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

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

Postby high_tea » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:59 pm

DavidS wrote:
high_tea wrote:
DavidS wrote: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.


The post I was responding to said that.

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.

DS


The point I was making was quite a narrow one: you can't argue against MHLs on the grounds that some group, however demographically significant, doesn't benefit from MHLs. The law is targeted at cyclists; the test is whether cyclists in general benefit or not. That's all.

EDIT: and lest I be accused of putting words in your mouth again, no, you didn't say that. The post I originally responded to did.
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by BNA » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:23 pm

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

Postby damhooligan » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:23 pm

high_tea wrote:The point I was making was quite a narrow one: you can't argue against MHLs on the grounds that some group, however demographically significant, doesn't benefit from MHLs. The law is targeted at cyclists; the test is whether cyclists in general benefit or not. That's all.


Cyclist in general.
Yes, general, wich include those that DO NOT benefit of helmets.
Ignoring them is not good.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:43 pm

high_tea wrote:...the test is whether cyclists in general benefit or not. That's all.

And has such a test ever been performed? Sample of one, "I ate dirt yesterday and would be dead if I wasn't wearing a hemlet.", statements do not apply to "cyclists in general".

I have no doubt that when enacted, MHLs went a long way to lowering participation rates. I wonder what the participation rate would be like now if all the people who gave it away then had continued with it, no doubt their kids would be a fair proportion of those numbers today.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Evo6point5 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:30 pm

Xplora wrote:
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.


Well ok, so 30kmh cycling vs 6-7kmh and you consider the risks to be the same? that's why these arguments are impossible, because people are so unrealistic. Tbh I don't recall ever falling over and injuring myself walking and if I do I'm pretty sure it wont hurt like a cycling crash does.

I don't see the need for me to attempt to promote MHL's in Europe, I don't live there nor take it upon myself to try and change the world. The law is in, I agree with it, the onus is on you to provide the evidence if you want it changed.

I agree there are motorcyclists that don't support the law, and drivers that don't wear seatbelts etc but that's the way it is, I honestly don't see the point whining about it.

I ride my bikes, I wear helmets, If others don't ride purely because they have to wear a helmet, it's their loss. I don't see it my (or anyone on the forum) job to do everything in my power to make people ride or to stand on a soapbox and quote irrelevant statistics.

As I said before, I would highly doubt that there are thousands of people sitting at home thinking, "damn, I really wish I could ride to work, if only I didn't have to wear a helmet". Even where that is presented as an argument against cycling, it must be considered that it is more likely to be quoted as a reason if given as an option than, "I don't ride because I'm just another fat, lazy Aussie".

It's funny that people are so passionate about this, and really don't see the point myself. If you don't want to wear a helmet, then don't but don't whinge when you get a ticket or expect public health to come to the rescue (and before you cite countless other examples... I no doubt would agree that smokers, the morbidly obese etc shouldn't be entitled to public health coverage at taxpayers expense either if the medical condition is a result of choice).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:18 pm

Evo6point5 wrote:I ride my bikes, I wear helmets, If others don't ride purely because they have to wear a helmet, it's their loss. I don't see it my (or anyone on the forum) job to do everything in my power to make people ride or to stand on a soapbox and quote irrelevant statistics.


Yes it is their loss. But it is also society's loss. Health, congestion and environmental losses to name a few. Which is the point, why accept having this loss when we can avoid NOT having MHLs?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:42 pm

Evo6point5 wrote:. If you don't want to wear a helmet, then don't



Ha... but thats just the whole point.
Thats illegal.
You are not suggesting i break the law??Are you???

Im not allowed to not wear one.
I do not have this choice.
Thats the problem.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:15 am

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. 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).


The thing I just don't get with PRO-MHLers is how they always manage to ignore the parallels with so many activities in society.. Seriously.. mandating mandatory lifejackets would save far more people than MHL can ever save.

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

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:28 am

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.

I think it is a fair comment. I would be aghast if we all had to wear five-point harnesses and kevlar fire-retarding clothing to drive down the road for a bottle of milk. On the other hand, cmmonly riders manage those speeds for significant intervals . It is not about AVERAGE speeds but realistic speeds. So selecting average is just as invalid as others selecting speeds that only elite riders manage.

However the sorts of speeds that are sufficient to do serious harm are considerably less than 30kph and are not as rare as, say, cars on the streets at Bathursts speeds. I have around 400 to 500 people pass me every morning to work (I count riders to kill the boredom, I'm weird). There would be around 100 who would be going around 20kph and those speeds are still sufficient to do the sort of damage that helmets are intended to ameliorate.
Last edited by ColinOldnCranky on Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:41 am

Perhaps a manadated helmet requirement when on roads and not on paths would address issues. However these days on shared paths the speeds are not ambling any more. Speeds in the order of 30kph (not average, just peaks not rare) on PSPs.

So, if we lost all the PSPs we may all be happier. Or we could lose more riders who prefer avoiding riding in traffic.

Perhaps setting speeds (and policed it) to, say, 12kph max on PSP?.

I couldn't see that kite flying. But many peds would be very happy with that.

And as my max is around that speed then it would mean that I could join group rides. :D
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:53 am

Evo6point5 wrote:Well ok, so 30kmh cycling vs 6-7kmh and you consider the risks to be the same? that's why these arguments are impossible, because people are so unrealistic. Tbh I don't recall ever falling over and injuring myself walking and if I do I'm pretty sure it wont hurt like a cycling crash does.

I don't see the need for me to attempt to promote MHL's in Europe, I don't live there nor take it upon myself to try and change the world. The law is in, I agree with it, the onus is on you to provide the evidence if you want it changed.

I agree there are motorcyclists that don't support the law, and drivers that don't wear seatbelts etc but that's the way it is, I honestly don't see the point whining about it.

I ride my bikes, I wear helmets, If others don't ride purely because they have to wear a helmet, it's their loss. I don't see it my (or anyone on the forum) job to do everything in my power to make people ride or to stand on a soapbox and quote irrelevant statistics.

As I said before, I would highly doubt that there are thousands of people sitting at home thinking, "damn, I really wish I could ride to work, if only I didn't have to wear a helmet". Even where that is presented as an argument against cycling, it must be considered that it is more likely to be quoted as a reason if given as an option than, "I don't ride because I'm just another fat, lazy Aussie".

It's funny that people are so passionate about this, and really don't see the point myself. If you don't want to wear a helmet, then don't but don't whinge when you get a ticket or expect public health to come to the rescue (and before you cite countless other examples... I no doubt would agree that smokers, the morbidly obese etc shouldn't be entitled to public health coverage at taxpayers expense either if the medical condition is a result of choice).

Evo, do you exercise much? Do you exercise HARD very much? Do you compete physically, or have you done so in the past?

The body's ability to cope with tasks becomes progressively lower and lower as you go towards the threshold of effort - you push hard, and eventually you'll fail. Your brain's ability to keep up is diminished as well when you are knackered.

I'm riding 20km each way to work, 4-5 times a week, plus a Saturday morning. My ability to cope with 250-300kms of riding in a week over 12 hours is much higher than my ability to do the same distance over 10 hours. My body is less taxed, and more importantly my brain is less taxed as well. I can pay attention to what is happening a lot better if I'm watching the road, checking my corners, anticipating traffic. If I'm pushing 63kmh I CANNOT do all those things as well as I can at 20kmh. You're a smart enough fellow to understand the simple logic to this. It is a BIG reason why we don't let kids have the same responsibilities and risks as adults - because they physically cannot deal with as many threats and issues as an adult. One reason why you'd encourage a kid to wear a lid even if you don't, MHL or not.
The difference is 5kmh average is simple. The threshold is such a big difference... my 30kmh is the average person's 20kmh. They lack fitness to cope. That's the biggest thing - raw speed isn't the only issue at hand, it is also your ability to ride safely and deal with possible threats.... when you are tired and drunk, you can't drive as well as being alert and safe, true - regardless of your speed. A 60kmh alert is safer than 30kmh blind drunk.

Which leads me back to the MHL - it seems to assume that the only people capable of commuting are psycho hard nuts like me who shrug off a 250km week on the bike as a recovery week. We must be at the absolute threshold of effort, and couldn't possibly be able to deal with traffic and the rest... and of course this is rubbish. MHL is a problem because of the disincentive for 10-20% of people to ride a bike to the shops for milk and bread. 10-20% to consider riding a bike 5km to a friend's place. 10-20% to consider saving an hour a day riding to work instead of fighting the bus and train. 10-20% to save 2000 dollars a year on car rego and maintenance for a second car they don't need. 10-20% to consider riding to their workplace for their daily exercise, instead of driving to a gym to sit on an exercise bike :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I know that many people aren't affected by MHL. I honestly don't believe 50% of people will change their minds either way. But you are hurting your society when people on Centrelink are going into serious debt to buy a rubbish car that they can't afford to run, when they could just ride and catch a taxi for the 4 weeks a year that their daily duties are hampered by rain.

I rode to the petrol station with a jerry can in my trunk bag, 2km away, for the lawn mower to fill up. Took me 10 minutes there and back. Some dude was in a 40K SUV doing the same job. I wonder if he has realised that he spent 20 minutes working for the privilege of an extra 5 minutes of convenience? It would take me almost as long to drive for the same trip as I rode.

MHL is about a direction in society... mechanically, there is no reason for us to resist the bike. It SHOULD be a part of everyone's life, at least 1 trip a fortnight should be bike.
Got to run now, I've got to get ready for work, it's a long ride. :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Evo6point5 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:47 pm

Xplora wrote:
Evo6point5 wrote:Well ok, so 30kmh cycling vs 6-7kmh and you consider the risks to be the same? that's why these arguments are impossible, because people are so unrealistic. Tbh I don't recall ever falling over and injuring myself walking and if I do I'm pretty sure it wont hurt like a cycling crash does.

I don't see the need for me to attempt to promote MHL's in Europe, I don't live there nor take it upon myself to try and change the world. The law is in, I agree with it, the onus is on you to provide the evidence if you want it changed.

I agree there are motorcyclists that don't support the law, and drivers that don't wear seatbelts etc but that's the way it is, I honestly don't see the point whining about it.

I ride my bikes, I wear helmets, If others don't ride purely because they have to wear a helmet, it's their loss. I don't see it my (or anyone on the forum) job to do everything in my power to make people ride or to stand on a soapbox and quote irrelevant statistics.

As I said before, I would highly doubt that there are thousands of people sitting at home thinking, "damn, I really wish I could ride to work, if only I didn't have to wear a helmet". Even where that is presented as an argument against cycling, it must be considered that it is more likely to be quoted as a reason if given as an option than, "I don't ride because I'm just another fat, lazy Aussie".

It's funny that people are so passionate about this, and really don't see the point myself. If you don't want to wear a helmet, then don't but don't whinge when you get a ticket or expect public health to come to the rescue (and before you cite countless other examples... I no doubt would agree that smokers, the morbidly obese etc shouldn't be entitled to public health coverage at taxpayers expense either if the medical condition is a result of choice).

Evo, do you exercise much? Do you exercise HARD very much? Do you compete physically, or have you done so in the past?

The body's ability to cope with tasks becomes progressively lower and lower as you go towards the threshold of effort - you push hard, and eventually you'll fail. Your brain's ability to keep up is diminished as well when you are knackered.

I'm riding 20km each way to work, 4-5 times a week, plus a Saturday morning. My ability to cope with 250-300kms of riding in a week over 12 hours is much higher than my ability to do the same distance over 10 hours. My body is less taxed, and more importantly my brain is less taxed as well. I can pay attention to what is happening a lot better if I'm watching the road, checking my corners, anticipating traffic. If I'm pushing 63kmh I CANNOT do all those things as well as I can at 20kmh. You're a smart enough fellow to understand the simple logic to this. It is a BIG reason why we don't let kids have the same responsibilities and risks as adults - because they physically cannot deal with as many threats and issues as an adult. One reason why you'd encourage a kid to wear a lid even if you don't, MHL or not.
The difference is 5kmh average is simple. The threshold is such a big difference... my 30kmh is the average person's 20kmh. They lack fitness to cope. That's the biggest thing - raw speed isn't the only issue at hand, it is also your ability to ride safely and deal with possible threats.... when you are tired and drunk, you can't drive as well as being alert and safe, true - regardless of your speed. A 60kmh alert is safer than 30kmh blind drunk.

Which leads me back to the MHL - it seems to assume that the only people capable of commuting are psycho hard nuts like me who shrug off a 250km week on the bike as a recovery week. We must be at the absolute threshold of effort, and couldn't possibly be able to deal with traffic and the rest... and of course this is rubbish. MHL is a problem because of the disincentive for 10-20% of people to ride a bike to the shops for milk and bread. 10-20% to consider riding a bike 5km to a friend's place. 10-20% to consider saving an hour a day riding to work instead of fighting the bus and train. 10-20% to save 2000 dollars a year on car rego and maintenance for a second car they don't need. 10-20% to consider riding to their workplace for their daily exercise, instead of driving to a gym to sit on an exercise bike :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I know that many people aren't affected by MHL. I honestly don't believe 50% of people will change their minds either way. But you are hurting your society when people on Centrelink are going into serious debt to buy a rubbish car that they can't afford to run, when they could just ride and catch a taxi for the 4 weeks a year that their daily duties are hampered by rain.

I rode to the petrol station with a jerry can in my trunk bag, 2km away, for the lawn mower to fill up. Took me 10 minutes there and back. Some dude was in a 40K SUV doing the same job. I wonder if he has realised that he spent 20 minutes working for the privilege of an extra 5 minutes of convenience? It would take me almost as long to drive for the same trip as I rode.

MHL is about a direction in society... mechanically, there is no reason for us to resist the bike. It SHOULD be a part of everyone's life, at least 1 trip a fortnight should be bike.
Got to run now, I've got to get ready for work, it's a long ride. :wink:


I ride to work too, only 22km each way so similar to yourself and I don't think 30kmh is unusual, it's on the low/average side based on the other cyclists I see on a daily basis (Perth is pretty flat and occasionally get a good tail wind, but not in the arvo).. but anyway....

You make some good points and we're never going to agree on everything. I do agree that there may be some tiny miniscule percentage that for them, MHL is the reason they don't ride. Is that your or my problem? I suppose that depends on your social consceince, and for me I think if it wasn't for MHL there'd be another reason they'd find not to work

That said, I would rather work on encouraging cycling, including helmets, than retrogressing at the first obstacle. If society did that, cars wouldn't have seatbelts or airbags and most other safety measures in the workplaces wouldn't exist either. I've coaxed (teased/taunted/ridiculed) some non-cycling mates into buying bikes and helmets have never been an issue, it's just an expectation that you would get one. That is the real objective that I would see, rather than power to the people, burn your bra type thinking.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:58 pm

il padrone wrote:
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.


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.


As you can understand, reading through the whole 205 pages here is more than i have time for, so my apologies for not having read previous explanations. I have seen plenty of graphs etc showing the drop off in participation AT THE TIME MHL WAS INTRODUCED, but that was nearly a quarter of a century ago. There are a lot of people such as myself who have grown up knowing nothing else, it is just the way things are that if you are going to ride a bike you must have a helmet.

People don't ride because they are lazy, they consider it beneath them, because they are scared of cars, having to wear a helmet just doesn't enter into it.

I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:35 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
il padrone wrote:
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.


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.


As you can understand, reading through the whole 205 pages here is more than i have time for, so my apologies for not having read previous explanations. I have seen plenty of graphs etc showing the drop off in participation AT THE TIME MHL WAS INTRODUCED, but that was nearly a quarter of a century ago. There are a lot of people such as myself who have grown up knowing nothing else, it is just the way things are that if you are going to ride a bike you must have a helmet.

People don't ride because they are lazy, they consider it beneath them, because they are scared of cars, having to wear a helmet just doesn't enter into it.

I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".

^^^ and every single one of those things you raise are cultural norms that have been reinforced by the decimation of the riding population. We live in an age where gym membership is skyrocketing... fitness is a goal, looking good has never been more important. The number of people willing to exercise is quite high... these people could ride a bike to get the milk.
The huge drop off in riding after the MHL was brought in managed to abnormalise bike use. A large chunk of people would ride a bit and after the MHL, they wouldn't. They are justified in their thoughts about riding - "well you need a lid, its too dangerous for me".
Lazy lifestyles are created by cultures that do not support or encourage active lifestyles. If you work your white collars so hard that they don't have the energy to exercise, then you are discouraging active lifestyles.
They consider it beneath them because riding was abnormalised by the MHL... or perhaps they are fat. They are probably prepared to pay someone to shout at them while they do situps... is riding really beneath such people?
Scared of cars? Idiots. You shouldn't go near a road. If they were afraid of cars, they wouldn't sit in a moving car either.
It's rarely too far... but most of the reason it IS too far is because we have so much urban sprawl, which was in turn encouraged by developers who saw cities without serious cycling and walking culture.

The helmet is key to it... I would be prepared to agree if we were forced to ride fixies everywhere with TT chainrings. But that's not the deal, is it?

Most of these deadbeats who claim it is too this, too that, are likely to be dead at 60 from something, because such resistance to physical activity isn't good for the human body. :idea:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:56 pm

ldrcycles wrote:People don't ride because they are lazy, they consider it beneath them, because they are scared of cars, having to wear a helmet just doesn't enter into it.

It would be naive to think that non cyclists are aware of the depth of the reasons why they don't cycle. It is also naive to suggest that since MHLs don't directly enter an individuals decision that MHLs therefore have no effect.

For most people in Australia it is not considered as a serious transport option. Forget helmets, forget bike paths, forget cars, the biggest the factor in whether an individual rides or not for short trips is whether it is considered normal and common. The knock on effects of the influence that MHL laws have made in making cycling abnormal is not to be underestimated. Nobody in Holland thinks riding is beneath them because it is considered NORMAL. Instead amongst most Australians cycling is a hobby that is dangerous and needs a helmet to protect your head. Getting rid of MHLs won't suddenly fix things. But it is a step in the right direction of removing barriers to cycling.


Amongst my peers of students, academics and young inner city workers 75% of them utility cycle. Cost and convenience are certainly can be some factors but the fact that it is considered NORMAL is certainly a big influence on people. Very few of these people are cycling enthusiasts.

ldrcycles wrote:I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".

Whereas for myself, my sister and most of my friends travelling to work, the shops, the pub and social events it ISN'T too far. Life is full of choices and if you choose to you can live close to or far away from work. I and my peers choose to live in inner city rather that outer suburbs. (Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride and besides I needed a car for work reasons. So yes I drove. But I still located myself so the drive time was short and I could still cycle for most of my other transport needs.)

It seems that most Australians are making work and living choices that rely on the car as transport, so in that case of course it is "too far" to ride. Of course if you survey the average Australia this is exactly what they want, big back yards and their own house. A different survey will also reveal the dozens of hours spent in traffic each week and the stress that it causes. But that is what is normal in Australia. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:22 pm

ldrcycles wrote:I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".

Yes, but talk to the ones who drive 1.3kms to the railway station car park (at 6.30am so that they can get a park) :roll:

Talk to the ones who drive from work, 6 kms to stop off at their gym for that workout.

Talk to the ones who work part-time and race off at 3.00pm to pick up the kids from the school, 1km from their home.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby elantra » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:26 am

Bingo !
There is a place in Australia where helmet laws are ignored.
I was in Byron Bay for a few hours last weekend and i saw dozens of people riding bicycle sans helmet.
Most were casual cyclists, not enthuisiasts.
some were also without shoes.
As i came into town driving a minibus i gave way to a earnest looking young lady in "control" of a bike that was slightly too big for her.
She was not worried about helmets, not worried about my minibus on her right and not worried about the 2 police officers on the side of road.
I like her style. 8)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:49 am

Evo6point5 wrote:You make some good points and we're never going to agree on everything. I do agree that there may be some tiny miniscule percentage that for them, MHL is the reason they don't ride. Is that your or my problem? I suppose that depends on your social consceince, and for me I think if it wasn't for MHL there'd be another reason they'd find not to work

And this is the big thing - we don't have to agree on all things - just realise that there is space for freedom of opinion and actions. I don't care if MHL is affecting a tiny portion of cyclists. It is a law that doesn't work with its aim of improving cyclist safety, and as such we could agree that on that basis it should be repealed because the balance is clearly against MHL. It is within everyone's interest to normalise and popularise cycling, because it improves everything else. Even if you won't cycle, you benefit from other people doing it! It's similar to paying tax in that respect. You benefit, even if you don't want to do it yourself.

We have to recognise that sliver of agreement is all that is needed. Me? I'm way too out of control to go without a lid for my commute, or at least all the road going parts of it. I rode in with a mate from church yesterday, and I was just powering up the hills, sprinting down the hills, I'm pretty quick... I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:11 am

Xplora wrote:I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.


Its is far too rare that people can see outside their own personal needs and experiences. Which is a big part of why so many cycling enthusiasts seem to be for MHLs. Britain has people like Wiggins advocating for MHLs. :(
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:21 am

human909 wrote:
Xplora wrote:I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.


Its is far too rare that people can see outside their own personal needs and experiences. Which is a big part of why so many cycling enthusiasts seem to be for MHLs. Britain has people like Wiggins advocating for MHLs. :(

I'm still looking at scar tissue under my knee from the prang... I realise that I probably need that helmet on the road... but on the path... all the people I see riding there... they just don't NEED it. Want /= Need. They can wear a pink tutu for all I care... they don't need it. And they don't need a law to shake a naughty finger at them for considering that they don't need it either.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:13 am

human909 wrote:...Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride...


No it's not. I, and plenty of others, do it everyday. You chose to drive just like everyone else does.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:44 am

simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:...Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride...


No it's not. I, and plenty of others, do it everyday. You chose to drive just like everyone else does.


Was that comment necessary? Do you think that I am naive to the fact that I chose to drive? Of course it was my choice. I could have walked too if I chose to or taken public transport for 2hrs. But that's just getting the office, heading to site was another 40km which I did most days towards the end of the project. But of course my job was a choice and so is my car.

But all that said 25km is not a practical cycling commute distance for most people. I give genuine respect to yourself and others who have the commitment and the fitness to do it. However when it comes to promoting utilitarian cycling to the general public this is not a sensible and practical cycle commute distance.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:01 pm

Xplora wrote: I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.


Oh yeah... bloody BINGO!!!! :mrgreen:
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 ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:15 pm

simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:...Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride...


No it's not. I, and plenty of others, do it everyday. You chose to drive just like everyone else does.

I don't imagine that you meant it to come out in a holier-than-thou fashion but I fear it human could easily construed it that way.

25km can be too much for a lot of reasons. People have different situations. Even the same persons situation changes from time to time. Most people here have not always ridden, something has changed even if it is just mid-life crisis. There is no way that 10 years ago I could put the hours into riding that I can now due to my domestic situation at that time. For some one else it may be particular time in their professional life. Or they may have some serious sports comp where the extra km can put them at a competitive disadvantage. Or they may be studying after work. Or...

Besides, you can be functionally perfectly fit and not be a drain on society and the health industry on a lot less than a lot less than 25km twice a day.

If human reckoned it was too far then it was too far.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:20 pm

Comedian wrote:
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. 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).


The thing I just don't get with PRO-MHLers is how they always manage to ignore the parallels with so many activities in society.. Seriously.. mandating mandatory lifejackets would save far more people than MHL can ever save.


Or I could say the same thing about car seat belts. Did the introduction of mandatory seat belts give rise to a shift towards public transport? The thing I don't get with ANTI-MHLers is how they always manage to ignore the parallels with so many activities in society...

Re your claim about lifejackets I am not sure where that came from.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:42 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Or I could say the same thing about car seat belts. Did the introduction of mandatory seat belts give rise to a shift towards public transport?

No it didn't. It also significantly improved the safety of motorists. MHLs for bicycles hasn't (as far as we can tell) improved the safety of cyclists. There is evidence suggesting that it has made it LESS safe for cyclists.

Also it is interesting to note that most of the western world has moved toward seat belts. Most have stayed away from MHLs.

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Re your claim about lifejackets I am not sure where that came from.




ColinOldnCranky wrote:If human reckoned it was too far then it was too far.

But thanks for that support. :wink:

I like the cycling like most of us here. I'll use it as transport when it is sensible, practical and easy and I'll try to make it so. At one stage I was commuting Melbourne to Geelong for a couple of months. I found bike-train-bike very sensible and this was despite having a company car. But like many people I am lazy so if it isn't sufficiently easy then I'll look for other options. Some people aren't lazy when it comes to riding long distances daily, all respect to them but that is not me.
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