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

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

Postby lturner » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:12 pm

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/no-bike-helmet-required-in-certain-lowrisk-areas-under-brisbane-city-council-plan/comments-fnihsrf2-1226695824063

A POTENTIAL trial allowing cyclists to go helmet-free in parks and dedicated bikeways has drawn a mixed response, with least one other Queensland mayor backing Brisbane City Council's "commonsense" attitude to state cycling laws.
Cycling and safety groups, and council opposition, however, are warning relaxing current helmet rules could have dire consequences, including more head injuries and possible deaths.
Brisbane City Council CEO Colin Jensen has indicated council would support a trial of optional helmets in areas like parks and dedicated bikeways where riders were not at risk from traffic, with the backing of the State Government.
In a submission to the Parliamentary Transport, Public Housing and Local Government Committee's Inquiry into Cycling Issues, he also wrote that the council continued to back mandatory helmets in areas of potential conflict between motorists and cyclists.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said while helmets should be compulsory where there was a risk of "interaction with motor vehicles", relaxing rules in less dangerous situations could encourage recreational cycling.
"I felt it was a common sense outcome - give a bit of flexibility for people," he said.
Despite opposition claims the proposal was designed to improve use of the controversial CityCycle scheme, Cr Quirk said there would likely be limited impact on the bike hire initiative as many of its bays and routes were located near roads.
General manager of Kangaroo Point's Riverlife, Josh Wicks, who offers bike hire among other leisure activities, said he could see some merit in the proposal and believed it would encourage CityCycle use.
He added regulating such a proposal could be tricky and he would have misgivings about allowing his customers to go helmet free.
"I could absolutely see that being worthwhile in terms of getting people to use CityCycle bikes because I think the main deterrent to using them is the mandatory helmet laws in Queensland," he said.
"It is tricky though because even on the footpaths in front of us it can get pretty intense (bike) traffic and fairly fast cyclists coming through."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he personally supported examining helmet rules in recreational, settings like parks.
"There has to be some common sense.
"I can understand when people are on roads and in traffic and places governed by the Queensland Government traffic laws but I think when people are just mucking around for recreational purposes there could be some flexibility," he said.
CEO of cycling safety group the Amy Gillett Foundation, Tracey Gaudry, said she would not support any relaxation of helmet laws.
Cycling Queensland CEO Geoff Rynne said relaxing helmet laws would result in more head injuries or potential deaths.
"You can undertake all the risk assessment but at the end of the day it will still happen and it will happen too regularly unfortunately."
BCC's submission is just one of more than 100 being considered by the parliamentary committee, canvassing cycling issues, including a potential mandatory one metre separation between riders and cars on roads, and the need to register bicycles.
Committee chairman Howard Hobbs would not rule out relaxing compulsory bicycle helmet laws, in line with submissions from the Brisbane City Council and various cycling groups.
"Our brief is to look at the whole lot. Anything's open at this stage," he said.
"I think there's a general acceptance of helmets. There was a dramatic reduction in the deaths of cyclists when helmets were made compulsory but that could've been for two reasons - one, helmets provided better protection for cyclists, and two, people got the whoops and decided not to ride a bicycle."
Transport Minister Scott Emerson said he was keen to get reactions from the committee, particularly out of a series of public meetings to be held over the next month.
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by BNA » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:28 pm

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

Postby human909 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:28 pm

Appalling that cycling advocacy groups are against this.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:20 pm

human909 wrote:Appalling that cycling advocacy groups are against this.

Could you imagine the meeja led "public" outcry if they weren't?

"State cycling body WANTS your child to die on our roads!!!"
"In an explosive email from Beau Tye, head of the states peak cycling body exclusively leaked to the fascist times today, it was revealed that BQVWNTW supports a push from radical cyclist groups to abolish the mandatory hemlet laws that have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian children since they were enacted to global acclaim in the 1980s"


Add in a veiled implication or two that these "radical cycling groups" have "close ties" with "bicycle terrorists" Critical Mass and that relaxing the MHL will actually mean the outlawing of hemlet wearing entirely and the resulting tsunami of outrage will most likely result in demonisation of these groups to a level that has the 1%er motorcycle clubs grinning from ear to ear because someone else is drawing the crabs, finally leading to concerned citizens calling for the oulawing of all BuGs nationwide.

Yes, this is tongue in cheek, slightly.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:40 pm

They are just another lobby group. Australian Christian Lobby might have some things to say that people disagree with. I know I disagree with PETA's lobbyists, etc etc etc.

Amy Gillett would be turning in her grave if she saw what the organisation bearing her name has done, leveraging her death. It's just appalling, and has made me question EVERY SINGLE NPO out there. Yes, I kid you not. I am concerned about the hidden agendas for all these organisations, because it just seems like a gravy train for some, to keep the status quo. That's you Tracey. You haven't achieved anything. Your comments have nothing to do with the interests of cyclists of any kind. I assume you put tin foil under your helmet, because it's more logical than telling the public that you endorse restrictions on cycling.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:56 pm

human909 wrote:Appalling that cycling advocacy groups are against this.


Totally agree.

Look at the quotes from various Mayors, Lord Mayors and the like, do they realise we rode bicycles quite safely on the roads for over 100 years without helmets, that all but 2 countries in the world have millions of cyclists who get around without helmets? Must be carnage in those countries . . . oh, maybe not, maybe it's just not so dangerous to ride a bike after all.

The irony of their advocating the necessity of legislating that we wear helmets when mixing it with cars weighing over a tonne, when the mandated helmet offers scant protection against an object of that weight, is certainly not lost on me.

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

Postby VRE » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:17 am

http://www.slideshare.net/Amsterdamize/why-bicycle-helmets-are-not-effective-in-the-reduction-of-injuries-of-cyclists
Clearly and concisely written, and the section titled "The Yes, Buts" is something you don't see in most articles discussing this topic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:02 am

I liked his point about the holistic approach to treating the issue of negative health outcomes from cycling - the fact that current medical practice only treats the disease and not the person (or society they live in). As a result, the poor health outcomes from inactivity are ignored because they don't present as cyclist injuries, even though holistically they might be directly related.

The Yes Buts make it patently clear that discrimination is the real justification for the MHL.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:15 am

Xplora wrote:As a result, the poor health outcomes from inactivity are ignored because they don't present as cyclist injuries, even though holistically they might be directly related.


Because they are not cycling injuries. You do not get sick from not cycling. You get sick through not exercising. There are plenty of ways of exercising that do not involve cycling, not least the default method of human locomotion... walking.

Before you say "but but The Netherlands! Copenhagen!" etc etc, they also have very good PT (which, by default encourages walking, and cycling - for different reasons). They also have worse results (as measured by longevity) from and more expensive (as measured by %GDP spent on) healthcare than Australia (go figure! Smoking! <- so if public health is really your concern, but the impacts of freedom ... infinite recursion.... BOOM!).

The problem is reliance on the car. Part of, not "the", solution is cycling. I would argue, regardless of what I would like the case to be, that decent PT actually and demonstrably has a much larger impact on reducing car usage than anything else - which, of course, in turn has great benefits for cycling too. There is also plenty of evidence that cyclists tend to ride instead of using PT, not ride instead of using a car.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:22 am

simonn wrote:Because they are not cycling injuries. You do not get sick from not cycling. You get sick through not exercising. There are plenty of ways of exercising that do not involve cycling, not least the default method of human locomotion... walking.


This is a tired and nonsensical argument. The same argument could be used to say that running, swimming or any specific exercise is a not a net benefit to your health. :roll: Of course increase in one activity has a substitution effect for all individuals and that will vary depending on each individual . But assuming that increasing cycling participation would have no effect on total exercise is plainly absurd.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:56 am

I think cycling has a unique aspect because it is a commute option, and will (on average) require more physiological effort on behalf of the user than walking (which is obviously a commute option) because walking/running doesn't facilitate 10-20km commutes as effectively as a bike does, especially from an impact perspective. I could not run as hard as I ride, my joints and bones won't tolerate it. I'm skinny, many others will struggle to cope with the impact from running as well. Cycling is the easy option of a range of harder options that exclude the car.
All of these would be better than a car from an exercise perspective, but I accept that commute on foot is unrealistic for most citydwellers, whereas maybe 25% of people could realistically ride a bike regardless of the distance. Higher than 1-2%!!!
I'll gladly accept that we are in furious agreement about the car. I think the key is not that cycling is the only alternative, but the general attitude towards an alternative creates very serious implications for the community. Do you think a lady who runs 10kms to work in all weather every day is nuts? Why is she nuts? She saves money, I'm certain has a lean body that most women would kill for, let alone the men :lol: and she would be much more useful at work for the effort. The health aspect is completely overlooked and we label them weird, and put them on a pedestal as if such a feat was beyond natural means.
While you are certainly right, simonn, I don't think you're allowing a reasonable amount of nuance to the arguments presented. Nothing exists in a bubble, and we can be reasonable to allow extra-bubble ideas to intermingle even if they aren't explicitly stated. The bike isn't the only option, but let's be fair and allow the main arguments to flow. Once we accept your position that bikes aren't the only option, what do you propose to move forward, if cars are the main problem, and bikes aren't the only answer?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:29 pm

I'm considered super active and athletic and fit by my "normal friends". I climb, I hike, I ski, I cycle, I mountain bike and a bunch of other things.

But the truth is that when I am busy working and driving from home to office to site I don't get enough exercise in a week. My lack of fitness and my slight weight gain last year was testament to that. For me incidental exercise is my saviour. I'm back riding most days and my health is better for it. Most of my riding is under 7km yet doing this 5 times a week is enough to keep me quite fit. Personally, my health and well-being is drastically improved by cycling. I know many others like this too.

To suggest that increasing cycling participation amongst the general population won't have health improvements is lunacy.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:55 pm

human909 wrote:
simonn wrote:Because they are not cycling injuries. You do not get sick from not cycling. You get sick through not exercising. There are plenty of ways of exercising that do not involve cycling, not least the default method of human locomotion... walking.


This is a tired and nonsensical argument. The same argument could be used to say that running, swimming or any specific exercise is a not a net benefit to your health. :roll: Of course increase in one activity has a substitution effect for all individuals and that will vary depending on each individual .


No it's not. Defining health problems as cycling injuries, as per Xplora's post I quote again below, when the victim(?) does not normally cycle is nonsensical.

Xplora wrote:the poor health outcomes from inactivity are ignored because they don't present as cyclist injuries


Again, that is because they are not the same. Inactivity != cycling injury. Cycling is a mere subset of Activity.

human909 wrote:But assuming that increasing cycling participation would have no effect on total exercise is plainly absurd.


I do not believe you are addressing my argument.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:00 pm

simonn wrote:
Xplora wrote:the poor health outcomes from inactivity are ignored because they don't present as cyclist injuries


Again, that is because they are not the same. Inactivity != cycling injury. Cycling is a mere subset of Activity.

So... if we can accept your point, where to from there? I want a solution proposal. Resistancia is a wonderful rallying cry, but it doesn't help fix the problem.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:02 pm

Sorry simon. I have no idea what your going on about now.

I'll to simplify things for you. 1. Cycling provides health benefits. 2. Mandatory helmet laws reduce cycling.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:10 pm

I believe the point is that it depends what people do instead of cycling. If they drink corn syrup and smoke black-market rolling tobacco while driving around in old, unregistered cars it's a bad thing. If they walk instead, no harm done. Take CityCycle. I was a user for a while. When I gave it away, I walked instead. The net effect on my activity level: zero. So the issue, if you are worried about public health, is effects on active transport uptake, which is not the same thing as cycling uptake.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:23 pm

human909 wrote:Sorry simon. I have no idea what your going on about now.


Clearly.

human909 wrote:I'll to simplify things for you. 1. Cycling provides health benefits. 2. Mandatory helmet laws reduce cycling.


I already understand this point.

I shall ELI^KYF:

Cycling is only one of many kinds of exercise. A statement along the lines of "injury/sickness/illness due to inactivity is the same as a cycling injury" is utter nonsense.

Xplora wrote:I want a solution proposal


Better cycle facilities. Better PT. More expensive/harder to find car parking. Areas with higher than average levels of cycling also have better than average PT. Even in Australian and USAian cities.

I have never seen any evidence that a high level of utility cycling has an impact on public health other than what essentially amounts to "well, it should do."
Last edited by simonn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:25 pm

high_tea wrote:I believe the point is that it depends what people do instead of cycling. If they drink corn syrup and smoke black-market rolling tobacco while driving around in old, unregistered cars it's a bad thing. If they walk instead, no harm done. Take CityCycle. I was a user for a while. When I gave it away, I walked instead. The net effect on my activity level: zero.

Yes that is all understood. And it would be foolish think that a general increase in cycling participation does not increase the total exercise time.

high_tea wrote:So the issue, if you are worried about public health, is effects on active transport uptake, which is not the same thing as cycling uptake.

No, the issue here is MHLs. That is what I am worried about. That is the topic at hand. The negative health consequences of MHLs are just one of the many reasons why MHLs should not be in place.

simonn wrote:I have never seen any evidence that a high level of utility cycling has an impact on public health other than what essentially amounts to "well, it should do."

Open your eyes mate. You wont need a measuring tape to observe the waste line differences. And there is plenty of evidence linking waistlines and health. :wink:



I am positively shocked how much time you guys spend effectively arguing that cycling is not a healthy activity. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:31 pm

human909 wrote:Yes that is all understood. And it would be foolish think that a general increase in cycling participation does not increase the total exercise time.


Depends entirely on what it is replacing. For instance, in Manly, a lot of people ride to the wharf to catch the ferry. I suspect that they would get more exercise if they walked, because cycling is extraordinarily efficient, particularly on the flat.

human909 wrote:No, the issue here is MHLs. That is what I am worried about. That is the topic at hand. The negative health consequences of MHLs are just one of the many reasons why MHLs should not be in place.


I suspect that the health effects on MHLs are heavily overstated.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:43 pm

simonn wrote:Depends entirely on what it is replacing. For instance, in Manly, a lot of people ride to the wharf to catch the ferry. I suspect that they would get more exercise if they walked, because cycling is extraordinarily efficient, particularly on the flat.

But on the whole increasing cycling participation will be increasing the time people spend active.

human909 wrote:I suspect that the health effects on MHLs are heavily overstated.

And the health effects of riding helmetless are heavily overstated. Overall the debate can swing either way as the research shows. But to argue that MHL save lives is not in line with the facts.

So why are you so keen to argue for something that reduces cycling? Why are you so enthusiastic about denying Australia cyclists freedom that the rest of the world takes for granted?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:09 pm

human909 wrote:
I am positively shocked how much time you guys spend effectively arguing that cycling is not a healthy activity. :roll:


Strawman. Cycling is a good thing, but it doesn't necessarily follow that non-cycling is bad. I'm appalled that I have to make such a trite statement but I'm not surprised, not any more.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:34 pm

I'm sorry. Where has anybody here said that "not cycling" is bad? Please where?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:08 pm

human909 wrote:I'm sorry. Where has anybody here said that "not cycling" is bad? Please where?

You did. In this very thread, on this very page. HTH. HAND.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:32 pm

Boris has a few things to say about helmets and bikeshare

Having successfully implemented one of the world's most successful bike schemes in London without helmets, Mr Johnson said yesterday Melbourne should do the same.

He warned that enforcing a head protection policy threatened to kill off the initiative.

"It's not how we would have done it," he said.

"Obviously, it's up to Melbourne to decide what they want to do, but we took a very clear decision that it would be counterproductive . . .

"I wanted to put the village back into London and create an environment where people felt safe cycling and safe cycling in numbers."

He said evidence had suggested that while helmets could prevent some injuries, in the worst accidents in London, "nine times out of 10" a helmet wouldn't make a difference.


Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/national-ne ... z2cbeUvoR3
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:54 pm

I don't see how anyone can credibly deny that helmet laws destroy bike share schemes. All the evidence shows that bike share cannot work in places with helmet laws and the people involved in successful bike share systems acknowledge that.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:20 pm

lturner wrote:I don't see how anyone can credibly deny that helmet laws destroy bike share schemes. All the evidence shows that bike share cannot work in places with helmet laws and the people involved in successful bike share systems acknowledge that.


Some people can 'credibly deny' that the earth is round.

The amazing tenacity of people stand by their beliefs it both a blessing and a curse to the development of mankind While many continue to deny evolution, the holocaust, or global warming it doesn't surprise me that some deny the effect helmet laws have on bike share schemes. In acknowledgement of this truism, I personally endeavour to keep an open mind. I find that the debate and discussion in this thread have as much to say about this tenacity than the actual topic.


I know why I am passionate about this topic. Its because I have seen how cycling can be better. What confuses me is why some people are so passionate about telling others how to live their lives.
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