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

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

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

Postby Percrime » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:50 pm

twizzle wrote:
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


Say what? Hemmingway would say you were talking tosh. And he would not put it as politely. Modelled behavior..probably should teach em how to ride properly. If they model themselves after people whose behavior their parents dislike... the problem is not what you think it is. And chin protection from an open face helmet.. phtttthhhhhh

Or are you implying my kids cannot ride properly either?
Last edited by Percrime on Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:13 pm

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

Postby twizzle » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:13 pm

Percrime wrote:If they model themselves after people whose behavior their parents dislike... the problem is not what you think it is

You obviously have limited experience with small children. And I never said anything about chin protection.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby newie » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:28 pm

Edit - deleted less friendly formatted version of post below.
Last edited by newie on Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby newie » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:46 pm

I have been a bit surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of the recent UNSW study by Olivier et al. I guess most people don't have access to the journal article and it is hard to know what to conclude from newspaper reports. Anyway I have had a look at the article and it seems to me that the data in it could mean the end of any hopes for a repeal of the MHL. I can't imagine any politician being “brave” enough to support a repeal of the law in the light of these numbers. Hopefully the formatting doesn't go astray.

Table 2
Bicycle related head injury and limb fracture hospitalisations in New South Wales for 1991–2010.
Year, Head, Arm, NSW pop, BI, CC, ERASS
1991, 590, 660, 5.9
1992, 648, 760, 6.0
1993, 635, 839, 6.0
1994, 634, 882 , 6.1
1995, 667, 964 , 6.1
1996, 732, 1114, 6.2
1997, 745, 1058, 6.3
1998, 750, 1144, 6.3
1999, 756, 1115, 6.4
2000, 828, 1334, 6.5, 0.9
2001, 715, 1171, 6.6, 0.8, NA, 400800
2002, 795, 1241, 6.6, 1.1, 1552, 429100
2003, 806, 1390, 6.7,1.0, 1693, 404300
2004, 882, 1457, 6.7, 1.2, 1870, 481700
2005, 847, 1583, 6.8, 1.2, 2251, 474200
2006, 1004, 1622, 6.8. 1.2, 2622, 468300
2007, 878, 1576, 6.9, 1.4, 2958, 447400
2008, 840, 1623, 7.0, 1.2, 3121, 539600
2009, 769, 1619, 7.2, 1.1, 3915, 503600
2010, 706, 1620, 7.2, NA, 3974, 603500
BI=bicycle imports (millions), CC= Sydney CBD cycling counts, NSW population in millions.
Sources: Admitted Patients Data Collection (HOIST), NSW Ministry of Health; Cycling Promotion Fund. CPF Annual Report 2009/10. Canberra (AUST): CPF; NSW Roads and
Maritime Services; Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey (ERASS), Australian Sports Commission (2010).

While I was looking it up I came across another article published by a group in the Netherlands which I found a bit surprising. Here is the abstract.
“Governments aim to promote a shift from car to bicycle, but concerns about road safety seem to represent an important argument against this encouragement. This study examines the road safety impact of a modal shift from short car trips to cycling in Dutch municipalities. The road safety effect is estimated using Accident Prediction Models (APMs) that account for the non-linearity of risk. APMs are developed utilizing Negative Binomial regression. This study is the first to develop APMs using crash and mobility data from municipalities, and utilizing these models to estimate the effects of changing modal splits of current car and bicycle use to modal splits that actually exist in these municipalities. The results suggest that, under conditions such as in Dutch municipalities, transferring short trips made by cars to bicycles does not change the number of fatalities, but increases the number of serious road injuries. The neutral effect on fatalities, despite the high fatality risk for cyclists, can be explained by there being fewer cars on the road to pose a risk to others, the shorter length of bicycle trips compared to the car trips they replace, and the “safety in numbers” phenomenon. The rise in the number of serious road injuries is due wholly to the high number of cycling crashes with no other vehicle involved. The effect of a modal shift
is dependent on the age of the population in which the shift is concentrated, and can be influenced by measures affecting cyclists’ injury risk.”
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:51 pm

jules21 wrote:
human909 wrote:Yep. Thats it. The rest of the world has flawed logic because Jules says so. Meanwhile Australia is leading the way for cycling safety. :roll:

if MHLs are necessary (and i'm not going as far as advocating that), it's partly due to australia failing - not leading - in other areas of cycling safety.

Cycling infrastructure didn't happen BECAUSE of a flawed approach (that led to the MHL).

You are talking about a symptom of the disease...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:58 pm

jules21 wrote:precisely. while we're at it, we should repeal seat belt laws for the same reason.


If:

- significant numbers of people disliked wearing seatbelts
- seatbelts laws reduced exercise and had a net negative effect on public health
- seatbelt laws were completely destroying a useful public transport option
- the safety benefits of seatlbelt laws were hotly contested such that after 20 years there is still no agreement
- 98% of the world (including those countries with better car safety records than Australia) did not have seatbelt laws

then yes, there would a strong case to repeal seatbelt laws.

But none of the above are true for seatbelt laws, while they are all true of bike helmet laws.

Actually some of the above reasons are why we don't have to wear sealtbelts on buses and trains.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:09 pm

newie wrote: I have been a bit surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of the recent UNSW study by Olivier et al.


This study was the basis of an opinion piece in the Fairfax papers recently. cited here a couple of times.

On the other side of the coin, there was a recent study that showed that helmets didn't reduce injuries, so MHLs were unnecessary.
That's the infamous Rissel/Voukelatos paper that got formally retracted last year because it was badly flawed.

So that's the research background policy makers will rely on to decide about MHLs. It's looking very lopsided.

So in the real world, the consquences are that effective advocacy will depend on the case for making cycling more attractive and more safe and improving participation by improving infrastructure. Not by getting rid of MHLs.

Maybe when we do have bike lanes that are not in the door zone, when we're not riding in the same lane as the B-doubles, when we do have wide attractive and extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that make riding a fun and practical option, then we will make cycling safer, get more people commuting, and the stats will move enough so that helmets become less necessary - and then perhaps less mandatory.

But it's going to have to happen in that order: infrastructure first, helmets-optional second.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:11 pm

newie wrote:I have been a bit surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of the recent UNSW study by Olivier et al. I guess most people don't have access to the journal article and it is hard to know what to conclude from newspaper reports. Anyway I have had a look at the article and it seems to me that the data in it could mean the end of any hopes for a repeal of the MHL. I can't imagine any politician being “brave” enough to support a repeal of the law in the light of these numbers. Hopefully the formatting doesn't go astray.


In NSW the helmet law came into effect on 1st January 1991 for adults and 1st July 1991 for children.

So can someone please explain how this study which looks at the decline in the ratio of head injuries to arm injuries AFTER the helmet law was already in effect proves that MHL was the cause?

If anything this only shows that other things besides helmet laws are responsible for some or even all of the declines.

PS According the previous research from these authors the rate of helmet wearing went up very quickly ie a matter of a couple of months, definitely not over many years.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:19 pm

lturner wrote:
jules21 wrote:- significant numbers of people disliked wearing seatbelts
- seatbelts laws reduced exercise and had a net negative effect on public health
- seatbelt laws were completely destroying a useful public transport option
- the safety benefits of seatlbelt laws were hotly contested such that after 20 years there is still no agreement
- 98% of the world (including those countries with better car safety records than Australia) did not have seatbelt laws

Those are assertions. To go from assertions to accepted facts, they need substantiation.

That's the hard part. The last people to try had to retract their paper from publication!

On the other hand I do remember people complaining long and loud about seatbelt laws after their introduction. "I wouldn't want to get trapped in the car after a crash" was a common reason I heard at the time.

And apparently there are still lots people who don't wear belts, judging by the enforcement programs the relevant responsible authorities roll out from time to time.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:26 pm

Howzat wrote:So in the real world, the consquences are that effective advocacy will depend on the case for making cycling more attractive and more safe and improving participation by improving infrastructure. Not by getting rid of MHLs.
But it's going to have to happen in that order: infrastructure first, helmets-optional second.

So your brilliant plan to fix the issue of vehicular cycling risk is to essentially render the bike absolute last... you'll note that there are no safe bike paths. Clover lanes in Sydney are constantly beset by peds. PSPs are set up to ensure that bikes can't go beyond 15-20kmh because peds have right of way.

There is nothing FUN about cycling infrastructure, because the people that use it tend to be oblivious to the fact that it is cycle infrastructure. I ride down the Parramatta-Meadowbank Riverwalk most days and it is NOT fun. I spend half my time trying to make sure someone doesn't run in front of me. I ride at 40kmh on a good day down that path and it's just not safe for a bike to do that.
If you can't ride that fast, you have a wide space for peds, rather than a space for bikes.

Legislative change is necessary first because our legislation doesn't support the goal of improving bike uptake, not just the helmet laws.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:40 pm

Xplora wrote:...you'll note that there are no safe bike paths. Clover lanes in Sydney are constantly beset by peds. PSPs are set up to ensure that bikes can't go beyond 15-20kmh because peds have right of way.

There is nothing FUN about cycling infrastructure,

I'm not sure why we end up opposing cycling infrastructure on a cycling forum. We should be leaving that stuff to the angry motorists listening to the shock-jocks.

I agree though we have a long way to go to improving infrastructure from the green-paint-in-the-dooring-zone level that's standard today. Cycling should be fun. Cycle infrastructure should support that.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:54 pm

Howzat wrote:
lturner wrote:- significant numbers of people disliked wearing seatbelts
- seatbelts laws reduced exercise and had a net negative effect on public health
- seatbelt laws were completely destroying a useful public transport option
- the safety benefits of seatlbelt laws were hotly contested such that after 20 years there is still no agreement
- 98% of the world (including those countries with better car safety records than Australia) did not have seatbelt laws


Those are assertions, not facts. To go from assertions to accepted facts, they need substantiation, and that is hard. The last people to try had to retract their paper from publication!



ok here are a few pieces of evidence to back up those assertions:

1. 45% of people who cycle would choose to ride without a helmet some or all of the time if given the choice. Among people who ride monthly or more, that figure is 67%. Source: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/public-he ... Rissel.pdf

2. The overall public health effect of helmet laws is likely to be negative. Source: http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/sites ... t_laws.pdf

3. Brisbane CityCycle and Melbourne Bike Share failures - self evident.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Baldy » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:51 pm

[quote="Xplora" I ride at 40kmh on a good day down that path and it's just not safe for a bike to do that.[/quote]

That is sig worthy, time to quote yourself again :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:41 am

Howzat wrote:So in the real world, the consquences are that effective advocacy will depend on the case for making cycling more attractive and more safe and improving participation by improving infrastructure. Not by getting rid of MHLs.

Maybe when we do have bike lanes that are not in the door zone, when we're not riding in the same lane as the B-doubles, when we do have wide attractive and extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that make riding a fun and practical option, then we will make cycling safer, get more people commuting, and the stats will move enough so that helmets become less necessary - and then perhaps less mandatory.

But it's going to have to happen in that order: infrastructure first, helmets-optional second.

You do realise that there are better ways to go about this? What is so wrong with having a look overseas and seeing how they do it?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:08 am

Howzat wrote:I agree though we have a long way to go to improving infrastructure from the green-paint-in-the-dooring-zone level that's standard today. Cycling should be fun. Cycle infrastructure should support that.

Actually, cycling should be convenient if we want a significant increase. That's what the Danes discovered.
Here, the convenience of cycling is essentially not even considered. If Australia seriously wanted more people cycling it could be done.
All I see is actions that don't match the words and growth in cycling that is organic in line with population growth, rising oil prices and the state of the economy.
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Helmets! Bells! Rego!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Kenzo » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:22 am

Baldy wrote:
Xplora wrote: I ride at 40kmh on a good day down that path and it's just not safe for a bike to do that.


That is sig worthy, time to quote yourself again :roll:

"sig worthy"? Taken out of context as it appears in your post, it says nothing positive.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:13 pm

Kenzo wrote:
Baldy wrote:
Xplora wrote: I ride at 40kmh on a good day down that path and it's just not safe for a bike to do that.


That is sig worthy, time to quote yourself again :roll:

"sig worthy"? Taken out of context as it appears in your post, it says nothing positive.


That's why...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:26 pm

Xplora wrote:
Howzat wrote:So in the real world, the consquences are that effective advocacy will depend on the case for making cycling more attractive and more safe and improving participation by improving infrastructure. Not by getting rid of MHLs.
But it's going to have to happen in that order: infrastructure first, helmets-optional second.

So your brilliant plan to fix the issue of vehicular cycling risk is to essentially render the bike absolute last... you'll note that there are no safe bike paths. Clover lanes in Sydney are constantly beset by peds. PSPs are set up to ensure that bikes can't go beyond 15-20kmh because peds have right of way.

There is nothing FUN about cycling infrastructure, because the people that use it tend to be oblivious to the fact that it is cycle infrastructure. I ride down the Parramatta-Meadowbank Riverwalk most days and it is NOT fun. I spend half my time trying to make sure someone doesn't run in front of me. I ride at 40kmh on a good day down that path and it's just not safe for a bike to do that.


Don't be ridiculous. The problems you describe are easily solved by riding to the conditions. Plenty of people use PSPs to commute and do just fine. I quite enjoy riding on them, not that I chase PBs for my commute or anything ("PB for my commute" verges on oxymoronic for mine). I don't have any direct experience of Dutch or Danish cycle paths but they seem to be aimed at low-speed utility cyclists rather than the Lycra-clad hubbards and rightly so.

The irony is that the people who are most likely to take up cycling because of MHL repeal aren't going to ride at anywhere near 40k, particularly not those who have thereby avoided an early death from lifestyle diseases.

If you can't ride that fast, you have a wide space for peds, rather than a space for bikes.


This is only a sane, relevant criterion for a tiny minority.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby whitey » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:28 pm

So what's the big deal with having to wear a helmet. Saw a guy crash the other day went ove the edge and dropped afew meters with head impact. Helmet probably saved his life. Hard to argue with that sort of evidence.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:42 pm

Howzat wrote:
So in the real world, the consquences are that effective advocacy will depend on the case for making cycling more attractive and more safe and improving participation by improving infrastructure. Not by getting rid of MHLs.


It doesnt have to be one or the other, it can be both.

Howzat wrote:Maybe when we do have bike lanes that are not in the door zone, when we're not riding in the same lane as the B-doubles, when we do have wide attractive and extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that make riding a fun and practical option, then we will make cycling safer, get more people commuting, and the stats will move enough so that helmets become less necessary - and then perhaps less mandatory.

But it's going to have to happen in that order: infrastructure first, helmets-optional second.


What we need to do is indeed create a safer cycling enviroment.
But this is not a priority, cause we are already 'safe', we have a mhl.
we are all safe cause we have a magic helmet, wich stops cyclists from dying...

In country's without a MHL, you see they focus is on the cycling enviroment, not the cyclist.
Therefore they create for safer cycling...

So helmets optional first, infrastructure second.
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
SCHIJNVEILIGHEID !!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:48 pm

whitey wrote:So what's the big deal with having to wear a helmet. Saw a guy crash the other day went ove the edge and dropped afew meters with head impact. Helmet probably saved his life. Hard to argue with that sort of evidence.


A helmet is a pita, its a nusance, its uncomfortable.
It looks awefull, and it kills the feeling of 'just riding a bike'.

So a guy crashed...
People always crash .
People crash cars, no mhl for drivers...
people crash while walking, no mhl for pedestrians.
and so on...

Just cause there is a potentional to crash, doesnt mean its warranted to force people to wear helmets.
As the other examples clearly prove that, so why make an exception for cycling ??
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
SCHIJNVEILIGHEID !!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby whitey » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:01 pm

If your helmets uncomfortable try getting one that fits. Would have thought that one was pretty obvious.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:48 pm

whitey wrote:If your helmets uncomfortable try getting one that fits. Would have thought that one was pretty obvious.


Even the one that fits is uncomfortable, not to mention the strap...
Its not the type of helmet that bothers me, i dont discriminate one specific helmet.
I dislike them all.

And FYI, I have tried all models, old new, and in between.
cheap expensive, and in between.
But no matter what the model is, or the price, at the end its stil a helmet.
An uncomfortable mandatory piece of plastic.
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
SCHIJNVEILIGHEID !!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:54 pm

whitey wrote:So what's the big deal with having to wear a helmet. Saw a guy crash the other day went ove the edge and dropped afew meters with head impact. Helmet probably saved his life. Hard to argue with that sort of evidence.

I've seen dozens of people not crash for HOURS at a time. Months even. Chicken Little said the sky was falling in, better find your helmet...
Helmets are not comfortable compared to no helmet. Children don't wear them in playgrounds despite it being safer than they do. Kids DO hit their head a lot more adults :idea: Of course, I'm just thinking of the children, and not deliberately showing your comment to be facetious. :lol:

In relation to my performance on the bikepath, I recognise that my speed is excessive on some sections, I tend to slow down for those parts - but the point stands that riding is not fun for these areas because there is so much danger, caused by people who don't pay attention... who bear almost no legal responsibility and will probably be supported in the court despite that their behaviour would result in "at fault" finding on a public road. Some lads are under 25 and don't pay as much attention for kids and the like, and these are the people that the PSP laws really fail... dumb ped behaviour causes the risk, it's not like I can't control my bike at 30kmh. Seems to be fine on the bunch rides. 8)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:21 pm

Xplora wrote:
whitey wrote:So what's the big deal with having to wear a helmet. Saw a guy crash the other day went ove the edge and dropped afew meters with head impact. Helmet probably saved his life. Hard to argue with that sort of evidence.

I've seen dozens of people not crash for HOURS at a time. Months even. Chicken Little said the sky was falling in, better find your helmet...
Helmets are not comfortable compared to no helmet. Children don't wear them in playgrounds despite it being safer than they do. Kids DO hit their head a lot more adults :idea: Of course, I'm just thinking of the children, and not deliberately showing your comment to be facetious. :lol:


By which reasoning, smoke detectors are a waste of time. My house hasn't burned down yet, what's the point?

In relation to my performance on the bikepath, I recognise that my speed is excessive on some sections, I tend to slow down for those parts - but the point stands that riding is not fun for these areas because there is so much danger, caused by people who don't pay attention... who bear almost no legal responsibility and will probably be supported in the court despite that their behaviour would result in "at fault" finding on a public road. Some lads are under 25 and don't pay as much attention for kids and the like, and these are the people that the PSP laws really fail... dumb ped behaviour causes the risk, it's not like I can't control my bike at 30kmh. Seems to be fine on the bunch rides. 8)


Seems to me that what you really want is more cycle-only paths. Not building these, and not enforcing the (perfectly adequate) existing laws is an executive problem, not a legislative one. I don't see catering to the people who want to ride fast as a good way of improving cycling uptake either.
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