MHLs are a third order issue in comparison.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:53 pm

biker jk wrote:Cycling through red lights does more harm to Australian cycling. Just the other day I watched a current affairs program which set up a camera on Oxford St, Paddington and observed around 50 cyclists riding through red lights over a short period of time. They interviewed a blind man who had been struck by cyclists riding through the red light on three separate occasions. The public relations damage riding through red lights does to cycling advocacy is enormous. MHLs are a third order issue in comparison.


Say What? MHLs caused massive declines in cycling rates. They have resulted in massive failures of bike share schemes in Melbourne and Brisbane. They have made cycling a non starter for hundreds of thousands of people. A few cyclists going through red lights? How does that stop other people from getting on bikes?

As has been said in many other threads. Cyclists are their own worst enemy when it comes to advocacy.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:32 pm

human909 wrote:
biker jk wrote:Cycling through red lights does more harm to Australian cycling. Just the other day I watched a current affairs program which set up a camera on Oxford St, Paddington and observed around 50 cyclists riding through red lights over a short period of time. They interviewed a blind man who had been struck by cyclists riding through the red light on three separate occasions. The public relations damage riding through red lights does to cycling advocacy is enormous. MHLs are a third order issue in comparison.


WT?? MHLs caused massive declines in cycling rates. They have resulted in massive failures of bike share schemes in Melbourne and Brisbane. They have made cycling a non starter for hundreds of thousands of people. A few cyclists going through red lights? How does that stop other people from getting on bikes?

As has been said in many other threads. Cyclists are their own worst enemy when it comes to advocacy.


You know the CPF survey found that just 16.5% of respondents cited MHLs for not cycling versus 67.1% citing unsafe road conditions. It's a third order issue. Please stop wasting time on it. Riding through red lights does far more damage to cycling advocacy. You do know what that is don't you? Winning over politicians to implement policies that benefits cyclists. The public relations disaster that comes from riding through red lights makes cycling advocacy that much harder.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:48 pm

biker jk wrote:The public relations disaster that comes from riding through red lights makes cycling advocacy that much harder.


:roll: Yep, just like drink drivers and speeding motorists stop politicians from building more freeways. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:28 pm

Don't forget the funerals H. hundreds of funerals. Bikerjk, don't pretend that there is any possible comparison on the basis of reason. SCA has the right idea. Cars are the problem, not bikes.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:16 pm

human909 wrote:
biker jk wrote:The public relations disaster that comes from riding through red lights makes cycling advocacy that much harder.


:roll: Yep, just like drink drivers and speeding motorists stop politicians from building more freeways. :roll:


No but cyclists running red lights and knocking down pedestrians do stop politicians from supporting the building of more cycling infrastructure. Indeed, there's now a push for registering bicycles as a result. Not really helping cycling advocacy, eh?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:33 pm

I dunno, it seems to me that rego-for-bicycles is one of those ideas that never goes away. OTOH it never seems to be taken seriously.

As far as the cyclists-are-lawbreakers argument goes, it comes up in the context of overtaking laws or building infrastructure or something and the answer to that argument is that it's completely irrelevant.

I don't particularly mind discussing the problem as such, nor solutions like better sensors. But it often comes up in completely unrelated discussions, basically as ad hominem. Red-light running isn't harming cycling advocacy in that case, the failure to point out that the claim is completely irrelevant is.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:15 pm

biker jk wrote:No but cyclists running red lights and knocking down pedestrians do stop politicians from supporting the building of more cycling infrastructure. Indeed, there's now a push for registering bicycles as a result. Not really helping cycling advocacy, eh?

Just like how all the motorists running red lights and knocking pedestrians down makes the pollies stop supporting building better roads ???? :roll:

Rather OT, but such a comment from any regular poster on here quite amazes me.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Baldy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:44 pm

il padrone wrote:Rather OT, but such a comment from any regular poster on here quite amazes me.


Yes and that says a lot more about you than them.

Your incredulity towards anyone who forms a different opinion on subjective matters is plain for everyone to see.

But yeah, welcome back. Let the passive aggressive sniping begin :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:06 pm

il padrone wrote:
biker jk wrote:No but cyclists running red lights and knocking down pedestrians do stop politicians from supporting the building of more cycling infrastructure. Indeed, there's now a push for registering bicycles as a result. Not really helping cycling advocacy, eh?

Just like how all the motorists running red lights and knocking pedestrians down makes the pollies stop supporting building better roads ???? :roll:

Rather OT, but such a comment from any regular poster on here quite amazes me.


Perhaps you are a little simple (intelligence wise) but cyclists are a minority and so there's a higher hurdle to win over politicians. Public perceptions of cyclists as red light runners (and they're not just perceptions, based on my daily observations) harm our efforts to get politicians to implement policies which will help cycling. I'm amazed that a regular poster on here can't see that.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:13 pm

The perception of cyclists as red light runners is promoted by those who want bikes registered/riders licenced/bikes off the roads. Comparisons between cyclist and driver behaviour shows that there are idiots in both camps. I hardly think your comments are helping bicycle advocacy eh biker jk.

As for infrastructure, there's plenty of infrastructure. It's called roads. Bicycles are road vehicles and roads are everywhere. Given some of the bike lanes I see on a daily basis I don't care that much for more crap infrastructure. I'd prefer to see the money spent on educating road users about the definition of a vehicle. Maybe if the education works we can even remove the silly laws which require the wearing of foam on my head when riding.

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

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:26 pm

DavidS wrote:As for infrastructure, there's plenty of infrastructure. It's called roads. Bicycles are road vehicles and roads are everywhere. Given some of the bike lanes I see on a daily basis I don't care that much for more crap infrastructure. I'd prefer to see the money spent on educating road users about the definition of a vehicle.


My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:43 am

biker jk wrote:Perhaps you are a little simple (intelligence wise)......

Hmm... Oh thanks for the "compliment".

Such veiled snide insults almost drove me off this forum for keeps back in April and now it all begins again :evil: :evil:

Have a bit of a think about what you say before you post and "walk a mile in the other man's shoes"
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby g-boaf » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:53 am

biker jk wrote:
il padrone wrote:
biker jk wrote:No but cyclists running red lights and knocking down pedestrians do stop politicians from supporting the building of more cycling infrastructure. Indeed, there's now a push for registering bicycles as a result. Not really helping cycling advocacy, eh?

Just like how all the motorists running red lights and knocking pedestrians down makes the pollies stop supporting building better roads ???? :roll:

Rather OT, but such a comment from any regular poster on here quite amazes me.


Perhaps you are a little simple (intelligence wise) but cyclists are a minority and so there's a higher hurdle to win over politicians. Public perceptions of cyclists as red light runners (and they're not just perceptions, based on my daily observations) harm our efforts to get politicians to implement policies which will help cycling. I'm amazed that a regular poster on here can't see that.

At the moment, the general public wants rego for adult cyclists and even a lycra tax.

They also want existing bicycle lanes ripped up and all new ones stopped, along with cyclists being banned from the roads. That's a random sample of the general public opinion of cyclists at the moment.

So the politicians don't have a lot of incentive to do anything supportive for cyclists. It might even be bad for them to be seen to be supportive of cyclists.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:59 am

il padrone wrote:
biker jk wrote:Perhaps you are a little simple (intelligence wise)......

Hmm... Oh thanks for the "compliment".

Such veiled snide insults almost drove me off this forum for keeps back in April and now it all begins again :evil: :evil:

Have a bit of a think about what you say before you post and "walk a mile in the other man's shoes"

Do what I do Pete.
Just make a mental note and move on. Cycling is not such a big world... sooner or later you will meet him face to face. Then you can comment appropriately on his lack of manners.

Or he is no one in cycling and you wont ever meet him and have lost nothing.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:13 am

Percrime wrote:
il padrone wrote:
biker jk wrote:Perhaps you are a little simple (intelligence wise)......

Hmm... Oh thanks for the "compliment".

Such veiled snide insults almost drove me off this forum for keeps back in April and now it all begins again :evil: :evil:

Have a bit of a think about what you say before you post and "walk a mile in the other man's shoes"

Do what I do Pete.
Just make a mental note and move on. Cycling is not such a big world... sooner or later you will meet him face to face. Then you can comment appropriately on his lack of manners.

Or he is no one in cycling and you wont ever meet him and have lost nothing.


So his frequent condescending tone is acceptable but when he receives some in return it's a lack of manners. Oh the double standard. :roll:
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