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

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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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by BNA » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:28 am

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

Postby Summernight » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:08 pm

diggler wrote: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.


That's a bit of a depressing thing to say - if we don't bother debating it (including in parliament etc.) then there will be no change. If I go sit under my rock and just let things happen to me without standing up for what I believe in then of course nothing is going to change to how I want it. Change happens because people stand up for what they believe in. Politicians (usually) stand up for what their constituents believe in - at least, what the loudest/richest people who got them voted in believe in.

Just because you may believe that nothing will change doesn't mean that others believe the same. Others here who continue to debate do, IMO, actually believe that a difference can be made.

NT is a clear example that change can happen. Even the Lord Mayor of Brisbane(?) in the most recent Channel 7 news report regarding the QLD inquiry mentioned that he wasn't against removing the helmet requirement for off-road bike path riding. That is change.

As the saying goes - "the squeaky wheel gets the oil."

So I say to all those posting here - continue to squeak. It is certainly what a lot of other advocacy groups are doing (automobile clubs, anyone?).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:03 pm

Repealing MHLs is a long way off. But so was gay marriage ten years ago. The best way to change attitudes is to get more regular people cycling (despite the chicken&egg issue) and discussion the issue with existing cyclists to help shift opinion. The second is being done in this forum and this thread! Several people have questioned their own existing beliefs regarding MHLs from reading and participating in such discussion.

Ideological shifts happen one person at a time.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:27 pm

260 pages later, how many people do you have on board?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:43 pm

If you have nothing better to do than count the pages then maybe you're done ??
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:45 pm

If you mean "How many people's minds have you changed" then count me as one. I used to just go with the status quo till I started to look at the data.
If you mean"How many people agree with you"; I don't care. I'm an independent thinker and am not so insecure that I worry about how many people agree with me or not.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:10 pm

Xplora wrote: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?


Don't laugh about it, or be bemused at the prospect. We currently have mandatory hi-viz jackets at my workplace, a school, for staff when out on yard duty. I hate it, but so many staff are just submitting to it....... how the MHL came in.

What was that quote again ?? John Stuart Mill:
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:20 pm

Xplora wrote: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?


This hypothetical either misunderstands or misrepresents the gravamen of my complaint. Regulating pedestrians is a fundamentally different proposition to regulating cyclists. I'd want to see some extraordinary justification before I gave serious thought to supporting any kind of PPE-for-pedestrians law. This has got precisely nothing to do with MHLs, though. Not that this stops it coming up over, and over again. If MHLs for cyclists, why not for pedestrians? comes the cry, over and over again. Will it make it any clearer if I put it in caps?

BECAUSE REGULATING PEDESTRIANS IS A FUNDAMENETALLY DIFFERENT PROPOSITION TO REGULATING CYCLISTS.

No, thought not. Still, you can't blame a bloke for trying...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:25 pm

high_tea wrote:BECAUSE REGULATING PEDESTRIANS IS A FUNDAMENETALLY DIFFERENT PROPOSITION TO REGULATING CYCLISTS.

Just because you say so????
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:52 pm

KenGS wrote:
high_tea wrote:BECAUSE REGULATING PEDESTRIANS IS A FUNDAMENETALLY DIFFERENT PROPOSITION TO REGULATING CYCLISTS.

Just because you say so????

Yeah I think Ken summed it up. I will put this to you - why is bicycle regulation different to motorbikes? to cars? trucks? Why is bicycle usage on the road completely different to the other things? You don't need a licence to ride a bike on the busiest road, and arguably this is pretty risky for many novice riders. It seems that bicycling is treated more like walking for one of the most basic regulations out there. No rego, no licence.

I can understand the plethora of regulation for motorised vehicles. Very fast, very heavy, very fatal. But why the same ideas about a bike, which will struggle to cause the same damage to 3rd parties in an accident as a car? Why the blanket, kneejerk regulation which has been proven to be ineffectual? The MHL is NOT the drink driving laws.

Cyclists don't need the same helmet as a motorcyclist, yet we are told they are equally vital to survival on the road. Our helmet cannot hope to protect like a moto helmet.

The logic is simple - it is not about creating safety, it is about discriminating with prejudice, and it's about regulating HUMAN BEINGS. It doesn't matter what transport mode you use. The ad hoc nature of it all makes it very difficult to get a good direction on it all; best to just people decide for themselves. No good comes from state sanctioned discrimination.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:45 pm

Wouldn't it be great for cycling and road safety if some of Melbourne's streets like Flinders Lane looked like this:

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Instead of this:

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

Postby high_tea » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:51 pm

Xplora wrote:
KenGS wrote:
high_tea wrote:BECAUSE REGULATING PEDESTRIANS IS A FUNDAMENETALLY DIFFERENT PROPOSITION TO REGULATING CYCLISTS.

Just because you say so????

Yeah I think Ken summed it up. I will put this to you - why is bicycle regulation different to motorbikes? to cars? trucks? Why is bicycle usage on the road completely different to the other things? You don't need a licence to ride a bike on the busiest road, and arguably this is pretty risky for many novice riders. It seems that bicycling is treated more like walking for one of the most basic regulations out there. No rego, no licence.


No, not because I say so. Because walking is a fundamental expression of a basic human right, and cycling - although a very good thing - is not. The law treats the two very differently. Not just in Australia, mind you. In all sorts of places. Including places which don't have MHLs. Which rather suggests that MHL repeal doesn't rest on the outlandish proposition that regulating pedestrians is equivalent to regulating cyclists. So why keep bringing it up? Not only is it self-evident nonsense, it's self-evident nonsense that your argument doesn't rest on.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby citywomble » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:05 am

I didn't want to enter into this again but just can't help myself.

Firstly, you say it's only the anti MHL supporters that stay here as the MHLs leave. Ever consider that some actually are influenced by the arguements and stay on as anti's. I am one. Although I grew up without when I came to Oz I accepted it might be safer but I must say the arguments here, with extensive reading elsewhere, soon changed my mind. I would rather use my mind to chose for myself and, all being equal my choice would be not to.

Is there a big difference between pedestrians and cyclists? NO, I don't think so.

As has been said, both do not need licensing. We (cyclists) even refer to the less experienced as POBSOs. Pedestrians on Bike Shaped Objects. In many ways that sums it up. It's the POBSOs that are put off by helmets, not the Lycrists, for them helmets are part of the 'uniform'.

Cyclists need helmets pedestrians don't. That may be true on roads, but pedestrians aren't allowed to walk there except to cross. It's certainly not true on shared paths. When a cyclist hits a pedestrian the chances are its the pedestrian that hits their heads. On shared paths the wrong people are mandated to wear helmets. Have seen three cyclist/ped accidents and in all three the pedestrian had a head injury. Only seen one cycle/cycle accident and it was not the head that was hurt!

What should we do? First learn from the rest of the world and stop this stupid law, it is discrimination, perhaps with the best intentions, although i doubt it, but certainly not evidence based. Was it introduced by cyclists? No, it was introduced by motoring advocates to make cyclists safer - well that works well doesn't it!

Suggestion, make helmet use dependant on the type of bike. Ride a sit up or BSO, on paths and even on roads and no helmet. Ride a racing bike with drops and you need a helmet.

Prediction, sales of continental style sit up bikes goes through the roof.

At times in my life, before my 50's, I have done all of these: Walk, ride a bike, drive a car, sail boats, swim, hike in mountains, windsurf, ski, climb trees, fly a plane. Did I wear a helmet for any?
No, except for WALKING on a construction site.

Now I am in Australia do I wear a helmet? Yes, but only for cycling and on dangerous construction sites. What a great message that is, cycling must be so dangerous that it needs the same PPE, maybe it's about time cycling had a union to take this up for them? Oops silly me maybe you already do.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:17 am

Xplora wrote:The logic is simple - it is not about creating safety, it is about discriminating with prejudice, and it's about regulating HUMAN BEINGS. It doesn't matter what transport mode you use. The ad hoc nature of it all makes it very difficult to get a good direction on it all; best to just people decide for themselves. No good comes from state sanctioned discrimination.


Actually I think it is more than this. MHLs allow the government to avoid issues of cycling safety. Bad roads, no cycling facilities, intersections which are dangerous for cyclists, bike lanes with visibility blocked by parked cars? Hey, no problem, we the government have dealt with cycling safety, we have introduced MHLs, we've done our job, you have to wear a helmet and therefore you are safe, we need do no more, we wash our hands of this issue because we are looking after your safety with MHLs. It's a cop out and classic blame the victim mentality. Cyclists are in danger because of bad driver behaviour - solution, make the cyclists wear helmets. Don't want to upset the drivers.

I'm still amazed that some cyclists promote a law which does so much to discourage cycling, which shouts the message that cycling is especially dangerous. Personally I like to encourage cycling not put barriers in the way of people getting around on an environmentally friendly bicycle and get some exercise while they're at it.

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

Postby KenGS » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:02 am

high_tea wrote:
KenGS wrote:
high_tea wrote:BECAUSE REGULATING PEDESTRIANS IS A FUNDAMENETALLY DIFFERENT PROPOSITION TO REGULATING CYCLISTS.

Just because you say so????

Xplora wrote:Yeah I think Ken summed it up. I will put this to you - why is bicycle regulation different to motorbikes? to cars? trucks? Why is bicycle usage on the road completely different to the other things? You don't need a licence to ride a bike on the busiest road, and arguably this is pretty risky for many novice riders. It seems that bicycling is treated more like walking for one of the most basic regulations out there. No rego, no licence.

No, not because I say so. Because walking is a fundamental expression of a basic human right, and cycling - although a very good thing - is not. The law treats the two very differently. Not just in Australia, mind you. In all sorts of places. Including places which don't have MHLs. Which rather suggests that MHL repeal doesn't rest on the outlandish proposition that regulating pedestrians is equivalent to regulating cyclists. So why keep bringing it up? Not only is it self-evident nonsense, it's self-evident nonsense that your argument doesn't rest on.

You are still just presenting your opinions. As far as I can see the law subordinates pedestrians to motor vehicles even more than it does cyclists. Saying something is self-evident nonsense does not make it so. Sounds more like an absence of any evidence.
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