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

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

Postby simonn » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:17 am

human909 wrote:
simonn wrote:And when you have no personal experience of something?

simonn wrote:Where did I mention government?


Stop trolling simon. If you want to make a point the make it.

If a person is not capable of making largely sensible personal safety decisions they will barely make it to adulthood unless they are in near continuous care. Some people are like that and unfortunately they do need continuous car throughout their life.

Those without severe mental incapacitation are usually in a position to make sensible personal safety decisions. The government or the authority is NOT in a better position to make these decision than an individual.


Oh. You didn't mention government? So are we talking about a nanny then? My mum? :roll:


We are talking about using evidence on which to base decisions and policy.

Are you suggesting that people should just make up their own road rules?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:30 am

simonn wrote:We are talking about using evidence on which to base decisions and policy.

Are you suggesting that people should just make up their own road rules?

Bejeebus, we are going around the maypole here :roll:

Who makes up the road rules? Answer - the government.

Who are the government? Answer - in our democratic society, the people (by free will).

Do the road rules cover what you must wear when driving? Why is flame-proof clothing not mandatory? Certain things are required of us for the safety of the society in general. Other things are simply left up to the individual's free will, even though it has great personal (not societal) risk (eg. rock fishing).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:35 am

human909 wrote:Those without severe mental incapacitation are usually in a position to make sensible personal safety decisions. The government or the authority is NOT in a better position to make these decision than an individual.


I personally wouldn't accept that as a good argument against MHL - it's just a much an argument against compulsory seat belts, speed limits, blood alcohol limits, food & drug regulations etc. etc. And yes, the justification for some of these is that they go beyond personal safety, but the fact is as individuals we're not always realistically able to judge what's best for our own safety, whereas good government policy can be based on dispassionate scientific research that shows clear benefits vs costs of restricting/regulating certain activities. With MHL there isn't such a clear benefit, or at least, the costs are too hard to weigh against the benefits, so there's not a good case for maintaining it as a strictly-enforced finable offence with no exceptions. 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.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:10 am

wizdofaus wrote:it's just a much an argument against compulsory seat belts, speed limits, blood alcohol limits, food & drug regulations etc. etc.

No it isn't. You are continuing to confuse the difference between protecting people from the actions of others and protecting people from the actions of themselves.

wizdofaus wrote: but the fact is as individuals we're not always realistically able to judge what's best for our own safety, whereas good government policy can be based on dispassionate scientific research that shows clear benefits vs costs of restricting/regulating certain activities.

That is a joke right? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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.

You are REALLY being quite hilarious now.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:22 am

human909 wrote: You are continuing to confuse the difference between protecting people from the actions of others and protecting people from the actions of themselves.

It's not only you at risk if you fall off and flatten your pumpkin on the pavement.

The law is there to protect others - eg. families and friends - from the actions of those lacking enough of a sense of personal responsibility to wear a helmet.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:36 am

Howzat wrote:The law is there to protect others - eg. families and friends - from the actions of those lacking enough of a sense of personal responsibility to wear a helmet.

Umm... no, you are cofusing things here. That is an aspect of personal risk (consequences of an incident), not what might be termed societal risk.

http://www.sieso.org.uk/2010_presentati ... ch2010.pdf
Societal risk is....

.....concerned with the estimation of the chances of more than one individual being harmed simultaneously by an incident.


Family and friends might suffer, but they have not been directly physically harmed by the incident.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Howzat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:49 am

I didn't mention any terms.

But some here mistakenly think helmet laws are about trying to people from themselves. That's wrong. They're about trying to protect others from the actions of those lacking enough of a sense of personal responsibility to wear a helmet.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:56 am

Howzat wrote:But some here mistakenly think helmet laws are about trying to people from themselves. That's wrong. They're about trying to protect others from the actions of those lacking enough of a sense of personal responsibility to wear a helmet.

Such a misguided view I am not sure where to begin :shock:

It sits right up there with the "logic" of incarcerating people on Nauru because this will protect others from drowning at sea :roll:

I hope you are going to apply this logic to drinkers at the pub, smokers, gamblers, anyone who eats lots of junk food, drivers who race cars in their spare time, sunbathers.................. Just about any activity has risk of horrendous harm to others on this standard.
Last edited by il padrone on Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:44 pm

human909 wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:it's just a much an argument against compulsory seat belts, speed limits, blood alcohol limits, food & drug regulations etc. etc.

No it isn't. You are continuing to confuse the difference between protecting people from the actions of others and protecting people from the actions of themselves.


Please explain the difference then. How do seat belt laws and food & drug regulations protect me from the actions of others?

human909 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.

You are REALLY being quite hilarious now.


Then again maybe don't bother, you appear to be living in libertarian la-la-land.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:15 pm

wizdofaus wrote:How do seat belt laws and food & drug regulations protect me from the actions of others?

I never said anything (recently) about seat belts laws and drug laws. The are both laws attempting to protect individuals from their own choices.

But certainly food regulation ensure the actions of others don't poison you or make you sick.


wizdofaus wrote:Then again maybe don't bother, you appear to be living in libertarian la-la-land.

I didn't know that having the opinion that the government frequently doesn't get things right is such a bizarre concept. It is certainly one I would have thought MOST adults would agreed with.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:23 pm

wizdofaus wrote:How do seat belt laws and food & drug regulations protect me from the actions of others?

Seat belt laws were introduced at a time when it was pretty widely accepted that 95% of people would drive or travel in cars. It is an individual restriction that has minimal societal benefit (apart from the indirect saving of lives and reduced health costs), but has proven to be a) very successful in increasing road safety; and b) relatively innocuous in its impact upon individuals. Thus the wider community has accepted it. People have not chosen not to drive because of it.

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.


* Same can be said for speed limits, BAC laws and most other road rules.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:28 pm

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

Postby Howzat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:07 pm

il padrone wrote:
Howzat wrote:But some here mistakenly think helmet laws are about trying to people from themselves. That's wrong. They're about trying to protect others from the actions of those lacking enough of a sense of personal responsibility to wear a helmet.

Such a misguided view I am not sure where to begin :shock:

Yep - an irrefutable argument stumps a lot of punters. :wink:

il padrone wrote:I hope you are going to apply this logic to drinkers at the pub, smokers, gamblers, anyone who eats lots of junk food, drivers who race cars in their spare time, sunbathers.................. Just about any activity has risk of horrendous harm to others on this standard.

Perhaps in some cases, maybe not in others. 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.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:19 pm

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.
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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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