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

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

Postby Mulger bill » Thu May 15, 2014 7:55 pm

Drizt wrote:I'd wear one regardless of the law as it's a sensible thing to do.


Good on you. Myself and every other rider supporting MHL repeal will fight to the death to preserve your right to wear the magic mushroom whenever you wish. Something most of us choose to do most of the time anyway.

Drizt wrote:I wonder what the stats are for medical costs for those in accidents wearing a helmet vs those that didn't. It would also be interesting to see the amount of people's taxes go into those people's recovery. I don't know the answers to that one.

Have you considered the medical costs of a sedentary lifestyle? General Road trauma involving people NOT wearing hemlets?
Open carefully, this can of worms is predatory...

Finally...
How in Freds name do people go getting this inane idea into their scones that repealing MHLs will mean that hemlets themselves will be banned?
I smell spin, lies even from the pro crowd...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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by BNA » Thu May 15, 2014 8:14 pm

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

Postby Drizt » Thu May 15, 2014 8:14 pm

Right, I guess this is one of those forums where respect is optional. Carry on fellas

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

Postby Drizt » Thu May 15, 2014 8:26 pm

Just in reply to the welcoming enquiries, I ride around 180km a week on my giant defy. I commute almost every day to work on my bike and witness all kinds of things that blow the mind. Cyclists, pedestrians, dogs and motorists all have been an issue at one stage or another.

Have found bus drivers to be the worst so far.

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

Postby human909 » Thu May 15, 2014 9:21 pm

Drizt wrote:Right, I guess this is one of those forums where respect is optional. Carry on fellas


Welcome to the forums, this is a large community of diverse opinions that can talk discuss numerous aspects of cycling. Feel free to stick around! Most of us are pretty friendly really. :D

However you did just whack a hornets nest and when they started buzzing you continue to whack. Whatever your view is on MHLs and helmets in general, you need to recognise that MOST people in the world don't wear helmets riding bicycles. Furthermore in the countries where riding is safest, very few people wear helmets.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Drizt » Thu May 15, 2014 9:24 pm

Just because most people do it doesn't make it right.

I guess my sticking point is... What is wrong with wearing a helmet? Is it such a burden to wear one so great to warrant the reactions?

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

Postby human909 » Thu May 15, 2014 10:28 pm

Drizt wrote:Just because most people do it doesn't make it right.

Right!? Since when was wearing a helmet a question of right and wrong?

The point was that your world view is in the minority. The corollary is; How do you justify your views when they conflict so starkly with the rest of the world?

Drizt wrote:I guess my sticking point is... What is wrong with wearing a helmet? Is it such a burden to wear one so great to warrant the reactions?

This question has already been answered. The fact that helmets are a hassle to wear is evident in the speed they come off once the user no longer needs them. Cyclists stop and take off their helmets, construction workers take theirs off the second they walk off site, it is quite clear helmets are a big hassle. A 30% decline in cycling in Australia following MHLs. Do you really need all this explained to you????

I'll repeat myself. If you like cycling and want to see more people cycling then then MHLs are an issue.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Drizt » Thu May 15, 2014 10:44 pm

No one I know has a problem with wearing a helmet, no one.

Cup of cement guys and girls.

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

Postby Drizt » Thu May 15, 2014 10:49 pm

I love cycling and I want to see more people doing it. I don't want to see anyone without a helmet though.

Hopefully one is allowed to have a contrary opinion to the mob.

The law isn't going to change so I'll make this my last post in this thread.

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

Postby il padrone » Thu May 15, 2014 10:56 pm

Mate, you REALLY need to go ride a bike in Europe and see how it's done. :idea:

There is one hell of a lot more than helmets* that makes for safe and happy cycling. This was what many cycling advocates were saying back in 1990 but the powers of government just ignored us.



* reduce speeds in urban and rural areas; mandate a specified wider safe passing distance; enforce laws on giving way much more stingently; enact rules that deter driving and encourage more cycling; construct many more bike lanes and other cycling faclities on all roads, but especially main roads, etc.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu May 15, 2014 11:23 pm

I'll simply repeat Burke's quote. If we do nothing, say nothing, then the bad guys win.

Drizt, you are certainly welcome to participate and put forward a point, but be prepared to have your opinions looked at and responses made. You don't know anyone who has a problem with a helmet? Maybe you need to get out more, or ride with a bigger range of riders. Roadie cafe culture is strongly pro-helmet because accidents are often outside your control in the bunch. If you ride alone, you are much more easily able to manage your risk; you might be riding slower as well.
Your desire to control other people's actions is concerning for me. We don't live in that society in Australia. We aren't China or East Germany.
The cup of cement comment is somewhat laughable... you come up against opposition - in THE most controversial thread on the forum, and surely 6700 replies and 270 pages sends a message that maybe we don't have a consensus on this topic - and you run with your tail between the legs? :shock:
If you're right, put the case forward. Logic, science, politics, culture - they all support repeal of the MHL. The minority impact of the laws is the only reason that they haven't been canned. If 10% of commuting was done on a bike, the electoral backlash would have stopped it in its tracks.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Thu May 15, 2014 11:47 pm

Hi Drizt, long time no see, bought a turntable yet? ;)

I have a number of problems with the helmet laws, but by far the biggest problem I have with the helmet laws is the way that they have had, and continue to have, a dramatic impact on cycling numbers. By far the best way to reduce cycling injuries is to reduce accidents. Research shows that increasing the number of cyclists on the roads is proven to reduce the accident rate for cyclists. Mandatory helmet laws discourage cycling, this is not an opinion, this is an observable fact. I personally do not support any law which discourages cycling.

Furthermore, and I have had this argument with quite a few people, the very fact that cyclists are forced to wear safety equipment gives the impression cycling is a very dangerous activity. After all, why would parliament mandate safety equipment unless cycling was very dangerous? However, the reality is quite different, cycling is not only quite safe it also contributes to one's health and fitness. But I have talked to people who will not cycle because they have the impression it is very dangerous, and this impression is at least partially because of the compulsion to wear safety equipment while cycling. This is especially the case with parents, they say they won't let their kids ride a bike because it is so dangerous. This is one of the worst impacts of the helmet laws, pre helmet laws the attitude was the opposite, kids were encouraged to go out and ride a bike.

Also the argument about health costs is a complete furphy. Over 50% of head injuries suffered on the roads are suffered by occupants of motor vehicles, that is despite the protection of the vehicle, seat belts and air bags. If this law really was about saving health expenditure, or even about reducing head injuries, then occupants of motor vehicles would have had mandatory helmet laws well before cyclists.

Here's a nice video for you:



You will notice most of the people here who oppose mandatory helmet laws say they would still wear a helmet. I'm on the other side of that debate, I would not own a helmet if not for the laws. I hate the bloody thing and didn't own a bike for over a decade after the law was brought in. I also know that many other activities we all do every day have higher risks than cycling. All I am asking for is the choice. I am a commuter cyclist, if I took up cycling in a group or mountain biking I would consider wearing a helmet. Unfortunately at the moment I do not have that choice.

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

Postby Xplora » Fri May 16, 2014 9:21 am

Irony is that if you took up MTB, DavidS, you would not be compelled to wear a helmet as trail riding is done outside Road Related Areas. The Parliament COULD enforce helmet use for MTB trail riders, but it's too much of a pain to enforce. Arguably, the road enforcement is similarly too hard. It just provides an excuse for the head injury during the postaccident investigation - the cyclist was at fault, they didn't wear the helmet, rather than the reality that the driver was at fault because of dozens of other regulations dictating they take due care, overtake safely, proceed with caution, etc etc etc :idea:

A lot of our road rules are simply about apportioning blame in the event of an accident, rather than active enforcement. Failure to give way happens constantly, due to mistake or intent, yet how many people get pinged for it without an accident? I feel the practicalities of the road rule enforcement lend weight to the fact that helmets and seatbelts should be optional because they make lawbreakers of otherwise innocent parties who are victims of the negligence of others. Whiplash is a nasty injury, superman collarbone damage is a nasty injury too. You don't bring those injuries on yourself in a two vehicle collision when the other vehicle has broken the rules. But the police will not take that into account. :idea:
I think you should wear seatbelts and helmets too, my kids have to, but if they have to bump their head during an accident at the age of 14 to learn that listening to Dad was a great idea on the seatbelt and helmet, then so be it. The cops won't be able to teach them any better than me. :idea:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby g-boaf » Fri May 16, 2014 9:24 am

Drizt wrote:I love cycling and I want to see more people doing it. I don't want to see anyone without a helmet though.

Hopefully one is allowed to have a contrary opinion to the mob.

The law isn't going to change so I'll make this my last post in this thread.

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It's a hornets nest on helmet discussion. Personally, regardless of the law I'll keep wearing a helmet. Much like I wear gloves when riding a bike. It just doesn't feel right otherwise.

Cycling could be possibly dangerous, but then so could kids playing basketball or football or something else. Heck, it could be dangerous walking outside your front door. But we still do that to go to school or to work, don't we?

We've got to a stupid stage where kids are driven 500m to school from the home. :roll: We think cycling is dangerous. Look at all the car accidents that occur? How come then that everyone still drives cars - cars with systems like airbags, traction control, presafe, brake-assist plus, cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, lane departure assistance. Don't all those systems point to driving being dangerous?

On the balance, it's not especially dangerous to ride a bike. I don't think helmets have too much to do with it - I think it's just people being obsessive and the cotton-wool society we have now, along with media ramping up the hatred against bicycle riders.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Fri May 16, 2014 10:01 am

"I have to add that my helmet saved me from what could have been a very serious injury."

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=75348

I keep hearing claims that MHLs resulted in a dramatic decline in cycling (claims of 30%) but where's the evidence. All the surveys suggest that MHLs are not much, if any, discouragement to cycling. Way down the list. Keep ignoring the facts. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri May 16, 2014 10:35 am

That's a pretty intense crash, sorry to hear it. It's absolutely ridiculous to assume that the helmet had anything to do with the severity of the accident. A helmet works in certain situations, but this rider was flipped off the bike. Who knows what impact the helmet had? For all we know, if a helmet wasn't present, the rider wouldn't have had the crash because they wouldn't have allowed themselves to get to such a high speed where they could lose control :idea:

I don't know. I can't pretend to know. But we have to acknowledge that a mangled helmet is not the sign of a reduced head injury. It is evidence that the helmet material was destroyed in the accident. We assume that this has contributed to a reduction in head trauma, but science doesn't work like that. Science tells us that humans are really bad at determining blame for negative things. They are really bad at lots of things. The very post makes it clear that they didn't really accept responsibility for the accident at all, to my reading. They KNEW it was a dicey section, and had the prang anyway. They got stitches in their forehead... how could that happen if the helmet was doing its job? I thought helmets stopped your forehead contacting the road? Has their head gone into the helmet so hard on impact that it has torn skin? If that's the case, the helmet (with padded lining, and foam inners) can't be said to have stopped the injury - they had a concussion regardless. Maybe it reduced things, maybe it didn't.

I say again - I don't know. But the rider asserted that they DID know. They will take that story to the grave, and they will tell their friends. The helmet saved me... head injuries have 3 aspects. Brain, skin and skull. We know that brain trauma wasn't prevented. It might have been reduced, but we have absolutely no way of knowing that. We only have an assumption that the Australian Standard was enough to reduce this incident's severity.

We have to ask the question, is the rider just talking out of ignorance? Unless you hit your head, and could feel a deceleration from the helmet alone, like the "anvil test" for helmets, that resulted in reduced injury, then you just can't know. They blacked out.

We don't live in a world guided by suspicion and superstition. We need to ask the question. I don't expect the doctor in Ryde's ED to think it through with a dozen other patients to worry about. They certainly will NOT say "the helmet did nothing to help you". They don't know, they will comfort as best they can, even if that's a falsehood. I will not direct these comments to the rider, that's for sure. I direct them solely to the people who participate in this thread.

I've typed a lot in this post, I hope if someone has been able to read it without losing the plot with anger and frustration that they take the opportunity to reflect on what is real, what is imagined, what is science and what is assumption. DECADES of indoctrination and almost Stockholm Syndrome acceptance of the MHL creates a bias for our thinking that is hard to overcome. I was raised in a motorcycle family. I rode motorbikes from 3 years of age. I was wearing helmets from a young age. I started to ride a BMX bike at 11. Didn't wear a helmet. Didn't crash either. Parents didn't know lol. They wouldn't let me ride around the backyard on the moto without a helmet, and I never recall hitting my head EVER in 10 years of moto riding. A heavy helmet. For a peewee50. I've been indoctrinated by an irrational fear of head trauma. But I used my brains and came to another conclusion in my 30s. Am I still a wimp and will keep helmetting? Yep. But I won't let people tell me that their life was saved by a bicycle helmet. It's probably not true.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Fri May 16, 2014 12:27 pm

g-boaf wrote:We've got to a stupid stage where kids are driven 500m to school from the home. :roll: We think cycling is dangerous. Look at all the car accidents that occur? How come then that everyone still drives cars - cars with systems like airbags, traction control, presafe, brake-assist plus, cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, lane departure assistance. Don't all those systems point to driving being dangerous?

On the balance, it's not especially dangerous to ride a bike. I don't think helmets have too much to do with it - I think it's just people being obsessive and the cotton-wool society we have now, along with media ramping up the hatred against bicycle riders.


Everything I have read has indicated that cycling, walking and driving have a similar risk on a per hour basis. On a per km basis driving is safer than walking and cycling, however, people in general tend not to walk or cycle anywhere near the same distance they drive so I would argue that it is only worth comparing this per hour.

I do not think people actually think of driving as safe. People know roads are dangerous. The focus motor vehicle manufacture marketing has on safety features would seem to indicate this is true. Although I suspect that a lot fo people just seem to believe that accidents/incidents/crashes (pick your own term) are something that happen to someone else (as do a lot of cyclists it would seem), judging by the way they drive.

People also have little choice but to use roads.

Call it obsessive or wrapping up in cotton wool, but I really do not want - and do not want any more of my friends and family - to accidentally die, especially if it might have been prevented by something as easily obtainable and wearable as a bicycle helmet (even if they are not helms of invulnerability)

None of this means I am pro-MHLs though. I think like most BNAers, I wear a helmet, don't really care what people I do not know or care too much about do, but do get very frustrated at illogical and dubious arguments and think there are bigger issues at hand (infrastructure!!!).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Fri May 16, 2014 12:40 pm

biker jk wrote:I keep hearing claims that MHLs resulted in a dramatic decline in cycling (claims of 30%) but where's the evidence.

On the previous page.

biker jk wrote:All the surveys suggest that MHLs are not much, if any, discouragement to cycling. Way down the list. Keep ignoring the facts. :roll:

The damage has already been done. Surveys done now in an environment where cycling has been portrayed as a dangerous activity for the last 20 years are going to be different from surveys 20 years ago. Survey the Dutch or even the British and you will get entirely different responses.

Nobody here has argued that cycling will bounce back 30% by getting rid of the law. It will take time to fix the damage.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Sat May 17, 2014 7:14 pm

biker jk wrote:"

I keep hearing claims that MHLs resulted in a dramatic decline in cycling (claims of 30%) but where's the evidence. All the surveys suggest that MHLs are not much, if any, discouragement to cycling. Way down the list. Keep ignoring the facts. :roll:


Astonishing. I know we are not supposed to stoop to personal attacks but that is just astonishing.

Something about repeating a lie until its an accepted truth?

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

Postby simonn » Mon May 19, 2014 10:05 am

human909 wrote:
biker jk wrote:I keep hearing claims that MHLs resulted in a dramatic decline in cycling (claims of 30%) but where's the evidence.

On the previous page.

biker jk wrote:All the surveys suggest that MHLs are not much, if any, discouragement to cycling. Way down the list. Keep ignoring the facts. :roll:

The damage has already been done. Surveys done now in an environment where cycling has been portrayed as a dangerous activity for the last 20 years are going to be different from surveys 20 years ago. Survey the Dutch or even the British and you will get entirely different responses.

Nobody here has argued that cycling will bounce back 30% by getting rid of the law. It will take time to fix the damage.


If the damage has already been done, then maybe move on and try a different approach? The important thing would seem to be to get people cycling first and (good/useful) infrastructure can be shown to do this. Then people then might start ignoring MHLs - which may or may not result in the laws being questioned, as they are in QLD and as happened in NT.

As for surveys, the results for the UK and Australia seem remarkably similar (this could of course be due to bias introduced in the questioning):

See page 5: http://www.cyclingpromotion.com.au/imag ... t_2011.pdf

See "A TfGM online survey": http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki/barriers-cycling
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon May 19, 2014 10:34 am

simonn wrote:If the damage has already been done, then maybe move on and try a different approach? The important thing would seem to be to get people cycling first and (good/useful) infrastructure can be shown to do this. Then people then might start ignoring MHLs - which may or may not result in the laws being questioned, as they are in QLD and as happened in NT.


For what benefit!? There isn't a trade off between MHL and infrastructure. Why would I "move" on. I want cycling in Australia to grow and improve. Infrastructure is important, driver attitude changes is important and getting rid of MHL is important.


simonn wrote:As for surveys, the results for the UK and Australia seem remarkably similar (this could of course be due to bias introduced in the questioning):

Sure safety is a concern in Britain, those surveys don't measure the degree of safety concern (extremely hard to do). With only ~30% feeling the need to wear a helmet I would be surprised to see that the British see cycling with the same degree of trepidation as the average Australian cyclist.

See page 5: http://www.cyclingpromotion.com.au/imag ... t_2011.pdf

See "A TfGM online survey": http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki/barriers-cycling [/quote]
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Mon May 19, 2014 11:51 am

human909 wrote:For what benefit!? There isn't a trade off between MHL and infrastructure. Why would I "move" on. I want cycling in Australia to grow and improve. Infrastructure is important, driver attitude changes is important and getting rid of MHL is important.


Because it is a very difficult sell for very little apparent benefit. Once the other things (infrastructure and driver behavior etc) are sorted (or on their way to being sorted), it becomes a much easier sell. Seriously, you can't sell it to a lot of/most cyclists and peak bodies. NT example. QLD at least has the discussion going.

human909 wrote:Sure safety is a concern in Britain, those surveys don't measure the degree of safety concern (extremely hard to do). With only ~30% feeling the need to wear a helmet I would be surprised to see that the British see cycling with the same degree of trepidation as the average Australian cyclist.


:?

Unsafe road conditions 67% (Australia)
Road safety 73% (Manchester)

Shows how irrelevant the helmet is to the argument on bicycle safety. So, at once showing that MHLs are potentially silly* and showing that there are more important issues to address.

*By potentially silly, I mean that people are not perceiving a great deal safety comes from helmets. However, this does not mean there is actually no value in them.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon May 19, 2014 1:12 pm

simonn wrote:*By potentially silly, I mean that people are not perceiving a great deal safety comes from helmets. However, this does not mean there is actually no value in them.

This is the ideological sticking point on both sides, because at the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves and our parliamentarians is the minor value of the helmet so critical to the riding experience that we must legislate? Like bells and reflectors and lights, there is always value but is it enough to legislate and mandate their use :idea:

A vast range of civil liberties have not come down on the same side of the argument as the MHL :idea: You aren't guaranteed to crash on a bike just like you aren't guaranteed to get cancer from smoking. You have a reasonably good chance of destroying your life in a major accident with a car just like you have a reasonably good chance of destroying your life with lung cancer; but we haven't mandatorily banned smoking like riding helmetless. Booze, same deal.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon May 19, 2014 1:42 pm

simonn wrote:Because it is a very difficult sell for very little apparent benefit.


Very little benefit!? It might not be apparent to you but it is apparent to many. Hundreds of thousands of people stopped cycling due to the mandatory helmet laws. Surely getting more people cycling is not "little benefit".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Fri May 23, 2014 11:48 am

It seems those laid back people from Adelaide are making themselves busy..

SA cyclists and police face head-on clash over helmet law

Dozens of cyclists are expected to gather at the Convention Centre riverbank at 3.30pm next Thursday for the protest, organised by advocacy group Freestyle Cyclists.

The 15km ride, along the River Torrens Linear Park to Henley Beach Square, is unauthorised and organisers said wearing a helmet was optional.

SAPOL said cyclists without helmets faced $153 fines.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... 6927449743
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri May 23, 2014 12:08 pm

I wonder if SAPOL has considered that the court's time isn't worth 153 dollars? There is no way they won't challenge the MHL in court, and top brass will be told "this just isn't worth the effort". The police report might be boilerplate, but if they tie up a police officer and a magistrate for 2-3 hours each, that's a few days of hearings. Worse still, if the first one wins, that's dozens of overturned fines and a redundant MHL. Lose lose for the police imo.
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