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

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

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

Postby wilddemon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:37 am

Mulger bill wrote:And yet they still haven't followed the (self appointed) world leaders in cycling safety after how many years? Now why do you think that might be? Maybe it's because they WANT all cyclists to be killed off ASAP, thereby making the world a much better place. [/tic]


That's quite a leap. Not sure what the point of this post is...

il padrone wrote:No call for the slanging and aspersions.


I actually had to look up aspersions. I'm probably not as well schooled as you. Aspersions: a disparaging or malicious remark; slanderous accusation. All I said is that your comments cause you to come across to me, as arrogant. If that's malicious or slanderous, sorry. I didn't think you were so sensitive.

Worryingly, the researchers also found children who were involved in a collision were much more likely to be unhelmeted. Children aged 12 years or less comprised 19% of all those who weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of their accident but just 7% of those who were.

This pattern was similar for those aged 13-19 years. Teenagers made up 35% of all those who weren’t wearing a helmet when they collided with a motor vehicle but 11% of those who were.


The study does not say that this is a representation of helmet use amongst teenagers and children.

Since it’s about accidents involving motor vehicles, this research can’t tell us if children and teenagers are more inclined to cycle without a helmet. However it shows non-helmet wearers in this age group are significantly over-represented in accidents.

By the power of MS calculator, I've determined that there were 221 head injuries amongst children and teenagers between 2001 and 2009.

The odds of sustaining a ‘moderate’ head injury in a collision are 1.9 times greater if the cyclist doesn’t wear a helmet.

However the odds of suffering a head injury classified as ‘serious’ are 2.6 times greater if the rider’s unhelmeted. In the case of a ‘severe’ head injury they’re 3.9 times greater.

When the researchers broke head injuries down by type, the estimated odds of suffering a ‘serious’ or ‘severe’ skull fracture if no helmet is worn is 4.6 times greater.


Now I agree with the anti-MHLs (heaven forbid!) that the ideal would be to have excellent cycling infrastructure, and excellent attitudes towards cyclists and cycling (road sharing) and I'm not criticising you for fantasising this ideal. But in the absence of this infrastructure and motorist attitude, don't you think it would be a good idea for children to be wearing helmets when riding bikes? il padrone, how many children's head injuries are acceptable to you?
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by BNA » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:43 am

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

Postby BastardSheep » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:43 am

What a topic to put my first post in to.

The study being discussed I'm very dubious of, it absolutely reaks to me of your typical thinktank style data manipulation to find the conclusion that they were after.

Now before I go any further I'd like to put out the disclaimer that I haven't actually read the study itself (thought I'd like to if anyone knows where I can get it from, my quick searches a few weeks back failed), and even if I did get my hands on the study I'm not actually trained in reading/understanding research papers and studies, I'd be reading it from a layman's perspective.

that said, the things that made me think this study was highly dubious and an attempt to find data to fit a conclusion were things like this:
wilddemon wrote:The article that I read said that two identities, The Conversation and Sydney Morning Herald represented the paper with "Crash data shows cyclists with no helmets more likely to ride drunk" and "Cyclists without helmets ‘likely to be risk-takers'" respectively.


Which is more likely, that people who generally don't wear helmets are more likely to ride drunk, or that people who are riding drunk are less likely to don a helmet? Going from the articles, we have no idea how the information was gathered other than that they got their data from admissions in to hospitals. But was it observations, questionnaires, interviews etc? Did they confirm these drunk riders who were admitted and weren't wearing helmets at the time also don't wear helmets usually? If not, then their conclusions on this topic at the very least are invalid and downright wrong.

I'd really like to see how the data was gathered, what questions (if any) were asked, how data was gathered and classified etc. There was one other conclusion brought "from the data" that I was very highly dubious of when I was originally reading the articles, but I can't recall what it was anymore. I simply don't trust the "conclusions" of this study in the slightest at the current point in time.

Now for the shocker. Most people who argue against that study are anti-helmet, but I'm actually pro-helmet. When I was a kid and this helmet law was introduced helmets with the appropriate approval rating were still heavy and highly air restrictive. These days they're extremely light and let a hell of a lot of air in. They're barely intrusive and restrictive at all. Sure helmets are 100% effective, they're not a golden bullet against all head trauma, but they're not designed to be. They're only meant to provide that little extra bit of protection, to lessen the severity of an injury, and that is better than nothing.

One thing that was drilled in to me when I went for my motorbike license and people were discussing the cost of motorbike helmets was "how much is your head worth to you?". That question alone turned a $400 helmet from too expensive to cheap, and the fact that the only motorbike helmets that fit me properly being $800-$1000 as being laughable, to a good investment.

How much is your head worth to you? Is reducing the potential injury worth it? To me it most definitely is, I won't ride anywhere without my helmet. Those who argue against them never manage to convince me. That said, I'm not going to rant and rave and try to convince them either.

There's some things in life where people tend to take polar extremes and are very divisive. Politics. Religion. Drugs. Bicycle helmets.

I won't ever do certain branches of politics, I think those who do are idiots. If others choose to do those branches of politics, it's their mind and body to damage, it's their choice. I'll let them have it without complaint.
I won't ever do religion. I think those who do are idiots. If others choose to do religion though, it's their mind and body to damage, it's their choice. I'll let them have it without complaint.
I won't ever do illegal drugs, I've seen many quite convincing arguments that they're not as bad as they're made out to be, but I still won't touch them. If others choose to do drugs, it's their mind and body to damage, it's their choice. I'll let them have it without complaint.
I won't ever ride without a helmet. I think those who do are just risking worse damage to themselves. If others choose to ride without helmets though, it's their mind and body to damage, it's their choice. I'll let them have it without complaint.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:57 am

wilddemon wrote:But in the absence of this infrastructure and motorist attitude, don't you think it would be a good idea for children to be wearing helmets when riding bikes?

Anything that gets kids out and active in their community is really good. More people on bikes, more often. This what will play a huge role in making our streets a safer environment. If this is with no helmets that is fine too. If there is a huge issue with drivers still ignoring safe road behaviour, enforce stricter road rules, that require greater care and responsibility on our suburban streets

wilddemon wrote:il padrone, how many children's head injuries are acceptable to you?


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

Postby wilddemon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:10 am

il padrone wrote:
wilddemon wrote:But in the absence of this infrastructure and motorist attitude, don't you think it would be a good idea for children to be wearing helmets when riding bikes?

Anything that gets kids out and active in their community is really good. More people on bikes, more often. This what will play a huge role in making our streets a safer environment. If this is with no helmets that is fine too. If there is a huge issue with drivers still ignoring safe road behaviour, enforce stricter road rules, that require greater care and responsibility on our suburban streets


You didn't actually answer the question so I'm not sure why you are quoting me.

Considering your last reply (re aspersions) I'm not sure why you then about face and make light of children's head injuries. Maybe the sensitivity is only a one way street.

You'd make a good politician.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:36 am

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

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:37 am

wilddemon wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:And yet they still haven't followed the (self appointed) world leaders in cycling safety after how many years? Now why do you think that might be? Maybe it's because they WANT all cyclists to be killed off ASAP, thereby making the world a much better place. [/tic]


That's quite a leap. Not sure what the point of this post is...


Just to make it very simple for you, I'll take out the sarcastic bit...
He said:
high_tea wrote:Disagree. Helmet efficacy - including considerations like risk compensation - is studied in non-MHL jurisdictions. QED.

Which suggests that other parts of the world are looking into the worth of hemlets, possibly with a view to mandating their use.

I said:
Mulger bill wrote:And yet they still haven't followed the (self appointed) world leaders in cycling safety after how many years?

Which states that after many years of observation of the local situation and presumably many studies by these alluded to "non-MHL jurisdictions" they have not managed to confirm to their satisfaction that a cost/benefit analysis of MHL would provide a positive result. QED.
il padrone wrote:
wilddemon wrote:But in the absence of this infrastructure and motorist attitude, don't you think it would be a good idea for children to be wearing helmets when riding bikes?

Anything that gets kids out and active in their community is really good. More people on bikes, more often. This what will play a huge role in making our streets a safer environment. If this is with no helmets that is fine too. If there is a huge issue with drivers still ignoring safe road behaviour, enforce stricter road rules, that require greater care and responsibility on our suburban streets

wilddemon wrote:il padrone, how many children's head injuries are acceptable to you?

I hereby invoke Mulgerbills law of internet discussion. Twice. :twisted:
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:50 am

il padrone wrote:Anything that gets kids out and active in their community is really good.


I will say I'm pretty skeptical MHL stops any individual kid from wanting to ride a bike. My 7yo sits on the train for 15+ minutes wearing his helmet cos he thinks it's cool :S

But I do worry that MHL in general enforces the idea that bicycling is a dangerous activity, and modern day parental paranoia is surely a big part of the reason there aren't more kids on bikes (and primary schools have absurd rules 'banning' kids from riding to school etc.)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:48 am

wilddemon wrote:
il padrone wrote:
wilddemon wrote:But in the absence of this infrastructure and motorist attitude, don't you think it would be a good idea for children to be wearing helmets when riding bikes?

Anything that gets kids out and active in their community is really good. More people on bikes, more often. This what will play a huge role in making our streets a safer environment. If this is with no helmets that is fine too. If there is a huge issue with drivers still ignoring safe road behaviour, enforce stricter road rules, that require greater care and responsibility on our suburban streets


You didn't actually answer the question so I'm not sure why you are quoting me.

Considering your last reply (re aspersions) I'm not sure why you then about face and make light of children's head injuries. Maybe the sensitivity is only a one way street.

And after your previous criticism of me it seems you have not been able to read my short post. Just to make it clear I'll spell it out for you then:

il padrone wrote:Anything that gets kids out and active in their community is really good..... ...... If this is with no helmets that is fine too.

.....means - No, I don't think it's a good idea, because there are other side effects.

il padrone wrote:More people on bikes, more often. This what will play a huge role in making our streets a safer environment.

....means - The direct safety benefits of more cyclists riding on our roads will quite likely outweigh any risks of increased head injuries. And this is before the health benefits to the individuals and the community from a more active lifestyle.


Also when I speak of helmets deterring kids from cycling I'm mainly referring to the teenage years. Yes the 7 year-olds are pretty much immune to the 'daggyness' factor - not so for 16 year olds
Last edited by il padrone on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:55 am

il padrone wrote:Also when I speak of helmets deterring kids from cycling I'm mainly referring to the teenage years. Yes the 7 year-olds are pretty much immune to the 'daggyness' factor - not so for 16 year olds

Sure, I'd think 12 is a pretty sensible cut-off age for MHL, with a possible exception of 12-17yos cycling on major roads, though that's making the law more complicated than it needs to be. Still a darn sight better than what we have now, and I'd see it as a stepping stone towards eventual complete elimination (of the laws that is. Though I'm far more interested in the eventual elimination of human drivers!)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:25 pm

Look at the Victoria Police 'safety' focus when dealing with cyclists in their recent Operation Halo:

A total of 1950 offences were detected during the operation.

As part of the highly visible operation, police discovered:

1475 car and truck offences, including:
• 431 using a mobile phone while driving
• 241 disobeying traffic lights and signs
• 10 failing to give way

198 motorcycle offences, including:
• 110 riding in a bicycle lane
• 6 disobeying traffic lights and signs

140 bicycle offences, including:
• 86 failing to wear a helmet
• 30 disobeying traffic lights and signs
• 8 riding on a footpath
• 3 failing to have lights or equipment


137 pedestrian offences, including:
• 108 disobeying traffic lights
• 21 walking improperly on road
• 2 crossing within 20 metres of pedestrian crossing

The Bicycle Patrol Unit nabbed 17 motorcyclists in less than an hour for riding in a bicycle lane on Rathdowne Street in Carlton on Friday 22 February.

Now do really think there would be 86 people riding without a helmet in a typical time span, but only 8 riding the footpath..... and only 3 without lights or 'equipment'??

:roll:

Prorities equal hammering cyclists for clothing rules rather than correcting actual dangerous behaviour.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:16 pm

il padrone wrote:
As part of the highly visible operation, police discovered:

1475 car and truck offences, including:
• 431 using a mobile phone while driving
• 241 disobeying traffic lights and signs
• 10 failing to give way



You'd have to think if they included speed testing and drink-driving there'd be a lot more.

BTW, is it legal to ride a bike while talking on a mobile phone? I know I do it far too often and it's probably one of those things that if it were an definitely illegal and fine-able offence I'd more likely to pull over to answer my phone.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:37 pm

Got F-all to do with safety.....it's all REVENUE !

Same as speed cameras, none at schools but hundreds all over dual carriageways and motorways ! Greedy lying scummy Govt and Cops. :evil:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:50 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:Got F-all to do with safety.....it's all REVENUE !

Same as speed cameras, none at schools but hundreds all over dual carriageways and motorways ! Greedy lying scummy Govt and Cops. :evil:


What's so wrong with using speed cameras to collect much needed taxpayer revenue? It's about one of the fairest ways I can think of. As for school zones (40 k/h), I see them patrolling those quite often, and I suspect they get a very high hit rate there too, so it's both revenue-raising and improving safety for kids.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:14 pm

Because....speeding doesn't kill, poor judgement, drink, distractions, sleep and a whole manner of other reasons.
Drifting over the limit is real easy when you do big klms and you should (preferrably) be watching/concentrating the road not a dial on the dash (which is more common due to cameras)!
I never see them at our kids school, usually jammed anyway with idiots stopped on roundabouts blocking all traffic because they didn't want to lose a car space ! :roll:

Suppose this is a whole other can of worms ! :lol:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:16 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:speeding doesn't kill


Yes it does

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EDIT: And school zones are a very good place to have lower speed limits (I think 40km/h is too high) because kids do not have a decent sense of responsibility for their actions, good impulse control, actually I will rephrase that to... kids have even worse impulse control than most adults, and younger kids do not have peripheral vision either. Argue all you want, but, science says that higher speed limits kill more people for the sake of the convenience of drivers, end of.
Last edited by simonn on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:17 pm

no it doesn't at all.

the car hitting the pedestrian kills them or hitting the road etc, speed is a factor, not the reason.
Hitting them in the first place IS the reason. :roll:

reaction time
on mobile
sleeping
watching speedometer
bald tyres
poorly serviced vehicle
weather
skill

all contributors, none are killers on their own, same as speed.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:17 pm

wizdofaus wrote:BTW, is it legal to ride a bike while talking on a mobile phone? I know I do it far too often and it's probably one of those things that if it were an definitely illegal and fine-able offence I'd more likely to pull over to answer my phone.

Rule 300

Quite a lot of qualifiers to it but the key bit is:

Victorian Road Rules wrote:(1) The driver of a vehicle who is not a learner driver or the holder of a P1 probationary driver licence must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked


Rider = driver; bicycle = vehicle. Is your bicycle parked or just stationary?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:20 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:Because....speeding doesn't kill, poor judgement, drink, distractions, sleep and a whole manner of other reasons.
Drifting over the limit is real easy when you do big klms and you should (preferrably) be watching/concentrating the road not a dial on the dash (which is more common due to cameras)!

Get cruise

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

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:23 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:Because....speeding doesn't kill, poor judgement, drink, distractions, sleep and a whole manner of other reasons.

Ahah! So long as I'm awake, sober,a skilled driver, with no distractions it's OK for me to go 180 down Burwood Hwy ??!!

Yay, let's go man! Safe as houses. :P
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:33 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:no it doesn't at all.

the car hitting the pedestrian kills them or hitting the road etc, speed is a factor, not the reason.
Hitting them in the first place IS the reason. :roll:

reaction time
on mobile
sleeping
watching speedometer
bald tyres
poorly serviced vehicle
weather
skill

all contributors, none are killers on their own, same as speed.



You are combining and/or confusing the risk of an accident occurring with the impact of an accident should it occur.

Of course the risk of an accident occurring should also be addressed, and it is. Speed is a huge factor in this as well.

However, if an accident does occur, the higher the speed of a motor vehicle the higher the chance of a pedestrian (or cyclist, or driver/passenger too for that matter) being killed, ergo speed directly kills people, ergo speed kills. I am not sure if this can be expressed more simply.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:51 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:.
Drifting over the limit is real easy when you do big klms and you should (preferrably) be watching/concentrating the road not a dial on the dash (which is more common due to cameras)!


That's a separate problem. I'd tend to agree that fining people for doing 5 k/h hour over in a 60 zone probably counterproductive (but if you look at the fatality rates for various impact speeds, I'm not so sure, and if you're doing 45 where there are schoolkids around, then you should have your license taken from you). Reinstate more reasonable buffers and I don't have a problem with governments using poor driving as an opportunity to collect revenue.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:00 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
wurtulla wabbit wrote:.
Drifting over the limit is real easy when you do big klms and you should (preferrably) be watching/concentrating the road not a dial on the dash (which is more common due to cameras)!


That's a separate problem. I'd tend to agree that fining people for doing 5 k/h hour over in a 60 zone probably counterproductive (but if you look at the fatality rates for various impact speeds, I'm not so sure, and if you're doing 45 where there are schoolkids around, then you should have your license taken from you). Reinstate more reasonable buffers and I don't have a problem with governments using poor driving as an opportunity to collect revenue.


A speed limit is a maximum speed limit, not a minimum speed limit or the speed you should drive at. IOW, there already is a buffer.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:14 pm

simonn wrote:
wurtulla wabbit wrote:no it doesn't at all.

the car hitting the pedestrian kills them or hitting the road etc, speed is a factor, not the reason.
Hitting them in the first place IS the reason. :roll:

reaction time
on mobile
sleeping
watching speedometer
bald tyres
poorly serviced vehicle
weather
skill

all contributors, none are killers on their own, same as speed.



You are combining and/or confusing the risk of an accident occurring with the impact of an accident should it occur.

Of course the risk of an accident occurring should also be addressed, and it is. Speed is a huge factor in this as well.

However, if an accident does occur, the higher the speed of a motor vehicle the higher the chance of a pedestrian (or cyclist, or driver/passenger too for that matter) being killed, ergo speed directly kills people, ergo speed kills. I am not sure if this can be expressed more simply.


you can express as simply as you see fit , regardless of your condescending tone, it's not speed that kills, its the eventuallity which is brought about by human error, not speed.

As i said, speed IS a factor, not the out and out perp.

I cannot express this more simply.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:50 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:
simonn wrote:
wurtulla wabbit wrote:no it doesn't at all.

the car hitting the pedestrian kills them or hitting the road etc, speed is a factor, not the reason.
Hitting them in the first place IS the reason. :roll:

reaction time
on mobile
sleeping
watching speedometer
bald tyres
poorly serviced vehicle
weather
skill

all contributors, none are killers on their own, same as speed.



You are combining and/or confusing the risk of an accident occurring with the impact of an accident should it occur.

Of course the risk of an accident occurring should also be addressed, and it is. Speed is a huge factor in this as well.

However, if an accident does occur, the higher the speed of a motor vehicle the higher the chance of a pedestrian (or cyclist, or driver/passenger too for that matter) being killed, ergo speed directly kills people, ergo speed kills. I am not sure if this can be expressed more simply.


you can express as simply as you see fit , regardless of your condescending tone, it's not speed that kills, its the eventuallity which is brought about by human error, not speed.

As i said, speed IS a factor, not the out and out perp.

I cannot express this more simply.


Not necessarily. For instance, if you are slowly backing out of a parking spot at, say, 2km/h and hit someone, the chances are they will not die (I'd argue that they chances are low for any injury at all). However, if you hit someone at > 60km/h they probably will die.

Which part of speed not killing applies to the above examples?
Last edited by simonn on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:50 pm

Speeding along nicely, until he hit the brick wall !!

a) It's the brick wall that killed him; speed doesn't matter,

OR

b) The high speed was the cause; brick walls aren't a hazard.


Kinda pointless argument really :roll:
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