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

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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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by BNA » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:22 pm

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

Postby jules21 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:57 am

human909 wrote:
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?

the traffic is certainly worse. but the main difference is the change in societal acceptance of what is "safe".

drink driving and the utter carnage wreaked when it was socially acceptable was something "people did back in the old days and i can't think of anyone i know today who was killed doing that" - is that OK too?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:09 pm

The point is that cycling advocates have to make priorities.

Prioritising the repeal of MHLs has the drawback that some of the most common arguments for repeal stand in opposition to some of the best arguments for cycling infrastructure.

This is a problem, as there are plenty of opponents of cycling ready to question any spending Aussie taxpayer funds on cycleways.

If cyclist are arguing it's already safe and all we need to do to lift cycling participation is get rid of helmet laws, then we're inadvertently making Alan Jones's case for him.

If we don't think this out carefully, we'll end up with Dutch-style helmet laws and Australian-style cycling infrastructure. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:10 pm

jules21 wrote:the traffic is certainly worse.

That doesn't mean more dangerous so I'm not sure the relevance.

jules21 wrote:but the main difference is the change in societal acceptance of what is "safe".

And the key instigator in this change regarding cycling was MHLs! :wink: If you think that riding a bike is unsafe then that isn't going to change by putting a helmet on.

jules21 wrote:drink driving and the utter carnage wreaked when it was socially acceptable was something "people did back in the old days and i can't think of anyone i know today who was killed doing that" - is that OK too?
I don't care what you do as long as you aren't harming or endangering others.

Howzat wrote:Prioritising the repeal of MHLs has the drawback that some of the most common arguments for repeal stand in opposition to some of the best arguments for cycling infrastructure.

No, they don't. It is well established that GOOD separated infrastructure improves the safety of cyclists. Nobody here is saying otherwise.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:46 pm

human909 wrote:It is well established that GOOD separated infrastructure improves the safety of cyclists. Nobody here is saying otherwise.

Well, trouble is you're inadvertently undercutting this case for infrastructure, right here in the exact same post...

human909 wrote:
jules21 wrote:the traffic is certainly worse.

That doesn't mean more dangerous so I'm not sure the relevance.

It would be more effective to argue either that you can improve safety with good infrastructure, or that worse traffic doesn't increase danger to cyclists. But try to make both points at the same time, and the messages tread on each other. This is the point about choosing advocacy priorities - they don't all fit together as neatly as we'd like.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:53 pm

Howzat wrote:
human909 wrote:It is well established that GOOD separated infrastructure improves the safety of cyclists. Nobody here is saying otherwise.

Well, trouble is you're inadvertently undercutting this case for infrastructure, right here in the exact same post...

human909 wrote:
jules21 wrote:the traffic is certainly worse.

That doesn't mean more dangerous so I'm not sure the relevance.

This is the point about choosing advocacy priorities - they don't all fit together as neatly as we'd like.


I'm not sure how that under its at all. I am nowhere arguing against infrastructure. Anything you are seeing to that effect is s figment of your imagination.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:08 pm

lturner wrote:
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".


So enlighten us to what fields you are an expert in? So being a neurosurgeon has no credability? Who then should get a say?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:42 pm

Ross wrote:So enlighten us to what fields you are an expert in? So being a neurosurgeon has no credability? Who then should get a say?

I think someone who is experienced in traffic laws, ergonomics, politics, cycling accidents, helmet effectiveness/materials science and perhaps comparative statistics would be more help than a neurosurgeon.

The neurosurgeon can fix breaks, monitor recovery, and diagnose problems of the brain. The helmet has absolutely no impact on their ability to judge that - because you have to smash a skull into a wall with and without helmets to find out what the result is. You can't learn that kind of information without doing scientific studies... that's why they are called surgeons and not scientists. :idea:

Infrastructure isn't necessary if drivers learn to grow up and realise that they have to share the road with other people. :roll: We've already got infrastructure, it is called a road. Any cyclist on the road is able to ride in a straight line - maybe the drivers around them need to react in a similar sensible fashion.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:27 pm

Xplora wrote:Infrastructure isn't necessary if drivers learn to grow up and realise that they have to share the road with other people. :roll: We've already got infrastructure, it is called a road. Any cyclist on the road is able to ride in a straight line - maybe the drivers around them need to react in a similar sensible fashion.


And if everyone would just be peaceful we could have world peace! It is that simple! /s
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ILMB » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:37 pm

Xplora wrote:Infrastructure isn't necessary if drivers learn to grow up and realise that they have to share the road with other people. :roll: We've already got infrastructure, it is called a road. Any cyclist on the road is able to ride in a straight line - maybe the drivers around them need to react in a similar sensible fashion.


Absolutely agree with this. Cyclists need to be part of the regular road-user population, and they, and all other road users need to behave with common sense and courtesy towards each other. Separated cycling infrastructure compounds resentment, imprints the idea that cyclists are somehow not normal, highlights the supposed dangers of cycling, and supports the idea that cycling is not mainstream and that it is inheritantly dangerous. IMO MHLs also imprint the "danger" idea without offering a significant ROI.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:20 pm

ILoveMyBike wrote:
Xplora wrote:Infrastructure isn't necessary if drivers learn to grow up and realise that they have to share the road with other people. :roll: We've already got infrastructure, it is called a road. Any cyclist on the road is able to ride in a straight line - maybe the drivers around them need to react in a similar sensible fashion.


Absolutely agree with this. Cyclists need to be part of the regular road-user population, and they, and all other road users need to behave with common sense and courtesy towards each other. Separated cycling infrastructure compounds resentment, imprints the idea that cyclists are somehow not normal, highlights the supposed dangers of cycling, and supports the idea that cycling is not mainstream and that it is inheritantly dangerous. IMO MHLs also imprint the "danger" idea without offering a significant ROI.


Have you really got any evidence for that? I present the separated infrastructure of both Amsterdam and Copenhagen as evidence of the opposite.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:33 pm

simonn wrote:
ILoveMyBike wrote:
Xplora wrote:Infrastructure isn't necessary if drivers learn to grow up and realise that they have to share the road with other people. :roll: We've already got infrastructure, it is called a road. Any cyclist on the road is able to ride in a straight line - maybe the drivers around them need to react in a similar sensible fashion.


Absolutely agree with this. Cyclists need to be part of the regular road-user population, and they, and all other road users need to behave with common sense and courtesy towards each other. Separated cycling infrastructure compounds resentment, imprints the idea that cyclists are somehow not normal, highlights the supposed dangers of cycling, and supports the idea that cycling is not mainstream and that it is inheritantly dangerous. IMO MHLs also imprint the "danger" idea without offering a significant ROI.


Have you really got any evidence for that? I present the separated infrastructure of both Amsterdam and Copenhagen as evidence of the opposite.

:roll: Why doe everything need "evidence". Is thought no longer fashionable?

Listen to many of the comments from motorists. They want us off the roads! There is a real attitude problem and until that changes cycling in Australia is significantly less safe than it would otherwise be. We need to fix that through legislative change, education and most of all getting more people cycling. MHLs have been entirely detrimental to the health of cycling in Australia.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:45 pm

Howzat wrote:The point is that cycling advocates have to make priorities.

Prioritising the repeal of MHLs has the drawback that some of the most common arguments for repeal stand in opposition to some of the best arguments for cycling infrastructure.

This is a problem, as there are plenty of opponents of cycling ready to question any spending Aussie taxpayer funds on cycleways.

If cyclist are arguing it's already safe and all we need to do to lift cycling participation is get rid of helmet laws, then we're inadvertently making Alan Jones's case for him.

If we don't think this out carefully, we'll end up with Dutch-style helmet laws and Australian-style cycling infrastructure. :roll:


+1. Post of the year. That's always been my response to the anti-MHL argument. If we had the separated cycling infrastructure of Northern Europe and the same laws regarding motorists being at fault in accidents with cyclists then sure you probably wouldn't need MHLs. But in Australia, we don't have the infrastructure or cyclist friendly road rules, so MHLs are required.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:55 pm

biker jk wrote:But in Australia, we don't have the infrastructure or cyclist friendly road rules, so MHLs are required.

:shock: Clearly MHLs fixes the problem. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby biker jk » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:23 pm

human909 wrote:
biker jk wrote:But in Australia, we don't have the infrastructure or cyclist friendly road rules, so MHLs are required.

:shock: Clearly MHLs fixes the problem. :roll:


Well if the aim is to reduce head injuries in this context, MHLs are required. You obviously didn't understand the point I was making (or perhaps misconstrued it) and hence your juvenile response.
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