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

Postby baabaa » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:11 pm

I wonder if the study even tried to separate the impact of separated infrastructure from MHLs?


Not sure, but the University of New South Wales is also running/ part of the Safer Cycling Study. It will be worth waiting for the data from this one but not sure when it ends....
https://safercycling.unsw.edu.au

Then here
https://safercycling.unsw.edu.au/pdf/cyclingsummary.pdf
for the type of riding and if you do have an off you pin point the spot. (I have had one off during the time and they rang to discuss the details and log all the who’s what’s and whys such as…. What was the cause, did you go to the hospital or a quack and if not why not, and if so why so. Pretty sure the question about wearing a helmet is also asked)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:22 pm

KenGS wrote:
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"


Indeed. The same thing has been/was/is used by the anti-MHL side e.g. http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20101908-21247.html
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:20 pm

A helmet saved my life
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:39 pm


I read the article. Would have to see the actual study - it fails to mention whether or not they have controlled their stats (and there is no guarantee that they have). What happened to other road users in the same period? Are they able to account for sufficient variables? Great. There has been a shift in injuries... is it possible that the sample size just isn't enough to make it worthwhile to study? MTB riding will end up in the same stats pool, despite not being a road related injury. It would be similar to treating accidents on treadmills in the same pool as pedestrian injuries... having your bum on a bike doesn't mean you are "on the road".

Need to see the actual study.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:07 am

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.


Yes it would be very interesting to read this study. On the face of it, it's a strange study. Why he would compare the injury before helmet laws to the injury rate in 2006 is not clear. Any effect from MHLs should be apparent immediately following 1991 when the law changed in NSW. If injury rates are still declining 15 years on as the study suggests, then it is clearly other factors causing the decline.

I note that the authors are well-known advocates of helmet laws, and most are also funded by the NSW state government, through the RTA or other departments. He was one of the authors of this study which claimed to have found similar evidence.

There were numerous flaws with the previous study, including the fact that although the authors conceded they did not know whether the change in injury rates was due to helmet laws, they simply assumed it was!

"We have assumed that the additional decrease in head injuries at the time of legislation was attributable to the legislation; however, it is not possible to infer causality with certainty without having helmet wearing data on all cyclists.”


Which is very shaky because this previous study also found (if you look carefully at the statistical output of their model) that the introduction of the helmet law also corresponded with a decline in pedestrian injuries as well. But of course they just quietly ignored this part of the model, and instead loudly proclaimed that because cyclist injuries declined at this time, it was due to the MHL.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby twizzle » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:32 am

One of my seven year olds came off his bike yesterday, skin off his elbow and back, bent his glasses and ripped the visor off the helmet. Luckily, because of the household rule of "You aren't allowed to get on the bike without a helmet" (which like all rules, took a while to become a habit), the helmet was on the head instead of gathering dust in the back of a cupboard... which is where I assume all of the other helmets belonging to children are, because only about 3/4's of the kids I see around the place have helmets on. So... I'd just like to thank all of those who insist on modelling 'bad behaviour' in front of children - you are doing a fine job of ensuring that not all children have developed the habit of sticking the lid on the head.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:47 am

twizzle wrote:One of my seven year olds came off his bike yesterday, skin off his elbow and back, bent his glasses and ripped the visor off the helmet. Luckily, because of the household rule of "You aren't allowed to get on the bike without a helmet" (which like all rules, took a while to become a habit), the helmet was on the head instead of gathering dust in the back of a cupboard... which is where I assume all of the other helmets belonging to children are, because only about 3/4's of the kids I see around the place have helmets on. So... I'd just like to thank all of those who insist on modelling 'bad behaviour' in front of children - you are doing a fine job of ensuring that not all children have developed the habit of sticking the lid on the head.


"Bad behaviour"? Is it now bad behaviour for children to ride without a helmet? Most of my childhood consisted of riding around the neighbourhood without helmets. Millions of Australian children have done the same without problems. Millions of children in the rest of the world still do.

Do you insist on your child wearing a helmet while running? I lost far more skin off knees and elbows while running and swimming than while riding as a kid. All things I did quite regularly.

(I'm just saying. Personally I have no issue if you wish to encourage your children to wear helmets. But this continual insisting portrayal that cycling is a risky activity where head protection is vital is simply ridiculous. Unfortunately do to our government your view is now the norm in this country. Strangely enough in countries where the cycling commonly it is not! :wink: )
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:14 am

human909 wrote:
twizzle wrote:Millions of children in the rest of the world still do.

Well, a lot of European countries and US jurisdictions do make helmets mandatory for kids - even where helmets aren't required for adults.

I think this opinion piece lays out the case that what cyclists really need is better infrastructure for improved safety and encouraging the growth of cycling.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bike-helmet-critics-not-using-their-heads-20121003-26yvc.html

It's unfortunate, but the message that 1) helmet laws are the major barrier to cycling, and 2) that cycling is very safe, directly undercuts the arguments for investing in cycling infrastructure.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:28 am

Howzat wrote:
human909 wrote:
twizzle wrote:Millions of children in the rest of the world still do.

Well, a lot of European countries and US jurisdictions do make helmets mandatory for kids - even where helmets aren't required for adults.

Please point me to the MANY European countries with helmet laws for kids. I'll even help you. A can count a few, certainly not "many". Also few see the US as a shining example of cycling culture.

Howzat wrote:It's unfortunate, but the message that 1) helmet laws are the major barrier to cycling, and 2) that cycling is very safe, directly undercuts the arguments for investing in cycling infrastructure.
That is an amazing leap of logic I would love to see your justification for that. Most MHL opposition and supporters of every day cycling regularly point out that places like Amsterdam and Denmark as examples to follow.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby jules21 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:42 am

human909 wrote:"Bad behaviour"? Is it now bad behaviour for children to ride without a helmet? Most of my childhood consisted of riding around the neighbourhood without helmets.

harking back to the 'good ol' days' isn't very convincing human. most of us would look on those days with fondness, but agree society has progressed since then.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:51 am

jules21 wrote:
human909 wrote:"Bad behaviour"? Is it now bad behaviour for children to ride without a helmet? Most of my childhood consisted of riding around the neighbourhood without helmets.

harking back to the 'good ol' days' isn't very convincing human.

So are kids less coordinated these days? Are they worse cyclists now? Are the roads harder?

jules21 wrote:most of us would look on those days with fondness, but agree society has progressed since then.

What do you mean by society has progressed? Sure it has 'progressed' in numerous ways. Some progress as been down good paths some not. That is the point of all this debate isn't it? We took a wrong turn 20 years ago, the rest of the world hasn't followed. In fact some are even using us as an example of what NOT to do regarding cycling policy.
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