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

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

Postby diggler » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:06 pm

I was riding oh the Anzac Bridge shared path today. I was going around a corner approaching the bridge. I was going down hill probably too fast and probably over the centre. I encountered a cyclist probably going too fast and probably over the centre too. We collided but our wheels took the brunt of the force. We both hit the ground. It was all a bit of a blur. Judging from the bruising, I obviously hit my elbow. Judging from the sore neck and scrape marks on my helmet, it seems my helmet hit the ground.

I think the helmet saved me from a more serious result. Of course there will be those who will argue that if I didn't wear a helmet I would have ridden safer, or the other guy would have ridden safer, or the helmet caused my sore neck, or even if the helmet helped, it is my choice whether I want to risk whatever helmetless riding entails.

I just want to point out that accidents can happen anywhere, not just on roads. We should all take more care whenever we ride. Whether or not it is mandatory to wear a helmet, I would wear one voluntarily.

Of course I don't expect anybody to change their opinion on this subject due to my post. 258 pages in and we are still arguing.
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by BNA » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:32 pm

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

Postby DavidS » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:32 pm

I can see the point of your post diggler but you make one big mistake which tends to get a lot of us riled up. You state "it is my choice whether I want to risk whatever helmetless riding entails." Actually, no, that is not your choice, helmetless riding is illegal. And that's the whole problem. Those of us advocating the repeal of MHLs want us all to have that very choice, we do not seek to make the decision for you. I'm probably in the minority amongst those who oppose MHLs by saying I would not wear a helmet on my daily commute, but the very point is we should have this choice. Cycling is not such a dangerous activity that we should have our choice to take the very small risk of helmetless riding taken away from us.

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

Postby diggler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:07 am

My mistake. I should have said "Of course there will be those who will argue that it ought to be my choice whether I want to risk whatever helmetless riding entails."

I think this thread is about whether we should have a nanny state. Should we have freedom or should the government forcibly protect people?

This is a philosophical point of view. I like a nanny state. Obviously there are many people who don't.

After 259 pages, it should be bleedingly obvious that people have different opinions about paternalism and will not alter their position.

I don't understand the anti MHL people. You must know the government will not change the law. Can you imagine the outcry if they did change the law and somebody died? Are people just going to spend the rest of their lives complaining about this law?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:19 am

I don't think they will change in the short term (although they did weaken the law in the NT recently). However, I do think there is a possibility for change in a few years. If people really want to promote cycling then this law will be questioned because it is a deterrent, just look at the article from the Melbourne Age cited in another thread, an advocate for cycling saying MHLs are wrong.

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

Postby diggler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:05 am

"there is a possibility for change in a few years"

Really? My bet is that in 5 years you will still need a helmet to ride on a NSW road. If you're willing to put your money where your mouth is, send me a message.

I'm just curious. If the law was abolished, what do you think will happen? 6% of people commute by cycling in Sydney. Will that double, triple, quadruple?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:42 am

My predictions. The bike hire schemes will boom.

I don't want a nanny state. Most of what I do is not the states business. I,m ok with that. I like you humans but only to a point
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:57 am

Ok, some people like nanny state, some people don't. Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But after 259 pages, I think every argument on each side has been aired many times over. Is there anything else that needs to be said on this issue?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:15 pm

diggler wrote:Ok, some people like nanny state, some people don't. Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But after 259 pages, I think every argument on each side has been aired many times over. Is there anything else that needs to be said on this issue?

Always :) . These fora get new members all the time, and we can't reasonably expect them to read all 260 pages of this thread before replying.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:08 pm

diggler wrote:But after 259 pages, I think every argument on each side has been aired many times over. Is there anything else that needs to be said on this issue?


Well it seems there was because you posted something on the 260th page! :P

The fight to fix injust laws is long and full of impasses. But that is no reason to stop. Do you think those who fought for women's suffrage gave up, gay marriage, drug reform? Those previous three are a far bigger societal issue important than getting MHLs repealed. However in terms of cycling advocacy MHLs are extremely important.

I am continually aghast that so many cyclists are so strongly in favour of keeping barriers to cycling in place.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:29 pm

diggler, did you know that MULTIPLE children drown in buckets each year? Kids drown in the pool. Tourists die in the surf, even with professional lifeguards onsite. People die inside fridges and washing machines. People are paralysed for life falling off ladders at home. Around one person dies at work, despite numerous OHS laws, every week. Not sure if that's in NSW or nationally.

If you add up the tons of random stupid ways people die, even despite laws designed to protect, it becomes clear that a nanny state doesn't work, and isn't desirable because it cannot achieve its aim of protection without incredible authoritarianism. The State has failed to provide legitimate laws to protect cyclists (such as the 1.5m passing law) while passing a law that effectively achieves nothing when you consider that a car can hit a rider intentionally and then avoid penal sanction. Helmets are helpful, they are not a safety solution.
KenGS did some maths - with a 1.5m passing rule in effect, you need to have a cyclist turning at 30 degrees to the traffic in order for a rider to hit a car if the car passes them at 1.5m away. Effectively, impossible unless the rider is suicidal.
Here is my point - if we were getting nanny state, the 1.5m rule would be law already. We'd see debate about helmeting the pedestrian population, since people walking actually suffer just as many fatalities as cyclists on the road.
The nanny state promotes false values on the population - if it is not illegal, it is not unsafe, unsound or unkind. Cyclists will occasionally fall and hit their head. This is a risk on foot or in a car as well. There is no equivalent helmet law for walkers or passengers.

I can accept the thrust of your argument, diggler, as long as you accept my rebuttal, which shows it clearly is false, and at worst, your position makes life more dangerous for you and other riders.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:57 pm

The issue with overtaking laws is that the state has legislated, then failed to enforce them. Big difference. Maybe 1.5m will improve matters, but it's not a new law as such, it's refining an existing one.

I don't intend to argue the toss about the nanny-state; the very term begs the question.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:59 pm

VRE wrote:
diggler wrote:Ok, some people like nanny state, some people don't. Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But after 259 pages, I think every argument on each side has been aired many times over. Is there anything else that needs to be said on this issue?

Always :) . These fora get new members all the time, and we can't reasonably expect them to read all 260 pages of this thread before replying.


This thread is too long, so let's make it longer? OK, I'll be in that...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:41 pm

diggler wrote:I don't understand the anti MHL people. You must know the government will not change the law. Can you imagine the outcry if they did change the law and somebody died? Are people just going to spend the rest of their lives complaining about this law?


What about they don't change the law and many people die - not from cycling but from not-cycling ??? This is a part of the otucry that opponents of MHL are really about.


(People die even when wearing helmets you know)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:07 pm

high_tea wrote:
VRE wrote:
diggler wrote:Ok, some people like nanny state, some people don't. Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But after 259 pages, I think every argument on each side has been aired many times over. Is there anything else that needs to be said on this issue?

Always :) . These fora get new members all the time, and we can't reasonably expect them to read all 260 pages of this thread before replying.


This thread is too long, so let's make it longer? OK, I'll be in that...

Thanks for twisting my words. I just believe in being considerate to all forum members, new and old. Would you seriously expect someone to read this entire thread before replying? If they don't, then something's bound to get repeated. In fact, if you take that to its logical conclusion, we might as well read all threads in these fora before replying to any of them, just in case we inadvertently repeat something that was already stated.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:49 pm

Percrime wrote:My predictions. The bike hire schemes will boom.



And wouldn't that be a damned good start.

Not to mention that we could start to break the impression that somehow cycling is incredibly dangerous, so dangerous we need safety equipment. I have argued with too many people about this. Cycling is just not that dangerous, not so dangerous that we need MHLs.

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

Postby diggler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:59 pm

"Do you think those who fought for women's suffrage gave up, gay marriage, drug reform?"

It is hard enough to get through a worthy cause. How will you ever succeed when the benefits of repeal are hotly disputed? The law will never ever change. However, it you want to spend the rest of your life complaining about this law, then go right ahead.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:21 am

10 years ago you would have been laughed at if you said they should legalise gay marriage. I suspect it won't be too long before it is a reality. Giving women the vote was once seen as ridiculous. The last upper house in a state parliament removed the property qualification for voting in the 1960s. Aborigines were still being removed from their parents up until the 1970s.

Things change. If cycling ever becomes more mainstream, MHLs will be repealed because you can only implement restrictive and frankly ridiculous restrictions like this on a small minority of the population.

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

Postby diggler » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:03 am

Yes, the world could be different in 10 years time. And which direction do you think we are heading towards at the moment? Can you give any examples of where the NSW government is backtracking on the nanny state?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:15 am

il padrone wrote:
diggler wrote:I don't understand the anti MHL people. You must know the government will not change the law. Can you imagine the outcry if they did change the law and somebody died? Are people just going to spend the rest of their lives complaining about this law?


What about they don't change the law and many people die - not from cycling but from not-cycling ??? This is a part of the otucry that opponents of MHL are really about.


(People die even when wearing helmets you know)


Assuming you mean people dying from poor health...

Although, I am one of those that cycling helped away from obesity (although gym has proven far more effective/efficient in this. Cycling has been awesome for cardio though, but only because I do a lot of it), I do not like this argument.

There are plenty of other (more or at least as effective and convenient) ways to do the obligatory 30 mins exercise thing. A 30 minute walk is as least as effective as a 30 minute pootle on a bike and requires no equipment at all. Sure, cycling works for a lot of people, but I doubt removing MHLs will put a dent in the obesity epidemic. I really do not see a load of obese people suddenly starting to ride because they do not have to wear a helmet. As a formerly very slightly obese person, the embarrassment of wearing a bicycle helmet for the first time paled in comparison to the embarasment of other stuff, a lot of other stuff, too much other stuff. Cost? Peanuts compared to the cost of a bike. Cheaper to buy a helmet at Big W than to hire a bike for an hour (which includes a helmet anyway). I only see more already comparatively fit people starting to ride if MHLs are removed.

More healthy non-helmet wearing people freeing up road space for the convenience of the less healthy and their cars might even make things worse.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:56 am

diggler wrote: the benefits of repeal are hotly disputed?

I question your motive for entering into this discussion... the benefits are NOT hotly disputed. The vast majority of the world does not have MHL. Every time it pops up in the UK, it is crushed quickly because the Australia experience has been terrible. Repeal of crappy laws is very difficult because of the conservative nature of Parliament. Our national record on referenda for the Constitution shows that we are in fact a conservative nation.

We SHOULD be leading the way in cycling safety if the MHL is effective. I would argue that the increased safety of riding in Oz should make cycling MORE popular here; that is, if the arguments in favour of MHL are correct. You just don't see this in the data however. We aren't more safe. We aren't flooded with bikes like many Asian cities. If you just want to troll, then go ahead. The logical arguments in favour of MHL have been proven wrong with data, and the emotive arguments in favour of them can easily be applied to other transport modes. Heads aren't magically stronger because you are walking or riding in a car. The impacts aren't much different either!

Godwin's Law has a lot to say about why we shouldn't just allow our Government to do whatever it likes. The ALP's refugee policies show very well how mob rule is absolutely appalling at creating positive humane outcomes, and how those rules get rejected in the High Court regardless! History has shown that our legislators are far from brilliant at creating good outcomes sometimes... nanny states just don't work. If Parliament was interested in protecting cyclists, then MHL is NOT the first place to start. :idea: Where has been the follow up legislation, to further protect cyclists? People are still dying despite the mandatory foam on their head. Where is the legislation, diggler? You were in favour of the nanny state, please defend the concept with some evidence. :?:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:07 pm

You are right. I am wrong. The benefits are NOT hotly disputed. We have 259 pages on consensus. I apologise for being such an idiot.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:14 pm

Where is the legislation, diggler? You were in favour of the nanny state, please defend the concept with some evidence?

Evidence of the benefits of the nanny State? Again I am completely wrong. There are no benefits of the nanny State. We would be better off with more guns, more drugs, faster driving, drink driving, smoking, no safety standards, no consumer protection etc. Those bastards are taking away my freedom.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:40 pm

diggler wrote:Evidence of the benefits of the nanny State? Again I am completely wrong. There are no benefits of the nanny State. We would be better off with more guns, more drugs, faster driving, drink driving, smoking, no safety standards, no consumer protection etc. Those bastards are taking away my freedom.


I think you are getting confused here. "Nanny state" laws are laws protecting citizens from themselves. All those items you list there are laws protecting citizens from the actions of other citizens.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:42 pm

simonn wrote:Assuming you mean people dying from poor health...


Not at all. People are still managing to get killed while riding bicycles even when they are wearing their helmet. Helmets give life-saving protection in a very narrow band of collisions and falls. Mostly relevant for falls (no cars involved) onto hard surfaces at slow speeds. The death rate for such falls is very low and I'd estimate was equally low prior to the MHL introduction.

simonn wrote:More healthy non-helmet wearing people freeing up road space for the convenience of the less healthy and their cars might even make things worse.


I'm not at all sure how you see that this would happen. I don't think that it has been the pattern in other countries. Overwhelmingly where there are no helmets worn (or less helmet wearing) the cyclist death rates are lower.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:48 pm

il padrone wrote:
simonn wrote:More healthy non-helmet wearing people freeing up road space for the convenience of the less healthy and their cars might even make things worse.


I'm not at all sure how you see that this would happen. I don't think that it has been the pattern in other countries. Overwhelmingly where there are no helmets worn (or less helmet wearing) the cyclist death rates are lower.


I meant the fat get fatter.
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