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

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

Postby Comedian » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:08 pm

Nobody wrote:So...after 213+ pages, are we any closer to getting the law changed?


And what a shame. I think a few people have re-looked at their position on this though.

Nonetheless the type of car centric politicians that believe in this law are still there, and I think they are happy enough with marginalised cycling. IMHO it won't be until it becomes a national imperative that cycling take off that this law will be looked at. I think peak oil will be the only trigger big enough.
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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by BNA » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:18 pm

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

Postby damhooligan » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:18 pm

high_tea wrote:Nope. Neither camp can produce an argument I find convincing. If they can't convince me - sympathetic but skeptical - they're on a hiding to nothing out in the world. I'm content to sit on the fence and point out some of the patent nonsense that gets trotted out. Plenty of that to keep me busy :D



Interesting.

If neither camp has produced an convincing argument, wouldn't you say the discussion is evenly balanced ??

And if the mhl camp has not produced a valid argument as you say, then why should that be enough to keep the law?
Does't that in a way prove the law is flawed ??


p.s., glad we have a nonsense spotter on the forum
We dont have enough on these forums....
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SCHIJNVEILIGHEID !!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:38 pm

Nobody wrote:So...after 213+ pages, are we any closer to getting the law changed?

I've been aware of a few people who've looked more closely at the evidence for MHL and have changed their opinion on the law. I'm happy that this is all a positive step towards some change, sometime in future.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:30 pm

damhooligan wrote:
high_tea wrote:Nope. Neither camp can produce an argument I find convincing. If they can't convince me - sympathetic but skeptical - they're on a hiding to nothing out in the world. I'm content to sit on the fence and point out some of the patent nonsense that gets trotted out. Plenty of that to keep me busy :D



Interesting.

If neither camp has produced an convincing argument, wouldn't you say the discussion is evenly balanced ??

And if the mhl camp has not produced a valid argument as you say, then why should that be enough to keep the law?
Does't that in a way prove the law is flawed ??


Short answer: no.
Slightly longer answer: I suspect that the policy considerations were relatively narrow. In particular, I don't think that the effect on participation was a major consideration, just like the effects of mandatory seatbelts on motoring participation weren't. That's the major substantive criticism of MHLs: they're bad for participation. The lack of data on efficacy, that's just sloppy. Doesn't make it a bad law, though. I can accept that the process was flawed. It doesn't follow that the law is flawed. It does prove that transport policy is flawed, but I don't expect that's news to anyone.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:54 am

high_tea wrote:Doesn't make it a bad law, though. I can accept that the process was flawed. It doesn't follow that the law is flawed.


I agree the law isn't 'flawed' it works precisely as intended to force cyclists to wear helmets. However forcing cyclists to wear helmets is an onerous breech of freedom of choice that has worsened cycling safety. I don't care if the process was flawed or not. The fact are detrimental to cycling and should be removed.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:10 am

I reckon it's unarguable that if the process to develop the law is flawed, then it certainly is grounds for abolition particularly when background data isn't available to show this is a really big improvement to our nation. The huge numbers of cyclists in other cities and countries around the world show that it is a good idea to have as many riders as possible, if only for green reasons. I don't care about the green angle much (born to a family of 3rd generation mechanics) but it is a good reason, internationally, to maximise bike use. There is enough steel in an engine block to make 6 bikes, but no petrol is required to move those bikes once created LOL

I think a dirty little secret on the MHL Is that it shows how the slippery slope occurs in public policy. An ill considered lie is presented and accepted, and once the law is changed the landscape changes so much that the possibility of return is impossible without a very long hard slog. This is definitely beyond the cyclist lobby right now.

The rules around nuclear waste and open cut mining are similar - once you start a major open cut mine, you can't go back. That mine is there forever in human terms. The nuclear waste is likely to outlast human evolution (let alone civilisation itself). You have to be very conservative when considering the impacts of these decisions. We have to look at 20 years of MHL and realise that nothing has improved for riders, cycling, congestion and general wellbeing as a result of the law. We aren't as cyclist friendly as any European nation despite being flatter, better climate, more outdoorsy culture, etc.

If the evidence doesn't heavily weigh in favour of the law, then it stands that abolition is easier than enforcement.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:31 am

It is little bit off topic but drug prohibition laws seem almost as useless as mandatory helmet laws. Both are laws with "good intentions" to protect people from themselves however both are greatly counter-productive. But both have great inertia that needs to be turned around in public and political thought. Conservatives thinks who believe that authority is right and people need to be looked after from themselves seem to be the most stubborn.

Today's article on drug prohibition:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/rethi ... 2b3dn.html


(I'm not suggesting that if you are against MHL then you are against drug prohibition (or vice versa) . But both do face growing opposition of those who realise in that the laws fails in their aims. I personally have not used illicit drugs, but I don't care if somebody does. My big concern is the amount of crime caused by prohibition including the 100,000s of homicides across the globe each year related to the drug trade.)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:59 pm

To me, the two are completely different. Drug prohibition has failed miserably at behaviour modification. People still take drugs, they just can't get them legally. MHLs have been reasonably successful at their intended behaviour modification. The unintended consequences occur for exactly the opposite reason.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:59 pm

high_tea wrote:MHLs have been reasonably successful at their intended behaviour modification.

What is that?

Making the lot of cyclists in traffic safer? Increasing cyclist numbers on the roads? Or getting cyclists off the roads??

Fail on both of the first two. Success for the hidden agenda.

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

Postby high_tea » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:06 pm

il padrone wrote:
high_tea wrote:MHLs have been reasonably successful at their intended behaviour modification.

What is that?

Making the lot of cyclists in traffic safer? Increasing cyclist numbers on the roads? Or getting cyclists off the roads??

Fail on both of the first two. Success for the hidden agenda.

:roll:


Getting cyclists to wear helmets, of course. As to the "hidden agenda", I don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity (or policy tunnel vision, or what-have-you).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:08 pm

high_tea wrote:In particular, I don't think that the effect on participation was a major consideration, just like the effects of mandatory seatbelts on motoring participation weren't. That's the major substantive criticism of MHLs: they're bad for participation.

Does anybody really think the seat-belt law had a single scrap of impact on motor vehicle use? I sure don't. People just clipped them up and drove - no real impact upon your use of the car, actually it has boosted car sales as now larger families need to get two cars or a people-mover. New markets, new sales.

For bicycle helmets we are talking about a large insulating lump of foam, placed on your head (the prime aspect of personal identity) and used for the operation of a human-powered vehicle that requires personal exertion. And something you need to carry around with you when not using the bike and remember to bring along. The comparison with seat-belt law simply doesn't stack up, they are not comparable!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:14 pm

high_tea wrote:As to the "hidden agenda", I don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity (or policy tunnel vision, or what-have-you).

A policy pushed by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (renowned drivers of Saabs, Merc and similar tosser's cars). Also pushed by the RACV. The malice, or at very least blatant self-interest and arrogance, is very apparent - always was.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:05 pm

il padrone wrote:
high_tea wrote:In particular, I don't think that the effect on participation was a major consideration, just like the effects of mandatory seatbelts on motoring participation weren't. That's the major substantive criticism of MHLs: they're bad for participation.

Does anybody really think the seat-belt law had a single scrap of impact on motor vehicle use? I sure don't. People just clipped them up and drove - no real impact upon your use of the car, actually it has boosted car sales as now larger families need to get two cars or a people-mover. New markets, new sales.

Shrug. My point was that they weren't in the habit of considering such things, and still aren't.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:10 pm

il padrone wrote:
high_tea wrote:As to the "hidden agenda", I don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity (or policy tunnel vision, or what-have-you).

A policy pushed by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (renowned drivers of Saabs, Merc and similar tosser's cars). Also pushed by the RACV. The malice, or at very least blatant self-interest and arrogance, is very apparent - always was.


Hanlon's Razor (sorry, I forgot the name before) works just fine for me on that one too.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:26 pm

Xplora wrote:I reckon it's unarguable that if the process to develop the law is flawed, then it certainly is grounds for abolition particularly when background data isn't available to show this is a really big improvement to our nation. The huge numbers of cyclists in other cities and countries around the world show that it is a good idea to have as many riders as possible, if only for green reasons. I don't care about the green angle much (born to a family of 3rd generation mechanics) but it is a good reason, internationally, to maximise bike use. There is enough steel in an engine block to make 6 bikes, but no petrol is required to move those bikes once created LOL


As I think I've said before, geting a government to accept that cycling, or active transport generally, is a policy objective worth pushing is the hard part. I don't know if, once I got them to swallow that particular camel, I'd lose too much sleep over whether they strain at the gnat of MHL repeal, myself. So to speak.

Xplora wrote:I think a dirty little secret on the MHL Is that it shows how the slippery slope occurs in public policy. An ill considered lie is presented and accepted, and once the law is changed the landscape changes so much that the possibility of return is impossible without a very long hard slog. This is definitely beyond the cyclist lobby right now.


Yes, changing the status quo is hard. Nothing new there. What lie are you talking about anyway? Would Hanlon's Razor perhaps do the job?

Xplora wrote:The rules around nuclear waste and open cut mining are similar - once you start a major open cut mine, you can't go back. That mine is there forever in human terms. The nuclear waste is likely to outlast human evolution (let alone civilisation itself). You have to be very conservative when considering the impacts of these decisions. We have to look at 20 years of MHL and realise that nothing has improved for riders, cycling, congestion and general wellbeing as a result of the law. We aren't as cyclist friendly as any European nation despite being flatter, better climate, more outdoorsy culture, etc.


MHLs are not the only reason for this, not even the main reason if you ask me. And the analogy with nuclear waste is perhaps the wierdest non sequitur of this whole thread. I can't be bothered reading through the whole thing to make sure, but it's right up there.

Xplora wrote:If the evidence doesn't heavily weigh in favour of the law, then it stands that abolition is easier than enforcement.


That's not how it's done, like it or not. Is there evidence, actual empirical evidence, supporting Mandatory Bell Laws? I doubt anyone's bothered looking, but there it is, to name but one example. There's a good reason for that too: that sort of evidence is difficult to obtain. Now, if you want to argue that MHLs by their nature demand this sort of proof where other laws don't, by all means give it a red-hot go, but you'll have to actually make that case. As a general proposition, it doesn't hold water.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:20 pm

high_tea wrote:As I think I've said before, geting a government to accept that cycling, or active transport generally, is a policy objective worth pushing is the hard part. I don't know if, once I got them to swallow that particular camel, I'd lose too much sleep over whether they strain at the gnat of MHL repeal, myself. So to speak.

What is the use of having a government accepting that cycling is a policy objective worth pushing when there are so few cyclists because of MHLs. You are trying to get the cart before you even have the horse. So to speak. :wink:

high_tea wrote:Is there evidence, actual empirical evidence, supporting Mandatory Bell Laws?

MHLs have made us the laughing stock of the rest of the world of utility cycling. They haven't killed of bike shares. They haven't lead to a dramatic shift in the landscape of cycling and a drop in cycling acceptance amongst the community. They don't act contrary to their original intention. And most importantly nobody cares!
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:36 pm

I don't have bells on my bikes :oops:

Waste of time anyway.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:30 pm

I could see your point High T, except that the Parliament decided that cycling was important enough to apply an MHL when cyclists managed to survive for decades without one. You seem like you're happy to condemn the issue to the too hard basket because everyone else has, on the basis that it's not a major policy issue... however it must be, because it wouldn't have become law in the first place if it WAS such a minor issue.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby damhooligan » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:40 pm

Mulger bill wrote:I don't have bells on my bikes :oops:



you disgust me.... :mrgreen:
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 high_tea » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:56 am

human909 wrote:
high_tea wrote:As I think I've said before, geting a government to accept that cycling, or active transport generally, is a policy objective worth pushing is the hard part. I don't know if, once I got them to swallow that particular camel, I'd lose too much sleep over whether they strain at the gnat of MHL repeal, myself. So to speak.

What is the use of having a government accepting that cycling is a policy objective worth pushing when there are so few cyclists because of MHLs. You are trying to get the cart before you even have the horse. So to speak. :wink:

high_tea wrote:Is there evidence, actual empirical evidence, supporting Mandatory Bell Laws?

MHLs have made us the laughing stock of the rest of the world of utility cycling. They haven't killed of bike shares. They haven't lead to a dramatic shift in the landscape of cycling and a drop in cycling acceptance amongst the community. They don't act contrary to their original intention. And most importantly nobody cares!

Which arguments are all predicated on cycling being a policy objective worth pushing. Oops.

PS I care about MBLs. There's no data, plus it's personally inconvenient, whoops, meant to say a vicious despotic nanny state cutting down my freedom. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
/sarcasm
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:13 am

damhooligan wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:I don't have bells on my bikes :oops:



you disgust me.... :mrgreen:


Just to keep you happy, I relented and fitted these to the commuter last night...
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Lately, I've been running with one of these on a reel. It works! 8)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:18 am

high_tea wrote:PS I care about MBLs. There's no data, plus it's personally inconvenient, whoops, meant to say a vicious despotic nanny state cutting down my freedom. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
/sarcasm

It really should be mandated for all I reckon. Just makes 'safety sense'.

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

Postby jules21 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:24 am

high_tea wrote:That's not how it's done, like it or not. Is there evidence, actual empirical evidence, supporting Mandatory Bell Laws? I doubt anyone's bothered looking, but there it is, to name but one example. There's a good reason for that too: that sort of evidence is difficult to obtain. Now, if you want to argue that MHLs by their nature demand this sort of proof where other laws don't, by all means give it a red-hot go, but you'll have to actually make that case. As a general proposition, it doesn't hold water.

i agree with this. there is a widely held misconception that laws must be justified with objective statistical evidence. this is rarely the case, far more common is to throw some statistics in with some relevance to the argument but which hardly constitutes proof of the hypothesis. this typically comes as a revelation to people who have become motivated to research a given law (usually when they oppose it) and who then become convinced it's a giant hoax. it's not (at least, not automatically, for that reason) - that's just reality. it's hard to get good data for most stuff. as a result, many or even most laws are made as a judgment call, as much as supported by empirical evidence.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:23 am

jules21 wrote:i agree with this. there is a widely held misconception that laws must be justified with objective statistical evidence.

I'm not sure that it is a widely held misconception. It has become that way in this thread because....
antiMHL-ist: MHL SUCKS!
proMHL-ist: I LOVE MY HELMET, YOU GUYS ARE LOONIES.
antiMHL-ist: Good for you, I don't like helmets I want to ride with the wind in my hair.
proMHL-ist: That is dangerous! Also think of the children! My mate dave had an accident and his helmet saved his life.
antiMHL-ist: It isn't dangerous. Helmets aren't necessary to be safe.
proMHL-ist: Show us EVIDENCE.
antiMHL-ist: Here you go, here is EVIDENCE.
proMHL-ist: Oh... That is wrong. Australia is different. Also cycling is dangerous. Helmets are needed. Its the law, deal with it.
:x
Last edited by human909 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:23 am

jules21 wrote:many or even most laws are made as a judgment call, as much as supported by empirical evidence.

And MANY of us strongly believe that judgment call was WRONG. Furthermore, if people want we can supply evidence to support our views. :idea:
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