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

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

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:00 pm

KenGS wrote:
human909 wrote:So who is coming? I'll be riding and enjoying.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/prote ... .html#poll

I'll be there. We'll recognise each other by our secret cyclist signs 8)
Full details on http://www.freestylecyclists.org/ - 1pm at Ceres

Come on folks - just 8 pages more for the double century

I'll be wearing a black Outdoor Research hat.

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by BNA » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:24 pm

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

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:24 pm

Bum, I'll be asleep at 1300 that day :(

H, if you turn that OR cap round with the earflaps out you'll be sweet. Plod will think you're wearing a time trial lid :P

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

Postby Comedian » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:58 pm

I have absolutely no doubt that given the choice we would see a boom in cyclists. Despite assertions to the contrary, there are pockets of good infrastructure where cycling would thrive given the chance. Once booming in these areas the calls for further infrastructure would at least have a chance.

Citizen cyclists choose not to wear helmets.

Voting for MHL is a vote for keeping cycling marginalised in Australia.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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

Postby DavidS » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:23 pm

PawPaw wrote:
DavidS wrote:PawPaw, serious question: why are you so obsessed with making us all wear helmets? Repealing MHLs doesn't stop you wearing a helmet, why do you want to force your beliefs on to the rest of us?

DS


Why do you and others let your emotive, irrational, and poor grip on the literature in this field think it is ok to insult me?

Why can't you people see that only removing MHL is not going to give us the cycling Nirvana of Amsterdam?
I've constantly said I think we need the infrastructure and motorist culture of Europe before we adjust helmet legislation.
But your side cannot see that. You rabbit on with all the bias expressed at helmetfreedom, and choose not to read studies and opinions expressed by University of NSW academics who work in the field full time. None of your side can name the top Australia researchers and academics in this debate, nor the criticisms they've levelled at each other. You just all parrot the same twisted dubious views over and over.

One of the key tenents of MHL haters is that helmets alone stop a lot of people from riding. You then fabricate that into all these people being obese and costing the health care system billions of dollars. When I point out bizarre and sloppy logic like this, I get puerile responses like "what does it matter what excuses people use not to ride" and " what's helmet hair got to do with MHL?" Why do I have to remind your side what your key tenents are?

Maybe the issue is, I've read helmet freedom exhaustively. But I've also read a lot of other stuff, presumably more than those who hate MHL, from both sides of the argument. It is very very obvious the people who have called me a nut job, troll, flamer, and otherwise insulted me have not read what I have. If you had, you' d realize like me that it is a ridiculous argument to repeal MHL BEFORE adding appropriate infrastructure and changing motorist culture. The argument to use nude nuts to change motorist behavior and encourage more people to cycling is irrational and entrenched in fantasy.

Some think I am flaming by pointing out that Euros don't have an issue wearing things on their head when the weather is cold. The reason I point this out is because MHL haters think more people would cycle if they didn't get their hair messed up. Some cannot see the logical link between Euros messing their hair up with head warming gear, and helmet wearing. Do the haters think Australian women are somehow more precious about their hair than Euro chicks? Even if Australia repealed MHL, with our harsh sunlight, it is most likely hair precious people would have to wear hats suitable for cycling = tight fitting caps that mess up hair....So this core pillar of MHL hating is just more sloppy logic and ill informed extrapolation.


Geez, I tried. Instead of an answer all I got was vitriol.

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

Postby DavidS » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:58 pm

jules21 wrote:cycling is different. it is dangerous - the conflict between motorists and cyclists is a genuine issue, due in significant part to the risk posed by the former to the latter. we demand that motorists drive safely around us, to reduce that risk. but you're trying to have it both ways, on the one hand asserting cycling is not dangerous at all, while on the other (i assume) agreeing on the importance of motorists driving safely when around cyclists. you are sending conflicting messages.


Aah, the old "cycling is dangerous" argument. On what do you base this?

Let's stop with the silly assertions and look at the facts:
Fatalities on Australian roads in 2011:
Drivers: 579
Passengers: 286
Pedestrians: 189
Motorcyclists: 201
Pedal Cyclists: 35

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This figures simply do not support your assertion. So, let's stop spreading the silly notion that cycling is dangerous. It just isn't.

The other argument is also a pearl: cars are a risk to cyclists. This argument is actually true. However, the problem with this argument is relevance. How is it relevant to argue that cars are a risk to cyclists, and then to mandate protection on our heads alone and protection which is not rated for the speed or mass of a car?

Both of your arguments are monumental failures.

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

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:04 pm

An average of 10 fatalities a year in Qld, but an average I around 6000 hospitalisations as well. Both sides could throw figures at each other till the cows come home.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:04 pm

six THOUSAND? Admissions? Source please.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:22 pm

Percrime wrote:six THOUSAND? Admissions? Source please.


Bear in mind theses aren't even current or recent figures: http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publicatio ... ety_fs.pdf

There are approximately 6,000
emergency department
presentations and almost 10 deaths
each year from bicycle-related injury
in Queensland.
- Bicycle injuries make up a third of all
transport-related injuries presenting
to hospital emergency departments.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Kenzo » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:57 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:
Percrime wrote:six THOUSAND? Admissions? Source please.


Bear in mind theses aren't even current or recent figures: http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publicatio ... ety_fs.pdf

There are approximately 6,000
emergency department
presentations and almost 10 deaths
each year from bicycle-related injury
in Queensland.
- Bicycle injuries make up a third of all
transport-related injuries presenting
to hospital emergency departments.


Did you keep reading??

Nearly 75% of all bicycle-related emergency department presentations were in children aged under 15 years. The most common age group (40% of cases), was children aged 10-14 years.
- In the 10-14 year age group, cycling is the 4th leading cause of injury death in Queensland.


EDIT: on the point above... note the total # of deaths in Qld from Cycling is (almost) ten per year... for cycling to be the 4th leading cause - from such a small number - I would call that an exaggeration of the facts. Yes it is sad, but 40% of 75% of ten is .. three.
Parents should take responsibility for the safety of their own children.... and, 'stuff' happens.

and

Most fatalities are due to head injuries and involve a collision with a motor vehicle. The majority of bicycle injuries however, result from a single vehicle crash (ie. no other vehicle or object is involved).


Of course there is more.... but keep skimming...
Last edited by Kenzo on Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:31 pm

I wasn't implying (or attempting to) that all cycling related deaths and injuries were to adults or involving other vehicles btw :)
But then again, there are a proportionately large number of single vehicle motor accidents as well if the law of averages applies.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:26 pm

- In the 10-14 year age group, cycling is the 4th leading cause of injury death in Queensland.

An observation of the psychology of how cycling is presented to the public. Here they say cycling is the cause of death whereas when did you ever hear that a leading cause of death amongst young adults was driving versus motor accidents? I suspect a bias on the part of the author.

I would summarise my view as:
Cycling is healthy
Falling off a bike causes injury
Getting hit by a car causes death
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:37 pm

Yes, the figures are very open to interpretation. I'd like to know what the head injury stats are in all of this as a rule of thumb too. A twisted ankle is hardly a life threatening injury but I bet a few clip stacks spend hours in the ER waiting for life saving Panadol Forte.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:54 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:Yes, the figures are very open to interpretation. I'd like to know what the head injury stats are in all of this as a rule of thumb too. A twisted ankle is hardly a life threatening injury but I bet a few clip stacks spend hours in the ER waiting for life saving Panadol Forte.

Most of what you are looking for is in Serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia 2008-09
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-deta ... 1997&tab=2
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:00 pm

My point is that such such presentations at ER's would result in the number of injured riders blowing out even further. I wouldn't be surprised if the figure is a bit vague tbh. What is categorised as life threatening? We've seen other statistics garnished or misrepresented before. Still, rather sobering and all that.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:08 pm

In the report they define a "serious injury with high threat to life"
‘High threat to life’ serious injury cases are selected on the basis of having an ICISS of less than 0.941. ICISS is a measure of injury severity based upon a patient’s injury diagnoses. The ICISS measure for this report is based upon ICD-10-AM coding and was derived using Australian hospital separations data (Stephenson et al. 2004).

I thought that was pretty clear...
Interestingly, the percentage of severe injuries that are high threat to life is lower for cyclists than for any other mode of transport - see page 21
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:47 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:
Percrime wrote:six THOUSAND? Admissions? Source please.


Bear in mind theses aren't even current or recent figures: http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publicatio ... ety_fs.pdf

There are approximately 6,000
emergency department
presentations and almost 10 deaths
each year from bicycle-related injury
in Queensland.
- Bicycle injuries make up a third of all
transport-related injuries presenting
to hospital emergency departments.


Interesting figures but quite strange. Unfortunately the federal government report is 2008/09 whereas the Queensland report is 2008 so a direct comparison is not possible. But the timing is very close. In addition, the source is different.

Anyway, the figures provided in the Queensland report do not agree with the federal report.

According to the federal report there were 9,577 serious injuries Australia wide in 2008/09 and of these 2,083 were of people normally resident in Queensland (can't seem to find a total for location of accident). This is a far cry from 6,000.

The death figures are just silly. In 2008 there were 6 deaths down from 10 in the previous year. Sorry, 6 ain't almost 10.

Again the federal figures disagree with proportions. In terms of serious injuries pedal cyclists represented 9,577 of 53,406 land transport serious injuries, hardly a third.

I understand the Queensland figures are measuring hospitalisations but, as someone has pointed out, hospital admissions can and do include minor injuries. I think the federal serious injury figures are a much better indication.

There were other interesting stats in there.

23% of serious injuries for road vehicle traffic crashes on bicycles were head injuries, this was second behind shoulder and upper limb on 44.5%. So, less than a quarter of serious injuries on bikes were head injuries, the only injuries potentially protected by a helmet.

They listed the nine most common vehicle accidents causing serious injury, only 2 of these involved bicycles (these were number 8 and 9) and of these neither was collision with a car. In other words you are more likely to be seriously injured in various ways as a car occupant, pedestrian, motorcyclist, then comes cyclist and the most common accidents causing serious injury for cyclists were either single vehicle or unspecified. All the talk of cars being the dominating factor are not borne out by the stats.

So, what do we have here? We have a situation where cycling is not all that dangerous, the main danger is not cars and helmets do not protect the most commonly injured part of a cyclist's body. So why are we forced to wear helmets? Seems a band aid solution where governments want to look like they are doing something. There is a need for better manners and education about road behaviour, but it is also the case that the current education and enforcement programmes which make the roads safer are also making the roads safer for cyclists.

Mandating helmet wearing for cyclists is certainly not justified when one looks at what is causing serious injuries.

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

Postby Howzat » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:49 am

Percrime wrote: We have a situation where cycling is not all that dangerous

Not sure why this argument keeps cropping up, because actually cycling is in fact sort of, well, modestly dangerous, a little bit. It's also lots of fun. Those two aspects may not be entirely unrelated!

But cyclists are always a little more over-represented than we'd like to see in the stats.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:26 am

Howzat wrote:
Percrime wrote: We have a situation where cycling is not all that dangerous

Not sure why this argument keeps cropping up, because actually cycling is in fact sort of, well, modestly dangerous, a little bit. It's also lots of fun. Those two aspects may not be entirely unrelated!

But cyclists are always a little more over-represented than we'd like to see in the stats.


Well the description "dangerous" is completely open to interpretation. Clearly everything has some degree of danger to it. In fact in terms of impact on life span one would expect that sitting on the couch to be similarly dangerous.

In terms of transport accidents cycling is does seem to be more dangerous than driving and public transport. Though naturally in both cases it really depends on the behaviour of the individual and the infrastructure one chooses to use. Sticking to separated paths and quiet roads on your bike will make you significantly safer. Driving a 5 safety star vehicle and never leaving 60kph roads one could almost reduce their chance of death to zero.


We don't describe a trip to work or down to the shops in a car as dangerous. Nor should we describe the same trip in a bicycle as dangerous.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:27 pm

human909 wrote:We don't describe a trip to work or down to the shops in a car as dangerous. Nor should we describe the same trip in a bicycle as dangerous.

Sure we think of car trips as dangerous, in some general and low risk sense. Seat belts are required even just going to the shops, right?

Bottom line is I think that there may be a case against mandatory helmet laws- but "the inherent safety of cycling" is not a part of that case.

That line of argument just runs smack into the numbers. Cycling has an element of risk! And the stats on the risk levels aren't where we'd like them to be. :(
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:40 pm

human909 wrote:We don't describe a trip to work or down to the shops in a car as dangerous. Nor should we describe the same trip in a bicycle as dangerous.

This sums it up perfectly... user error and the application of free choice makes a lot of things very dangerous. Snow, antifreeze, knives, guns, acid...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:46 pm

If you shave yours legs, and in some instances your arms as well, you obviously believe that sooner or later you are going to come to grief and will need to treat gravel rash.

Therefore you certainly need to wear a helmet.

Hairy arms and legs?

Obviously you believe you will never fall of the bike and have to treat skin abrasions, therefore you do not need to wear a helmet.

See..........choice is best............ :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:36 pm



Thanks for that... I love how we are the shining example of how not to do it for the rest of the world.. LOL.

Recent experience suggests that if a city wants bike-sharing to really take off, it may have to allow and accept helmet-free riding. A two-year-old bike-sharing program in Melbourne, Australia — where helmet use in mandatory — has only about 150 rides a day, despite the fact that Melbourne is flat, with broad roads and a temperate climate. On the other hand, helmet-lax Dublin — cold, cobbled and hilly — has more than 5,000 daily rides in its young bike-sharing scheme. Mexico City recently repealed a mandatory helmet law to get a bike-sharing scheme off the ground. But here in the United States, the politics are tricky.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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

Postby jules21 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:24 pm

i once did some work with the accreditation of railways. they are accredited to operate if they can demonstrate safe systems of work. some railways, particularly the smaller novelty ones would argue that they couldn't afford to comply with the safety demands. the analogy with MHLs is the argument that to allow these railways to run and flourish, we need to lower safety standards. this is not the approach in rail - if you can't meet safety, you don't run. what you guys are arguing for with bike hire schemes is the opposite - prioritising their patronage over safety.

i am more sympathetic for that argument in cycling than for rail, as you generally don't kill anyone but yourself if you ride a bike unsafely, but it is still regressive in that there is a (general) societal expectation of greater, not less safety. (yes i know about the safety-in-numbers argument, but this is disputed, no need to go over that again here).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:45 pm

jules21 wrote: this is not the approach in rail - if you can't meet safety, you don't run.

Do you find the same standards in HR/HC trucks? What about little runabout cars from Asia? You are drawing a false parallel, because the same standards are NOT applied to the road. Any partly competent deadhead can get a licence, and you can drive quite easily without one. Rail is very very different, because the weights are greater by an order of magnitude or two, and despite the inability to veer off course, the ability of authorities to "clean up" rail accidents is much smaller than a car accident.

The risks involved in a cycling scenario are also much less serious than trains and automobiles. True?
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