Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
For the anti-MHL people
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/b ... intcmp=122
I'm not familiar with how these things work... why was he required to pay a victims of crime levy when both his convictions were quashed?
Because the law is an ass.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
From what I gather, the convictions weren't quashed, rather she was absolutely discharged, ie the court decided that even though she committed the offence, the appropriate penalty was nothing at all.
Despite this, she was still required to pay the victims of crime levy. According to a blog post she made on the subject, the law has since been changed. Rightly so IMO, because the idea of having to compensate victims of crime when justice requires that no penalty at all be imposed make no sense at all.
She went to court, made her argument and got a result. Short of having the law struck out as invalid (she did blog about running some awesome Kable repugnancy argument or something at one stage) she couldn't have done better. Sucks that this stupid levy law then went and messed it all up. Make of it what you will, but I'm much more creeped out by this victims-of-crime levy thing that the way the MHL was applied here. I'm hazy on the details, but it sounds stupidly indiscriminate, and a lot like double punishment and blatant revenue-raising.
She. Dr Sue Abbott has been in the news quite a bit about her objection to cycling helmet benefits. I thought her convictions were quashed in the NSW County Court, but evidently the legalocracy have found new ways to hammer her
It's absolutely fascinating that such a system is even in place. Court can't be bothered penalising her beyond the court fees, and it seems that they'll hit you up for money even if the court goes LOLBBQWOTEVABRO
Regarding mandatory lifejacket laws, I seriously laughed really hard at the public pool example. It's somewhat amusing that kids still drown in pools despite fence laws and CPR signage nearby, in fact the deaths are quite close to cyclist levels, but no one seems to recognise that there is a disparity in protection
Interesting ... Adelaides new young and pro-cycling mayor is suggesting review of MHLs.
He goes on to suggest that reducing CBD to 40kph as well as improved infrastructure is needed however.
On removing MHL that is in place:
though I gotta say that of all the many reluctant new-riders that quiz me over the years, almost zero ever mention helmets. The two biggies are end-of-trip facilities and traffic separation issues. Taking bikes on public transports is maybe a distant third. After that are helmets somewhere.
While it is quite possible to have head injuries at those speeds, indeed even without a car involved, it has always seemed that the odds are greatly reduced. (No, I don't have stats.) And MHL only makes sense as public policy if it is predicated on probabilities.
Hell, I'd even be happy if helmets were right now optional on existing PSPs. On the basis of those (im)probabilities.
Anyway, have a read of the full article. And as always with MHL, watch this space, so to speak.
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
It's not... injury rates increase as rider rates decrease. Anything that discourages cyclists must be eliminated if public policy wants to reduce cyclist injuries. Cynic in me says "I think it might be more than injuries that they are interested in".
Do you get anyone asking about learning the road rules specific for bikes, Colin? Or if they need a speedo to ensure they don't break the speed limit?
MHL is not just about a requirement to wear a lid, it's about the subversion of cycling in general as a transport option, by moving the goalposts on community attitudes. Cyclist participation dropped, and STAYED LOW, because of more than just a law. The hyperpublicity around the change hurt cycling. It hurt the community. It hurt all of us, even those of us who weren't teenagers yet. It took Cadel Evans to really making cycling a somewhat normal activity again, and that wasn't a transport phenomenon, it was a fitness/hobbyist event.
Bicycle use for transport is currently about 1.5% in Australia. This is really no different to figures during the 80s. I don't regard "cycling as a somewhat normal activity" yet.
I dont' understand what this means. Over many years people have asked me a lot but mostl just on the two issues I mentioned.
I think I agree with most of what you say. I assume the first point is about driver awareness being raised as cycling is normalised at some critical mass of riders. And hence reduced risk.
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
In my opinion you're not being asked about helmets because they know it's not negotiable.
The people put off by the helmets wouldn't have even have gotten to asking.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill.
Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day.
But that just begs the question.
^^^ Yep, this one. If you are put off by laws, you won't participate, especially when driving appears to be more attractive as a transport option. My comments about speedometers and learning about bike specific rules (no indicating for left turns for example) were simply to demonstrate that laws are not something that a potential cycle commuter is going to consider. They have bigger fish to fry, and if they intend on breaking the speed limit on a bike, it's not going to come up early in the riding career. The MHL is part of the fabric, a fabric that is cycle unfriendly.
Yes, critical mass of riders does improve safety. Not all areas will be popular for cycling. Sydney's Hills area isn't particularly conducive to riding - long runs between suburbs, lots of hills funnily enough... but inner city with bike paths might make it easier. We have to encourage these areas to grow cycling as much as possible, because it has knock on effects throughout the network. Consider the F3 past Sydney... three people side by side at 95kmh hold up HUNDREDS of cars. This can go on for hours as well. Less cars driving within the CBD makes it easier for cars going past the CBD.
I am guessing that GoogleMaps will quietly revolutionize cycling, because there are usually TONS of great routes if you know the backstreets and little paths to stay away from the main roads. I mapped Toongabbie shops to Baulkham Hills shops and it's both incredibly direct and almost totally off the main roads... I wouldn't think to go the way it took me because of 25 years driving in the area. Lots of people want to go to these shops. A few bike trailers here and there, a can of HTFU or two, and you create a groundswell of change. I saw a trailer in ToysRus for 100 bucks, that's enough space for a weekly shop in my family.
Hightea, this is precisely the point... MHL blocks out cycling for a significant chunk of the population, for a number of reasons, by abnormalising riding and these people won't change because their choices are taken away. How many times have you been protected by your seatbelt? Me, 2-3 times over 32 years in cars. A seatbelt really is something I can leave off, and have a good understanding of the risk involved. If you never have an accident, the seatbelt doesn't mean anything. In the same way, a helmet is so unlikely to be needed that most people don't realise that its not necessary for most casual riding. But they think to themselves "oh crap, there is a law, I must wear my helmet/seatbelt" and misunderstand that these protections are there to stop you from PERMANENT DISABLEMENT in an accident. I don't want to reduce such an injury - I don't want to have the accident in the first place. But it reveals a deeply flawed understanding of crashes for most people, that the mandated protection is going to stop you going to hospital. It doesn't. And (my point) if you were afraid of going to hospital on a bike, then you SHOULD be afraid of the same result in a car. The same people who say the road is too dangerous for a bicycle are the same people who don't appreciate the severity of accidents in a car. The road is too dangerous for a car as well, and the likelihood of hospitalisation for a car accident is about the same.
But abnormalising cycling takes away this basic logic. And as a result, a bunch of people just won't cycle because they have been indoctrinated into believing that riding is dangerous.
"End of trip facilities" are a bit of a pet peeve of mine. They are a massive red herring regarding encouraging widespread adoption of cycling.
They, along with secure storage, are high priorities amongst cycling enthusiasts. However they are inconsequential with encouraging non cycling enthusiasts towards utility cycling. Cycling enthusiasts have excessively expensive equipment along with riding unrealistic distances. Both these attributes are not ones likely to be found amongst anything but a small minority of the population. A quick observation of cycling culture overseas shows that neither of these two items are significant in areas where cycling is common.
This is just another difference that so many cycling enthusiasts don't seem to understand or don't seem to care about.
i think you're missing the point, that australian cities have greater sprawl than many of the 'poster child' cycling cities overseas. for the most part, people don't choose the length of their commute.
secondly, shower and change facilities are a big issue in australia. you may get away without these facilities in northern europe, but not in australia. the climates are very different.
Yeah, life's so very easy for cyclists in northern Europe eh?
Oh the hot weather . OK. So why is it that the NT has 4.2% of people commuting by bike, compared to about 1.5% for Victoria ??
Ah, I see. That must explain all the local mothers, driving their kids <1km to school (and mostly turning around to drive back home). And all the folks driving 2-4kms to the local railway station's hugely over-congested car park while the bike racks on the platform remain under-utilised (but I use them at times - security is fine).
Yes, I see.
over the limit?
Regarding the heat, I get sweaty when I have stopped riding, not from riding.... you'll get more sweaty walking from A to B, windchill is awesome.
I don't think most people would expect to ride 20kms, but many could realistically ride 2kms to a train station. It certainly would reduce the enormous living costs for people who need a train, can't really justify or afford a car, and don't want to live 500m from the train station You know... most people who work.
Jules, be careful...
the windchill is actually evaporating sweat more than preventing it. when you stop, it's no longer evaporating it so it will collect on your body.
I am well aware of the sprawl of Australian cities. And as I've said numerous times expecting the mainstream population to commute those long distances is laughable. Why is that concept so difficult to understand?
That said London and Paris have pretty massive sprawls.
Absolutely people do choose the length of their commute! But most people in Australia seem to perform their job search etc based on a distance a car travels.
Oh the, we are so different argument again.
(And all this is not even considering that 'end of trip facilities' are pretty much non workable for a workplace where a significant proportion ride.)
What? you are kidding. Right?
Or you are misunderstanding the term end-of-trip facilities - generally showers and some form of clothes hanging/storage. (And yes, bike storage is a lesser issue than either of those two.)
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
Dutch commuter cyclsts
Australian commuter cyclists
Dutch racing cyclists
Which group do the Aussie commuters seem to resemble most? Is this really the way to build mass cycle use for transport? Methinks not.
Oh, and BTW, in Melbourne it is certainly the case that the vast bulk of our commuter cycling traffic is coming out of the northern suburbs, up the bay from the beach suburbs, or across the bridge from Footscray and the west. All of these are suburbs with not too many more hills than the Netherlands (and generally less headwinds).
what do you mean by "this"? the lycra-clad commuters? if so, i don't understand how they're holding back cycle commuting, unless they are somehow discouraging others who wouldn't want to dress in lycra. if you're concerned that "ordinary" riders are underrepresented as commuters, then by my thinking, they're letting the side down, not the carbon brigade. forgive me if that's not your point, but i've heard it before from others and it defies logic.
You are correct!!
Helmet, lycra, road bike. To many people in Australia (those in cars, walking to/from the station) this is the image they have of cycle commuting. Many of them don't see themselves picking up that baton.
But a more genteel upright road bike, regular clothing, no need for a helmet ..... they may well be happy to ride this way for 5kms or so, or 2kms to the station.
You have to remember we are talking about the average Joe, not the rabid enthusiast rider. Imagine how many people would drive to work if the social norm was to drive a car with alloy mags, low profile tyres, dropped suspension; and wearing a mandated helmet plus racing gloves, fire-proof suit and strapped in with a full five-point body harness.
Come to think of it.... what a great idea to boost cycling numbers
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Comparing the Dutch commute to the Aussie commute.
What are the distances travelled in the commute?
I suspect the Dutch may only travel a comparatively short distance. If you have to commute a long distance then work clothing may not be as appropriate and end of trip facilities are needed to freshen up, change etc.
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