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

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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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by BNA » Fri May 16, 2014 9:24 am

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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.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk


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

Postby human909 » Fri May 23, 2014 12:14 pm

No much use if people just pay their fine.

This happened in Melbourne several years ago. A dozen or so police turned up and threatened the fines. Most walked their bikes and were not fined. Some were fined.

The most effective way at the moment is continuing court challenges of the fines but that takes time and money.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby yugyug » Fri May 23, 2014 4:35 pm

human909 wrote:The most effective way at the moment is continuing court challenges of the fines but that takes time and money.



Do you really think so? In NSW Dan Woodall has been to local court numerous times over the past few years challenging his fines. Ditto for Sue Abbott, to district court. It would be great if these challenges succeeded but despite some sympathetic comments from the judges, they didn't. Not disagreeing with you, just wondering. In absence of a new legal strategy resulting in a court success, do these challenges reassert the purpose of the law in the eyes of politicians?

I would encourage people to challenge fines merely to the keep the debate going in the media and public though.

I don't know of any challenges in SA by the way, so I'll being paying attention to the Helmet Freedom event with interest.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Fri May 23, 2014 5:36 pm

The only real way to get change through public disobedience will be if there was an organised mass campaign of thousands of cyclists, over a prolonged period of time, getting fined and taking it through the courts. This is the only way to kill a bad law - a law no longer obeyed is not a law at all.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby citywomble » Fri May 23, 2014 9:50 pm

The Tel-Aviv Municipality in Israel showed cycling participation figures jumped by 54 per cent from 2010 to 2012, since its mandatory helmet law was repealed.


Spit the bones out of that MHL proponents!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Sat May 24, 2014 12:19 am

citywomble wrote:
The Tel-Aviv Municipality in Israel showed cycling participation figures jumped by 54 per cent from 2010 to 2012, since its mandatory helmet law was repealed.


Spit the bones out of that MHL proponents!


Yep, I saw the same thing. You want to see more bikes on the roads, get rid of this stupid law.

Il Padrone is right, if civil disobedience is tried it has to be well organised and a lot of people need to participate and go to court to challenge the law.

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

Postby il padrone » Sat May 24, 2014 8:53 am

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

Postby yugyug » Sat May 24, 2014 9:35 am

I think before a mass civil disobedience has the slightest chance of clogging up the courts, police will stop booking people. NSW cops already don't seem to care much, unless they are on an sting i.e told to book people from their higher ups.

Seems to me harder to start the un-wearing of helmets in the first place. So many Aussies cyclists seem truly convinced of their use, even the ones who are anti-MHL.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sat May 24, 2014 4:49 pm

A lot of laws in Oz are meaningless, until someone causes a serious problem and they need to attribute blame "after the fact". Neg driving is never applied until an accident has happened, despite plenty of bad driving out there. The MHL is an excuse to blame the cyclist for their brain damage after the car tbones them at 80kmh... that doesn't work for me too much. So yes, repeal is an important step in this process.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby foo on patrol » Sat May 24, 2014 5:25 pm

I'll keep mine on thank you, after the fall last weekend, I split mine in three places and saved my head many stitches. :roll:

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

Postby il padrone » Sat May 24, 2014 5:35 pm

foo, you are supporting yugyug's comments.

And I would ask "Where? How?" Many "helmet saved my life" collisions and falls are the result of less-than conservative riding, where a rider is unconsciously taking greater risks with faster, more reckless riding. I know that several falls that have lead to helmet damage (and on two occasions loss of consciousness) for me, occurred in this manner. Without a helmet I may well have done things somewhat differently, and not had the fall at all.

Eg. MTB orienteering event, riding quick into a mud wallow; riding down a MTB trail at speed, unaware of trail changes that installed water-bars; riding quickly down a gravel road and pulling up suddenly (this last was probably the greatest surprise on what should have been an OK surface).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby silentC » Sat May 24, 2014 5:48 pm

a rider is unconsciously taking greater risks with faster, more reckless riding ... Without a helmet I may well have done things somewhat differently, and not had the fall at all

Just out of curiosity, is there any evidence to back up that premise? It's a lot like the old 'seatbelts cause more accidents' line.
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