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

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

Postby zero » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:35 pm

il padrone wrote:
Howzat wrote:But in this case, the wearing of helmets is a minimum level of personal responsibility we require of cyclists. Because it's not only you that stands to lose something when your melon hits the main drag.

You are treading well outside the bounds of justifiable reasons for a law being introduced. I would outlaw divorce on this basis as it also causes immeasurable distress to your loved ones. :roll:

The helmet law was introduced simply because of a desire to reduce the number of deaths and severe injuries from head injuries - nothing more. Any other suggestion is kicking up a spurious smoke-screen.


Afaik the helmet law was introduced because Rosebank lobbied for the helmet law to be introduced to sell a hitherto undesired product. Had cyclists safety been uppermost, we certainly wouldn't have chosen to spend the community has spent on helmets - on helmets. ie if Rosebank had a particularly pure desire to cause X amount of money to be spent on best practice safety, they would have become a cycling infrastructure construction company, lobbying to build cycling roads.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:53 pm

il padrone wrote:Seat belt laws were introduced...
Food & drug regulations are a law with significant societal benefits*. They control the actions of drug manufacturers and food producers to ensure the consumer is able to consume these products safely. In other words the law restricts some people to protect others.


No need to convince me - I'm fine with accepting that in most cases where we have laws protecting us from ourselves they're largely justifiable. The reason MHL is a bad law is because in that particular case the costs appear to be outweigh the benefits (or at least, you certainly can't make a strong case that the benefits justify the costs).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:54 pm

il padrone wrote:The helmet law was introduced simply because of a desire to reduce the number of deaths and severe injuries from head injuries - nothing more. Any other suggestion is kicking up a spurious smoke-screen.


+1

Can I get my position clear please... (directed in general, not to you il padrone)?

My point was that not everyone can know everything and therefore it is prudent to rely on the opinion of experts who have experimental/experiential evidence to advise us on areas we know little/nothing on. It has nothing to do with what governments decide to do or the law etc, other than these decisions also should also be based on the above, rather than just public opinion (taking into account that almost half the public have below average abstract reasoning powers, by definition... although their POV should be listened too).

As far as the comparison of seat-belt laws and helmets. It is valid. Both can be seen as an infringement on individual rights. However, the Australians governments mandate to provide universal health cover and to minimize the cost of doing so means that not implementing the laws can also be seen as an infringement on the right of the individual to not have to pay for the follies of others*.

In hindsight, seat-belt laws have be shown to be very effective. Helmet laws... not really. Sure, the non-helmeted are over-represented in serious and fatal brain injuries, but the contrast is in no way as clear as with seat-belt vs the non-seat-belted, so much as to make it pretty much irrelevant if the hypothesis that more people will ride if they do not have to wear a helmet proves true (which, anecdotally, would appear to be true if Manly, NSW a.k.a New Amsterdam is anything to go by) and that more people riding means more care taken by MV drivers (again, anecdotally, Manly, drivers appear more considerate than a lot of other places... although the number of cyclists in Manly increased dramatically with the increase of cycle facilities).

*I find this moral/ethically repugnant, but it is still true that it can be seen this way from a libertarian-esque point of view.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:57 pm

Percrime wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:That MHL (and perhaps the prohibition against using certain recreational drugs) is one of the few policies that people can point to as being questionable policy governing personal safety if anything indicates that we can for the most part trust governments to get things right in this regard.


Seriously? In what ways have prohibiting recreational drugs been something governments have got right? Something like half of all murders are connected with the drug trade, and probably more than half of all crime.


Try re-reading! And fine, remove the 'perhaps'.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:10 pm

zero wrote:Afaik the helmet law was introduced because Rosebank lobbied for the helmet law to be introduced to sell a hitherto undesired product.

Hmm......... Rosebank certainly were lobbying in favour of it, along with other helmet manufacturers. Whether they were of more influence than the RACS (who had been lobbying for a compulsory helmet rule since the 70s it turns out) is anybody's guess. Whatever the back-room deals, the public rationale for it was the reduction of deaths and severe head injuries.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:51 pm

simonn wrote:I find this moral/ethically repugnant, but it is still true that it can be seen this way from a libertarian-esque point of view.


How is it morally/ethically repugnant? Universal health care pretty objectively *is* an infringement on our personal freedoms and rights, but nearly everyone in this country feels it's a perfectly justifiable one. A hellavu lot of Americans disagree, and hence don't get the benefits of it.

And yes, MHL and mandatory seat belts are logically equivalent - as would be, for example, a law mandating helmet wearing while climbing ladders (which would probably prevent more serious head injuries than MHL for bicycles!). But nobody's seriously arguing against mandatory seat belts because in that case the benefits do very clearly outweigh the downsides.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:48 pm

Howzat wrote:They're about trying to protect others from the actions of those lacking enough of a sense of personal responsibility to wear a helmet.


Gee, it seems most of the world is lacking this responsibility. Or maybe it's just that they don't have a massively overblown perception of the dangers of cycling. Maybe it's that they have looked at the figures and found that cycling is actually very safe and doesn't justify mandated helmet wearing. Furthermore, there is a distinct possibility that they have looked at the situations where cyclists are injured and figured that the helmet required to actually provide meaningful protection against serious accidents (ie, a motorcycle helmet) is impractical on a bike.

I assume from the above that you don't wear a flimsy lightweight helmet on your bike. Given your deeply held sense of responsibility I can only assume you at least wear a nice heavy hard case helmet. Otherwise I would have to question your sense of responsibility given the fairly useless lightweight helmets we are forced to wear.

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

Postby Xplora » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:20 pm

I truly can accept the argument that the helmet is acceptably mandatory if we are ready to ban booze, smoking, sunbaking, unhealthy foods, sex outside of wedlock and dancing (because sex has been known to lead to dancing).

The MHL is completely at odds with a laisse faire culture. "for your own good" needs to apply to a lot of other things before it applies to cycling. Ban cars if you want to stop people hurting themselves - they are responsible for a lot more societal costs than riding ever has.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:05 am

Xplora wrote:The MHL is completely at odds with a laisse faire culture.


Who said we live in such a culture? Having seen how things operate in many other cultures that probably would qualify (bad Russian driving youtube videos anyone?), I'm rather glad we don't!
But I do agree that there's plenty of other things that there's a much greater justification for mandating than the universal wearing of helmets on bicycles.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:40 am

wizdofaus wrote:
simonn wrote:I find this moral/ethically repugnant, but it is still true that it can be seen this way from a libertarian-esque point of view.


How is it morally/ethically repugnant? Universal health care pretty objectively *is* an infringement on our personal freedoms and rights, but nearly everyone in this country feels it's a perfectly justifiable one. A hellavu lot of Americans disagree, and hence don't get the benefits of it.


Because an economic choice to die is not really a choice, and pretty much every libertarian leaner thinks it is ok to "steal" from everyone to protect their stuff (i.e. socialized police & armed forces), but not help someone who cannot get medical insurance. IOW, stuff before people. Not good.

On a practical level, not having universal health care has not been shown to be more efficient than universal care.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:45 am

simonn wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:
simonn wrote:I find this moral/ethically repugnant, but it is still true that it can be seen this way from a libertarian-esque point of view.


How is it morally/ethically repugnant? Universal health care pretty objectively *is* an infringement on our personal freedoms and rights, but nearly everyone in this country feels it's a perfectly justifiable one. A hellavu lot of Americans disagree, and hence don't get the benefits of it.


Because an economic choice to die is not really a choice, and pretty much every libertarian leaner thinks it is ok to "steal" from everyone to protect their stuff (i.e. socialized police & armed forces), but not help someone who cannot get medical insurance. IOW, stuff before people. Not good.

On a practical level, not having universal health care has not been shown to be more efficient than universal care.


Not sure what you're trying to convince me of here. Many hard-core libertarians do hold ethically questionable positions, and I fully agree universal health care is a good thing. But it's perfectly valid to point out that one cost of universal health care is that the (slight) infringement on our personal freedoms it demands. And even in the U.S. hospitals still have a duty to save your life even if you can't pay for it - but a reasonable objection to the sort of system every other first world country has is that it requires those of us that live healthy lifestyles to subsidise those without - for instance, I find it morally questionable (repugnant is too strong) that public hospitals are required to keep treating lung cancer patients at significant public expense even while they still smoke. But despite this I'd still prefer we have such a system, because for the most part it acts so that those of us lucky to be born free from genetic disposition towards diseases and to avoid any nasty accidents in life, subsidise those with the misfortune of being afflicted with conditions largely outside their control (and also ensures that in our healthy productive youth we put money into a system that will ultimately support us when our health inevitability fails and we can no longer make any economic contribution).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:08 am

simonn wrote:On a practical level, not having universal health care has not been shown to be more efficient than universal care.

Far from it, in fact.

http://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/2011 ... alth-care/
Cubans live 2 months longer than Americans. Or, if you want to be picky, it’s a wash, and Cubans and Americans live about as long as each other.

Cuba’s rates of maternal mortality (a very important figure), infant mortality and child mortality rates are above that of the 3rd World and are at about the level of the 1st World. In that sense, Cuba is a 1st world country.

What is incredible is this:

Cuba spends 4 cents on health care to every one of our dollars. Yes, Cuba gets better outcomes for 96% less cost. Does that make any sense at all?


http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/4/817.full
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However, bringing this back OT - it is in the US where there is greater use of, and in some states, levels of mandatory requirements for cyclists using helmets. Meantime in Cuba no-one much wears helmets, the use of bicycles would be of value in their strategy of preventative medicine.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:25 pm

il padrone, read my (albeit rushed and poorly written) statement again :).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:33 pm

Yeah, not an opposite view. I am agreeing with you there.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:22 pm

wizdofaus wrote:...there's plenty of other things that there's a much greater justification for mandating than the universal wearing of helmets on bicycles.

The rest of the debate must be put on hold until these other things can be reconciled. It is a LIE that cyclists are not discriminated against if we are expected to hat up while alcohol is not banned. :idea: I am not in favour of booze bans, but booze has an ENORMOUSLY higher social cost. If you want to defend the hat, defend the booze first. Defend the cirrhosis, the child abuse, the road deaths, the addiction and the wasted lives, and then I can agree that the MHL is in my best interests.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:51 pm

Xplora wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:...there's plenty of other things that there's a much greater justification for mandating than the universal wearing of helmets on bicycles.

The rest of the debate must be put on hold until these other things can be reconciled. It is a LIE that cyclists are not discriminated against if we are expected to hat up while alcohol is not banned. :idea: I am not in favour of booze bans, but booze has an ENORMOUSLY higher social cost. If you want to defend the hat, defend the booze first. Defend the cirrhosis, the child abuse, the road deaths, the addiction and the wasted lives, and then I can agree that the MHL is in my best interests.

This is not an argument for MHL repeal. It wasn't the last time it was brought up. It won't be the next time. Sigh.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:40 pm

high_tea wrote:
Xplora wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:...there's plenty of other things that there's a much greater justification for mandating than the universal wearing of helmets on bicycles.

The rest of the debate must be put on hold until these other things can be reconciled. It is a LIE that cyclists are not discriminated against if we are expected to hat up while alcohol is not banned. :idea: I am not in favour of booze bans, but booze has an ENORMOUSLY higher social cost. If you want to defend the hat, defend the booze first. Defend the cirrhosis, the child abuse, the road deaths, the addiction and the wasted lives, and then I can agree that the MHL is in my best interests.

This is not an argument for MHL repeal. It wasn't the last time it was brought up. It won't be the next time. Sigh.

The problem is that there is no argument for ANY repeal of ANYTHING when parallels will not be considered. It is sheer hypocrisy to say that helmet use is for the helmet wearer's own good, while other things like smoking which are guaranteed to hurt - yourself and those around you - are simply left alone. Why should I be denied the freedom to wear a helmet or not, while I am NOT given the freedom to be free from cancer causing smoke? I can't actually avoid that. It is forced on me. I have bad drivers forced on me as well. The penalty for doorings and even running down a cyclist to their death is not commensurate with the offence they cause the community.

When the penalty for hospitalising a cyclist is just as bad as a cyclist deciding to not wear a helmet (will or without an accident), you have to step back and realise that this is clear discrimination in action.

Mulger Bill's Law must be invoked... someone think of the children! There are vulnerable people out there, and factors that oppress them aren't sufficiently controlled, while a benign activity like cycling sans helmet requires police enforcement???? :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:31 pm

Xplora wrote:while other things like smoking which are guaranteed to hurt - yourself and those around you - are simply left alone.


Is that "left alone" as in highly regulated (as is alcohol)?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:45 pm

Xplora wrote:
high_tea wrote:This is not an argument for MHL repeal. It wasn't the last time it was brought up. It won't be the next time. Sigh.

The problem is that there is no argument for ANY repeal of ANYTHING when parallels will not be considered. It is sheer hypocrisy to say that helmet use is for the helmet wearer's own good, while other things like smoking which are guaranteed to hurt - yourself and those around you - are simply left alone. Why should I be denied the freedom to wear a helmet or not, while I am NOT given the freedom to be free from cancer causing smoke? I can't actually avoid that. It is forced on me. I have bad drivers forced on me as well. The penalty for doorings and even running down a cyclist to their death is not commensurate with the offence they cause the community.

When the penalty for hospitalising a cyclist is just as bad as a cyclist deciding to not wear a helmet (will or without an accident), you have to step back and realise that this is clear discrimination in action.

Mulger Bill's Law must be invoked... someone think of the children! There are vulnerable people out there, and factors that oppress them aren't sufficiently controlled, while a benign activity like cycling sans helmet requires police enforcement???? :roll:


Insofar as this kind of inconsistency is a compelling objection (that's a pretty big "insofar", BTW), the obvious solution is to enact whatever other laws you have in mind. The trend, rugged-individualist-anarcho-libertarian-Randian ramblings notwithstanding, is towards more regulation, not less. Rant about the nanny state all you want, but this argument is not only specious, it leads to an outcome that is not, I gather, consonant with your views on regulation. It's no more valid than the outcome you're trying to argue for, but it's no less valid either. Hence my view that this is not a compelling argument for, well, anything.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Kenzo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:51 pm

simonn wrote:
Xplora wrote:while other things like smoking which are guaranteed to hurt - yourself and those around you - are simply left alone.


Is that "left alone" as in highly regulated (as is alcohol)?

As is the AUST Standard for Helmets and the testing...
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:34 am

Xplora wrote:I truly can accept the argument that the helmet is acceptably mandatory if we are ready to ban booze, smoking, sunbaking, unhealthy foods, sex outside of wedlock and dancing (because sex has been known to lead to dancing).

The MHL is completely at odds with a laisse faire culture. "for your own good" needs to apply to a lot of other things before it applies to cycling. Ban cars if you want to stop people hurting themselves - they are responsible for a lot more societal costs than riding ever has.


Sex is a moral isssue, not a health one, so isn't relevant. I'm sure you were just being facetious about dancing.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:37 am

Ross wrote:
Xplora wrote:I truly can accept the argument that the helmet is acceptably mandatory if we are ready to ban booze, smoking, sunbaking, unhealthy foods, sex outside of wedlock and dancing (because sex has been known to lead to dancing).

The MHL is completely at odds with a laisse faire culture. "for your own good" needs to apply to a lot of other things before it applies to cycling. Ban cars if you want to stop people hurting themselves - they are responsible for a lot more societal costs than riding ever has.


Sex is a moral isssue, not a health one, so isn't relevant. I'm sure you were just being facetious about dancing.

DANCING MUST BE BANNED! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sex outside wedlock is actually a social issue - and I hope this is the key to understanding my approach. Our approach to these issues (of differing importance) must be practical, and it must be equitable from a social aspect. Morality is part of the fabric, I agree. All those things lead to Mulger Bill's Law. Someone think of the children - because apparently the social cost of increasing cyclist injury rates and reducing cycling participation by the MHL is acceptable to those who do not favour the abolition of MHL.

I definitely accept that jules for example doesn't want it abolished, despite not being positive about it, and many like ross or hightea aren't falling over themselves to have it repealed. That's the line in the sand from my perspective. That said...

Booze problems = social problems. Sex outside of wedlock leads to single parents and the inevitable collapse of future opportunities for those single parents. As a group, they are one of the true "losers" in society. Very little is out there to help them out, and it is getting harder. Sex outside wedlock is part of that fabric. The point being - ban booze, ban sex out of wedlock,and you create a net improvement in society IN THE HUMBLE OPINION OF XPLORA. Damn the rights of people to drink and sex up the people they want to, right? It's for their own good, right? They are only hurting themselves in the long run, despite using condoms and being sensible in their drinking, right? Society sees no practical worth in preventing sex outside wedlock or prohibition of alcohol because it can't control everyone and everything - because regulation is quite lax in these areas.

I cannot put the argument more succinctly than this. The helmet law stands out as an aberration in a set of laws. If regulation of the roads was so effective, why the hundreds of road deaths each year? Why do cyclists still die? Why has there been no direct correlation with helmet laws and reduced cyclist deaths compared to other transport modes? We aren't leading the way on MHL because it is the next women's suffrage, but rather a foolish assumption that forcing protection on an unwilling populace doesn't work... condoms are a lot cheaper than child rearing, and yet... :shock: :shock: :shock: Why force a helmet on an unwilling group of potential riders, who would functionally reduce injury rates by riding more often? Educate and implore, but don't force regulation that creates no appreciable benefit. The helmet is NOT as effective as a seatbelt over a population of road users. Apples must be compared to apples :idea: I've compared apples to other varieties of apples simply to show that our values must be consistent otherwise they are discriminatory. Can you imagine a helmet law specific to Asian drivers? Of course not. Yet riders face this same discrimination, which is both impractical and unreasonable and ineffective at achieving the goal of safer riders. :shock:
Last edited by Xplora on Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Kenzo » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:42 am

IMO ... the sex out of wedlock was better... lol
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby TailWind » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:11 pm

^^^ What is this "sex" thing you speak of? Does it involve bikes, or possibly helmets? :mrgreen: :wink:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:03 pm

TailWind wrote:^^^ What is this "sex" thing you speak of? Does it involve bikes, or possibly helmets? :mrgreen: :wink:

If your coitus risk assessment requires a helmet, you need to strongly reconsider what you are getting yourself into :idea:
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