Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

g-boaf
Posts: 8597
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby g-boaf » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:18 am

I'm in Innsbruck at the moment and riding there. There are a lot of people riding all kinds of bikes, some on road bikes and riding as for racing/sport, others just commuting about, riding for enjoyment, etc. Seems to be a mix of some with helmets and others without. It's not markedly one way or the other.

What makes it much better to ride here (as opposed to Sydney) is that you have extensive options in terms of bike lanes, bike paths, roads, etc and the traffic is so nice. They are excellent. You will get some closer passes, but it isn't done with malice, they are just going past you and not deliberately trying to run you off the road. If the conditions are a bit uncertain,they wait. It's nice.

Getting rid of helmet laws seems to be the easy fix, but I don't think that's going to change anything unless driving culture changes, along with the infrastructure upgrades. That's the biggest thing in Innsbruck - the infrastructure is superb. The traffic is also fairly relaxed and not rushed.

We witnessed a lady crash her little mini SUV into the back of a DB Schenker truck, within about 5-10min someone arrived on bicycle (probably a relative) to assist her while the Polizei was there helping to sort things out.

Cyclophiliac
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Cyclophiliac » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:21 am

g-boaf wrote:I'm in Innsbruck at the moment and riding there. There are a lot of people riding all kinds of bikes, some on road bikes and riding as for racing/sport, others just commuting about, riding for enjoyment, etc. Seems to be a mix of some with helmets and others without. It's not markedly one way or the other.

What makes it much better to ride here (as opposed to Sydney) is that you have extensive options in terms of bike lanes, bike paths, roads, etc and the traffic is so nice. They are excellent. You will get some closer passes, but it isn't done with malice, they are just going past you and not deliberately trying to run you off the road. If the conditions are a bit uncertain,they wait. It's nice.

Getting rid of helmet laws seems to be the easy fix, but I don't think that's going to change anything unless driving culture changes, along with the infrastructure upgrades. That's the biggest thing in Innsbruck - the infrastructure is superb. The traffic is also fairly relaxed and not rushed.

We witnessed a lady crash her little mini SUV into the back of a DB Schenker truck, within about 5-10min someone arrived on bicycle (probably a relative) to assist her while the Polizei was there helping to sort things out.

I noticed the same during a late June to early July cycling trip in Italy and France, and a previous France cycling trip in September last year: I never felt threatened on the roads like I do here, and I was just accepted as another valid road user. Australia has a lot to learn (but will our government ever learn? Probably not).

g-boaf
Posts: 8597
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby g-boaf » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:18 pm

Bingo to the above. The riding experience over here in reality just blows a lot of the talk (some of it in this very thread) out of the water. Especially seeing that it is not a sea of step-over bikes, quite a lot of people are wearing helmets, some are riding road bikes, others mountain bikes. It's just a lot of people getting about doing their own thing without being harassed or bothered.

And I'm loving the bike lanes everywhere, and bike paths too. That's great. That makes it super easy to get around, but even the roads are great too. Even out of town on some busy roads, the riding is good.

From my initial bad experience on arrival, it's all good now and I'm starting to love this place. And almost rode into Italy as well, went quite close to that. :shock:

1Rowdy1
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:51 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby 1Rowdy1 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:31 am

DavidS wrote:
bychosis wrote:
human909 wrote:A totally unrelated article but with a completely relevant title:

How to solve 1000s of crimes with a stroke of a pen

To bring it back to topic. What is currently being gained by fining people for riding without helmets? Where is the benefit?

Only, saving people from themselves. :roll: by making everyone wear a plastic bucket on their noggin they obviously prevent thousands of head injuries presenting to Emergency. Saves a crap load of money doesn't it?


Yep, love that argument that helmets, or even helmet laws, save thousands of lives, pure speculation. People can wear them when they want to, many riders would still wear helmets, especially those more at risk such as cyclists riding at speed in groups or those on mountain trails. As an adult I don't need to be saved from myself. :roll:

If the problem is that the roads are not safe enough for one category of road vehicle, namely bicycles, then the roads need to be improved rather than imposing a safety device of dubious utility in an accident with over a tonne of car.

As for the assertion that this saves a crap load of money, that argument might have some credibility if not for:

Image

If saving money in our health system was really a factor then cyclists would be well down the list of those who need safety equipment, many more occupants of motor vehicles suffer head injuries than cyclists.

I am constantly amazed at the calibre of argument in favour of MHLs, and I still can't understand why cyclists want to discourage cycling, especially when there is evidence that more cyclists on the road is safer for cyclists.

DS


Yet car's account for way more than 1/2 the traffic on the roads, so head injuries are under represented in car occupants.
Cannondale Quick 5
Giant TCR Advanced 2
Polygon Heist 5.0

User avatar
warthog1
Posts: 6788
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:36 pm

This popped up in my email today

https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/our-c ... on6.com.au

A survey on attitudes toward the MHL (that they currently support)
I politely informed them in one of the comment boxes that I was not a member (and would not be) due to their stance on MHLs.

Arbuckle23
Posts: 256
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:07 pm
Location: Mornington Peninsula

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Arbuckle23 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:10 pm

Thanks for that, filled in.
And for the record it was a firm no for MHL :)

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 3143
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:12 pm

1Rowdy1 wrote:Yet car's account for way more than 1/2 the traffic on the roads, so head injuries are under represented in car occupants.


Rowdy
that's ALL head injuries, not just the traffic related ones. It's THE #1 place that head injury protection is needed
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

uart
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:15 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby uart » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:50 pm

DavidS wrote:As for the assertion that this saves a crap load of money, that argument might have some credibility if not for:
Image
DS


Hey, I'm more concerned about the fact that he's ridding a fixie with no front brake than his lack of helmet. :wink:

1Rowdy1
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:51 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby 1Rowdy1 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:35 pm

Thoglette wrote:
1Rowdy1 wrote:Yet car's account for way more than 1/2 the traffic on the roads, so head injuries are under represented in car occupants.


Rowdy
that's ALL head injuries, not just the traffic related ones. It's THE #1 place that head injury protection is needed


That makes more sense, I should read properly before replying. :oops:
Cannondale Quick 5
Giant TCR Advanced 2
Polygon Heist 5.0

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2274
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:20 pm

warthog1 wrote:This popped up in my email today

https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/our-c ... on6.com.au

A survey on attitudes toward the MHL (that they currently support)
I politely informed them in one of the comment boxes that I was not a member (and would not be) due to their stance on MHLs.


Yep, I got that too - another response firmly in the repeal the silly law category.

Why would cycling advocates want to support such a restrictive law? Maybe I should start campaigning for a more extreme position, we should ban bicycle helmets, might position the "helmets should be optional" position as the centre ground :wink: .

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

User avatar
warthog1
Posts: 6788
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby warthog1 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:51 pm

DavidS wrote:
warthog1 wrote:This popped up in my email today

https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/our-c ... on6.com.au

A survey on attitudes toward the MHL (that they currently support)
I politely informed them in one of the comment boxes that I was not a member (and would not be) due to their stance on MHLs.


Yep, I got that too - another response firmly in the repeal the silly law category.

Why would cycling advocates want to support such a restrictive law? Maybe I should start campaigning for a more extreme position, we should ban bicycle helmets, might position the "helmets should be optional" position as the centre ground :wink: .

DS


You would hope they are enlightened as to the opinion on that stance after the survey :mrgreen:

BenGr
Posts: 634
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:26 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BenGr » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:46 am

Interesting they don't have an option for 'only when the risks are high'

human909
Posts: 8153
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:39 am

I'll keep an open mind that they are keeping an open mind....

That said the questions were clearly written from the standpoint of "wearing a helmet is the default and sensible thing to do, if you think they should not be mandatory please explain why you think that".

Answering some of those questions felt similar to being asked, "explain why you believe eating a banana every morning should not be mandatory".

Bananas are damn healthy and if it was mandatory to eat one every morning I don't think my life would be negatively impacted. But that and many of the questions completely misses the point.

BenGr wrote:Interesting they don't have an option for 'only when the risks are high'

I think I answered 'other' and said when appropriate. (When appropriate might be all the time, or rarely.)

Not to mention that questioning if you would increase your riding if mandatory helmet laws are removed is also missing the point. The people that removing mandatory helmet laws will affect the most are the people who are currently NOT riding or not riding frequently. It is unlikely that many of these people are answering this survey.
Last edited by human909 on Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

uart
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:15 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby uart » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:46 am

BenGr wrote:Interesting they don't have an option for 'only when the risks are high'

I assume you are referring to the question "When do you think helmets should be compulsory?" with options "always", "never" etc. Note that it does leave a space for comments/explanation of your answer, so you can always elaborate there.

I ticked "Only when racing/competing" because that is generally mandated by the relevant sporting bodies anyway, and it gave me a chance to mention that almost all of the cyclists in the high risk categories would choose to wear a helmet anyway (so why potentially discourage cyclists in low risk categories when the high risk guys are going to do it voluntarily anyway).

BJL
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BJL » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:42 pm

1Rowdy1 wrote:
Thoglette wrote:
1Rowdy1 wrote:Yet car's account for way more than 1/2 the traffic on the roads, so head injuries are under represented in car occupants.


Rowdy
that's ALL head injuries, not just the traffic related ones. It's THE #1 place that head injury protection is needed


That makes more sense, I should read properly before replying. :oops:


There's a graph somewhere that claims to show where head injuries occur. It's probably on this thread somewhere but I've also seen it on Facebook. From memory, it showed that about 50% of all head injuries are suffered inside motor vehicles whereas cycling was WAY up there with walking at a massive 1-2%.

madmacca
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:13 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby madmacca » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:24 pm

uart wrote:
BenGr wrote:Interesting they don't have an option for 'only when the risks are high'

I assume you are referring to the question "When do you think helmets should be compulsory?" with options "always", "never" etc. Note that it does leave a space for comments/explanation of your answer, so you can always elaborate there.

I ticked "Only when racing/competing" because that is generally mandated by the relevant sporting bodies anyway, and it gave me a chance to mention that almost all of the cyclists in the high risk categories would choose to wear a helmet anyway (so why potentially discourage cyclists in low risk categories when the high risk guys are going to do it voluntarily anyway).


I did likewise. It should be a matter of sporting body rules, not law.

User avatar
warthog1
Posts: 6788
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby warthog1 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:05 am

fat and old wrote:Further to my assertion....

The absolute wall of outrage and outright lies that spring up whenever improved cycling infrastructure is proposed when it impacts on motorists.

Anything at all on Sydney Rd. The natural home of the "normal" cyclist. A thoroughfare that would benefit from streetscaping and boulevarding.

Anything at all on St. Kilda Rd. Again, a heavily used, "normalised cyclist" heavy route into the city. The uproar over the installment of a separated cycle lane is well known here.

Both of these streets are heavy with shirt/trouser/thongs type riders on all manner of cycles. The type which are "less hated". Why is it so hard to get any decent outcome for them in those locations? The majority don't wear lycra, no big peletons....why is it so?

Any new Cycle lane that results in one less traffic lane, such as the Old Calder Hwy near Macedon. Cycle lane created, then removed after a few months of agitation. Result? Death of a cyclist.

I'm sure that most members here are well aware of these issues....as are the posters of late.

As long as we are where we are supposed to be.


Haven't got anything to add to the discussion but you made some excellent points a couple of pages back F&O. 8)
The above is but an excerpt of your greatness. :wink: lol

fat and old
Posts: 2788
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:26 am

That survey's stupid.

Question: If it WASN'T mandatory to wear a helmet, would you:

ride more
ride less
some other stupid option

Answer: Why would I ride any different? It's a helmet. If I'm happy to ride amongst 40 ton vehicles daily why would I decrease my k's if I didn't have to wear a helmet?

User avatar
warthog1
Posts: 6788
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby warthog1 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:53 pm

It did give an opportunity to vent re their stance on MHLs though. ;)
Whether anyone actually reads it or not....

User avatar
London Boy
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:43 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby London Boy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:27 pm

fat and old wrote:Question: If it WASN'T mandatory to wear a helmet, would you:

ride more
ride less
some other stupid option

Answer: Why would I ride any different? It's a helmet. If I'm happy to ride amongst 40 ton vehicles daily why would I decrease my k's if I didn't have to wear a helmet?

I said I'd ride more. Right now I mostly don't use the bikeshare schemes because I don't generally carry a helmet around with me. I also tend to drive to the local shops, because cycling is not right now a casual activity because of the need to wear a helmet. I've lost the British and European mentality where you just jump on the bike without thinking further about it.

Philistine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Philistine » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:10 am

I should like to see the mandatory helmet law repealed. I don't like the "nanny state", and I don't like uninformed politicians making those kinds of decisions for me. But we are a nation of laws, and, as long as this remains the law, I intend to obey it.

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people - usually late teen and twenty-something males - consider themselves too cool to wear helmets, and openly flout the law. If I set out to break the law (any law), I will do my level best to ensure that my activities remain as low key as possible. It seems they are saying to any passing policeman "here I am, come and pinch me!"

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2274
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:12 am

I wear the fine avoidance hat most of the time, mainly because I have better things to spend $200 on. But I do take it off for the last part of each ride (I basically ride to commute). I don't believe in obeying the law just because it is the law, there are times when civil disobedience is called for. Unfortunately it seems too difficult to get a decent civil disobedience campaign on this law.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

human909
Posts: 8153
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:36 pm

Philistine wrote: It never ceases to amaze me that so many people - usually late teen and twenty-something males - consider themselves too cool to wear helmets, and openly flout the law. If I set out to break the law (any law), I will do my level best to ensure that my activities remain as low key as possible. It seems they are saying to any passing policeman "here I am, come and pinch me!"

Civil disobedience is not effective if you do it out of sight. They are doing more to undermine the law that you or me.


DavidS wrote:Unfortunately it seems too difficult to get a decent civil disobedience campaign on this law.

Civil disobedience is not particularly effective unless you have the support of a large percentage of the population. MHL doesn't have this.
It also helps if those doing it are REALLY committed and persistent. Sue Abbott is one. Though she is only one person.'

That said the aboriginal youth in the Northern Territory achieve it through civil disobedience.

Mububban
Posts: 926
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:19 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Mububban » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:45 am

fat and old wrote:That survey's stupid.

Question: If it WASN'T mandatory to wear a helmet, would you:

ride more
ride less
some other stupid option

Answer: Why would I ride any different? It's a helmet. If I'm happy to ride amongst 40 ton vehicles daily why would I decrease my k's if I didn't have to wear a helmet?


I've heard plenty of people say they don't ride a bike because they hate wearing helmets and getting sweaty and having their hair messed up.

It doesn't need to be what anyone else considers "a good reason" - if it stops someone riding then it's a barrier to participation.

If you routinely spend $200 on a cut, colour and style, or style yourself up with lots of product, you are not going to want to ruin it by wearing a helmet.
I have a crew cut so it's not a major concern for myself :D
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

fat and old
Posts: 2788
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:40 am

human909 wrote:
Philistine wrote: It never ceases to amaze me that so many people - usually late teen and twenty-something males - consider themselves too cool to wear helmets, and openly flout the law. If I set out to break the law (any law), I will do my level best to ensure that my activities remain as low key as possible. It seems they are saying to any passing policeman "here I am, come and pinch me!"

Civil disobedience is not effective if you do it out of sight. They are doing more to undermine the law that you or me.




I agree that Civil disobedience is ineffective if no one sees it, but are you suggesting that all of those who ride without a helmet are doing so with an intention of seeing the MHL repealed at the forefront of their actions?

That said the aboriginal youth in the Northern Territory achieve it through civil disobedience


A simplistic viewpoint human, that doesn't address the societal issues and pressures that bought about that outcome.

Youo'll probably disagree, and that's cool. I just wanted to put my POV across and address that claim on the NT Indigenous youth.

Return to “Cycling Safety and Advocacy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users