Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

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Thoglette
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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby Thoglette » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:49 pm

AUbicycles wrote:However

If you don't buy a lotto ticket you have zero chances. With the general public distaste for cyclists I don't see much of a chance but this could be about the long game and planning for cycling in 15 years when politics evolves, car congestion worsens and cycle transport becomes an escape plan for politicians.


I agree that, politically (being the art of the possible), BN has likely selected what they see as the "possible" winner, despite being nonsensical.

It also plays on the general disinterest (outside 2GB land and the odd officious country cop) in enforcing MHLs.

A logical "compromise" (in that only being partially eaten is a compromise) would be MHLs for those who'd benefit from them: roadies (hello AGF), MTBs, BMXers and high speed commuters. How to tell? Anyone wearing clipless shoes or body armour.

Easy to write as a regulation but probably a step too far politically, as we're still in denial about why riding on the road might benefit from PPE. At least some of the coverage is getting the 80% number into press.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BobtheBuilder » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:19 pm

Good coverage on ABC.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-01/ ... 1WvKlEAVIU

A silly question - is "Bicycle Network" the same as "Bicycles Network"?, i.e. this website?


EDIT: By "good" I meant that it was given space, not that it was a well-balanced article. Didn't cover any of the well-known (researched and peer-reviewed) arguments against helmet use, mandatory and not.

EDIT 2: reading back I realise this was already linked and discussed. Sorry!
Last edited by BobtheBuilder on Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby find_bruce » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:08 pm

BobtheBuilder wrote:A silly question - is "Bicycle Network" the same as "Bicycles Network"?, i.e. this website?

Nope not a silly question & nope no connection between this website and Bicycle Institute of Victoria, which changed its name to Bicycle Victoria, then to Bicycle Network Victoria & now Bicycle Network

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BobtheBuilder » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:10 pm

find_bruce wrote:then to Bicycle Network Victoria & now Bicycle Network


Oh, so they're only a Vic organisation?! That's a bit cheeky.

I find all these competing and dysfunctional bike advocacy groups a bit hard to keep up with.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:38 pm

BobtheBuilder wrote:Oh, so they're only a Vic organisation?!

No. They have deliberately shifted the focus into other states and nationally. Sometimes with friendly takeovers sometimes as interlopers.

BobtheBuilder wrote:That's a bit cheeky.

Certainly is. But on the optimistic side we do need stronger and more united voices. Personally I am more than happy with national advocacy groups as long as that stay relevant to cyclist interests and not beholden to government or other grants conditional on not rocking the boat.

Bicycle Network is probably on the fence here IMO. In the past they've cozied with government to cyclist's detriment. They have sort of turned over a new leaf with the current leadership. But I'm still cautious.

BobtheBuilder wrote:I find all these competing and dysfunctional bike advocacy groups a bit hard to keep up with.

Completely understandable. Bicycle Network is probably the biggest (or one of) and most well funded. Largely due to the group rides they organise. Which does make the adverse to disruptive advocacy.


In case you care. Personally The Australian Cycle Alliance is the one I watch. It is grass roots. Vic based but has presence in other states too. Safe Cycling Australia is another grass roots organisation, mostly QLD focussed.. Problem is that it is run by somebody who has a habit of picking fights with people. Still I'll give them credit for their uncompromised grass roots advocacy.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:56 pm

Part of the problem with many of these 'organisations' is once they are established and have an income then they are beholden and there is little benefit to those involve to rock the boats of those income sources. Most of the income sources depend on cooperation if not direct funding from the government. EG CPF.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BobtheBuilder » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:12 pm

My favourite bike group was Critical Mass. Not so much advocacy as action. But even they got taken over in the late '90s by middle-class "moderates" who were more interested in their relationships with the police than being effective.
But before then it was a truly empowering experience for 1000s of people who went on to be regular, lifelong bike users and advocates.

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:27 am

AUbicycles wrote:The Amy Gillet statement is spot on for their goals. The Mandatory Helmet Laws are a genuine distraction. This doesn't mean it is not a fair or valid issue, but it can limit progress on other issues.


One could equally say that minimum passing distance laws are an unnecessary distraction. From getting rid of MHLs. Or one could accept different priorities and stop encouraging division.

AUbicycles wrote:1. Victoria still has no Minimum Passing Distance law. This is not specifically a failure of Bicycle Network as they have advocated this and I am sure have been politically active (along with other groups) in Victoria. But the law still hasn't been updated so the chance of having the MHL laws removed would be even harder.

How is this relevant? MPD law is no magic bullet. In fact it shows a failure of road safety. The Netherlands doesn't have MPDLs.

I keep seeing this repeated over and over again more from interstate than in Victoria. Some people (cough David Sharp), seems to take glee at Victoria being terrible on cycling safety.

The thing is that it isn't. And there are pocket of cycling in Victoria that stand out as beacons to the rest of Australia of what our cities could look like with more people cycling safely.


It would seem your priorities are of MPDLs rather than repeal of MHLs. That is fine. But if you talking about distractions it is pot calling the kettle black.

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby tubby74 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:40 am

human909 wrote:One could equally say that minimum passing distance laws are an unnecessary distraction. From getting rid of MHLs. Or one could accept different priorities and stop encouraging division.


MPD has been a waste of time in NSW. Police don't care, and thanks to the AGF it came in with a huge attack on cyclists that saw injury rates rise, riders drop and conditions significantly decline. The AGF takes a contrary position only to serve it's own publicity

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BobtheBuilder » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:01 am

It does seem stupid for orgs to tear each other down for a difference in emphasis.

In favour of repealing MHLs is that it would very likely lead to a large increase in cycling and more cyclists on the road (and amongst the car-driving population) is going to do more for road safety than legislated passing distances (that are likely not to be enforced).

But, anything that leads to positive change should be, if not actively supported, not attacked unless there is very good reason for doing so.

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 pm

tubby74 wrote:MPD has been a waste of time in NSW. Police don't care, and thanks to the AGF it came in with a huge attack on cyclists that saw injury rates rise, riders drop and conditions significantly decline. The AGF takes a contrary position only to serve it's own publicity


I'm on the fence on MPD. My original stance before it was even introduced was that it was unnecessary and greater emphasis should be put on enforcing existing laws. And a sensible approach to cyclist safety rather than a rule based one. I reluctantly conceded that it probably is better than nothing, especially if it enables proper prosecution. However the latter hasn't occured.

99.9% of the time motorists are not being watch by police so if you want good safe behavior you need strong education and strong enforcement. Neither of this has occured with MPD so its ineffectiveness is unsurprising.


In contrast I generally see far safer passing in inner Melbourne. Why? Because cyclists are everywhere, regular people. Women, children and BABIES on the back of bikes. Getting more people cycling is the BIGGEST influence on a safer cycling culture.


But hey. I take no issues with AGFs agenda. Except when their agenda involves running obstruction against other advocacy. Simple question of WHY?

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby g-boaf » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:13 pm

human909 wrote:
tubby74 wrote:MPD has been a waste of time in NSW. Police don't care, and thanks to the AGF it came in with a huge attack on cyclists that saw injury rates rise, riders drop and conditions significantly decline. The AGF takes a contrary position only to serve it's own publicity


I'm on the fence on MPD. My original stance before it was even introduced was that it was unnecessary and greater emphasis should be put on enforcing existing laws. And a sensible approach to cyclist safety rather than a rule based one. I reluctantly conceded that it probably is better than nothing, especially if it enables proper prosecution. However the latter hasn't occured.

99.9% of the time motorists are not being watch by police so if you want good safe behavior you need strong education and strong enforcement. Neither of this has occured with MPD so its ineffectiveness is unsurprising.


In contrast I generally see far safer passing in inner Melbourne. Why? Because cyclists are everywhere, regular people. Women, children and BABIES on the back of bikes. Getting more people cycling is the BIGGEST influence on a safer cycling culture.


But hey. I take no issues with AGFs agenda. Except when their agenda involves running obstruction against other advocacy. Simple question of WHY?


Some European countries have minimum passing distance regulation, so why shouldn't we? Don't we want to be like Europe?

Funny thing, where I was riding, there weren't people riding with children and babies on the back of bikes, there were a lot of local road-riders, people out on morning or afternoon rides - yet they were all treated fine.

In the UK, there is enforcement of safe passing distances - Police on bicycles actively enforcing it - and guess what, driver behaviour changes quickly. When there is the possibility that the next rider ahead might be Police, of course they'll behave themselves.

tubby74 wrote:
human909 wrote:One could equally say that minimum passing distance laws are an unnecessary distraction. From getting rid of MHLs. Or one could accept different priorities and stop encouraging division.


MPD has been a waste of time in NSW. Police don't care, and thanks to the AGF it came in with a huge attack on cyclists that saw injury rates rise, riders drop and conditions significantly decline. The AGF takes a contrary position only to serve it's own publicity



AGF are the worst thing to ever happen to cycling, simple as that.

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:29 pm

g-boaf wrote:Some European countries have minimum passing distance regulation, so why shouldn't we? Don't we want to be like Europe?

Funny thing, where I was riding, there weren't people riding with children and babies on the back of bikes, there were a lot of local road-riders, people out on morning or afternoon rides - yet they were all treated fine.

In the UK, there is enforcement of safe passing distances - Police on bicycles actively enforcing it - and guess what, driver behaviour changes quickly. When there is the possibility that the next rider ahead might be Police, of course they'll behave themselves.

I'm not sure what your point here is? Did you take my post as against minimum passing laws in Australia?

Also it should be noted that MPL generally don't exist and aren't needed in the world's best practice juridictions. They are far from the ideal solution to the issue but more are tourniquet to address a serious issue.

The laws are akin to passing laws specifically addressing minimum distance one can swing a baseball bat near another persons head. If it is an issue then maybe a specific law is needed. But it doesn't address the underlying issue or why existing laws don't cover the danger.

Bit of a review of MPD laws:
http://www.rsa.ie/Documents/Consultatio ... clists.pdf

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby BobtheBuilder » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:19 pm

human909 wrote:
Bit of a review of MPD laws:
http://www.rsa.ie/Documents/Consultatio ... clists.pdf


Thanks very much for posting that, very interesting. I'd always thought minimum passing laws were a good thing, if not a particularly important priority, but this makes interesting reading:

"This analysis failed to identify a significant impact of enacting MPD legislation on the number of cyclist fatalities in the US from 1990-2014, even after controlling for differences in weather, demographics, cycling commuter rates, state level traffic and time variation. Based on these findings, it was calculated that a state mandating a MPD may save, at best, 1 cyclist’s life every 20.4 months, compared to a state without this in place. At worst, however, MPD legislation could result in an increase of 2.67 cyclist fatalities during the same timeframe."

(Study 6. ‘Give me 3’: Do minimum distance passing laws reduce bicycle fatalities?’- p.19, my bolding)

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:34 pm

BobtheBuilder wrote:Thanks very much for posting that, very interesting. I'd always thought minimum passing laws were a good thing, if not a particularly important priority, but this makes interesting reading


Yes, I only dug that up today. That bit caught my attention too.

For what it is worth I do think MPD laws can improve safety. Just like speeding and drunk driving laws, saturate the public with education and enforcement and you will get results. But like I said earlier I don't see this and the most effective way to safer roads.

The strongest correlation of safer cycling is the number of people cycling. This has robust evidence behind it. While it needs to be recognised that there is a chicken and egg effect, it is hard to deny the effects.

Victoria. The laws in Parkville, North Fitzroy or Brunswick are no different to Rowville, Pakenham or Caroline Springs. In the former suburbs residential streets are narrower and the traffic is more dense. Yet cyclists are treated with far more respect and safety.

The difference is cyclists are so common in Parkville, North Fitzroy or Brunswick that you HAVE to be aware of them. Many of the drivers are cyclists too and many of the people on bikes are women, children and babies. Encourage cycling and safety quickly follow.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BobtheBuilder » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:12 pm

Well, we're furiously in agreement it seems!

MHLs are pretty conclusively shown to lower riding levels (particularly non-performance, aka utility, riding) a lot, so it seems very ill-thought through to discourage action on getting rid of them. As for putting a big statement on your home webpage ...

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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby Thoglette » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:22 pm

human909 wrote:For what it is worth I do think MPD laws can improve safety. Just like speeding and drunk driving laws, saturate the public with education and enforcement and you will get results. But like I said earlier I don't see this and the most effective way to safer roads.


The only reason MPD laws exist is that Police departments refused to attempt to prosecute under the existing national "safe passing" and "dangerous driving" regulations, never mind assault laws.

At least you now have a hope of converting that video into some action. In most states.
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Re: BN toe-in-the-water on The Guaridan

Postby BobtheBuilder » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:27 pm

Thoglette wrote:The only reason MPD laws exist is that Police departments refused to attempt to prosecute under the existing national "safe passing" and "dangerous driving" regulations, never mind assault laws.



Oh, so they're the DV laws of cycling are they?!? "This domestic violence order prohibits you from ... [long list of things that are already illegal]". Stuff police should have been dealing with under existing law, but a special category had to be invented to force them to do their job.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Comedian » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:42 pm

human909 wrote:http://www.amygillett.org.au/mandatory-helmet-laws-the-unnecessary-distraction-in-the-pursuit-of-safe-cycling?fbclid=IwAR35_R4fjxlTlqsl6vtfqcFFGWddWz3-UdFBNiynA6dyMiPKcwBN-ijQous

DEBATING MANDATORY HELMET LAWS – THE UNNECESSARY DISTRACTION IN THE PURSUIT OF SAFE CYCLING
BY MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS TEAM / THURSDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2018 /

The Amy Gillett Foundation’s sole focus is on actions and policy that help to achieve a safe cycling environment in Australia.
As we have repeatedly stated, while helmets do not make you safer, you are better off when wearing one in the event of a crash.
The current discussion about helmet laws is a distraction from the pursuit of important cyclist safety laws, policy and infrastructure designed to protect cyclists, such as a metre matters laws.
Our primary focus for Victoria remains on securing a metre matter laws,which 9 out of 10 Victorians support.
Victoria remains the only state in Australia yet to commit to minimum passing distance legislation.
For the rest of Australia, the Amy Gillett Foundation, together with Cycling Australia has these five (5) priorities for safe cycling:
-increased education and enforcement of a metre matters laws
-minimum ‘cyclist aware’ content in driver licensing training and testing
-safer cycling infrastructure
-safer speeds
-cycling safety education.


Seriously AGF why do you feel the need to counter this stance and describe it as an unnecessary distraction? Why pick a fight when you don't need to?

Your 5 priorities might be different from mine. If they happen to be different but still aligned towards the same goal why create the fight?

I actually do think the AGF are right on this - it is a distraction.

But - they aren't right for the reasons they say. They are right because the only way there will be a repeal in QLD is if someone used the cold dead hand of our Transport Minister. Plus the LNP when they were in power specifically said no. Oh well.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:26 pm

Comedian wrote:I actually do think the AGF are right on this - it is a distraction.

Pardon?

It's top three (with bad road/regulation design and bad driver behaviour) for cutting cyclist numbers.

And the one thing we do know is there's safety in numbers.

The AGF is a MAMIL (or MAFIL, if you like) based organisation. As such they are, by definition, incapable of understanding the importance of MHLs.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby BobtheBuilder » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:13 pm

Thoglette wrote:The AGF is a MAMIL (or MAFIL, if you like) based organisation. As such they are, by definition, incapable of understanding the importance of MHLs.


I wondered looking at their logo. Very unrepresentative of normal cycling, the maniac speeding down the road at 40km/h. Even if you ignore the evidence that helmets do nothing or are actually dangerous - and I'm not saying I'm convinced one way or the other - for the average person trundling along, helmets are just not needed. And if I look around my small NT town (NT has triple the national commuting average) at the many cyclists, few are moving particularly fast and I'd guess most of them would throw away their bikes in disgust if forced to wear helmets, not least because they'd have to remove their hats! The mechanisms of skin cancer are well known, as are protective measures - the same can't be said of helmets.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:10 am

BobtheBuilder wrote:(NT has triple the national commuting average)


This fact seems to be strongly ignored by pretty much anybody who is in favour of MHLs. Rarely is it asked or explained why NT stands out so much on bicycle usage. I constantly hear that European culture of regular clothes, shoes and no helmet isn't translatable to Australia because of our climate. Yet this often forgotten warm and often humid state somehow survives just fine. If somebody can explain the NT exceptionalism in a bigger way I'm all ears.

My much loved cycling mecca of Melbourne's inner north is also exceptional even with MHLs. But that can be adequately explained:
-high percentage students & youth, flat geography, supportive councils, horrible motoring congestion, higher density and a mix of employment and residential development.... A whole host of reasons that got the momentum going...

The rest of Melbourne doesn't look much better than the other state capitals.


BobtheBuilder wrote:The mechanisms of skin cancer are well known, as are protective measures - the same can't be said of helmets.

Sorry for going off topic but I can't resists. Your comment is very similar to the opening lines of this song. Have a listen if you can spare 3minutes some sage words....


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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:38 pm

I don't know if anyone else saw the series of pro-MHL letters in The Age this morning. They were just ridiculous. After reading those letters you would think jumping on a bike was one of the most dangerous things you can do on this planet. You might fall off and you need a helmet . . . give me a break, cycling is a very safe activity. I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd even say its healthy too.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Ross » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:25 am

Crash helmets need to be worn by golfers, says health & safety expert

https://www.golfmagic.com/golf-news/cra ... ety-expert

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Cyclophiliac » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:41 pm

Melbourne's Herald Sun is at it again, with one of their columnists, Katie Bice, writing some rubbish about helmet-hair, self-entitled cyclists, etc. I'm not even going to post a link to this cr#p. It's clear that Australia's media do too much to suppress cycling in Australia, and none of them seem to see the elephant in the room: the fact that many other countries manage fine without mandatory helmet laws.

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