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

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

Postby damhooligan » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:33 pm

The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
SCHIJNVEILIGHEID !!
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by BNA » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:25 am

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

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:25 am

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

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.

I don't have to carry my smoke detector on my head every time I walk into the house. ;)

I am not interested in spending enormous amounts of money on "casual fun" paths. You can ride a MTB on the grass with the family at no cost to the tax payer at all, and it won't ruin the grass. A concrete path is needed to withstand heavy traffic - and to ensure good grip for faster bikes ;) I'm not prepared to separate legislative and executive on this issue - it's a variety of things that cause this drama. A path is good, but let's get real - there are some stupid things happening, like the Tway in Sydney only being for buses, despite the fact that bikes can EASILY use the path and get out of the way of a bus. But they double up the concrete... why? The rules are all backwards and the infrastructure is all weird to boot.

The bike is supposed to be convenient and that means quicker than walking or jogging. I'm not talking about peleton riding (maybe I am? that would be a good way to go to work) but adopting realism into the picture. We aren't all plodding along, I ride to be faster than driving in traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:51 pm

Xplora wrote:I am not interested in spending enormous amounts of money on "casual fun" paths. You can ride a MTB on the grass with the family at no cost to the tax payer at all, and it won't ruin the grass. A concrete path is needed to withstand heavy traffic - and to ensure good grip for faster bikes ;) I'm not prepared to separate legislative and executive on this issue - it's a variety of things that cause this drama. A path is good, but let's get real - there are some stupid things happening, like the Tway in Sydney only being for buses, despite the fact that bikes can EASILY use the path and get out of the way of a bus. But they double up the concrete... why? The rules are all backwards and the infrastructure is all weird to boot.

The bike is supposed to be convenient and that means quicker than walking or jogging. I'm not talking about peleton riding (maybe I am? that would be a good way to go to work) but adopting realism into the picture. We aren't all plodding along, I ride to be faster than driving in traffic.

What rules relating to PSPs are backwards? And why is making it easy to ride fast so important? Where are all the people sitting in their armchairs smoking and eating Bad Food because they'd have to slow for pedestrians? It sounds to me like you don't like laws that inconvenience you. Fair enough, I don't like inconvenient laws either, but inconvenient doesn't mean bad policy.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Kenzo » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:55 pm

high_tea wrote:Fair enough, I don't like inconvenient laws either, but inconvenient doesn't mean bad policy.

.. and bad policy can still cause inconvenience. They are not mutually exclusive.

Whether or not it is inconvenient is not a concern for me. The effects (good/bad) of the MHL and the reasons behind its implementation have been discussed at length in this thread... and for me at least it is clear the MHL is bad policy.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:41 pm

whitey wrote: 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.


Actually it's pretty easy to argue with that evidence, because it's fairly flimsy.

If you believe everyone who claims "a helmet saved my life" you'd have to accept that helmets are saving thousand of lives every year.

This is quite impossible. Before we had helmet laws (when few wore helmets) we had about 80 fatalities per year, now we have about 40. But traffic fatalities have halved for all forms of transport in this time as well.

Look at somewhere like the Netherlands. It has 160 fatalities per year with probably 10 or 20 times the amount of cycling and virtually no-one wearing helmets.

Helmets are good for preventing some kinds of injuries, especially scalp wounds and abrasions, but this notion that without helmet laws there would be dead bodies piling up everywhere is a complete fiction.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:00 pm

damhooligan wrote:
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.


Exactly right. I struggle to see why some people cannot see this.

Imagine for a moment that in every story about a pedestrian being run over and killed by a car, there was a quote like "police believed the walker might have survived had he been wearing a helmet".

Or when someone is shot we say: "well he knew it was rough area, he should have been wearing his kevlar jacket. Everyone knows bulletproof jackets save lives".

It would be absurd and the community would not accept those things as a solution to those problems, yet that is what the cycling community accepts as a solution to our problem.

When we say that these things happen and it's the responsibility of the cyclist to protect themselves from it, it normalises the risk. Some people actually claim that it's normal and inevitable that anyone who rides a bike will eventually get hit by a car. What chance to do we have to improve road conditions with this belief?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:19 pm

lturner wrote:Some people actually claim that it's normal and inevitable that anyone who rides a bike will eventually get hit by a car.

Holy dumbass opinion, batman!

I think we'd all accept that something negative will happen if you ride - but I've never had a tyre go on a car, never had an airbag go off - so to presume that a car will hit you is simply madness. A pox of them who holdeth this daft belief!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:59 pm

Xplora wrote:
lturner wrote:Some people actually claim that it's normal and inevitable that anyone who rides a bike will eventually get hit by a car.

Holy dumbass opinion, batman!

I think we'd all accept that something negative will happen if you ride - but I've never had a tyre go on a car, never had an airbag go off - so to presume that a car will hit you is simply madness. A pox of them who holdeth this daft belief!


Not that dumb...

You say we all except something negative wil happen, so.. what's more negative then getting hit by a car... ??
Do we really accept this ??

Sadly enough , a lot do !!
That one of the reasons we stil have a MHL.
cause people believe a helmet wil save their live in a collision with a car.

There is nothing wrong with the thinking something can, and to act accordingly is pefectly healty.
However , thinking something wil happens is wrong, and this is the basis of the MHL.
The MHL assumes something wil happen.

We have to stop thinking like this, we have to stop thinking it WIL happens, cause its not garanteed.
And thats also the reason I do not wish to wear a helmet.
I am not wearing one, just in case something can happen.
As to me, that chance is small.
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 DavidS » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:39 pm

Well it's gone cold again this week but last week we had a day where it was 31. I'm really looking forward to riding around with my head all sweaty through summer because I have a lump of foam on my head. Certainly isn't encouraging me to ride.

I agree we should improve infrastructure although I often have doubts when I say this because most of the cycling infrastructure we get is at best woeful and at worst downright dangerous. In any case bicycles are road vehicles. But I also think we can only justify more and better infrastructure if we have more people using bikes as a mode of transport and that requires the repeal of MHLs. Imagine all those blue bikes in Melbourne actually being used, that would change the roads overnight.

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

Postby ILMB » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:46 pm

While the discussion is veering towards safety issues, I'm intrigued at how little thread time (other than humour) was given to the UK study posted several scores of pages back about the passing distances motorists give for helmet wearers vs non-helmet wearers vs obviously female non-helmet wearers. ( http://www.drianwalker.com/overtaking/o ... obrief.pdf )

This type of research underscores for me my belief about the invalidity of societal laws that seek to place the onus for avoiding situations on the potential victim, rather than on the perpetrator. MHLs and seperated cycling infrastructure are entrenching inferior/superior, wrongful/rightous stereotypical behaviour.

Motorists are being exonerated from their bad behaviour towards cyclists even before they have enacted any bad behaviour.

Motorists have a totally different reaction and respect towards pedestrians in Australia; not because they themselves regularly have a pedestrian exeperience, but because societal attitudes ensure that a pedestrian is respected. (Try crossing a road in South Africa at a pedestrian crossing or on the pedestrian green light signal where pedestrians are not respected, and you will understand the difference in attitude. The crossing and lights may as well not be there, as one runs the risk of being agressively harrased by motorists on legally crossing.)

There are times when the law has to wield a big stick to ensure the safety of its citizens, but in a liberal democratic society, each citizen should primarily be responsible for their own safety. And parents should be teaching their kids how to be good citizens. Depending on circumstances, I modify my behaviour depending on perceived risk.

- I am guilty of wearing a sun-hat rather than my bike helmet on occasion on low-risk routes as I consider sun damage worse than my likelyhood of coming a cropper.
- I don't wear a seatbelt in the 4WD on my friend's private property. Flattish terrain, low speeds.
- An EPIRB saved my life in mid-Atlantic in the 1980s, but I wouldn't take one for a paddle around a local dam.
- Likewise, I take a directional safety beacon when I go 4WDing in the outback, but not when using hardtop roads.
- I don't swim on unpatrolled beaches
- I wash my hands or use alcohol rub after sneezing in a medical or aged-care facility

As a society we do not need our proverbial hands held by law through every decision/activity we take in life.

In the same way society was persuaded that drink-driving and smoking are no longer acceptable, societal attitudes need to be shifted towards affording cyclists the respect they deserve as legitimate road-users.

PS: Only a page and a half to 200
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby richbee » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:18 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.


Having once tested a helmet to destruction while out mountainbiking and survived, I can say that my helmet MAY have saved MY life, but I can't say it probably saved my life because I cannot recreate that particular incident without the helmet to prove a point.
Thinking about it, maybe the helmet was the cause of my crash as shortly before I lost my grip on my handlebars hitting a rock I'd taken that same hand off to wipe the sweat out of my eyes. Maybe if I hadn't been wearing the helmet I wouldn't have crashed...

It's not evidence, it's just an anecdote.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:19 pm

damhooligan wrote:You say we all except something negative wil happen, so.. what's more negative then getting hit by a car... ??
Do we really accept this ??

You must not be a real human talking person, dam, because something negative will happen if you ride long enough. Flat tyre, near miss with a ped, attention from a dog, sunburnt legs... that doesn't mean you should expect to be hit by a car... maturity shows that life has ups and downs, and nothing is exempt from that. I was literally an inch from rear ending a Rodeo this morning, haven't ever felt my bike go sideways Mr Squiggle style until today. These things happen.

If I honestly thought a car hit was inevitable, I don't think I would ride. It hurts.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:59 am

This is an excellent video. What's more, I reckon it would save far more lives than MHL could ever hope to. There are nearly 300 drownings in Australia each year.

Can someone explain why this law should not be enacted?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujs6DJAMGp0&feature=g-all-lik[/youtube]
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 human909 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:37 pm

Comedian wrote:Can someone explain why this law should not be enacted?


I've used this argument before but apparently its not practical. I agree its not practical, but that is the point helmets aren't always practical either.

Furthermore if we are SERIOUS about every life matters then life jackets at the beach and swimming pools would certainly save far more lives. Sure beaches and swimming pools wont be as much fun, but its only recreation. :roll: On the other hand riding often has far more practical uses IF we let it flourish.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:03 pm

It does make for an interesting thought. I didn't realise that water was that dangerous :shock: I would have thought that some further action would have been taken, since people need to commute a LOT more than swim - this seems like a major policy confusion...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:27 pm

Xplora wrote:
damhooligan wrote:You say we all except something negative wil happen, so.. what's more negative then getting hit by a car... ??
Do we really accept this ??

You must not be a real human talking person, dam, because something negative will happen if you ride long enough. Flat tyre, near miss with a ped, attention from a dog, sunburnt legs... that doesn't mean you should expect to be hit by a car... maturity shows that life has ups and downs, and nothing is exempt from that. I was literally an inch from rear ending a Rodeo this morning, haven't ever felt my bike go sideways Mr Squiggle style until today. These things happen.

If I honestly thought a car hit was inevitable, I don't think I would ride. It hurts.


Define 'something' ...
To many variables... :D

let's say 'something' is a crash...
Just because you ride, it doesn't mean you crash...
Its not a garantee, it's a possibility.
No one is immune to it, but no one is destined either...
There are plenty of people that ride, and not crash.

But the mhl makes us think this possibility is a garantee....
Lets face it, we are not forced to wear a helmet because something can happen.
We are foced to wear it cause something wil happen (that the logic of this law... )
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 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:43 pm

damhooligan wrote:
Xplora wrote:
damhooligan wrote:You say we all except something negative wil happen, so.. what's more negative then getting hit by a car... ??
Do we really accept this ??

You must not be a real human talking person, dam, because something negative will happen if you ride long enough. Flat tyre, near miss with a ped, attention from a dog, sunburnt legs... that doesn't mean you should expect to be hit by a car... maturity shows that life has ups and downs, and nothing is exempt from that. I was literally an inch from rear ending a Rodeo this morning, haven't ever felt my bike go sideways Mr Squiggle style until today. These things happen.

If I honestly thought a car hit was inevitable, I don't think I would ride. It hurts.


Define 'something' ...
To many variables... :D

let's say 'something' is a crash...
Just because you ride, it doesn't mean you crash...
Its not a garantee, it's a possibility.
No one is immune to it, but no one is destined either...
There are plenty of people that ride, and not crash.

But the mhl makes us think this possibility is a garantee....
Lets face it, we are not forced to wear a helmet because something can happen.
We are foced to wear it cause something wil happen (that the logic of this law... )

I'll let you find a dictionary for a common interpretation of the term "something" :lol:
You chose a crash, you've chosen to restrict my comment to an unlikely event that is not inevitable. Might even be a strawman in the corn field...

I agree with your final paragraph in full; there is additional psychology at play (and this is why I am antiMHL, because the law does more than put a helmet on a law abiding rider).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:42 am

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/wo ... public_rss

NZ coroner calls again for skiing helmets
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:04 pm

Ross wrote:http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/nz-coroner-calls-again-for-skiing-helmets/story-e6frfkui-1226499160901?from=public_rss

NZ coroner calls again for skiing helmets

...AND DID NOT CALL FOR IT TO BE MANDATORY. You sure you don't work for a newspaper? That's an incredible misreporting of the situation you've done :shock:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:36 pm

I didn't misreport anything. I just cut and pasted a link and the corresponding headline as I thought it was relevant as the topic was about helmets, though it was obviously about skiing not cycling.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:37 pm

Ross wrote:I didn't misreport anything. I just cut and pasted a link and the corresponding headline as I thought it was relevant as the topic was about helmets, though it was obviously about skiing not cycling.

Misreporting is simple - representing another person's views incorrectly to support an agenda. You've supported helmet laws, and the coroner said that helmets would be a good idea for people in high risk skiing situations. Well DUH. If you are at a high risk of getting your head hit and causing damage that will be hard to treat quickly and properly, then maybe some OHS would be good. A road is a dramatically different situation to a remote alpine area.
If you were doing downhill MTB riding in a similar situation to a remote skiier/snowboarder, I'm sure that most people would agree with the idea of having a helmet on... but riding along a road isn't a low traction, low control situation like a rough downhill track.

I suggest that cycling isn't the hobby for you (and commuting on the road either) if you are so frightened of other road users... because hospital visits and broken bones are just as painful without hitting your head, and I'm not prepared to break bones just trying to ride to work. :idea:

It's disingenuous to imply that an article like that has any relevence to the MHL discussion when it has nothing to do with bikes, or how a helmet law would have changed things.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:58 am

You are putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my head, Xplora. As part of the "discussion" about MHL I simply posted what I thought was a relevant link. Yes I believe in MHL but, unlike you (and others in this thread) I am not trying to convert people to my way of thinking and asserting that my views are right and anybody that opposes it must be wrong. I am simply adding links to relevant news articles as additional info/opinion for forum members to discuss.

You most probably are more likely to have a crash on a MTB while riding down some rough DH single track than riding a road bike on a road (I don't ride a MTB so can't really give any personal comparisons) but there are still a number of factors on the road that can cause/contribute to crashes. Some of these are debris on the road (sticks, rocks, stuff fallen off vehicles etc), potholes and of course contact with motor vehicles. You don't have to be going at high speed for any of these factors to cause/contribute to a crash.

I had a very low speed crash (walking pace) on my road bike a couple of months ago where I went flying over the handlebars and head first onto the road. The helmet I was wearing probably didn't save my life but (IMO) it sure helped me avoid serious injury. Another time I misjudged the height of a tree branch and headbutted it as I tried to duck under. Again, I probably wouldn't of been killed but (IMO) the helmet saved me from more serious injury. I haven't had any crashes involving motor vehicles (actually did have one about 30 years ago (pre-MHL!), pretty minor, a car failed to give way as I recall), I am more concerned about the lack of skills and bad cycling behaviour of commuter cyclists. So much that I will find another route to commute so as to avoid these riders.

If you don't want to wear a helmet ,well that's your decision, you and your family are the ones that will have to live with the consequences if things go wrong.

I liken MHL to insurance. Probably (hopefully) never going to need it but it's there if something bad happens.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:00 am

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

Postby Percrime » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:41 am

Ross wrote: Another time I misjudged the height of a tree branch and headbutted it as I tried to duck under.


Actually you probably got the height right and ducked under perfectly. That body image stuff is hard wired into people and nearly everyone is really good at it. But you instinctively did not allow for the height of the helmet. Its very likely you had that accident BECAUSE you were wearing a helmet. I biff my helmet getting into the car all the time and never hit my head otherwise. (Grabbing stuff at track)

Whats psychologically interesting is that that did not occur to you as a cause. Because helmets are all positive I guess.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:25 am

Ross wrote:You are putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my head, Xplora. As part of the "discussion" about MHL I simply posted what I thought was a relevant link.

If you do not want words and thoughts put forward for you, then do more than hyperlink with a very loaded comment. Yes, I'm allowed to see it for what it is, and you did nothing to imply that I was wrong - you commented badly, I caught you out. There is always more than just a sentence... there is depth to your thinking that you can't hide. Your comment proved it. It wasn't a relevent link. Start posting about how people did not hit their head doing things, and then I'll believe you aren't "just posting a link" :lol:

Your comment about insurance is hilarious - you realise that insurance is NEVER compulsory? OHS "insurance" and CTP "insurance" are not insurances, they are privately administered injury compensation funds. You can choose to self insure anything else, except these things. You are legally obliged to cover yourself for these areas. So calling it insurance is a bit funny :lol:
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