Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:00 pm

FWIW, the ratio of non helmet wearers in inner Melbs (north side ) has gone through the roof this year. Haven't heard any reports of deaths or major injuries yet.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Toyopet » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:22 pm

fat and old wrote:FWIW, the ratio of non helmet wearers in inner Melbs (north side ) has gone through the roof this year. Haven't heard any reports of deaths or major injuries yet.

Have heard reports of a major crackdown though!

I don't think this one is paywalled.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby jasonc » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:45 pm

I've spoken to an officer in qld. He suggested you'd have to fail the attitude test to get a fine. Carrying a helmet on your handle bars will also get you fined
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:10 pm

jasonc wrote:I've spoken to an officer in qld. He suggested you'd have to fail the attitude test to get a fine. Carrying a helmet on your handle bars will also get you fined

And if you look sus they’d probably have a good reason to stop and check your attitude. A recent ‘stopped because helmet’ locally ended up with the non helmet wearer being charged with assault police.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:57 pm

A rare contribution, the Freestyle Cyclists - advocacy group for a change to the Mandatory Helmet Laws in Australia is holding 'helmet optional' protest rides on March 17 in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Wellington. More details here: https://www.freestylecyclists.org


I interviewed the president of Freestyle Cyclists, Alan Todd. This group has come a long way are larger with more ties to other advocacies groups and more activities in connecting with politicians.

For active participates here, I hope you appreciate the questions and answers. You will probably notice, at least with this coverage, there there is also a development (or shift) where it is no longer a facts and facts approach, rather has evolved.

Coverage and Interview on BNA
Protest Bike Rides across Australia increase momentum against Mandatory Helmet Laws


Cheers
Christopher

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby uart » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:05 pm

Toyopet wrote:
fat and old wrote:FWIW, the ratio of non helmet wearers in inner Melbs (north side ) has gone through the roof this year. Haven't heard any reports of deaths or major injuries yet.

Have heard reports of a major crackdown though!

I don't think this one is paywalled.


It's interesting reading the comments there. I can't count how many times that I've seen this argument - that it's ok for cyclists overseas to not require helmets, but Australian cyclists are a special breed and therefore NEED MHL. It's very frustrating to see them putting the cart before the horse like this, but opinions like this guy's below are certainly quite common. :roll:

@John I've travelled in many areas around the world where there are plenty of cyclists, and you are right, they often don't wear helmets. Neither are they so aggressive as the cyclists in Australia are - they are respectful of pedestrians and cautious around vehicles. In the great land of Oz, however, where cyclists enjoy a sense of entitlement, and surge ahead with less care, they DO need helmets.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby London Boy » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:34 pm

uart wrote:It's interesting reading the comments there. I can't count how many times that I've seen this argument - that it's ok for cyclists overseas to not require helmets, but Australian cyclists are a special breed and therefore NEED MHL. It's very frustrating to see them putting the cart before the horse like this, but opinions like this guy's below are certainly quite common. :roll:

@John I've travelled in many areas around the world where there are plenty of cyclists, and you are right, they often don't wear helmets. Neither are they so aggressive as the cyclists in Australia are - they are respectful of pedestrians and cautious around vehicles. In the great land of Oz, however, where cyclists enjoy a sense of entitlement, and surge ahead with less care, they DO need helmets.

It sounds like he's describing the average Australian motorist. And he's right, they do need helmets.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:49 pm

uart wrote:
Toyopet wrote:
fat and old wrote:FWIW, the ratio of non helmet wearers in inner Melbs (north side ) has gone through the roof this year. Haven't heard any reports of deaths or major injuries yet.

Have heard reports of a major crackdown though!

I don't think this one is paywalled.


It's interesting reading the comments there. I can't count how many times that I've seen this argument - that it's ok for cyclists overseas to not require helmets, but Australian cyclists are a special breed and therefore NEED MHL. It's very frustrating to see them putting the cart before the horse like this, but opinions like this guy's below are certainly quite common. :roll:

@John I've travelled in many areas around the world where there are plenty of cyclists, and you are right, they often don't wear helmets. Neither are they so aggressive as the cyclists in Australia are - they are respectful of pedestrians and cautious around vehicles. In the great land of Oz, however, where cyclists enjoy a sense of entitlement, and surge ahead with less care, they DO need helmets.


I don’t see the logic used to justify helmet use, but based on speaking with many O/S visitors, O/S experience of my own and various articles published here by O/S workers I think there may be some skewed truth to it.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Comedian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:35 pm

AUbicycles wrote:A rare contribution, the Freestyle Cyclists - advocacy group for a change to the Mandatory Helmet Laws in Australia is holding 'helmet optional' protest rides on March 17 in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Wellington. More details here: https://www.freestylecyclists.org


I interviewed the president of Freestyle Cyclists, Alan Todd. This group has come a long way are larger with more ties to other advocacies groups and more activities in connecting with politicians.

For active participates here, I hope you appreciate the questions and answers. You will probably notice, at least with this coverage, there there is also a development (or shift) where it is no longer a facts and facts approach, rather has evolved.

Coverage and Interview on BNA
Protest Bike Rides across Australia increase momentum against Mandatory Helmet Laws


Cheers
Christopher

I really do wish the Freedom people luck. Personally I've given up being involved in this because in QLD it is utterly pointless. You're just wasting your life. That doesn't mean I don't agree with it - but my advocacy efforts are better spent in other areas that have even the tiniest chance of success because MHL reform in QLD has none.

I was fortunate enough to go to a road safety forum in QLD a couple of weeks back with the minister and many other "experts". They had a trauma surgeon telling us how head injuries of cyclists cause the longest hospital stays, and how he was so pleased he'd fought for MHL. When the issue was later raised in discussion the the local university paid experts said "Darwin is different - helmets aren't a deterrent".

It was at that juncture that I understood why there is no chance of change in QLD. The minister is a commuter cyclist ("my helmet saved my life") and he's surrounded by people like this. He's concerned with making a safe road system, where every injury is on his books. The number of cardiac and diabetes patients are not.

So, the only chance of a repeal will be if another jurisdiction has a repeal, and they have an explosion in cycling. Darwin is unfortunately too easy to discredit.

So, I hope the freedom guys get up a law repeal in a major state or territory.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:44 pm

Comedian wrote: It was at that juncture that I understood why there is no chance of change in QLD. The minister is a commuter cyclist ("my helmet saved my life") and he's surrounded by people like this. He's concerned with making a safe road system, where every injury is on his books. The number of cardiac and diabetes patients are not.


This is why we need to target the health and finance ministers.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Cyclophiliac » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:25 pm

If helmets aren't a deterrent in Darwin, is that because people just refuse to wear them and the authorities have given up try to rigorously enforce the MHL there? If so, that suggests an interesting course of action: anti-MHL "civil disobedience" across the country.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:06 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:If helmets aren't a deterrent in Darwin, is that because people just refuse to wear them and the authorities have given up try to rigorously enforce the MHL there? If so, that suggests an interesting course of action: anti-MHL "civil disobedience" across the country.


It's a little more complicated: helmets are only required on the road. Not on footpaths. Not on shared paths and they've got pretty good off-road infrastructure where it matters. So most people riding bikes in Darwin (sans-helmet) are "utility" riders. And when breaking the law are doing it in quiet streets, not on the few major roads. Meanwhile, the MAMILs are still in full kit, including helmets.

Darwin's police (& more importantly the NT pollies) have enough real problems to worry about without wasting their time harassing people on bicycles.

Pro-MHL people like to pretend Darwin doesn't exist because the head-injury-apocalypse didn't happen there, either. So, like all good evangelists (or Marxists, if you like, see Popper), they'll use any excuse to excise it from the argument.

Civil disobedience only works as a specific part of a larger strategy. Right now, the politics (and it's all about the politics) is that you'd be getting what you deserve. Which might include "being taught a lesson".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Cyclophiliac » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:38 pm

Thoglette wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:If helmets aren't a deterrent in Darwin, is that because people just refuse to wear them and the authorities have given up try to rigorously enforce the MHL there? If so, that suggests an interesting course of action: anti-MHL "civil disobedience" across the country.


It's a little more complicated: helmets are only required on the road. Not on footpaths. Not on shared paths and they've got pretty good off-road infrastructure where it matters. So most people riding bikes in Darwin (sans-helmet) are "utility" riders. And when breaking the law are doing it in quiet streets, not on the few major roads. Meanwhile, the MAMILs are still in full kit, including helmets.

Darwin's police (& more importantly the NT pollies) have enough real problems to worry about without wasting their time harassing people on bicycles.

Pro-MHL people like to pretend Darwin doesn't exist because the head-injury-apocalypse didn't happen there, either. So, like all good evangelists (or Marxists, if you like, see Popper), they'll use any excuse to excise it from the argument.

Civil disobedience only works as a specific part of a larger strategy. Right now, the politics (and it's all about the politics) is that you'd be getting what you deserve. Which might include "being taught a lesson".

That makes sense, but I don't agree with your 2nd paragraph. Every other capital city throws enough real problems at their police force, and so their rigorous MHL enforcement is wasting their time and our taxes.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:54 pm

Not wearing a helmet is a real problem... The problem is those who haven't been head over handlebars and suffered a blunt force trauma injury will never get it. You should have visited me in hospital when I was 10 years old:

Gravel rash on my face
cracked jaw
A few missing teeth later
Split tongue
100+ stitches later (the doctor stopped counting)
Severe concussion and no recollection of that day, not then, not 20 years later either.

All the lights were out before I hit the ground and that's probably a good thing. I clipped the rear vision mirror of a car while riding on the road with some friends and that was that. That's how quickly every little thing in your life changes, that's how quickly you end up with the trauma of having to live like that and what it does to your person, and your psyche. I have a permanent anxiety about bikes, and other personal issues about who and what I am.

Anyone who is asking for a relaxation of helmet laws is a moron among a pack of idiots and I'd suggest to them to go and visit a trauma ward and see what car and bike crash victims actually look like. For anyone that's wondering yes I do look like a normal person today, mostly through the wonders of how a child's body heals, and through dental surgery and the wonders of dental implants. No I don't have a brain injury, I was lucky.

On the other hand, some people aren't as lucky as what I was. A good friend of mine headbutted a windscreen in his early 20s, he now lives with an acquired brain injury and permanent disability. He lives in the community, but a lot of people think he's just running away from his disability and trying to act normal by trying to go back to his old life. That's fine, he found god, and all that stuff, and his community loves him for who is he which is wonderful. However, he will never be the same person again. That's the nature of things when you damage your brain beyond what it can repair itself.

But if you're going to waltz around here and say people should choose to whether you wear a helmet or not? I'm going to tell you to go and add yourself to the list of names that are eligible for a Darwin award each year. It's nothing more than self selection in action.

When I come to ask the question of why people want to repeal laws, its the usual embelished childlike laws that "helmets aren't trendy" or "I'd rather ride while wearing a cycling cap as if I'm some kind of fashionista..." Most of us who ride bikes think we're some kind of trendsetters, but when you look at yourself in a paisley cycling jersey with stars and sequens, and bib knicks, you often don't realise how much of a MAMIL you actually look like.

So pro tip on that: Give it up... you're not dressed for your fashion sense. Function comes before form on a bike spoken as someone who has ridden a bike of some sort for at least 25years now. You will never look "cool" on a bike, especially not a road bike and you're not a super hero either just because you're a full kit warrior, or wearing a rainbow jersey (you should stop both of those habits, you didn't earn them).

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby queequeg » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:39 pm

Kronos wrote:Not wearing a helmet is a real problem... The problem is those who haven't been head over handlebars and suffered a blunt force trauma injury will never get it. You should have visited me in hospital when I was 10 years old:

...
Anyone who is asking for a relaxation of helmet laws is a moron among a pack of idiots and I'd suggest to them to go and visit a trauma ward and see what car and bike crash victims actually look like. For anyone that's wondering yes I do look like a normal person today, mostly through the wonders of how a child's body heals, and through dental surgery and the wonders of dental implants. No I don't have a brain injury, I was lucky.


Everything you have said here applies equally to riding in a motor vehicle. Go to a trauma ward and see what an MVA victim looks like, then ask why they weren't wearing a helmet. After all, the top cause of Head Injuries in Australia is Motor Vehicles, and yet Helmets are not Mandatory for their drivers or passengers. That does not make any sense. Ah, but we have seatbelts and airbags and all those other things in motor vehicles you say....well, yes, and clearly they don't protect the occupant from head injuries, otherwise the trauma ward would be empty.
When was the last time you wore a helmet in a car?

Now, nobody is saying helmets should be banned, simply that people have a choice for the circumstances. A bicycle helmet is not going to protect you from getting squashed by a car. They are designed to protect your head from an impact with the ground at a speed consistent with someone tripping and falling over, not from getting run into by a 2 tonne metal box hitting you at 60km/h.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby g-boaf » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:26 pm

queequeg wrote:Ah, but we have seatbelts and airbags and all those other things in motor vehicles you say....well, yes, and clearly they don't protect the occupant from head injuries, otherwise the trauma ward would be empty.
When was the last time you wore a helmet in a car?


A Mercedes CLK-GTR (and the CLR) have seat belts and an airbag for the driver, yet the driver wears a helmet as well.

On that note, perhaps it's time for all of our car drivers on the roads to start wearing helmets. Maybe if helmets are such a deterrent, we'll see less single-occupant cars on the road. :idea: :twisted: And maybe more people might use bicycles because of less cars on the road.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Comedian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:01 pm

queequeg wrote:
Kronos wrote:Not wearing a helmet is a real problem... The problem is those who haven't been head over handlebars and suffered a blunt force trauma injury will never get it. You should have visited me in hospital when I was 10 years old:

...
Anyone who is asking for a relaxation of helmet laws is a moron among a pack of idiots and I'd suggest to them to go and visit a trauma ward and see what car and bike crash victims actually look like. For anyone that's wondering yes I do look like a normal person today, mostly through the wonders of how a child's body heals, and through dental surgery and the wonders of dental implants. No I don't have a brain injury, I was lucky.


Everything you have said here applies equally to riding in a motor vehicle. Go to a trauma ward and see what an MVA victim looks like, then ask why they weren't wearing a helmet. After all, the top cause of Head Injuries in Australia is Motor Vehicles, and yet Helmets are not Mandatory for their drivers or passengers. That does not make any sense. Ah, but we have seatbelts and airbags and all those other things in motor vehicles you say....well, yes, and clearly they don't protect the occupant from head injuries, otherwise the trauma ward would be empty.
When was the last time you wore a helmet in a car?

Now, nobody is saying helmets should be banned, simply that people have a choice for the circumstances. A bicycle helmet is not going to protect you from getting squashed by a car. They are designed to protect your head from an impact with the ground at a speed consistent with someone tripping and falling over, not from getting run into by a 2 tonne metal box hitting you at 60km/h.

I agree.. if it saves just one life..

https://www.monash.edu/muarc/research/our-publications/atsb160

And I'm sorry Kronos is so accident prone. If he can tell me how to go OTB on my upright dutch bike I'm all ears.. I guess what he's saying is he rides a road bike where going OTB is a risk - so no one gets to choose. So they wear helmets in V8 supercar so helmets for all! but I digress...

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:06 pm

Kronos wrote:Anyone who is asking for a relaxation of helmet laws is a moron among a pack of idiots and I'd suggest to them to go and visit a trauma ward and see what car and bike crash victims actually look like.


Are you really suggesting that the rest of the cycling world are morons?

Or are Australians so special that somehow it's just different here.

How about you go visit Amsterdam where pretty much everybody cycles and helmets are rarely used.

A visit to a trauma ward is by definition a biased sample of injured people. And funnily enough cyclists are a rarity (with or without helmets).

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:12 pm

human909 wrote:
Kronos wrote:Anyone who is asking for a relaxation of helmet laws is a moron among a pack of idiots and I'd suggest to them to go and visit a trauma ward and see what car and bike crash victims actually look like.


Are you really suggesting that the rest of the cycling world are morons?

Or are Australians so special that somehow it's just different here.

How about you go visit Amsterdam where pretty much everybody cycles and helmets are rarely used.

A visit to a trauma ward is by definition a biased sample of injured people. And funnily enough cyclists are a rarity (with or without helmets).


You're not going to get the point, I've said what needs to be said, and you've already taken a stance. and your strawman doesn/t work here, we're talking about Australia not the rest of the world. I sincerely hope you never have to go through a road trauma accident, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:19 pm

Kronos, your anecdotes do not constitute data, nor do they constitute proof of anything.

I'll give you an anecdote too: I rode my bike to work today, I did not have an accident and suffered no head injuries.

And another: I rode my bike to work last Friday and did not have an accident and suffered no head injuries.

I can give you a hell of a lot of these anecdotes, I've been riding for 45 years, gone over the handlebars, hit a car, come off the bike maybe half a dozen times, even once hit a boat! Never hit my head, never needed a helmet. Now, these are just anecdotes and prove nothing, just like your anecdotes.

I see no reason why Australian cyclists, unlike those in all but 2 other countries, have to wear helmets. You want to wear one, fine, unlike MHL advocates I don't want to dictate what others are allowed to do.

I will be at the helmet optional ride on Saturday, I won't be wearing a helmet, some others will wear helmets but they won't be judged for that. It's like cycling should be: not dangerous but healthy.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:20 pm

DavidS wrote:Kronos, your anecdotes do not constitute data..


It's not an annecdote, a lived experience is not an anecdote and I'm not playing into your strawman argument.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:22 pm

^ thanks for speaking from experience. I’ve also had a helmet reduce the severity of an impact, a few times. But, I still don’t think they should be mandatory. I’m more than happy to wear one on my MTB. I’m more than happy to wear one if I’m riding ‘fast’ on the road but you won’t catch me wearing one cruising around he culdesac testing gears/brakes etc after maintenance. You also won’t catch me wearing one while riding to the toilet block ina caravan park or along the beach on summer hols except if I’ve been in the roads to get there. I don’t think a helmet is necessary for cruisy riding. I haven’t crashed doing that ever IIRC, only stupid stuff since I learned to ride properly.

Based on that (including the bit about helmets saving my life) I think they should be mandatory for kids and for adults riding on roads of 60km/h and over. They are an inconvenience that stops people from riding, and we should be encouraging riding for everyone.

And for an anecdote: I saw a couple riding last weekend. They had helmets, they were riding on the footpath, sedately. It was a bit silly that the biggest risk they faced was a fine for riding on he footpath.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 pm

There's nothing inconvenient about it. It's just an ideological position. It's an idelogical position I understand because I spent much of my youth with the types of people who espouse it. My background in cycling started out with BMX track riding, trails and mountain biking. Most of these types of people share your views. A lot of these people are anarchic in their behavior and do it as an FU to law abiding.

See the thing is that's all fun and games until you get to a point where you could have killed yourself, riding in your own neighbourhood, not doing anything particularly stupid. I'll tell you what, if I could give you any insight into anything you would listen to I'd say this, it upends your entire life, I still look in the mirror today and see scars even though most of them aren't there anymore. I have permanent OCD habits about bikes, and I'm telling you now if you had actually lived that experience you wouldn't be speaking the way you are now.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:37 pm

Kronos wrote:It's just an ideological position.


It certainly is.

As is your deliberate misunderstanding of a strawman argument.

Your anecdotes are still anecdotes and are still not data or proof and you clearly know this.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:42 pm

DavidS wrote:
Kronos wrote:It's just an ideological position.


It certainly is.

As is your deliberate misunderstanding of a strawman argument.

Your anecdotes are still anecdotes and are still not data or proof and you clearly know this.

DS


Nah your whole extended monologue about some other countries that aren't Australia is a classical strawman. What I'm saying that is quite clear, if you had any idea at all of what can happen even in your own neighbourhood where you pretend that your safe, where statistically its often close to home that people actually die on the road, you probably wouldn't be thinking like this. If a helmet saves one life like my own that's reason enough to have them mandatory.
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