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

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

Postby London Boy » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:47 pm

mick243 wrote:Instead of injury rate, which can be effected by many outside influences, how about comparing specific injuries, eg, if your head hits the ground at 20kph, is it better with or without a helmet?

Um, you could do that, but you'd then not be addressing the actual issue which is whether, on balance, MHL's increase or reduce health and well-being (and consequential costs) within the community.

Ask any question and you would probably first come up with the answer that is obvious and simple. And wrong.

Which is what happened with the MHL's. Notwithstanding the conspiracy theory about motor industry involvement.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:05 pm

human909 wrote:There is no evidence that discouraging cycling and mandating helmets results in better health outcomes. In fact most of the evidence is the opposite. If helmets lead to greater good for cyclist The Netherlands must be a horrible place for cyclists with <1% of cyclists wearing helmets. :roll:


The Netherlands doesn't do well compared with Australia with regards to life expectancy (the ultimate indicator of health).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... expectancy

They also spend more on health care:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... per_capita

So there is not a lot of evidence that cycling has much impact on public health.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:10 pm

simonn wrote:The Netherlands doesn't do well compared with Australia with regards to life expectancy (the ultimate indicator of health).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... expectancy

They also spend more on health care:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... per_capita

So there is not a lot of evidence that cycling has much impact on public health.

So are you suggesting the Netherlands should reduce their cycling participation to increase their health outcomes ?? :? :roll:




There are so many variables in that little can of worms that citing it as evidence of the impacts of helmet/non-helmet use is a waste of breath.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:22 pm

I'm sure there are alot of things Australia performs better than The Netherlands. But we are talking about cycling and I think most of us can recognise that increased cycling can improve health outcomes.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:34 pm

simonn wrote:So there is not a lot of evidence that cycling has much impact on public health.

Well you could just go and have a read of the British Medical Journal.

As a result of physical activity, 12.46 deaths were avoided (benefit:risk ratio 77). The annual number of deaths avoided was 12.28. As a result of journeys by Bicing, annual carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by an estimated 9 062 344 kg.


http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1207.html?NKey=65
Speaking on BBC Radio, Professor Nieuwenhuijsen explained that the research found cycling to be very low risk, even after negative factors such as pollution and crashes were taken into account. What's more, the professor noted, "no one in Barcelona wears helmets".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:27 am

il padrone wrote:
simonn wrote:The Netherlands doesn't do well compared with Australia with regards to life expectancy (the ultimate indicator of health).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... expectancy

They also spend more on health care:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... per_capita

So there is not a lot of evidence that cycling has much impact on public health.

So are you suggesting the Netherlands should reduce their cycling participation to increase their health outcomes ?? :? :roll:


There are so many variables in that little can of worms that citing it as evidence of the impacts of helmet/non-helmet use is a waste of breath.


Science fail. It is not up to anyone to disprove the notion that a higher level of cycling results in better public health outcomes. It is up to the those making the claim to prove it. I've show some evidence that despite us fat Aussies having a bigger bellies, higher car usage and lower bicycle usage than the Dutch we still live longer - which is a good, if not the ultimate, measure of health.

il padrone wrote:Well you could just go and have a read of the British Medical Journal.

As a result of physical activity, 12.46 deaths were avoided (benefit:risk ratio 77). The annual number of deaths avoided was 12.28. As a result of journeys by Bicing, annual carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by an estimated 9 062 344 kg.


http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1207.html?NKey=65

Speaking on BBC Radio, Professor Nieuwenhuijsen explained that the research found cycling to be very low risk, even after negative factors such as pollution and crashes were taken into account. What's more, the professor noted, "no one in Barcelona wears helmets".


human909 wrote:I'm sure there are alot of things Australia performs better than The Netherlands. But we are talking about cycling and I think most of us can recognise that increased cycling can improve health outcomes.


On an individual level, certainly. However, I doubt that those who would take advantage of easier access to cycling would necessarily be the same as those in most need of a better approach to their health. Or, in simple term, the vast majority of those whose current hobby involves couches and screens probably are not going to start riding bicycles. It is more likely to be those who are already active in one way or another that start cycling.

Not all assumptions and data inputs, however, could be tested in the sensitivity analysis, as some remain difficult to quantify owing to lack of knowledge in the research area or the added complexity for modelling, going beyond the scope of this first pass assessment. For example, the benefits of physical activity may be a function of baseline levels of physical activity and health status, although the shape of dose-response functions for changes in physical activity at different baseline levels is not well established, especially for active travel.21 It is possible that people who had more sedentary lifestyles could have benefited more from the shift to cycling than those who already participate in sports and exercise activities,29 but we did not have this information.

If shifts in mode of travel were generated predominately from walking and public transit, the savings in carbon dioxide emissions would also be lower than our estimations. Hence we could potentially be over-estimating benefits of the Bicing initiative on carbon dioxide emissions in our central calculations of value.

...

Based on the small 4% reduction in car journeys in Barcelona according to our calculations on shift in travel mode, it is unlikely that savings on emissions would be sufficient to have a meaningful effect on population exposures and their health implications,

...



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

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:04 am

simonn wrote:Science fail. It is not up to anyone to disprove the notion that a higher level of cycling results in better public health outcomes. It is up to the those making the claim to prove it

This is very good to see, and also so very ironic. It is not up to anyone to prove that people are able to safely go riding a bike without a helmet. All that people are saying on here is that the case should have been clearly proven 24 years ago that there was clear evidence for the need for MHLs. It was not, never has been, and over time the case continues to be disproven.

It is beyond time to dismiss this arbitrary and unscientific law.


simonn wrote:On an individual level, certainly. However, I doubt that those who would take advantage of easier access to cycling would necessarily be the same as those in most need of a better approach to their health. Or, in simple term, the vast majority of those whose current hobby involves couches and screens probably are not going to start riding bicycles. It is more likely to be those who are already active in one way or another that start cycling.

Not all assumptions and data inputs, however, could be tested in the sensitivity analysis, as some remain difficult to quantify owing to lack of knowledge in the research area or the added complexity for modelling, going beyond the scope of this first pass assessment.......


Nothing too surprising there. A standard statement used in research papers to point out strengths and limitations of the study. It certainly has not been suggested by the authors that this means their basic findings are erroneous, just that there are areas for further study. If you believe their findings are false or misguided, go right ahead and carry out a study to disprove them
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby London Boy » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:30 am

simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:There is no evidence that discouraging cycling and mandating helmets results in better health outcomes. In fact most of the evidence is the opposite. If helmets lead to greater good for cyclist The Netherlands must be a horrible place for cyclists with <1% of cyclists wearing helmets. :roll:


The Netherlands doesn't do well compared with Australia with regards to life expectancy (the ultimate indicator of health).


Actually, life expectancy is only one indicator of health since health is only one of the factors driving life expectancy. An otherwise healthy person could catch and die of disease, or could die in an accident. Both affect life expectancy.

What would be more interesting would be to see figures on heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and so on. Those would be better indicators of health. As would healthcare costs for non-elective treatments.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:49 am

simonn wrote:Science fail. It is not up to anyone to disprove the notion that a higher level of cycling results in better public health outcomes. It is up to the those making the claim to prove it

That is not how science works. But if you are now debating if cycling brings health benefits then you really are getting desperate. :lol:

But even a cursory glance and The Netherlands and their road statistics compared to Australia will lead to some quite evident conclusions.

The Netherlands overwhelmingly proves that cyclist can be very safe without helmets and without MHLS.

Australia overwhelmingly proves that MHLs and helmets do not themselves lead to a safe cycling environment.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:28 pm

simon, the scientific method is entirely based upon the premise of disproving incorrect theories. It cannot prove ANYTHING in the positive. We just get ever more accurate and acceptable untruths... the presence of the Netherlands experience DOES disprove the MHL as safer. You are now required to explain why this isn't appropriate... i'll make it easier for us, they have different infrastructure and culture... I'll respond back, that they aren't so different that the Netherlands experience doesn't apply - they made an active decision to change from the trajectory that we now see ourselves in. The increase in cycling shows that we need to do the same.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:48 pm

London Boy wrote:
simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:There is no evidence that discouraging cycling and mandating helmets results in better health outcomes. In fact most of the evidence is the opposite. If helmets lead to greater good for cyclist The Netherlands must be a horrible place for cyclists with <1% of cyclists wearing helmets. :roll:


The Netherlands doesn't do well compared with Australia with regards to life expectancy (the ultimate indicator of health).


Actually, life expectancy is only one indicator of health since health is only one of the factors driving life expectancy. An otherwise healthy person could catch and die of disease, or could die in an accident. Both affect life expectancy.

What would be more interesting would be to see figures on heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and so on. Those would be better indicators of health. As would healthcare costs for non-elective treatments.


They do spend more on healthcare in the Netherlands - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... per_capita - so is it likely that Australians are spending more on non-elective treatments?

In any case, I would suspect that the difference is down to smoking - they are virtual chimneys in The Netherlands. However,smoking and obesity have a negative correlation.

human909 wrote:
simonn wrote:Science fail. It is not up to anyone to disprove the notion that a higher level of cycling results in better public health outcomes. It is up to the those making the claim to prove it

That is not how science works. But if you are now debating if cycling brings health benefits then you really are getting desperate. :lol:


There is not a lot of evidence to support this - despite how obvious it would seem.

human909 wrote:But even a cursory glance and The Netherlands and their road statistics compared to Australia will lead to some quite evident conclusions.


Not a great deal of difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... death_rate

human909 wrote:The Netherlands overwhelmingly proves that cyclist can be very safe without helmets and without MHLS.

Australia overwhelmingly proves that MHLs and helmets do not themselves lead to a safe cycling environment.


My argument was not against the above - you just bought them in as a strawman, intentional or otherwise. It was against the below:

human909 wrote:I'm sure there are alot of things Australia performs better than The Netherlands. But we are talking about cycling and I think most of us can recognise that increased cycling can improve health outcomes.


Xplora wrote:simon, the scientific method is entirely based upon the premise of disproving incorrect theories. It cannot prove ANYTHING in the positive.


Correct. "It is obvious that increased cycling results in better health outcomes" offers no real way of attempting falsification. It is not even a hypothesis. The claim has to have some evidence for that.

Xplora wrote:the presence of the Netherlands experience DOES disprove the MHL as safer.


Safer than what?

The Netherlands experience proves that building decent cycling infrastructure increases the number of cyclists.

It does not prove anything with regards to MHLs. There is no country with decent cycle infrastructure and MHLs.

My argument in this case was never about MHLs per se, simply that there is not a lot of evidence that increased cycling results in better public health outcomes (let alone that MHLs are a significant enough of a barrier to make that much of a difference. I certainly do not believe for one moment that there is an army couch potatoes waiting to pounce on bicycles as soon as the MHLs are dropped - I would hazard a guess that MHLs might simply stop some fit/healthy people from cycling, but that infrastructure is far more of a barrier).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:04 pm

simonn wrote:My argument in this case was never about MHLs per se, simply that there is not a lot of evidence that increased cycling results in better public health outcomes

There is more evidence for this than there is evidence support your previous claim that mandatory helmets the lead to positive health outcomes.

It seems that when you make claims you don't need "evidence" when others make claims their evidence is apparently "not a lot". :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:17 pm

human909 wrote:
simonn wrote:My argument in this case was never about MHLs per se, simply that there is not a lot of evidence that increased cycling results in better public health outcomes

There is more evidence for this than there is evidence support your previous claim that mandatory helmets the lead to positive health outcomes.

It seems that when you make claims you don't need "evidence" when others make claims their evidence is apparently "not a lot". :roll:


Where did I make that claim?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:39 pm

simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:
simonn wrote:My argument in this case was never about MHLs per se, simply that there is not a lot of evidence that increased cycling results in better public health outcomes

There is more evidence for this than there is evidence support your previous claim that mandatory helmets the lead to positive health outcomes.

It seems that when you make claims you don't need "evidence" when others make claims their evidence is apparently "not a lot". :roll:


Where did I make that claim?


I'm sorry. I was under the very strong impression that you did think MHLs led to positive health outcomes. After all that is what we were discussing. It seems I am mistaken, and that we are both in agreement that MHLs do not lead to positive health outcomes.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:42 pm

No, it was mick243 that was making that claim. In the too-ing and fro-ing we've just got it a bit mixed up.

mick243 wrote:MHL greater good would be the lessened likelihood of traumatic head injuries. Just like mandatory seatbelt laws lessen the likelihood of traumatic injuries in car crashes. We all pay for a public health system, anything we can do to lessen the load on it by reducing the need for it in the first place can only be a good thing.



Twaddle again. The easiest way to "increase the geater good" by this logic is to simply outlaw bicycle-riding :|
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:06 pm

Cycling doesn't necessarily lead to better population level health outcomes... and MHL most certainly doesn't lead to better health outcomes for the population either.

Cycling does lead to better health outcomes for the individual... a helmet can lead to better health outcomes IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING THE HEAD... but MHL can't be shown to create better health outcomes for the individual, because there is no certainty that the rider will suffer a severe head collision, unlike the certainty of improved cardiovascular health from riding.

We can all acknowledge there is a difference between individual outcomes and population wide outcomes, because there is inevitability for accidents across the population that we don't see for the individual.

The issue at this point is why does a MHL fail to produce better population wide outcomes? I assume that the bell curve creates different answers for each individual, but it seems logical that Australia should have much much much better injury outcomes for cyclists, and that's just not there. On the balance of that, it seems reasonable to conclude that helmets should be a choice that is encouraged but not legislated, because there are other spheres that do not receive such attention, like drowning, ladder injuries, elderly falls... the runs are on the board, and it is clearly discrimination to select cyclists and motorcyclists for such attention, particularly given that it has been noncycling groups pushing for the laws in the first place.

Padrone has posted links relating to such lobbying from motorist groups for decades over a great number of things. The helmet is there to protect the tender sensibilities of the motorist - not the tender brain tissue of the rider. They feel less guilty being aggressive towards someone who they think stands a chance of surviving a collision. No one is dumb enough to think a helmetless child will survive being hit by a car, few think an adult helmetless rider will survive either. The focus was put on the rider, even though they either bear the responsibility for their own stupidity (I've flipped over a BMW at 40kph, I was an idiot that time) or, most of the time, the car needs to be controlled better. We don't have that many laws to protect people from themselves. It's mostly to protect someone from another, and this law is the same. It is to protect the driver from feeling responsible for highly vulnerable people on the road. They don't need to care about others if they are supposed to walk on the footpath, or wear helmets to reduce brain trauma. Never mind that the cyclist and ped doesn't create any risk to themselves or each other without the car there. If helmets were an easy choice, they wouldn't need MHLs. It's clearly not that simple.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:19 pm

Xplora wrote:MHL can't be shown to create better health outcomes for the individual, because there is no certainty that the rider will suffer a severe head collision,


:?

And seatbelts? Helmets for motorcyclists? The uncertain nature of life is why we use safety equipment - if we knew an incident was going to occur we would avoid driving/riding and thus avoid the incident completely.

Xplora wrote:unlike the certainty of improved cardiovascular health from riding.


Not necessarily the case. This assumes that it is the unfit that start cycling, which is not necessarily the case. There are plenty of fit people who jump on a bike to ride to the shops, or whatever, and it has no real impact on their fitness. This is the kind of riding MHLs are apparently meant to stop. Road riders and MTBs generally do not seem to be phased about the idea of helmets.

Xplora wrote:because there are other spheres that do not receive such attention, like drowning, ladder injuries,


Not really true...

http://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/

http://www.ohsrep.org.au/faqs/ohs-reps- ... egulations
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:29 pm

The resolution to the OHS stuff is not a full helmet and back brace, or caribiner/harness setup to prevent the fall. It IS achievable. Or a scaffold instead of a ladder.

The resolution of the swimming pool register doesn't cover rivers, beaches, dams, creeks, stormwater drains, buckets/// lifejackets all around would be the same solution as the helmet.

Practicality is mercifully absent from the bicycle; yes, the helmet helps, but it's not PRACTICAL when faced with the forces created by a car. A full motorcycle helmet is more sensible if you are trying to resist high speed impacts, but it's not considered practical.

Again and again, its a logical contortionist act to make these laws seem reasonable. It's not Your logic, Simon. You're smarter than that. But it's the logic used to support them.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:44 pm

Xplora wrote:Again and again, its a logical contortionist act to make these laws seem reasonable. It's not Your logic, Simon. You're smarter than that. But it's the logic used to support them.


I am not attempting to make MHLs seem reasonable. Trying to claim that ladder usage and swimming is not regulated is out and out wrong though, and does not therefore work as an argument against MHL laws.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:54 pm

simonn wrote:Trying to claim that ladder usage and swimming is not regulated is out and out wrong though, and does not therefore work as an argument against MHL laws.

Outside of the workplace, ladder use IS unregulated. Outside of the backyard pool and commercial/public swimming pool, swimming IS also pretty much unregulated (well there are flags at the surf beaches, but no compulsion to adhere to their direction).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:58 pm

simonn wrote:Trying to claim that ladder usage and swimming is not regulated is out and out wrong though, and does not therefore work as an argument against MHL laws.

It is only regulated in a very small context - like racing, or participating in a sportif, etc etc. There is no narrow regulation of the helmet situation. :idea:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:18 pm

il padrone wrote:
simonn wrote:Science fail. It is not up to anyone to disprove the notion that a higher level of cycling results in better public health outcomes. It is up to the those making the claim to prove it

This is very good to see, and also so very ironic. It is not up to anyone to prove that people are able to safely go riding a bike without a helmet. All that people are saying on here is that the case should have been clearly proven 24 years ago that there was clear evidence for the need for MHLs. It was not, never has been, and over time the case continues to be disproven.

It is beyond time to dismiss this arbitrary and unscientific law.


Thanks Pete, saved me some typing. +1
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby yugyug » Wed May 14, 2014 12:07 am

Pleased to see some common sense from Her Majesty's Government of the UK:
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48526
I wonder if the good folk at the RMS preparing their report to Mr Gay on bicycle registration will be as thorough....
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby yugyug » Wed May 14, 2014 12:20 am

By the way, a few pages back there was some discussion regarding the enforcement of the MHL. I've come to the opinion that for political reasons the MHLs will never be repealed until there is widespread lack of adherence and enforcement to the extent the law becomes redundant. Il Padrone gave the example of what happened in the NT to show how this can happen.

But what do we know about police enforcement policies? How can we find out? Is the kind of thing thats published somewhere or is it the kind of thing that a journalist can call up a senior policeman and get an answer? Or are such police operations/policies secret?

(In the last 3 years riding helmetless in Sydney I have been stopped more than half a dozen times, but only cautioned and then fined once, by cycle cops on a Bourke St cyclepath "sting". Who authorises that kind of stuff or more pertinently, did someone advise the other cops at some point to not bother fining me?)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Wed May 14, 2014 12:29 am

They seem pretty enthusiastic about enforcing the laws in Victoria . . . all's the pity.

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