Author Topic: Cycle helmets  (Read 19414 times)

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Cycle helmets
« on: October 18, 2013, 04:00:15 PM »
In my city, Christchurch, Cyclists must wear a helmet when cycling. If they don't they get fined $55

This law was put in place about 10 years ago, the result of an emotional campaign by a mother whose son had an accident on his bike and has a severe brain injury.

Since this law was enacted the number of cyclists have halved and there has been no significant reduction in brain injuries of cyclists. Many parents will not let their children cycle because they now perceive it as too dangerous and high school students buy non legal cars and parents support them because they perceive it to be safer than cycling.  There have been many more effects.

The Police decided to have a blitz and fined 100 cyclists who were not wearing a helmet or wearing one incorrectly.

The following link is what happened when a certain person tried to logically argue that car drivers should wear helmets, and that it should be the law

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/transport/9284768/Cyclists-fined-for-not-wearing-helmets

Interested in your thoughts

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 04:09:25 PM »
Quote from: NZ news
The aim of Operation Cyclewayz was to reduce the number of cyclists involved in crashes.

Not really sure how ticketing helmet non-use fits this statement...

okashira

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 04:42:25 PM »
Compulsory helmets are anti-cycling; pro-carclown.

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 05:46:41 PM »
Quote from: NZ news
The aim of Operation Cyclewayz was to reduce the number of cyclists involved in crashes.

Not really sure how ticketing helmet non-use fits this statement...

Pretty clear.  Fewer People Cycling = Fewer people in cycling accidents.

Still not as asinine as the $500/90 days in jail fine for not wearing a helmet in Berkeley, MO

TygerTung

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2013, 12:24:53 AM »
I live in Christchurch also. Man there are some hilarious comments on there if you care to read. Car helmets should be made mandatory.

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
  • Location: NZ
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 02:14:39 AM »
I've been fined for riding without a helmet. I was on the foot/bike path at Hagley Park on my BMX.

Its the law, I suck it up. If a political party was advocating changing the law, I'd support them (pending no insane policies).


Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 03:56:22 AM »
gooki i can't believe you were fined in Hagley Park. They really must have thought you would bike into a tree. 

Great to see more Christchurch people who are mustachians.

Interesting points made here, I think the police were really clutching at straws with their reasoning.

I also think the argument re car drivers needing helmets has still got legs.

Also the fact that its safety week presents another opening....... We'll see if it works.

There are several other ways we could keep the momentum going. One is to start a phrase, writing to the media,  "should make a helmet law, it's a no brainer" for anything suitable in the news. So it becomes a catch phrase through repitition.

The other is to keep the story going and whenever there is an article about bubblewraping children, we can point this one out.

My personal belief is that when this level of hatred toward cyclists, even if it is a small group, is around something awful is going to happen. So at this stage its about being thought provoking and humorous.

Any further comments much appreciated.  Will keep you updated.
 

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2013, 08:29:02 AM »
gooki i can't believe you were fined in Hagley Park. They really must have thought you would bike into a tree. 

Great to see more Christchurch people who are mustachians.

Interesting points made here, I think the police were really clutching at straws with their reasoning.

I also think the argument re car drivers needing helmets has still got legs.

Also the fact that its safety week presents another opening....... We'll see if it works.

There are several other ways we could keep the momentum going. One is to start a phrase, writing to the media,  "should make a helmet law, it's a no brainer" for anything suitable in the news. So it becomes a catch phrase through repitition.

The other is to keep the story going and whenever there is an article about bubblewraping children, we can point this one out.

My personal belief is that when this level of hatred toward cyclists, even if it is a small group, is around something awful is going to happen. So at this stage its about being thought provoking and humorous.

Any further comments much appreciated.  Will keep you updated.

I've contacted the local media asking if they'd like to report on the $500/90 day imprisonment, and I have offered to forward emails from councilmen where the councilmen have told me they think it's a reasonable punishment.  Luckily the area isn't very politically savvy, so most of the council-members were elected with <100 votes (shocking!).  So, it should be pretty easy to vote the ignorance out of office.

destron

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 377
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Seattle
    • Mustachian Financial Calculators
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2013, 08:50:58 AM »
Los Angeles requires a helmet for minors only which seems like a sane compromise to me.

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 02:13:13 PM »
MPBaker. 

You go for it!

unfortunately here we have a country wide law, and I believe we would need to get an exemption for our city.  We have a perception problem where the majority believe that cycling is dangerous and are concerned that they will be responsible for hitting someone one day.

The first stage to break through it is to enter their consciousness through repetitive short messages, wherever opportunities arise. I also found the forum to be a useful piece of perception/attitude  research and hope others can use it.

destron, the negative impact of requiring minors to wear a helmet is it increases the perception that cycling is dangerous.  Very few children here cycle to school since the helmet law was passed, and safety education people are having trouble persuading parents to let their children take part. Many children now do not have a bike and do not know how to ride one.  Making a law that requires anyone to wear a helmet has negative impacts. 

Perhaps more brain injuries would be avoided if children in cars wore helmets? :)






Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 02:42:37 PM »
So mandatory helmets discourage people from cycling.  That's a bad thing.  That said, we mustachians already know the value of cycling, right?  So mandatory helmets are not going to discourage us, right?  Because that would be face-punchable.

Somewhere recently I was reading something written by someone who'd had a bad bike accident and was in the rehab place getting rehab.  The rehab person said, "You must have been one of our patients who was wearing a helmet."  "Yes, why do you say so?"  "Because you can talk."


Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2013, 03:02:12 PM »
Argyle

Less cyclists makes cycling less safe for mustachians as motorists aren't expecting them.  I am a mustachian who feels vulnerable cycling in a city with few cyclists. Here the motorist rules, the cyclist is the problem to the motorist as you don't expect to see them. In the forum someone has written this sort of accident has resulted in two deaths this year, and it's likely they would have been wearing a helmet, otherwise it would have been widely reported.

This sort of story is why people support the helmets.  As written in the forum my brother rode head first into a tree 20 years ago no helmet, no damage, we need facts.  The reason why he have compulsory helmets in this country is because a womans son has a brain injury form a cycling accident and she did the what if.......

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of head injury in this country, nobody asks what if the motorist was wearing a helmet.

The number of cyclists have halved here since the law started , the number of cyclist injuries has increased proportionately.

Wear a helmet if you choose, the problem is making it a law.


okashira

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2013, 03:07:04 PM »
Argyle

Less cyclists makes cycling less safe for mustachians as motorists aren't expecting them.  I am a mustachian who feels vulnerable cycling in a city with few cyclists. Here the motorist rules, the cyclist is the problem to the motorist as you don't expect to see them. In the forum someone has written this sort of accident has resulted in two deaths this year, and it's likely they would have been wearing a helmet, otherwise it would have been widely reported.

This sort of story is why people support the helmets.  As written in the forum my brother rode head first into a tree 20 years ago no helmet, no damage, we need facts.  The reason why he have compulsory helmets in this country is because a womans son has a brain injury form a cycling accident and she did the what if.......

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of head injury in this country, nobody asks what if the motorist was wearing a helmet.

The number of cyclists have halved here since the law started , the number of cyclist injuries has increased proportionately.

Wear a helmet if you choose, the problem is making it a law.

Exactly right. While a mustachian person should not be biking discouraged by compulsory helmets, it is in our best interest to have other bikers, even non mustachian ones to not be discouraged.

I am certainly discouraged by the extreme lack of biking in my area; on roads where they there are not only no bike lanes nor shoulders, but an overabundance of large suv's and trucks driven by non caring, if not biking-hostile uninsured thugs.

Here, I believe we have a biking helmet law, however recently it's no longer required to wear a helmet on a motorcycle. How cute.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 03:09:23 PM by okashira »

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2013, 07:43:13 PM »
Okashira

Thats interesting

I wonder if the reasons they used to remove the helmet requirements for motorcycles can be used here for cycles

Do you have any link at all you can post to get me started on my search for their reasons for removing the helmet requirement for motorcycles?.

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2013, 09:27:07 PM »

And here's the New Zealand Medical Councils analysis of the effect of the cycling helmet law

http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/125-1349/5046/

Conclusion:

This evaluation of NZ’s bicycle helmet law finds it has failed in aspects of promoting cycling, safety, health, accident compensation, environmental issues and civil liberties. It is estimated to cost about 53 lives per year in premature deaths and result in thousands of fines plus legal aspects of discrimination in accident compensation cases. Road safety and cyclist’s safety should be improved by coherent policies, which support health, the environment, and without the legal requirement to wear a helmet.

Have found this regarding a bill aimed at removing motorcycle helmet requirements.  It fell over because of the old what if emotional non factual ... politicians being persuaded by families of brain injured motorcyclists. what if.....

http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2013/05/10/motorcycle-helmet-bill-crashes-in-committee

Again all of these arguments can justify why ALL motorists should wear helmets.  but of course its emotional, not holistic as above report.




jamface10

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Age: 29
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2013, 09:34:47 PM »
After seeing a girls jaw nearly ripped off in a scooter crash I am quite happy to wear my motorcycle helmet!

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2013, 11:23:19 PM »
Wearing a helmet is fine with me, my brother suffered a severe head injury in a motorcycle accident wearing a helmet. I don't know what would have happened if he didn't.  I don't know of any negative impacts from wearing a motorcycle accident.  But I can't say it should be the law because I don't all know the facts.  He's a cyclist now and wears a helmet but disagrees with the cycling helmet law.

I can say that making wearing  a helmet the law for cycling has negative impacts not just for cyclists.

I used to speak to a neighborhood girl of approximately 12 years old who used to skateboard.  one day a policeman stopped and asked her why she wasn't wearing a helmet, i never saw her skateboard again. it wasn't the law, but I believe he was picking up on the following publicity:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8785544/Helmet-call-for-scooter-users

So skateboarding, scootering reduced by 50%, soon they'll all be sitting in front of the Tv because its so much safer. bubblewrap kids.

okashira

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2013, 11:33:29 PM »
Okashira

Thats interesting

I wonder if the reasons they used to remove the helmet requirements for motorcycles can be used here for cycles

Do you have any link at all you can post to get me started on my search for their reasons for removing the helmet requirement for motorcycles?.
http://bikersrights.com/states/texas/texas.html

All I got for now

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2013, 12:50:09 AM »
Thanks for this Okashira

It sounds like discrimination particularly regarding insurance is the reason.

"These 21-year-old exemption/modifications constitute a dangerous and disturbing trend of discrimination against our own kind and believe bikers should start thinking about this. There also have a real problem with the acceptance of special provisions for insurance, special fees and/or any other legislation that requires bikers to apologize for themselves."


Which is interesting when you compare the New Zealand medical council re cycle helmets who also mention discrimination: (in part)

It is estimated to cost about 53 lives per year in premature deaths and result in thousands of fines plus legal aspects of discrimination in accident compensation cases.

I'm involved in quite major insurance claims at the moment and I can see how adding a complication such as this can complicate matters.  Who would have thought.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16551
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2013, 07:23:39 AM »
That really sucks that the helmet law has had this effect on cycling.  Around here we have a (rarely enforced) law that all bicycles must have a bell or you risk a 100+ dollar fine. . .  Despite the fact that no car is going to hear my bell better than me bellowing at the top of my lungs.  I strongly believe that you should wear a helmet while cycling, but this law seems to be causing some pretty huge down sides.  The riding at night with no lights thing though?  That's frigging suicide on a bike.  I'm happy that those people were ticketed.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 07:26:10 AM by GuitarStv »

TygerTung

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2013, 11:26:30 AM »
Yeah it's funny though eh, because you always see these jokers, dressed all in black, black beanie, black bike, riding at night and They never seem to get run over!.

I think that probably it isn't actually as dangerous as you think! Of course I use lights, but I don't go in for high viz anymore as I think it gives cycling a bad image, like it's dangerous or something, which it certainly isn't. I feel much safer on my bicycle than I do in a car.

jpo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 518
  • Age: 33
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2013, 12:47:54 PM »
That really sucks that the helmet law has had this effect on cycling.  Around here we have a (rarely enforced) law that all bicycles must have a bell or you risk a 100+ dollar fine. . .  Despite the fact that no car is going to hear my bell better than me bellowing at the top of my lungs.
Actually you can get a car horn equivalent for your bike now: http://www.loudbicycle.com/

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16551
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2013, 02:00:23 PM »
I do a lot of cycling on the road in the winter (especially in the snow) during early morning/at night after dark. There's a big difference in how cars treat me when I'm out somewhere without my day-glo bike jacket and have to get home later.  During day time bright stuff doesn't really do too much from what I can tell.

Actually you can get a car horn equivalent for your bike now: http://www.loudbicycle.com/


Here's my typical thought process when something unexpected happens that would require use of a horn:
TURN? BRAKE? YELL?  - pretty much all at once.

I'd never use a horn in an emergency, it's not one of the little hardwired maybe-gonna-save-my-life things that runs through my mind, and I can't spare a hand that's engaged in steering/braking.  For non-essential situations I find that a combination of eye contact, hand signals, and chatting with the drivers works fine.


EDIT . . . although, I just read the thumb button activated part.  That might be useful!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 02:02:16 PM by GuitarStv »

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2013, 02:30:38 PM »

Gooki, someone seems to have heard about your experience in Hagley Park :)

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/city-centre/9303594/Beautifoal-makes-city-streets-home

My father had a very loud horn on his bike, I can remember him blasting it when a car driver opened his door on me and I had to swerve on the road. It didn't help.

But I think that there may be times when a horn would increase the motorists and pedestrians  awaremess of the  cyclists presence on the road and the loudest one available would be handy,  I might choose to buy one. I notice pedestrians who are listening to ipods or talking don't hear a bell and complain when you have to get close asking why you didn't ring it when you did, they didn't hear it.

I choose to wear my hi visibility vest in some areas, other rides I just wear bright clothing.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16551
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2013, 07:04:13 AM »
Yeah it's funny though eh, because you always see these jokers, dressed all in black, black beanie, black bike, riding at night and They never seem to get run over!.

I think that probably it isn't actually as dangerous as you think!


http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/cyclist-suffers-serious-head-injuries-after-being-struck-1.1507520

A 60 year old guy biking in the bike lane was struck by a vehicle and suffered life threatening injuries last night.  Happened just a couple blocks from where I live, I heard all the sirens when I was walking the dog.  Biking 7:30 at night, no lights, no helmet.

Sometimes they do get run over.  :(
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 07:07:17 AM by GuitarStv »

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2013, 07:49:55 AM »
Yeah it's funny though eh, because you always see these jokers, dressed all in black, black beanie, black bike, riding at night and They never seem to get run over!.

I think that probably it isn't actually as dangerous as you think!


http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/cyclist-suffers-serious-head-injuries-after-being-struck-1.1507520

A 60 year old guy biking in the bike lane was struck by a vehicle and suffered life threatening injuries last night.  Happened just a couple blocks from where I live, I heard all the sirens when I was walking the dog.  Biking 7:30 at night, no lights, no helmet.

Sometimes they do get run over.  :(

Too bad he didn't have a helmet on.  I bet if he was wearing a helmet the vehicle wouldn't have hit him. 
The real problem is he didn't have lights.

If we're sharing accident stories ... I was visiting my brother out near San Francisco recently, and we went up to the Santa Cruz mountains.  Coming down, there were a few emergency vehicles slowing traffic - A cyclist had skidded out and hit a tree on a downhill.  I'm guessing she was probably going 40+ mph.

TygerTung

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2013, 09:03:34 AM »
I'm not saying it's a good idea or anything, I'm just saying that they don't often seem to get run over.
 I think there was only 8 people killed on bicycles last year, and probably the majority of people killed weren't those jokers riding at night with no lights.

NinetyFour

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7071
  • Location: Southwestern US
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2013, 09:10:04 AM »
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/how-safe-is-cycling-its-hard-to-say/?ref=health&_r=0

I haven't yet read this article, but I did a search for the word "helmet" and it came up empty.  Interesting.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16551
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2013, 09:40:42 AM »
Too bad he didn't have a helmet on.  I bet if he was wearing a helmet the vehicle wouldn't have hit him. 
The real problem is he didn't have lights.

It does suck that he didn't have a helmet on.  Might have prevented the life threatening head injuries he sustained.  I don't think the accident was his fault at all of course, he was cycling in the cycling lane and was struck from behind.  I just do everything in my power to make myself more visible in the hopes of avoiding a similar accident.  I biked that same road two nights previously, in pouring rain and after dark.

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2013, 10:03:59 AM »
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4031829/Aarons-tragedy-spurred-Helmet-Ladys-crusade

Be careful of the what ifs and the creation of laws which do not take into account the overall consequences.

The enclosed article  is about a womans crusade which provided the momentum for cycle laws in New Zealand.

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2013, 10:11:05 AM »
There is no evidence that having a helmet and lights would have reduced the mans injuries, just as there is no proof that wearing a helmet would have reduced the helmet ladies sons injuries.  Yet the emotive response to these messages can result in negative consequences for the minority which in turn may result in negative consequences for all

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2013, 10:27:03 AM »
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6395656/Helmet-law-halves-cyclist-numbers

Heres the story about the reduction in cycling and the helmet lady

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16551
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2013, 11:06:11 AM »
There is no evidence that having a helmet and lights would have reduced the mans injuries, just as there is no proof that wearing a helmet would have reduced the helmet ladies sons injuries. 

Has anyone here argued otherwise?


galaxie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2013, 01:49:06 PM »
Wearing a helmet has reduced my personal injuries (in a minor bike crash), and my husband's injuries (in a less minor crash).  I'm on board even if they only sometimes help. 

Also I think this helmet is charming with the sea green stripe, and I covet it: http://bernunlimited.com/shop/bike/berkeley.html

cbgg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 192
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2013, 05:21:40 PM »
You know what?  I think this is a long term change that needs to happen.

My province made the change to mandatory helmets a few decades ago.  At first people were really upset about it since helmets are perceived as dorky.  It probably did contribute to a decrease in bike riding.  However, after a decade or so, it just became normal and I don't think it really bothers anyone anymore.  I think that a lot of the "dorky" stigma is now gone and due to a combo of the healthy lifestyle focus and the wonderful and ever improving bike infrastructure in my city, biking is thriving. 

I think it's a necessary change that governments need to make.  It's well known that people will often not make the best choices when it involves imagining that they will get hurt (everyone thinks they are the exception) and I cannot believe that over the long term this does not have an impact on brain injuries and fatalities.  It more people can feel like they are both cool and safe(er) when riding their bikes, we are likely to promote cycling in the long term.

I don't know the actual statistics, but I do know the general "feel" of what's happened, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish. 

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2013, 07:23:58 PM »
The safest countries in the world to bike, Denmark and the Netherlands, are places where tons of people ride bikes and very few people wear helmets.

Helmets also make bikeshare programs essentially unworkable.

There isn't any conclusive evidence that mandatory bike helmets make cycling safer, especially in the case of utility cycling as opposed to speedy recreational cycling. But there is plenty of evidence they make it less popular.

Wikipedia has a good summary:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet#Effectiveness

People's dogmatic belief that "helmet=safe cycling" leads to some silly outcomes, like people wearing helmets riding while fixies on the street without brakes.

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2013, 08:09:25 PM »
You know what?  I think this is a long term change that needs to happen.

My province made the change to mandatory helmets a few decades ago.  At first people were really upset about it since helmets are perceived as dorky.  It probably did contribute to a decrease in bike riding.  However, after a decade or so, it just became normal and I don't think it really bothers anyone anymore.  I think that a lot of the "dorky" stigma is now gone and due to a combo of the healthy lifestyle focus and the wonderful and ever improving bike infrastructure in my city, biking is thriving. 

I think it's a necessary change that governments need to make.  It's well known that people will often not make the best choices when it involves imagining that they will get hurt (everyone thinks they are the exception) and I cannot believe that over the long term this does not have an impact on brain injuries and fatalities.  It more people can feel like they are both cool and safe(er) when riding their bikes, we are likely to promote cycling in the long term.

I don't know the actual statistics, but I do know the general "feel" of what's happened, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish.

Thank you kind sir.  You have singlehandedly ignored all the facts and devolved this thread all the way back to day one.

As we've all been discussing, helmets haven't been proven to actually protect shit.  I doubt anyone here thinks they're dorky.  However, I don't wear it when I don't want my hair all messy when I'm going out or going to work, etc.  There are plenty of legitimate reasons to not want to wear a helmet, and the safety benefits are minimal.

okashira

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2013, 08:37:21 PM »
You know what?  I think this is a long term change that needs to happen.

My province made the change to mandatory helmets a few decades ago.  At first people were really upset about it since helmets are perceived as dorky.  It probably did contribute to a decrease in bike riding.  However, after a decade or so, it just became normal and I don't think it really bothers anyone anymore.  I think that a lot of the "dorky" stigma is now gone and due to a combo of the healthy lifestyle focus and the wonderful and ever improving bike infrastructure in my city, biking is thriving. 

I think it's a necessary change that governments need to make.  It's well known that people will often not make the best choices when it involves imagining that they will get hurt (everyone thinks they are the exception) and I cannot believe that over the long term this does not have an impact on brain injuries and fatalities.  It more people can feel like they are both cool and safe(er) when riding their bikes, we are likely to promote cycling in the long term.

I don't know the actual statistics, but I do know the general "feel" of what's happened, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish.

You go ahead and bike the way you want, and I'll go ahead and bike the way I want to.
 
In other words,
Stay out of my life, MOD EDIT: personal attack removed (please refer to rules 1,2, and 4).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 03:53:17 PM by Russ »

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2013, 09:21:26 PM »
Some people clearly get very riled up about mandatory helmet laws.  I remember much of the same vitriol when seatbelts were made mandatory.  It interferes with our civil liberties, we should decide how much risk to take ourselves.  It would be optimum if we could discuss it without insulting each other, but that rarely happens also.

Well, I'm with you, cbgg.  I think wearing helmets is a good thing and protective, and I think everyone would be safer wearing them.  I'd have to look at the studies carefully to see why mandatory laws in place don't cut down on brain injuries.  It seems obvious to me that in an accident where you hit your head, it will be safer with a helmet on.  If not, do we need to design helmets differently?  Again, I'd have to look at the studies.  But if there's a way to prevent some brain injuries, I'm for it.

It sounds as if, on these boards, people are very much on the preserve-civil-liberties side of the debate.  I imagine whatever the truth is will come out in time.

iamlindoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
    • The Earth Awaits
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2013, 10:46:00 PM »
You know what?  I think this is a long term change that needs to happen.

My province made the change to mandatory helmets a few decades ago.  At first people were really upset about it since helmets are perceived as dorky.  It probably did contribute to a decrease in bike riding.  However, after a decade or so, it just became normal and I don't think it really bothers anyone anymore.  I think that a lot of the "dorky" stigma is now gone and due to a combo of the healthy lifestyle focus and the wonderful and ever improving bike infrastructure in my city, biking is thriving. 

I think it's a necessary change that governments need to make.  It's well known that people will often not make the best choices when it involves imagining that they will get hurt (everyone thinks they are the exception) and I cannot believe that over the long term this does not have an impact on brain injuries and fatalities.  It more people can feel like they are both cool and safe(er) when riding their bikes, we are likely to promote cycling in the long term.

I don't know the actual statistics, but I do know the general "feel" of what's happened, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish.

You go ahead and bike the way you want, and I'll go ahead and bike the way I want to.
 
In other words,
Stay out of my life, asshole.

This seems completely uncalled for.  cbgg wrote a thoughtful and perfectly civilized post, and you felt like it was OK to reply with namecalling just because you disagree.  Pretty uncool.

cbgg, I happen to agree as well.  I ride hundreds of miles a week in a cyclist-friendly and helmet-mandatory community and have seen more crashes where a helmet meant the difference between serious cranial injury and walking away than I care to admit.  Personally, I would never argue that helmets prevent crashes/accidents, and I'm not sure where that notion came from in this thread.  I *would* strenuously argue that when crashes occur, a helmet drastically increases the survivability of the incident where the head strikes another object (to the tune of 63-88%).

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001855/abstract

And another thorough refutation of most common anti-helmet myths/arguments, including virtually every one in this thread:

http://www.bhsi.org/negativs.htm

All of the above said, mature adults can disagree without resorting to namecalling.  I don't have to agree with you and you don't have to agree with me-- but at least keep it civil.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 11:07:35 PM by iamlindoro »

Bigote

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 277
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2013, 04:42:46 AM »
Here (NYC) it's not the law, but it is part of the culture.   Virtually every cyclist you see has a helmet.   When I first got my bike years ago, I got a helmet even though I had never used one as a kid.   

I'm not sure when the culture changed on that point. But it changed completely.  I file it under 'no big deal'. 

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2013, 11:42:46 AM »
I'm sorry that someone has verbally abused a person on this thread.

It is a fallacy to believe you can support your argument using this abuse, in reality it means the argument has no logical reason.

To those who support the law of cycle helmets this information might be of interest.

Cycling trips have reduced by over 50 per cent which means for those cyclists that remain there is increased risk of a crash as motorists do not expect to see a cyclist.
The New Zealand Medical Council has reviewed the impact of the cycle helmet law and found it does more harm than good.

I'm interested in the reasoning supporting such a law taking into account these facts.

I have no issue with anyone wearing a helmet, just cannot justify the law.

@iamlindoro i would argue that people are easily swayed by moral beliefs formed by emotional fears which can override logical reasoning.

A persons fear of having or causing a head injury is overriding the evidence regarding this law.



Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2013, 12:04:34 PM »
And thanks iamadoro for the posts re helmets.

Aside from the law comment above.

There was a piece of research which showed that motorists drive closer to cyclists wearing a helmet this may have been due to the motorists perception that the cyclist is less like to be hurt if they hit them.

I have been involved in transport studying why people choose different modes.

A hemet is a symbol which reminds those who carry or wear it of their vulnerability and  peer group differentiation.

For the majority of cyclists this negatively impacts  their perception of cycling as a mode of transport.

It's interesting because overall wearing a helmet increases the motorists perception that the cyclist is more robust yet increases awareness by the cyclist of being unsafe.

ozzage

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2013, 01:33:39 PM »
The comments in here about motorcycle helmets are not really relevant to this discussion. There is a clear, well evidenced health benefit to using them. Motorcycle helmets are COMPLETELY different from bicycle helmets, which are useless in anything above a low speed impact (by design!!)

A bicycle helmet will certainly help you if you fall off at low speed and hit your head on the ground (*cough* coming home from pub...). It will make very little difference if you get hit by a car because it's simply not designed to absorb that type of impact. What it MAY do is help reduce scrapes and superficial skin damage but a hat can often do that too :) No amount of anecdotal evidence ("I once knew a guy...." or "My helmet saved my life...") will outweigh the real evidence. The simple fact is that you have NO IDEA what would have happened if the same accident happened and you had made a different choice about helmet use.

The problem with this is mostly cultural. People are raised to think that it's "essential" without ever bothering about the facts. If we were serious about reducing head injuries we would mandate motorcycle style helmets for car drivers/passengers. That would have a much, much greater impact on injuries than any bicycle helmets will ever do. But nobody would accept it, because they haven't been raised to think that it's normal. Thankfully!

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2013, 01:40:14 PM »
Some people clearly get very riled up about mandatory helmet laws.  I remember much of the same vitriol when seatbelts were made mandatory.  It interferes with our civil liberties, we should decide how much risk to take ourselves.  It would be optimum if we could discuss it without insulting each other, but that rarely happens also.

Well, I'm with you, cbgg.  I think wearing helmets is a good thing and protective, and I think everyone would be safer wearing them.  I'd have to look at the studies carefully to see why mandatory laws in place don't cut down on brain injuries.  It seems obvious to me that in an accident where you hit your head, it will be safer with a helmet on.  If not, do we need to design helmets differently?  Again, I'd have to look at the studies.  But if there's a way to prevent some brain injuries, I'm for it.

It sounds as if, on these boards, people are very much on the preserve-civil-liberties side of the debate.  I imagine whatever the truth is will come out in time.

Ah, another not-so-kind sir posting ... Have you not ready any of the posts in the thread?  I even had a similar post to this one yesterday refuting a MOD EDIT: personal attack removed (please refer to rules 1,2, and 4), similar to yourself.
Seat-belts have been shown to save lives.  Bicycle Helmets have NOT shown that - in fact bicycle helmet laws increase risk of death, if anything!

And yes, I'm insulting you by calling you names.  Part of the reason is you have severely insulted me by ignoring every post on this thread that doesn't fit your views.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 12:38:33 PM by Russ »

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2013, 01:47:18 PM »
Please let's not get personal and try and stick to rationality or logical reasoning.  Sometimes we try to help people by opening their eyes when in reality their mind is like a brick wall impervious to ideas outside their perceived wisdom. is it not better to put your ideas so those who are open will learn?

I'm learning from some very interesting points here.

Have just written this on another forum, it sums up what I have learnt from analysing the reactions to this and one other topic.

Economists and scientists traditionally assume rationality to explain human actions, philosophers analyse logical reasoning.
But in reality our future will be determined by actions decided by the sum total of societies beliefs.

Dezrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2013, 02:23:06 PM »
Personally, I am always going to choose helmets for me and my family (and I know everyone here would support that choice), but I do appreciate the various issues people are bringing up about mandatory laws.

That being said, I have a funny story that’s related only in the vaguest sense of faulty security logic.  Perhaps this can lighten the mood.

For a period of about 2 years I worked for a company that was 1hr 15mins commute one-way.  I telecommuted 3 days a week and drove in the other 2.  During this time, I was regularly forgetting my cell phone back at the house.  This was not a big deal because there was never any reason anyone would ever need to contact me that couldn’t wait until that evening and in a real emergency they could always call my office.

Listening to my mom though you would have thought I was playing chicken with oncoming traffic. 

Her: “You can’t forget your cell phone; that’s a safety hazard.  You drive on a lot of country roads in the dark.  What if you get in a car accident?”

Me: “Well if that happens I’d probably borrow the other guy’s cell phone.  Cell phones are generally ubiquitous these days.”

Her: “Well what if he doesn’t have a phone or what if you’re in a single car accident?”

Me: “In that case I’d probably try to flag down another driver or even just walk to a nearby house.  It may be a country road, but I pass a lot of traffic going both ways in my commute.”

Her: “But what if you’re injured and can’t get to the road?”

Me: “The roads are fairly well maintained, so any accident that bad would be visible from the road.  I’m pretty sure someone would stop and help fairly quickly.”

Her: “Well what if your car rolls down a hill out of sight of the road?”

Me: “There is literally no place along my route where that might happen.  Furthermore, assuming I’m still injured so badly that I can’t even crawl to road it seems unlikely that a cell phone would be able to save at that point.”

Her: “Well I think it’s just irresponsible.”

Me: “You know people have been driving in big cars at high speeds for generations now and cell phones have only been around for maybe 10 years.  It wasn’t cell phones that managed to keep all those drivers safe.  Can’t we just agree that this has more do with you being annoyed that I don’t answer your calls right away than it does with keeping me safe?”

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #47 on: October 23, 2013, 02:34:26 PM »
Thank you Dezrah, your light hearted comment speaks volumes. much appreciated and in my opinion very relevant.

Systematic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2013, 03:10:50 PM »
re Dezrahs' post
.
I have the same type of conversations as I do normally not carry a cellphone.

Personally I perceive carrying a cell phone causes more harm than good.

I only carry one when I am not able to get home quickly in a natural disaster. This is my threshold.

I am currently waiting on a very important phone call from a very important person which will help determine the future of my largest financial asset.

I have not given my cell phone number because if I am out I will not be able to have focus on the conversation.  However some people can't believe that i haven't given him my cell phone number.

I wonder if as the majority in some forums appear to be using the justification that law should be based on majority moral belief:

Why people aren't pushing for a law requiring everyone to carry a cell phone as an essential safety item, perhaps it will happen.




MilwaukeeStubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 105
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Milwaukee WI
Re: Cycle helmets
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2013, 03:44:32 PM »
A bicycle helmet will certainly help you if you fall off at low speed and hit your head on the ground (*cough* coming home from pub...).

Exactly.  And this speaks to the times I wear one.  I have used helmets before (my way of saying there's a flat spot where my head crushed it against the pavement) so that has made me tend to wearing one more than I might otherwise but I think I've found a good balance.  I always wear a helmet when I'm on a bike with a high center of balance (road or racing bike) or when I plan to ride fast or far.   I generally wear a helmet when running around town on my hybrid, but I don't worry if I don't have it.  I virtually never wear a helmet when I'm on a heavy cruiser.  For me this is usually the bike share bikes popping up in large cities.  The bikes are heavy and hard to tip, and not able to move quickly at all.  There it just doesn't seem worth the effort.

As far as laws go I lump it in with seatbelt laws.  I don't think you can argue one is a personal liberties issue without saying the other is as well.