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

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

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:57 pm

jasonc wrote:a few months ago I changed my mind. I used to think you'd be mad not to wear a helmet. now, even though I'm thankful for the helmet, and continue to wear one (and would wear it no matter the law), don't think they should be compulsory.


And this is one of the reasons why I enthusiastically are involved in this mammoth thread. There are many cyclists who are still somewhat open minded.

The more open minded cyclists that I and others on these forums can reach, the more we can start changing minds and attitudes. It is also why I am disappointed that MHL discussion is treated as taboo on this forum. Personally I've never had a problem with helmets. It wasn't until joining these forums (and BVforum) and listening to the debate that I become opposed to MHLs.

More and more I've started riding helmetless. I did so today in my riding between Melbourne cup parties. My motives for riding helmet less is more about civil disobedience and my attitudes rather than a strong desire to ditch the helmet. (hair style excuse can't be used, I wore a wooly cap!) The funny thing is that I fear the cops more than I fear harm to me head. :roll:
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by BNA » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:27 pm

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

Postby damhooligan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:27 pm

for those that dont believe the mhl caused a drop in cycling...
have a look at the census results.

Surely the census is a respected form of evidence ??

Image

It clearly shows a massive drop in commuting.
and it stays down.

But im sure you find a way to say , its not just the mhl that caused the drop...

Image

Look at the size of the drop, it dropped almost straight back to where it started in 1976 :shock:
Thats a set back of 16 years..... :cry:
Sure it has risen a bit after, but imagine that rise on top of the amount we had before the MHL...
Without the setback, we could have achieved so much more !!!

The mhl is the only difference that could have cause a drop this massive...
this is not a fluctuation.
this is not caused by infra structure orany other excuse found in the excuses thread for not riding.
This drop is caused by MHL.

Thanks MHL, for reducing commuters, and making the world a safer place.
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:28 pm

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 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:57 pm

human909 wrote: The funny thing is that I fear the cops more than I fear harm to me head. :roll: [/i]


the only thing the helmet is garanteed to protect is our wallets...
It wil effectifly protect us from being fined !
8)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:38 pm

The graph has me swinging a little AWAY from what I would have thought before I saw it. Let me explain.

The graph shows a rapid rise peaking for about a decade or a decade and a half before falling back just as rapidly to where it came from. That rapid rise indicates the liklihood of a craze.

If I was to find numbers on the jogging craze of the 70's I'd expect to see something similar - though I expect that the rise and fall was far more extreme. I don't recall anything that would explain the demise of jogging. It just happened as it does with many crazes.

I was not aware of that rise that the graph shows and that, to me, is at least as significant as the fall. Perhaps some one has some insight into the factors that gave rise to the rise.

===
I note that the city to surf events are resurging again but those are a poor comparison as the numbers in those will be largely a function of the deliberate promotion of them at different times.

The dying of the cycling craze of the seventies does not make me pessimistic about the maintenance of cycling numbers however. I am hoping that cycling is a bit like the triathalons that have shown a perserverence that jogging did not.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:48 pm

A craze that lasts over a decade? As craze over how people get to work?

This is COMMUTING we are talking about. If it was recreational cycling it would be much more fickle to the whims of fashionable recreation. Somebody doesn't cycle to work everyday simply because it is fashionable!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:31 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:The graph shows a rapid rise peaking for about a decade or a decade and a half before falling back just as rapidly to where it came from. That rapid rise indicates the liklihood of a craze.

The 70s and 80s were a bit of a craze I guess, to some. For most of us it was just living.

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I was not aware of that rise that the graph shows and that, to me, is at least as significant as the fall. Perhaps some one has some insight into the factors that gave rise to the rise.

Oil crisis and rising petrol prices. The fitness movement you alluded to. Rising environmental awareness.

But mostly, you may be misreading the graphs a little. The scale begins at 1.0% for one and 0.38% for the other. It's done to accentuate the shifts, but may make the absolute changes from the prior level look greater. If you want a clearer picture look at the table of actual numbers of commuter cyclists alongside - 91-96 there was a decline of some 18,000, and it took until after 2006 for the numbers to rise beyond the 91 level.


ColinOldnCranky wrote:The dying of the cycling craze of the seventies does not make me pessimistic about the maintenance of cycling numbers however. I am hoping that cycling is a bit like the triathalons that have shown a perserverence that jogging did not.

Glad you think its OK, I don't. However that does not change the simple fact that all these declines in cycle use (for commuting) happened right at and after 1991.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:02 pm

human909 wrote:A craze that lasts over a decade? As craze over how people get to work?

This is COMMUTING we are talking about. If it was recreational cycling it would be much more fickle to the whims of fashionable recreation. Somebody doesn't cycle to work everyday simply because it is fashionable!

I agree, which is why I do not consider the current riding as whimsical and faddish. But I see a different rider now than I saw then. Presumably once a week sorta rider as opposed to three times a week sort of difference.

Back then I was not aware of anywhere near the riders that we have now. And I can assure you that, at the time, I was a very lonely person on the way into work on the southern freeway cycle path. And equally lonely at my place of work. Hot damn, we just had a single shower added into the ground floor male staff toilet with a flippable "Woman inside" sign on the door. And I almost always stepped straight into the shower. On a busy day there were three towels hanging. Seriously. That was all that was required for 500 staff at my office building.

Regrettably Census data doesn't give much detail. "Did you cycle sometime in the last week?" Yes/No. I can only surmise that whatever riding people did, it was not what we are doing now. And that makes me wonder how much I can use the raw counting to compare one lot of riding with another.

Equally regrettably the data points are only two and they could represent a peak over an interval of anything from 5 years to 15.

I never really considered it as deeply until I saw Damnhooligan's upside-down U curve. I suppose I should as the other commentary I have made here is not new to me, I just never tried to draw any string together. However I do not want to make too much on one simple set of data either. I have already stated the Census data is pretty definite but probably also pretty thin on detail.

I will still be interested in any insights into the rapid rise 1976 to 1991. Twice as rapid as the fall that is so often talked of according to damnhooligan's graph. Anyone have any ideas? (Prefereably not derived with a starting point of "MHL is bad for participation" or "MHL makes no difference to participation". Fat chance methinks.)

il padrone wrote:But mostly, you may be misreading the graphs a little. The scale begins at 1.0% for one and 0.38% for the other. It's done to accentuate the shifts, but may make the absolute changes from the prior level look greater.

Yes, I noted that. A 60% rise in ten years is still a big rise. If it isn't then neither is a post MHL 40% drop over 15 years that the graph indicates. (As always, working on very few data points but you get the drift.)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Image

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

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:18 pm

Chuckle some more...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Evo6point5 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:58 pm

Xplora wrote:evopoint, are you going to provide the 50K required to fund such a study?

There is no study of these things outside Australia because they just don't see the point. It would be like studying the effectiveness of raising children by lions in the wild... the MHL is a waste of time for most of the world, they won't study it. The writing is already on the wall... cycling is an effective replacement for walking. It is no more dangerous than walking... the hysteria about helmets won't go away because it just doesn't make sense to any sensible person.

To the less sensible, well it's fine because they don't have the ability to see the loss of freedom as a bad thing.


How is a ride at an average speed of 35km/h no more dangerous than a walk at 7km/h? That's like saying driving at 300km/h is the same as 40km/h.

I've had many crashes throughout my mtb/road/tri days and each has hurt / injured me more than anything that's happened to me whilst walking.

Why would I have to put up money for the study? I think mhl's are good. How many motorcyclists ride without helmets?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:44 pm

Evo6point5 wrote:How is a ride at an average speed of 35km/h no more dangerous than a walk at 7km/h?


Cause you are using an racing cyclists average speed as a benchmark for mandating helmets for everyone.
If you can do these average speeds , well done mate, good for you.
But thats an exception, thats not average, thats not common thats not standard.

Lots of people ride at an average speed of 10-15km/h.
Compare it all you like, but there is no real need for a helmet at these speeds.
Yet the MHL ignores this, and decides otherwise.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:29 pm

Evo6point5 wrote: How many motorcyclists ride without helmets?


Image

Not approving, just saying, some do.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:57 pm

damhooligan wrote:
Lots of people ride at an average speed of 10-15km/h.
Compare it all you like, but there is no real need for a helmet at these speeds.
Yet the MHL ignores this, and decides otherwise.


I must just be a total klutz on the bike or just damn unlucky because of the few crashes I've had the worst have been at these speeds or under.

If you crash at 10km/h and smack your head on the gutter you are most certainly going to sustain a major injury if not wearing a helmet. Sure you will probably be a lot worse off at 35km/h if the same thing happens, just saying you aren't immune from serious injury at low speed. It depends on how you fall and what you hit when you fall. Often in a crash situation you often have no time to react, one moment you are fine, the next moment you are on the ground bleeding and dazed (or worse).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:10 pm

damhooligan wrote:
Evo6point5 wrote:How is a ride at an average speed of 35km/h no more dangerous than a walk at 7km/h?


Cause you are using an racing cyclists average speed as a benchmark for mandating helmets for everyone.
If you can do these average speeds , well done mate, good for you.
But thats an exception, thats not average, thats not common thats not standard.

Lots of people ride at an average speed of 10-15km/h.
Compare it all you like, but there is no real need for a helmet at these speeds.
Yet the MHL ignores this, and decides otherwise.


No, the premise for MHLs is that public safety is better served with than without. It's a Road Rule, remember, and it's trivial to come up with scenarios where breaching this rule or that isn't dangerous at all, isn't dangerous enough to worry about or whatever. It's also beside the point. The point is that making, and enforcing, certain rules makes things safer.

Want to argue that MHLs don't do this? Fine. But arguing that non-compliance is harmless in some cases is no argument at all.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:42 pm

high_tea wrote:
No, the premise for MHLs is that public safety is better served with than without. It's a Road Rule, remember, and it's trivial to come up with scenarios where breaching this rule or that isn't dangerous at all, isn't dangerous enough to worry about or whatever. It's also beside the point. The point is that making, and enforcing, certain rules makes things safer.

Want to argue that MHLs don't do this? Fine. But arguing that non-compliance is harmless in some cases is no argument at all.


Yes, it is a public safety law, but, like all public safety laws there is a balance. Are you seriously arguing that mandating motorcycle helmets for pedestrians crossing a road would not make it safer for them to cross the road? Of course it would, but it would still be a stupid law because crossing the road is not so dangerous that we mandate helmets. Yet, while over 2,000 pedestrians died on Australian roads over the last 10 years compared to 356 cyclists, it is mandated for cycling.

The problem is one of balance. Mandating safety equipment for cycling is getting the balance wrong. There are dangers in relation to cycling but not so much danger that we need to mandate the wearing of helmets. It should be up to the rider.

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

Postby il padrone » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:13 pm

Ross wrote:If you crash at 10km/h and smack your head on the gutter you are most certainly going to sustain a major injury if not wearing a helmet.
(or worse).


Image


Because it's dangerous out there :o
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:18 pm

Ross wrote:
damhooligan wrote:
Lots of people ride at an average speed of 10-15km/h.
Compare it all you like, but there is no real need for a helmet at these speeds.
Yet the MHL ignores this, and decides otherwise.


I must just be a total klutz on the bike or just damn unlucky because of the few crashes I've had the worst have been at these speeds or under.

If you crash at 10km/h and smack your head on the gutter you are most certainly going to sustain a major injury if not wearing a helmet. Sure you will probably be a lot worse off at 35km/h if the same thing happens, just saying you aren't immune from serious injury at low speed. It depends on how you fall and what you hit when you fall. Often in a crash situation you often have no time to react, one moment you are fine, the next moment you are on the ground bleeding and dazed (or worse).

You probably are unlucky...

Lots of people that fall at low speeds dont hit their head.
just cause you fall , it doesnt mean injury is bound to happen.

I understand I am not immune, but I consider the risk to be small.
Not saying its not there, just saying its too small for me to say, I must wear a helmet.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:31 pm

high_tea wrote:
damhooligan wrote:
Evo6point5 wrote:How is a ride at an average speed of 35km/h no more dangerous than a walk at 7km/h?


Cause you are using an racing cyclists average speed as a benchmark for mandating helmets for everyone.
If you can do these average speeds , well done mate, good for you.
But thats an exception, thats not average, thats not common thats not standard.

Lots of people ride at an average speed of 10-15km/h.
Compare it all you like, but there is no real need for a helmet at these speeds.
Yet the MHL ignores this, and decides otherwise.


No, the premise for MHLs is that public safety is better served with than without. It's a Road Rule, remember, and it's trivial to come up with scenarios where breaching this rule or that isn't dangerous at all, isn't dangerous enough to worry about or whatever. It's also beside the point. The point is that making, and enforcing, certain rules makes things safer.

Want to argue that MHLs don't do this? Fine. But arguing that non-compliance is harmless in some cases is no argument at all.


No.., its not better for the public health at all.
It prevents people from riding.
And the benfits outweigh the risk 20:1, so its better to ride.
Its in the best interest for the public to promote cycling, not to reduce it by MHL's....

Trivial?
far from it, unlike the elitist racing average speeds of 35 that was mentioned before
15 km/h is something anyone can do , and wil do.
think commuters, think families, think shop runs, think melb blue bikes...
The amount of riders doing this speed is far greater then to call it trivial.
it would even say they make up at least 50% of all bike trips.

And I wasn't arguing non-compliance of the law, as the law must be obeyed.
But I am whinging that the law is wrong... 8)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:12 pm

Evo6point5 wrote:
Xplora wrote:evopoint, are you going to provide the 50K required to fund such a study?

There is no study of these things outside Australia because they just don't see the point. It would be like studying the effectiveness of raising children by lions in the wild... the MHL is a waste of time for most of the world, they won't study it. The writing is already on the wall... cycling is an effective replacement for walking. It is no more dangerous than walking... the hysteria about helmets won't go away because it just doesn't make sense to any sensible person.

To the less sensible, well it's fine because they don't have the ability to see the loss of freedom as a bad thing.


How is a ride at an average speed of 35km/h no more dangerous than a walk at 7km/h? That's like saying driving at 300km/h is the same as 40km/h.

I've had many crashes throughout my mtb/road/tri days and each has hurt / injured me more than anything that's happened to me whilst walking.

Why would I have to put up money for the study? I think mhl's are good. How many motorcyclists ride without helmets?

I had to laugh at the choice of average speed... I absolutely HAMMER my commute some days and I'll average 30kmh at best, going by my Cateye which removes stops from the average. I topped 63kmh whilst pedalling my backside off down a hill last week... I smash it out. I can't get to your average on my commute and I only have to stop 3-5 times for lights if I'm having a decent run. The only people going as fast as me are on spirited rides (you can see they are hammering it too)... the MHL just isn't needed for the rest, and the rest are idiots if they really believe they'll brutalise their head if they have a smash riding so placidly.

I'm already close to the maximum average speed that is safe on my commute.

The reason you'd put up money for the study is to promote MHLs in Europe, the UK, the rest of the free world. My comment was that there are few studies on MHL because only Australia and a handful of other juridictions have been dumb enough to put this law into place. You were the one bringing the challenge - no one in Europe is that interested in ruining their cycling culture like Australia. Your comments about motorcycling are telling - there are truckloads of people who feel the same way about helmets on motos as I do about cycling helmets. :idea: You have to look beyond your backyard for the opinions and answers you want.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:32 pm

damhooligan wrote:It prevents people from riding.


Ok, this is something i see all the time and i just don't get it. My fiancee isn't interested in riding for various reasons, but she has never for a moment mentioned any kind of issue with wearing a helmet. They are available from Big W for $18 so cost and availability can hardly be an impediment.

As far as i'm concerned if you removed the MHL it wouldn't suddenly lead to lots of people commuting by bike who didn't before, it would just mean they would use a different excuse.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:40 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
damhooligan wrote:It prevents people from riding.


Ok, this is something i see all the time and i just don't get it. My fiancee isn't interested in riding for various reasons, but she has never for a moment mentioned any kind of issue with wearing a helmet. They are available from Big W for $18 so cost and availability can hardly be an impediment.

As far as i'm concerned if you removed the MHL it wouldn't suddenly lead to lots of people commuting by bike who didn't before, it would just mean they would use a different excuse.


Its been said before.
Just cause you dont see it, doesnt mean it doesnt exsist..
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:30 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Ok, this is something i see all the time and i just don't get it. My fiancee isn't interested in riding for various reasons, but she has never for a moment mentioned any kind of issue with wearing a helmet. They are available from Big W for $18 so cost and availability can hardly be an impediment.


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Here we go again. The topic has been covered numerous times in this thread. Be aware - there was a significant drop-off in cycle use in 1990, about 30% for adults and in excess of 50% for teenagers. You may not see the helmet as a negative - you're an enthusiast, committed to your recreation/transport pursuit. It's all the average folk who don't ride that are put off by the need for a helmet (yes, amongst other things). Just take a look at some videos of European cities and see just who is riding.... and how.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:53 pm

DavidS wrote:
high_tea wrote:
No, the premise for MHLs is that public safety is better served with than without. It's a Road Rule, remember, and it's trivial to come up with scenarios where breaching this rule or that isn't dangerous at all, isn't dangerous enough to worry about or whatever. It's also beside the point. The point is that making, and enforcing, certain rules makes things safer.

Want to argue that MHLs don't do this? Fine. But arguing that non-compliance is harmless in some cases is no argument at all.


Yes, it is a public safety law, but, like all public safety laws there is a balance.

True. I should have said that the balance of convenience and public safety (something like that, it's the stated purpose of the statute) is better served with than without.

Are you seriously arguing that mandating motorcycle helmets for pedestrians crossing a road would not make it safer for them to cross the road? Of course it would, but it would still be a stupid law because crossing the road is not so dangerous that we mandate helmets. Yet, while over 2,000 pedestrians died on Australian roads over the last 10 years compared to 356 cyclists, it is mandated for cycling.

The problem is one of balance. Mandating safety equipment for cycling is getting the balance wrong. There are dangers in relation to cycling but not so much danger that we need to mandate the wearing of helmets. It should be up to the rider.

DS


Well, fair enough. But the issue is the dangers, or otherwise, of cycling in general. That MHLs, or any other law, are useless in this situation or that is beside the point. The point is the overall effect, or lack therof.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:43 pm

high_tea wrote:
DavidS wrote:
high_tea wrote:
No, the premise for MHLs is that public safety is better served with than without. It's a Road Rule, remember, and it's trivial to come up with scenarios where breaching this rule or that isn't dangerous at all, isn't dangerous enough to worry about or whatever. It's also beside the point. The point is that making, and enforcing, certain rules makes things safer.

Want to argue that MHLs don't do this? Fine. But arguing that non-compliance is harmless in some cases is no argument at all.


Yes, it is a public safety law, but, like all public safety laws there is a balance.

True. I should have said that the balance of convenience and public safety (something like that, it's the stated purpose of the statute) is better served with than without.

Are you seriously arguing that mandating motorcycle helmets for pedestrians crossing a road would not make it safer for them to cross the road? Of course it would, but it would still be a stupid law because crossing the road is not so dangerous that we mandate helmets. Yet, while over 2,000 pedestrians died on Australian roads over the last 10 years compared to 356 cyclists, it is mandated for cycling.

The problem is one of balance. Mandating safety equipment for cycling is getting the balance wrong. There are dangers in relation to cycling but not so much danger that we need to mandate the wearing of helmets. It should be up to the rider.

DS


Well, fair enough. But the issue is the dangers, or otherwise, of cycling in general. That MHLs, or any other law, are useless in this situation or that is beside the point. The point is the overall effect, or lack therof.


Did you not read my post? Did I say that MHLs are useless in certain situations? I would really appreciate it if you would desist from putting words in my mouth.

What I said, and I thought I made it clear enough for anyone to understand, is that there is a balance between public health and enacting restrictive laws. Given the fatalities of cyclists and the drop in cycling numbers after the introduction of MHLs, my opinion is that the MHLs get the balance wrong.

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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

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