ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

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Thoglette
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ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby Thoglette » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:41 pm

The data is in, most cyclists don't want MHL (60%) and MHLs stop people riding.

Reported headline below.

Mandatory helmet laws continue to divide cyclists, survey finds
Damian McIntyre, ABC wrote:Almost 60 per cent of cyclists believe they should be able to ride without a helmet if they want to, according to a new survey, but a crash survivor says he would be dead if he was not wearing one when he came off.

The online survey, run by the Bicycle Network, Australia's largest bike-riding organisation also found that if current mandatory helmet laws changed to allow Australians to ride a bike without one, more than 30 per cent of people would ride a bike more often.

It revealed:

42 per cent believed bicycle helmets should be mandatory at all times and in all scenarios
58.3 per cent want a change to helmet laws
41 per cent believe helmets should only be mandatory when they assessed the risk to be high
30.4 per cent would ride more if helmets were not mandatory
Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said the results of the survey, which was completed by nearly 20,000 people, would help the organisation evaluate its position on helmets.

For "balance" there's an the usual "OMG I would have died". Comments are similar, with the odd bit of sanity.

As is typical, the ABC chose to only show images of MAMILs. (This is a standard approach - look at the image leading this article on The ABC vs the original on The Conversation )

Pro/anti MHL arguments go in this thread. Read it , please
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MichaelB
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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby MichaelB » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:54 am

The recent 'survey results' that were published re the reduction in cycling in SA showed that only 10% of respondents said that MHL was a barrier to them choosing to ride, and that motorists were over 40% of the reason.
MHL was about 4th on the list of reasons not to ride - WAAAAAAAY behind motorists, infrastructure and some other issue.

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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby biker jk » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:12 am

MichaelB wrote:The recent 'survey results' that were published re the reduction in cycling in SA showed that only 10% of respondents said that MHL was a barrier to them choosing to ride, and that motorists were over 40% of the reason.
MHL was about 4th on the list of reasons not to ride - WAAAAAAAY behind motorists, infrastructure and some other issue.


Yes that's what most unbiased sample surveys find, that MHLs are a third order issue in discouraging cycling.

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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby andrewjcw » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:55 am

Well yeah, but that's like saying donuts are only a third order issue in fighting obesity. The copious overeating of normal food, desert with every dinner and soft drink with every meal are probably bigger issues, but that doesn't mean stopping eating donuts isn't a good place to start.

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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby Thoglette » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:25 am

I've read just about every word published on the topic over the past decade.
The comments above are correct: the research consistently indicates that removing MHLs would have an enormous positive health impact. It is usually third after "dangerous drivers" and "bad road design".
Now, there is an emerging thread in the research indicating (and it's impossible to test but supported by other fields) that MHLs contribute to both "the Australian attitude" to cyclists and to perceptions that cycling is dangerous and "not normal".
There's a pile of citations in the MHL thread.
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biker jk
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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby biker jk » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:44 am

andrewjcw wrote:Well yeah, but that's like saying donuts are only a third order issue in fighting obesity. The copious overeating of normal food, desert with every dinner and soft drink with every meal are probably bigger issues, but that doesn't mean stopping eating donuts isn't a good place to start.


But if only 10% of the obese eat donuts does it make sense devoting a huge amount of time and resources to stopping people eating donuts? That's how I see the obsession with abolishing MHLs, a huge amount of time and resources focused on a third order issue in discouraging cycling.

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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby bychosis » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:47 am

Thoglette wrote:I've read just about every word published on the topic over the past decade.
The comments above are correct: the research consistently indicates that removing MHLs would have an enormous positive health impact. It is usually third after "dangerous drivers" and "bad road design".
Now, there is an emerging thread in the research indicating (and it's impossible to test but supported by other fields) that MHLs contribute to both "the Australian attitude" to cyclists and to perceptions that cycling is dangerous and "not normal".
There's a pile of citations in the MHL thread.


And if it is third in line and can be fixed with the stroke of a pen, why not do it now?

The top two are much harder to fix. Driver behaviour will improve when there are more cyclists, but a more effective education campaign and better driver testing would be difficult and cost a bit. Fixing the roads costs a fortune.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

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DavidS
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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby DavidS » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:29 am

biker jk wrote:
andrewjcw wrote:Well yeah, but that's like saying donuts are only a third order issue in fighting obesity. The copious overeating of normal food, desert with every dinner and soft drink with every meal are probably bigger issues, but that doesn't mean stopping eating donuts isn't a good place to start.


But if only 10% of the obese eat donuts does it make sense devoting a huge amount of time and resources to stopping people eating donuts? That's how I see the obsession with abolishing MHLs, a huge amount of time and resources focused on a third order issue in discouraging cycling.


You assume the issues are completely separate, they are not.

If we abolish MHLs (wonder how many Melburnians are taking a break and might ride if they didn't have to wear a sweaty helmet in the current heat) there will be more cyclists which makes it safer. There is also some evidence cars drive closer to cyclists who are wearing a helmet. Also the cycling culture here is skewed towards cycling as sport rather than transport, nothing wrong with cycling as sport but a better balance would be good. The perception that cycling is dangerous is encouraged by this law which has an impact on the perception and the reasons given for not cycling, let's get rid of this perception by removing the law.

Good to see the results. A fair sample size too. Will be interesting to see what the reaction is from BN and whether they will now oppose MHLs. The proponents of MHLs are yet to come up with convincing evidence of any beneficial health effect, time for BN to take a stand in line with the survey result.

However, I think there is also the factor that the survey likely missed the bulk of people who don't ride, they may well give different explanations.

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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby fat and old » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:59 am

DavidS wrote:
However, I think there is also the factor that the survey likely missed the bulk of people who don't ride, they may well give different explanations.

DS


This cannot be overstated. The survey was one of cyclists. They already ride a bike! TBH I don't think it carries much weight.

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Re: ABC: spinning as fast as they can (MHL survey)

Postby eldavo » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:12 am

fat and old wrote:I don't think it carries much weight.

Said one doughnut eating motorist respondent to another.

Conflict of interest disclosure, I had a glorious bicycle enabled doughnut eating experience recently.

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