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

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

Postby jules21 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:53 pm

Xplora wrote:What about little runabout cars from Asia?

all new cars have to meet crash standards. failure to meet those standards = can't import into or sell in australia
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by BNA » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:56 pm

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

Postby human909 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:56 pm

jules21 wrote: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).


Wow that is amazingly convoluted logic! :shock:

but it is still regressive in that there is a (general) societal expectation of greater, not less safety
So does that mean, that no matter the impact, what the cost, what the barriers we should implement all safety measures? Afterall if we don't then we are settling for less safety rather than more? Or is that simply the end game in the struggle to always improve safety? So first its helmets, then its wrist guards, gloves, kneepads.... Where does it stop?


Drawing analogies with workplace safety is interesting. Do you really think all the BS about workplace safety actually implemented sensibly? My brother works in a mine. He gets chastise for walking down stairs without TWO hands on the railings. Yet he gets pressure to work 15hour days after which he drives home tired on poor roads. Ever received a memo banning employees from changing clocks when daylight savings changes? Using BS attitudes to safety doesn't justifies things. It just shoes the same insane attitudes permeates other parts of society.
Last edited by human909 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:57 pm

jules21 wrote: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.

That's not the case. heavily utilised bike share systems have proven extremely safe.. safer than when people ride their bicycles. At the time of that article some 4.5 million boris bike trips had been made without a single serious injury.

If that isn't good enough for you.. I'm not likely to be able to offer anything much else.. :mrgreen:
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 5:25 pm

Comedian wrote:That's not the case. heavily utilised bike share systems have proven extremely safe.. safer than when people ride their bicycles. At the time of that article some 4.5 million boris bike trips had been made without a single serious injury.

i'm not emotionally wedded to MHLs or anything. if that's true then there's probably no need for MHLs - in that circumstance at least. however, there are often conflicting pieces of evidence on how safe or unsafe cycling in traffic really is. i'm always cautious about trying to seize on one conclusion and insisting that's all the evidence i'll need.
human909 wrote:So does that mean, that no matter the impact, what the cost, what the barriers we should implement all safety measures? Afterall if we don't then we are settling for less safety rather than more? Or is that simply the end game in the struggle to always improve safety? So first its helmets, then its wrist guards, gloves, kneepads.... Where does it stop?

we've been over this point so many times. No, is the answer to your question. the test of safety that is used in OH&S law is "reasonably practicable". not riding your bike at all is obviously the safest option (ignoring general health benefits for a moment) - but it's not reasonably practicable. wearing a helmet on the other hand, is. that's why it has been singled out.

same with your mining example. working 15 hours a day isn't great, but restricting workers to 8 would have enormous repercussions for the competitiveness of australian mining. therefore, while it would be safer, it's not reasonably practicable. using two hands on stair rails, while seemingly (or actually) very trivial, is reasonably practicable. you're ignoring that important test.

reading that back to myself, i wasn't clear about that in my rail example (which uses the same test) either.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:40 pm

jules21 wrote:but it's not reasonably practicable. wearing a helmet on the other hand, is. that's why it has been singled out.

If wearing a helmet is reasonably practical why don't we mandate it for pedestrians and general living? Surely if it is practical for riding a bicycle then it is practical for life in general. The test or the judgement of "reasonably practical" is flawed. You are now applying legal logic to a common sense problem.

jules21 wrote:same with your mining example. working 15 hours a day isn't great, but restricting workers to 8 would have enormous repercussions for the competitiveness of australian mining. therefore, while it would be safer, it's not reasonably practicable. using two hands on stair rails, while seemingly (or actually) very trivial, is reasonably practicable. you're ignoring that important test.

Ok there you are clearly trying to fit a square block into a round hole. Common sense dictates the opposite Jules. Surely you realise that?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:06 pm

jules21 wrote: 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.

jules21 wrote:same with your mining example. working 15 hours a day isn't great, but restricting workers to 8 would have enormous repercussions for the competitiveness of australian mining.


Sorry Jules but the laws of physics are immutable. You CAN'T have your cake and eat it too...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby zero » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:43 am

jules21 wrote: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).


People that drive cars, transfer the risk of their transport task to others, particularly pedestrians, and decreasing private motor vehicles improves bus services which encourages shift to the safest road transport mode and share bike users are likely to be bus and rail users rather than private car users, and both bus and rail are far safer on per km or per trip basis than cars.

ie the likelyhood that most people will modeshare when using a bike scheme means that their overall transport task is probably safer, even if the bike is not (currently) safer than a car on a per trip or per km basis.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:36 pm

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

Postby jasonc » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:43 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunda ... .html?_r=0

note: you may have to register to read this
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:54 pm

Ross wrote:http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/protesting-cyclists-to-make-merri-their-hair-blowin-in-the-wind-20120926-26lk6.html

The head of neurosurgery at The Alfred hospital, Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, said dumping compulsory helmets would be a retrograde step.

''I'm the one who sits at the hospital looking after the victims of road trauma,'' he said. ''There are many cyclists among them, and I can't help but think that if they weren't wearing helmets their injuries would be significantly worse.'' He said the idea that compulsory helmets dissuaded people from healthy exercise was ''specious'' and he called the October 6 ride a publicity stunt and a bad example.


This is a classic example of why we should not allow self-proclaimed "experts" too much say in dictating what laws should be. Because they are usually only an expert in one very narrow part of the question, like this doctor, but then claim jurisdiction over the whole area.

I am sure this doctor is extremely competent at treating head injuries, but that doesn't mean he has any knowledge at all about the best ways to prevent them or about whether or not compulsory helmet laws are detrimental in other ways. Yet this does not stop him making foolish comments about things he apparently knows little about.

This person may well believe that it is wise to wear a helmet while riding a bike, but his opinion is not made any more credible or persuasive because he is a neurosurgeon. After all, he would see many more patients with head injuries from car accidents and yet he is not saying: "I can't help but think their injuries would have been significantly lessened if they were wearing a helmet".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:07 pm

Yes I'm sure a neurosurgeon knows nothing about preventative medicine or how to protect against head/spinal injuries :?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:23 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:Yes I'm sure a neurosurgeon knows nothing about preventative medicine or how to protect against head/spinal injuries :?


They might know "some" things, but it is not their area of expertise. They are no more qualified to comment on it than anyone else who takes the time to look into or study it, and you do not have to be a doctor to do this. But the extent of this doctor's knowledge is that he "can't help but think" helmets are reducing the severity of the injuries he sees. This is not evidence that helmet laws are useful, it is idle speculation.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby jules21 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:00 pm

i went for a ride down to the shops tonight without a helmet. passed the cops too and they turned to look but didn't pull me over. up yours authority!!1! :D
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:12 pm

jules21 wrote:i went for a ride down to the shops tonight without a helmet. passed the cops too and they turned to look but didn't pull me over. up yours authority!!1! :D

That explains the noise I heard. It was the fabric of society being torn apart :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:19 pm

lturner wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:Yes I'm sure a neurosurgeon knows nothing about preventative medicine or how to protect against head/spinal injuries :?


They might know "some" things, but it is not their area of expertise.

Heres' the thing: for Joe Public, the argument that neurosurgeons know nothing about head injuries and helmets is just not credible, let alone persuasive.

There may be a good case against MHLs ... but if you have to convince people that brain surgeons don't know what they're on about first, well, good luck with that. :|
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:50 pm

Howzat wrote:
lturner wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:Yes I'm sure a neurosurgeon knows nothing about preventative medicine or how to protect against head/spinal injuries :?


They might know "some" things, but it is not their area of expertise.

Heres' the thing: for Joe Public, the argument that neurosurgeons know nothing about head injuries and helmets is just not credible, let alone persuasive.

There may be a good case against MHLs ... but if you have to convince people that brain surgeons don't know what they're on about first, well, good luck with that. :|


Oh no, I quite agree brain surgeons know a thing or two. Believe me, if I ever have to get brain surgery, there's no-one else I'd rather have do the job. :wink:

But just because someone knows how to fix or treat a certain injury doesn't mean they know how best to prevent them. Being a brain surgeon doesn't give you any particular insight into how effective helmet use, compulsory or otherwise, is in preventing those brain injuries. In fact, it could give you a quite distorted perspective because your constantly exposed to the 0.001% of cyclists who get those severe injuries, and never the 99.999% who do not.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:56 pm

lturner wrote:Oh no, I quite agree brain surgeons know a thing or two. Believe me, if I ever have to get brain surgery, there's no-one else I'd rather have do the job. :wink:

But just because someone knows how to fix or treat a certain injury doesn't mean they know how best to prevent them. Being a brain surgeon doesn't give you any particular insight into how effective helmet use, compulsory or otherwise, is in preventing those brain injuries. In fact, it could give you a quite distorted perspective because your constantly exposed to the 0.001% of cyclists who get those severe injuries, and never the 99.999% who do not.


Yep, now if he'd just said that he bike commutes to work then he'd have a little more credibility.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:07 am

jules21 wrote:i went for a ride down to the shops tonight without a helmet. passed the cops too and they turned to look but didn't pull me over. up yours authority!!1! :D


Nice work Jules, give them hell!

Let's hope the Bernadi slippery slope theory isn't true of cyclists or next you may start riding on footpaths while drunk. :)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:18 am

Mulger bill wrote:
lturner wrote:Oh no, I quite agree brain surgeons know a thing or two. Believe me, if I ever have to get brain surgery, there's no-one else I'd rather have do the job. :wink:

But just because someone knows how to fix or treat a certain injury doesn't mean they know how best to prevent them. Being a brain surgeon doesn't give you any particular insight into how effective helmet use, compulsory or otherwise, is in preventing those brain injuries. In fact, it could give you a quite distorted perspective because your constantly exposed to the 0.001% of cyclists who get those severe injuries, and never the 99.999% who do not.


Yep, now if he'd just said that he bike commutes to work then he'd have a little more credibility.

Looked up some other quotes. Here's some from http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-an ... 15cs8.html
A COUPLE of times a month, the neurosurgeon Jeffrey Rosenfeld operates on a cyclist who has suffered a serious head injury. They've almost always been wearing a helmet, removed by paramedics who bring it into the hospital. The helmet is often "crushed and messed up".

That raises a couple of points:
1) I wonder how many car occupants he sees with head injuries
2) Clearly a helmet in itself is insufficient to prevent serious injury

Rosenfeld's opinion is candid. "I don't know if [helmets] do much to protect the inner part of the brain," he says. "That's where people might be saying, 'Well, if you're going to get a serious head injury, it's going to happen whether you're wearing a helmet or not.' Well, there's some truth in that, but it depends on the velocity [with which] you come off the bike, what the force of the impact is, and the way that you land, the way that your head hits the ground …
"[A helmet is] certainly offering protection to the outer part of the head, scalp, the skull and to some degree the brain as well. How much [helmet] cushioning there is … also may lessen some of the impact forces on the brain itself; dampening down that effect on the brain from the impact."
Rosenfeld is convinced a helmet protects the "outer part" of the head if, say, a cyclist's head hits a rock, pavement or grass strip at low speed, lessening their risk of a ripped scalp, which can lead to infection, while also minimising the chance of a depressed skull fracture, although cyclists who get away with superficial injuries such as concussion are treated in emergency rather than admitted to hospital, so Rosenfeld never sees them.

I would add that in a collision with a car the cyclist often hits the windscreen first then the ground. I'd expect most of the damage to occur in the first impact due to the speed involved.

Also from http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3507204.htm on head injuries from football
JEFFREY ROSENFELD, NEUROSEURGEON, ALFRED HOSPITAL: I personally would say three significant concussions, three strikes and you're out. That's what I would say.

The football codes have already made some changes to make the sports safer, like checking players' brains before the start of each season. And some dangerous tackles have been banned. Then there are new guidelines that recommend that a player shouldn't come back onto the field if they've been concussed.

There's also been an argument that players should wear head gear during games, but some people think it gives players a false sense of safety and makes them play even rougher. Back at the school leagues, teachers and coaches make safety their first priority.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:18 am

Mulger bill wrote:
lturner wrote:Oh no, I quite agree brain surgeons know a thing or two. Believe me, if I ever have to get brain surgery, there's no-one else I'd rather have do the job. :wink:

But just because someone knows how to fix or treat a certain injury doesn't mean they know how best to prevent them. Being a brain surgeon doesn't give you any particular insight into how effective helmet use, compulsory or otherwise, is in preventing those brain injuries. In fact, it could give you a quite distorted perspective because your constantly exposed to the 0.001% of cyclists who get those severe injuries, and never the 99.999% who do not.


Yep, now if he'd just said that he bike commutes to work then he'd have a little more credibility.

Looked up some other quotes. Here's some from http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-an ... 15cs8.html
A COUPLE of times a month, the neurosurgeon Jeffrey Rosenfeld operates on a cyclist who has suffered a serious head injury. They've almost always been wearing a helmet, removed by paramedics who bring it into the hospital. The helmet is often "crushed and messed up".

That raises a couple of points:
1) I wonder how many car occupants he sees with head injuries
2) Clearly a helmet in itself is insufficient to prevent serious injury

Rosenfeld's opinion is candid. "I don't know if [helmets] do much to protect the inner part of the brain," he says. "That's where people might be saying, 'Well, if you're going to get a serious head injury, it's going to happen whether you're wearing a helmet or not.' Well, there's some truth in that, but it depends on the velocity [with which] you come off the bike, what the force of the impact is, and the way that you land, the way that your head hits the ground …
"[A helmet is] certainly offering protection to the outer part of the head, scalp, the skull and to some degree the brain as well. How much [helmet] cushioning there is … also may lessen some of the impact forces on the brain itself; dampening down that effect on the brain from the impact."
Rosenfeld is convinced a helmet protects the "outer part" of the head if, say, a cyclist's head hits a rock, pavement or grass strip at low speed, lessening their risk of a ripped scalp, which can lead to infection, while also minimising the chance of a depressed skull fracture, although cyclists who get away with superficial injuries such as concussion are treated in emergency rather than admitted to hospital, so Rosenfeld never sees them.

I would add that in a collision with a car the cyclist often hits the windscreen first then the ground. I'd expect most of the damage to occur in the first impact due to the speed involved.

Also from http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3507204.htm on head injuries from football
JEFFREY ROSENFELD, NEUROSEURGEON, ALFRED HOSPITAL: I personally would say three significant concussions, three strikes and you're out. That's what I would say.

The football codes have already made some changes to make the sports safer, like checking players' brains before the start of each season. And some dangerous tackles have been banned. Then there are new guidelines that recommend that a player shouldn't come back onto the field if they've been concussed.

There's also been an argument that players should wear head gear during games, but some people think it gives players a false sense of safety and makes them play even rougher. Back at the school leagues, teachers and coaches make safety their first priority.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:24 pm

Nobody has posted this yet?! Shock horror gasp faint stand up again faint again:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/na ... 6487190018

Before the helmet laws, bike-related head injury rates exceeded those of arm injuries, but by 2006 head injuries were 46 per cent lower than arm injuries.
Dr Olivier said the study found that bike-related head injuries had declined even further since 2006, when serious spending on cycleways began.
He said that decline was happening despite the NSW population rising by 22 per cent during the study period and despite a 51 per cent increase in the number of people cycling over the past decade.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:02 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:Nobody has posted this yet?! Shock horror gasp faint stand up again faint again:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/na ... 6487190018

Before the helmet laws, bike-related head injury rates exceeded those of arm injuries, but by 2006 head injuries were 46 per cent lower than arm injuries.
Dr Olivier said the study found that bike-related head injuries had declined even further since 2006, when serious spending on cycleways began.
He said that decline was happening despite the NSW population rising by 22 per cent during the study period and despite a 51 per cent increase in the number of people cycling over the past decade.

What about the impact of booze buses, lower speed limits and widespread use of speed cameras which have all combined to reduce injuries and fatalities to all road users in the time period. Unravelling how much was down to helmets and bike paths is extremely difficult.
The mixing in of cycleways into the discussion is "interesting". I wonder if the study even tried to separate the impact of separated infrastructure from MHLs?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:52 pm

KenGS wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:Nobody has posted this yet?! Shock horror gasp faint stand up again faint again:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/na ... 6487190018

Before the helmet laws, bike-related head injury rates exceeded those of arm injuries, but by 2006 head injuries were 46 per cent lower than arm injuries.
Dr Olivier said the study found that bike-related head injuries had declined even further since 2006, when serious spending on cycleways began.
He said that decline was happening despite the NSW population rising by 22 per cent during the study period and despite a 51 per cent increase in the number of people cycling over the past decade.

What about the impact of booze buses, lower speed limits and widespread use of speed cameras which have all combined to reduce injuries and fatalities to all road users in the time period.


This is why the ratio (between head and arm/leg injuries) is the important bit.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:13 pm

KenGS wrote:The mixing in of cycleways into the discussion is "interesting". I wonder if the study even tried to separate the impact of separated infrastructure from MHLs?

Yes this is interesting. Stands to reaons that cycleways must be safer just because B-doubles aren't allowed on them.

From experience we know that dumping truckloads of public funds into infrastructure for cars has made car travel safer than it used to be, above and beyond the introduction of mandatory seatbelt laws and other safety standards for cars. The infrastructure encourages people to drive. We can be pretty sure the same will work for bikes.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:45 pm

simonn wrote:
KenGS wrote:What about the impact of booze buses, lower speed limits and widespread use of speed cameras which have all combined to reduce injuries and fatalities to all road users in the time period.


This is why the ratio (between head and arm/leg injuries) is the important bit.

Important but far from conclusive. I would fully expect that a reduction in the average speed of collisions would result in just that kind of change.
More interesting is the change in the message from "MHLs save lives" to "MHLs and better infrastructure reduce injuries"
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