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

Postby wilddemon » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:13 pm

diggler wrote: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.

diggler, you obviously haven't read the previous 259 pages. If you support MHL the few anti MHLers here will patronise you, talk down to you and label you a fool / idiot. Pro MHLers on this thread come and go, the few anti just hang around and hang around...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:28 am

simonn wrote:
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.

... and there will be a lot fewer of them, so a net improvement overall.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:49 am

wilddemon wrote:
diggler wrote: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.

diggler, you obviously haven't read the previous 259 pages. If you support MHL the few anti MHLers here will patronise you, talk down to you and label you a fool / idiot. Pro MHLers on this thread come and go, the few anti just hang around and hang around...


Frankly, I don't give a !(AT)#$ whether they change the law or not. I just think that after 260 pages, are you any closer to getting the law changed? Do you have the support of ALP, Liberals, Greens? Is there one MP in all Australia anti MHL?

And by the way, do you really think it is appropriate to compare the anti MHL campaign with the great civil rights campaigns? Do you think that in 100 years time they will still talk of universal suffrage, the downfall of apartheid and the abolition of the MHL?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:09 am

VRE wrote:
simonn wrote:I meant the fat get fatter.

... and there will be a lot fewer of them, so a net improvement overall.


Not necessarily. Cycling could easily increase to 20% of journeys without a single obese person getting on a bike. If cycling increased to 20% traffic flow would improve immeasurably thus the obese have less to encourage them to participate in active transport.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:23 am

LMAO :lol: yep, diggler you really didn't get it. Tyranny has many favourite skins to slip on every day. Discrimination is one of them. Do you think people with an accent should be banned from public service jobs? Some do. They are also called racists these days. But they are out there. Do you think you should be forced to get a licence to walk down the street? Why not? It is for your own good! A tourist was killed near an old workplace of mine because he looked the wrong way and was crushed by a bus at 60kmh.

These are classic straw men arguments. No question. But they raise the question "where is the line?"

Those big civil rights issues were mentioned because the line is not carved in stone, and may have moved within your lifetime. The helmet law moved a line during my lifetime, and it has failed to create safer cycling or more popular cycling. It meant little to me at 10 years old. 20 years on, I have realised the car has failed our nation and cycling is a way forward, but the MHL created a raft of issues that have made cycling worse. 260 pages of discussion. It is all there.

You can see why proMHL people leave. They can't defend the position. I made some arguments which only drew nyerh nyerh nyerh as an answer. Someone fell and got hurt is just as much an argument for MHL as it is for banning staircases or kitchen knives. I have said many times, if MHL is applied to all at risk groups, then I won't be discriminated against. Hightea has made it clear that helmets on pedestrians is flat out insane... So, tell me why you are so different on a bike that your intelligence and dignity must be taken away and you can't decide if you need to protect yourself or not? Mandatory elbow pads?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:48 am

Xplora wrote:I have said many times, if MHL is applied to all at risk groups, then I won't be discriminated against. Hightea has made it clear that helmets on pedestrians is flat out insane... So, tell me why you are so different on a bike that your intelligence and dignity must be taken away and you can't decide if you need to protect yourself or not? Mandatory elbow pads?


Sigh. Comparing MHLs for cyclists and MHLs for pedestrians is what I object to. The comparison is ludicrous, and there is no inconsistency in having MHLs for cyclists and not for pedestrians. This is so because walking is a basic expression of a fundamental human right.Cycling, while a very good thing, is not.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:54 am

Xplora wrote:Someone fell and got hurt is just as much an argument for MHL as it is for banning staircases or kitchen knives.


No it's not. It is an argument for their regulation.

FAFAIK, there are building regulations around staircases - certainly in publicly accessible locations (...and you only have to wear helmets by law on public roads and road related areas).

WRT knives there are regulations in the UK (not sure about Oz, the only reason I know about the UK was because the laws came in when I was living there) with regards to buying and carrying knives (even kitchen knives) - although that's more due to kids getting stabby than accidents.

I am not arguing for whether this is right or wrong. Just pointing out your argument is fallacious.

If, OTOH, you had argued that it is similar to the regulation of alcohol, drugs, gambling and smoking we would be in full agreement.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:35 am

and HT, you are entitled to object. I think it's a madman's argument... but my experience on a bicycle over the last 20 years has shown me that riding a bike isn't fundamentally different to walking, once you have the skills to ride. I must play Devil's Advocate, because it is the easiest way to show both sides of the argument. It is a conscious decision of the rider to go "a lot faster than jogging" and they bear the responsibility for that. There is greater danger than walking once you are descending at 70kmh. We start to move into the "racer vs utility cycling" argument, but that particular distinction isn't made in the car realm despite the danger being exponentially higher for everyone. Discrimination is the key to my beef with the MHL on this point. If you think riding a bike is more dangerous than walking, you probably don't ride a bike, and you probably don't have any business calling for its regulation.

Regulation is a funny thing; there are building regulations, indeed. But people still fall down them despite handrails and landing requirements. People still cut themselves. The regulations do not resolve the problem... in the case of a staircase, they create consistency more than safety. Consistency is good because the elderly won't cope with steps a foot high; this doesn't create inherent safety however and that is clearly the goal of MHL. The very nature of a knife is to be sharp, and you can't stop that. The regulation of knives is simply the sale to kids to prevent them getting stabby, but it doesn't address the nature of the knife. Cycling can be faster than walking. You can't run at 70kmh. The very nature of a bike is potentially dangerous because of the physics... however if you just pootle along, you aren't any riskier than a runner or someone cutting an orange or walking down the stairs.

The argument is not fallacious. The response didn't acknowledge my points at all. A nanny state cannot control everything, it should not even try to. You have to prevent cyclist prangs with cars through rigorous regulation of CARS, yet that 1.5m rule isn't in place yet despite cars being THE hazard on the road. It feels clear to me that the MHL is a discriminatory law because it has had a detrimental effect on cycling, and isn't repealed based on the most weak arguments I can imagine. I'm concerned that equal fear isn't held for our freedom and safety around ALL our laws... the Americans certainly have it right when there is a latent distrust of the state. If it is safety we need the MHL for, it isn't enough. 20 years has proven it. If it is for discriminating against people who want to move faster than walking, and don't want to waste thousands a year on a car, then it is succeeding. Just another note on the goalposts moving - for 100 years there was no need for a helmet on a cyclist. The bike preceded the car by almost 40 years in Australia. Cars are safer now than before. Fatality rates were unaffected by the MHL. Why the sudden need for the helmet law?

A useful hypothetical. If we were talking about repealing mandatory hi-vis jackets for pedestrians, which has equal merit, would you feel the same way about defending the law? Do not dismiss it out of hand - it is a real possibility, and if you are willing to submit to the state for a foam hat that hasn't fixed our fatality issues, why not a hi vis jacket? If it only saves one life, why not? This is the best argument in favour of the MHL that I've got. If only one life is saved... so. Would you defend it?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:59 am

wilddemon wrote:
diggler wrote: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.

diggler, you obviously haven't read the previous 259 pages. If you support MHL the few anti MHLers here will patronise you, talk down to you and label you a fool / idiot. Pro MHLers on this thread come and go, the few anti just hang around and hang around...


+1. I only check back in occasionally to confirm that the same anti-MHL evangelists are still preaching.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:19 pm

simonn wrote:
VRE wrote:
simonn wrote:I meant the fat get fatter.

... and there will be a lot fewer of them, so a net improvement overall.


Not necessarily. Cycling could easily increase to 20% of journeys without a single obese person getting on a bike. If cycling increased to 20% traffic flow would improve immeasurably thus the obese have less to encourage them to participate in active transport.

I'm not as pessimistic as you are. If the MHL was removed, I'd fully expect a lot of overweight people to start cycling, because one of their main disincentives would be removed.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:39 pm

Xplora wrote:LMAO :lol: yep, diggler you really didn't get it. Tyranny has many favourite skins to slip on every day. Discrimination is one of them. Do you think people with an accent should be banned from public service jobs? Some do. They are also called racists these days. But they are out there. Do you think you should be forced to get a licence to walk down the street? Why not? It is for your own good! A tourist was killed near an old workplace of mine because he looked the wrong way and was crushed by a bus at 60kmh.

These are classic straw men arguments. No question. But they raise the question "where is the line?"

Those big civil rights issues were mentioned because the line is not carved in stone, and may have moved within your lifetime. The helmet law moved a line during my lifetime, and it has failed to create safer cycling or more popular cycling. It meant little to me at 10 years old. 20 years on, I have realised the car has failed our nation and cycling is a way forward, but the MHL created a raft of issues that have made cycling worse. 260 pages of discussion. It is all there.

You can see why proMHL people leave. They can't defend the position. I made some arguments which only drew nyerh nyerh nyerh as an answer. Someone fell and got hurt is just as much an argument for MHL as it is for banning staircases or kitchen knives. I have said many times, if MHL is applied to all at risk groups, then I won't be discriminated against. Hightea has made it clear that helmets on pedestrians is flat out insane... So, tell me why you are so different on a bike that your intelligence and dignity must be taken away and you can't decide if you need to protect yourself or not? Mandatory elbow pads?


I think you may have misunderstood my post. I don't give a !(AT)#$ whether they change the law or not. You obviously have mistaken me for a pro MHL. I'm just saying the law will never change. Never ever. What is the point of this discussion? No politician supports abolishing MHL. Zero. None. Zip. Nada.

I do find it a bit laughable to see the words tyranny, intelligence and dignity mentioned in a debate about the wearing of a piece of polystyrene and plastic.

To reiterate my original point. I DON'T GIVE A !(AT)#$. If there was a proposal to remove the MHL I wouldn't vote no. Hope this clarifies things.
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