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  Reply # 1978665 16-Mar-2018 14:26
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  Reply # 1978666 16-Mar-2018 14:28
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networkn:

 

Fred99:

 

Wow - 11 pages of responses in such a short time.

 

On such an important issue too - so important that other countries - many of them arguably far more "nanny state" than NZ  - have looked at the possibility of introducing compulsory helmet laws for everyone - and rejected them, those against sometimes using the impact of NZ laws as an argument.

 

 

 

 

What was the point of this post?

 

 

That other countries have researched compulsory cycle helmet laws and concluded optional is better after taking into account costs and benefits. 

 

It is wise for a small country like new zealand to look at best practice/research in other jurisdictions.   In fact this is pretty normal for countries to share expertise on various matters.    No point in reinventing the wheel....

 

 


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  Reply # 1978668 16-Mar-2018 14:31
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kryptonjohn:

 

oh puhlease... did you read that story? Inflating on-screen balloons????

 

 

 

 

Yes- I was a bit lazy perhaps.

 

There's plenty of other articles on the subject

 

risk compensation and cycle helmets

 

I believe this is probably "a thing" too:

 

Motorists may also alter their behavior toward helmeted cyclists. One study by Walker in England found that 2,500 vehicles passed a helmeted cyclist with measurably less clearance (8.5 cm) than that given to the same cyclist unhelmeted (out of an average total passing distance of 1.2 to 1.3 metres).


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  Reply # 1978671 16-Mar-2018 14:34
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scetoaux:

 

This report has some interesting figures:

 

https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2012/vol-125-no-1349/article-clarke

 

 

 

 

Limited stats like this don't really say very much as there are a lot of other external factors at work. Computer and gaming for recreation started to really come in in the 90's and beyond, so cycling for recreation would have gone down as a result. ALso NZs population has increased significantly, so deaths and injuries should have increased as a result. Not only that but NZs roads have got a lot more busy, so it is a combination of  it being  more danagerious, as well as parents not wanting their kids to ride to on these busy roads. ALso cycle lanes were removed by some councils in the late 90's, and 00's, which is what my local council did, and turned them into merge zones and parking bays.


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  Reply # 1978673 16-Mar-2018 14:35
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Without drawing on anything more authoritative than my own gut instinct (and common sense) I would say injury mitigation would far, far outweigh any helmet behaviour modification. 

 

Crashing is going to be painful whether you have a helmet on or not. I really don't believe the average road cyclist is going to risk the gravel rash and broken collar bone because they have a lid on.

 

 


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  Reply # 1978674 16-Mar-2018 14:35
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Fred99:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

oh puhlease... did you read that story? Inflating on-screen balloons????

 

 

 

 

Yes- I was a bit lazy perhaps.

 

There's plenty of other articles on the subject

 

risk compensation and cycle helmets

 

I believe this is probably "a thing" too:

 

Motorists may also alter their behavior toward helmeted cyclists. One study by Walker in England found that 2,500 vehicles passed a helmeted cyclist with measurably less clearance (8.5 cm) than that given to the same cyclist unhelmeted (out of an average total passing distance of 1.2 to 1.3 metres).

 

 

That seems very strange. I wouldn't even know if a cyclist is wearing a helmet on any given day. I'd assume they were because to not would make them incredibly stupid, but I give them plenty of room regardless as this is how I'd like to be treated if *I* was a cyclist. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1978675 16-Mar-2018 14:36
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As a cyclist, it should be mandatory for me to wear helmets. One goes on my head to protect my head and one goes on my hands to stop me from being allowed anywhere near a keyboard with my whinging commentary.




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  Reply # 1978676 16-Mar-2018 14:37
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Fred99:

 

Another bit of evidence of how or why things might not be so "black and white":

 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/24/bike-helmet-appetite-danger

 

Not very surprising - "risk compensation".

 

 

Man, and someone got paid to write that!!  That's the silliest thing I've read for ages TBH


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  Reply # 1978678 16-Mar-2018 14:40
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Not convinced the reduction in cycling is because of helmets rather than societal change about risk avoidance and perception that roads are more dangerous.

Far more kids seem to be dropped off at our child's school than I remember when I was at school.

Friends who remember walking/busing home 5km as child say it's too "dangerous" now for their children who make similar journey now.

Me, I see brains weekly, they are soft.
My child uses helmet.



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  Reply # 1978679 16-Mar-2018 14:43
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afe66: Not convinced the reduction in cycling is because of helmets rather than societal change about risk avoidance and perception that roads are more dangerous.

Far more kids seem to be dropped off at our child's school than I remember when I was at school.

Friends who remember walking/busing home 5km as child say it's too "dangerous" now for their children who make similar journey now.

Me, I see brains weekly, they are soft.
My child uses helmet.

 

That is exaclty what it is, and before 1994. Links I posted plus others I read say the same. One said Primary and Intermediate cycling dropped a lot, Secondary not that much. Commuting also. One other said bike sales has been up and up since 2001 as health and exercise ad MTB riding got more popular


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  Reply # 1978681 16-Mar-2018 14:47
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Fred99:

 

networkn:

 

Motorists may also alter their behavior toward helmeted cyclists. One study by Walker in England found that 2,500 vehicles passed a helmeted cyclist with measurably less clearance (8.5 cm) than that given to the same cyclist unhelmeted (out of an average total passing distance of 1.2 to 1.3 metres).

 

 

That seems very strange. I wouldn't even know if a cyclist is wearing a helmet on any given day. I'd assume they were because to not would make them incredibly stupid, but I give them plenty of room regardless as this is how I'd like to be treated if *I* was a cyclist. 

 

 

 

 

Closest I can get to a rational explanation is anecdotal.
My wife drives a convertible car.  If I drive that with the hood down, I believe I notice a significant change in behaviour from other road users than if I drive the same car with the hood up, they are much more courteous - often behaving completely unexpectedly.  Stuck in a wrong lane etc, they'll make gaps, won't tailgate,  It's not because I look intimidating (not since I got the face and neck tattoos lasered /s) I believe it's because they identify the car as being something with a fellow human being in it, rather than an obstacle in their way, and/or are more aware of "personal space" instinct.

 

Could be wrong - but perhaps the observation above about clearance distances is from "personal space" consideration, rather than or as well as risk compensation.

 

Helmets are somewhat depersonalising - even if not for covering up hair (or a bald pate), then for automatic assumption that it's a "%^$ing cyclist in the way" - rather than another human being.


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  Reply # 1978683 16-Mar-2018 14:49
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tdgeek:

 

Fred99:

 

Another bit of evidence of how or why things might not be so "black and white":

 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/24/bike-helmet-appetite-danger

 

Not very surprising - "risk compensation".

 

 

Man, and someone got paid to write that!!  That's the silliest thing I've read for ages TBH

 

 

I agree it's a bit of a lab rat fail.  As I posted above, if you google "risk compensation helmet laws" you'll find many more links to articles etc on the subject.


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  Reply # 1978720 16-Mar-2018 15:11
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Fred99:

 

Closest I can get to a rational explanation is anecdotal.
My wife drives a convertible car.  If I drive that with the hood down, I believe I notice a significant change in behaviour from other road users than if I drive the same car with the hood up, they are much more courteous - often behaving completely unexpectedly.  Stuck in a wrong lane etc, they'll make gaps, won't tailgate,  It's not because I look intimidating (not since I got the face and neck tattoos lasered /s) I believe it's because they identify the car as being something with a fellow human being in it, rather than an obstacle in their way, and/or are more aware of "personal space" instinct.

 

Could be wrong - but perhaps the observation above about clearance distances is from "personal space" consideration, rather than or as well as risk compensation.

 

Helmets are somewhat depersonalising - even if not for covering up hair (or a bald pate), then for automatic assumption that it's a "%^$ing cyclist in the way" - rather than another human being.

 

 

Interesting. I think a lot of people do defer to a nice car on the road. At least those that appreciate nice cars or don't want to have to pay the bill for putting a dent in one. If I see your convertible I actually might think, "that's a tax payer, I'll be nice". 

 

I can't say I've noticed any emotional response on seeing a helmet less cyclist other than "jeez look at that clown, he doesn't want to live long".


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  Reply # 1978724 16-Mar-2018 15:16
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kryptonjohn:

 

Without drawing on anything more authoritative than my own gut instinct (and common sense) I would say injury mitigation would far, far outweigh any helmet behaviour modification. 

 

Crashing is going to be painful whether you have a helmet on or not. I really don't believe the average road cyclist is going to risk the gravel rash and broken collar bone because they have a lid on.

 

 

 

 

Risk compensation is a real thing, regardless of your gut feeling.

 

There are even proponents of systems where risk compensation has been "compensated for in reverse" by removing lane and kerb markings, barriers etc, in effort to modify driver and pedestrian/cyclist behaviour.  So called "shared space" systems. It's usually automatically opposed by sight/hearing impaired for whom it can present some real problems.

 

 


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  Reply # 1978729 16-Mar-2018 15:21
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It might be a thing, but that doesn't make it a significant thing in this context. I stand by my gut instinct - there's no way I'm going to risk a broken collarbone and gravel rash because I have a helmet on. 

 

Now I am already risk averse because of my age, experience and responsibilities. But I can remember my youth and can see behaviour in my children and I *know* that they are not risk averse and they wouldn't alter their behaviour one bit whether they have a helmet on or not. Not one bit.

 

Common sense is a powerful tool.

 

 


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