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42 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1980470 20-Mar-2018 12:48
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The current cycling environment - of which mandatory helmet laws part of - reduce cycling participation to only athletic or risk-taking individuals. This means primarily young or middle-age males. In only one generation we have gone from most children cycling to school to almost none cycling to school.

 

Limiting cycling choices to the rest of society decreases overall health outcomes, increases congestion, and costs.

 

Cycling helmets do not (overall) make cycling safer - for various non-intuitive reasons that others have brought up in this thread. Hence few other countries have mandatory laws.

 

However on an individual level, it is apparent that a helmet may limit the severity of head trauma in a cycling accident. Which is the crux of the pro-law argument.

 

So this leads to the argument from me that - given we have 400 deaths per year on our roads - we should reduce all speed limits by 20%.

 

At an individual level in any single road accident, it is apparent that the lower speed limits will reduce the severity of injury to the individuals involved.

 

It is the same argument.


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  Reply # 1980486 20-Mar-2018 13:39
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Again, there is no evidence what so ever that helmets are in anyway related to a reduction in cycling. Other factors such as more car traffic, breathing in fumes, safety, lifestyle, computers, cheaper and more accessible cars, will have more of an impact on who is cycling or not. Personally I don't cycle on the roads solely because of traffic these days and I don't want to breath in the fumes. Also if I was to cycle to work, I don't want to get to work tired and sweaty, before the day has even begun.

 

The number of deaths on the road these days is still very low, especially considering our increase in population. The main problem is our roads are generally poor quality. This is proven by the fact that the speed limit has been increased to 110 I believe, on some new roads.
Reducing the speed limits may help, but then again, many crashes happen due to speeding and breaking the law, or at intersections, so reducing speed don't necessarily target the problem.


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  Reply # 1980487 20-Mar-2018 13:41
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MikeAqua:

 

Pedalling around vineyards raises another issue - drink cycling.  I see in Marlborough on weekends.  People cycling (badly) on hired bikes evidently intoxicated.

 

 

 

 

I thought it was illegal to ride or drive while under the influence? Or do police not bother with cyclists? Could still cause a serious accident. I believe cyclists are still required to abide by all the relevant road rules.


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  Reply # 1980549 20-Mar-2018 15:12
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Alcohol is also cancer causing which amused me when I saw an winery cycling event raising funds for the Cancer Society


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  Reply # 1980555 20-Mar-2018 15:27
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tdgeek:

 

Geektastic:
MikeB4:

 

Rikkitic:

 

 

 

As long as we are so busy passing laws to protect people from themselves, when are junk food palaces going to be banned? There is plenty of solid scientific evidence that hamburger heavens clog arteries and cause diabetes. Not if such food is consumed in moderation, of course, but people cannot be counted on to do things in moderation so they must be protected from themselves. Of course alcohol should also be the first to go. Smoking while driving and talking to a passenger must certainly be prohibited, as these are distractions. Jogging can only be permitted after a full medical examination, as this is known to have caused heart attacks in the unfit. Restaurants must carry warnings against consuming large pieces of meat due to the danger of choking. No motorcycles without training wheels and no swimming without a life vest. I could go on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking with my son, even on grass a bike helmet can lessen the impact on the brain. Coming off a bike at a low speed of say 10k and striking an egg sized stone has a likely hood of causing brain damage. 

 

 

 

He and I discussed this over the weekend and he believes the "nitwits" promoting the abolishing of the law need to spend some time with patients in rehab units to see what it is really like to have disabilities. I personally don't get the problem, the helmets are lightweight, not expensive, easy to wear and can prevent very serious injury and guess what being disabled is not fun at all, riding bikes safely is.

 

 

 

I believe this whole anti helmet thing is a pile of petulance. 

 



It seems to me that the airbag helmet I referred to solves the problem.

No sweaty helmet unless you crash, then it springs into action.

If it isn't legal here, it jolly well should be.

 

Whats the cost? $200? $350? Maybe a motorcycle helmet, and knee and elbow pads and a speed restriction of 5kph might be cheaper!

 

 

 

 

The cost is irrelevant. It's a matter of personal choice.

 

If you wish to cycle without an intrusive helmet, you'll pay the cost. Otherwise, there are plenty of cheaper options.

 

 

 

It's EUR300 I think. That's about $500.






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  Reply # 1980574 20-Mar-2018 16:21
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mattwnz:

 

Again, there is no evidence what so ever that helmets are in anyway related to a reduction in cycling. Other factors such as more car traffic, breathing in fumes, safety, lifestyle, computers, cheaper and more accessible cars, will have more of an impact on who is cycling or not. Personally I don't cycle on the roads solely because of traffic these days and I don't want to breath in the fumes. Also if I was to cycle to work, I don't want to get to work tired and sweaty, before the day has even begun.

 

The number of deaths on the road these days is still very low, especially considering our increase in population. The main problem is our roads are generally poor quality. This is proven by the fact that the speed limit has been increased to 110 I believe, on some new roads.
Reducing the speed limits may help, but then again, many crashes happen due to speeding and breaking the law, or at intersections, so reducing speed don't necessarily target the problem.

 

 

Agreed the mandatory helmet law is only one factor to impediments to cycling. But the fact remains - I should be able to go cycling as an everyday activity in street clothes. Most people feel  they cannot do that as it is perceived as too dangerous. There IS evidence of that, and it is incorrect to state that mandatory helmet laws are not a significant contributor.

 

There is no statistical evidence that mandatory helmet laws have made cycling safer in NZ, not vice versa. However I accept there are many other factors involved.

 

There is an abrogation of responsibility away from providing a safe cycling environment (for children and others). That is the correct solution, and not mandatory helmets.

 

Your last comment that our road toll is perfectly acceptable is an "interesting" viewpoint. The weighing up of risk vs costs seems to have a different outcome when others are inconvenienced (cyclists) than when you may be inconvenienced (as a driver).


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  Reply # 1980575 20-Mar-2018 16:24
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stuartmac:

 

 

 

Agreed the mandatory helmet law is only one factor to impediments to cycling. But the fact remains - I should be able to go cycling as an everyday activity in street clothes. Most people feel  they cannot do that as it is perceived as too dangerous. There IS evidence of that, and it is incorrect to state that mandatory helmet laws are not a significant contributor.

 

There is no statistical evidence that mandatory helmet laws have made cycling safer in NZ, not vice versa. However I accept there are many other factors involved.

 

There is an abrogation of responsibility away from providing a safe cycling environment (for children and others). That is the correct solution, and not mandatory helmets.

 

Your last comment that our road toll is perfectly acceptable is an "interesting" viewpoint. The weighing up of risk vs costs seems to have a different outcome when others are inconvenienced (cyclists) than when you may be inconvenienced (as a driver).

 

 

It's a bigger pain to get around in a wheelchair for want of a helmet. 





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1980602 20-Mar-2018 16:57
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Yes.  Absolutely.  After a brake failure, my daughter (12) went into the back of a parked truck.  Helmet split, no head injury (but other injuries).  I'd not now cycle without one.





gml


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  Reply # 1980614 20-Mar-2018 17:31
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mattwnz:

 

Again, there is no evidence what so ever that helmets are in anyway related to a reduction in cycling.

 

You  can't handle the evidence.

 

Commonsense dictates compulsion is certainly not going to increase rates.  eg, I choose not to bike  because of helmet laws. Simple common sense, helmets are an impediment so of course it will deter some people from cycling. 

 

The real question, is how many?

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20140603194234/http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/abstract.php?id=5046

 


For the period 1989–1990 to 2006–2009, New Zealand survey data showed that average hours cycled per person reduced by 51%.

 

And...

 

http://www.cycle-helmets.com/zealand_helmets.html

 


Public on-road cycling participation in New Zealand fell by 26% between 1989 and 1998, according to the Land Transport Safety Authority Cyclist Travel Survey

 

And...

 

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1020.html

 

Gillham and Rissel, 2012 showed that on a per capita basis there were 37.5 percent fewer Australians riding bikes in 2011 than in 1985-86.  The most likely deterrent to people cycling was helmet legislation.

 

And...

 

Helmet laws in Canada have also led to many people cycling less or no longer at all:

 

And...(Denmark)

 

From 1993 to 2000 the number of children cycling to school fell by 30% while the number taken by car doubled. ...The promotion of cycle helmets during the 1990s is thought to have been influential and to have contributed to the shift from cycling to other modes. (Jensen and Hummer, 2002)

 

And...(UK)....

 

A study (Bryan-Brown and Taylor, 1997) found that local authorities that had strongly promoted helmets suffered an average 2.8% decrease in cycle use at a time when other authorities, that did not strongly promote helmets, experienced an average increase of 4.9% in cycle use.

 

 

 

This sums things up...

 

Dr Hillman, from the UK’s Policy Studies Institute, calculated that life years gained by cycling outweighed life years lost in accidents by 20 times. 

 

 

 

It is a classic example of politicians interference having the opposite effect to what was intended.  


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  Reply # 1980615 20-Mar-2018 17:35
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MikeB4:

 

stuartmac:

 

 

 

Agreed the mandatory helmet law is only one factor to impediments to cycling. But the fact remains - I should be able to go cycling as an everyday activity in street clothes. Most people feel  they cannot do that as it is perceived as too dangerous. There IS evidence of that, and it is incorrect to state that mandatory helmet laws are not a significant contributor.

 

There is no statistical evidence that mandatory helmet laws have made cycling safer in NZ, not vice versa. However I accept there are many other factors involved.

 

There is an abrogation of responsibility away from providing a safe cycling environment (for children and others). That is the correct solution, and not mandatory helmets.

 

Your last comment that our road toll is perfectly acceptable is an "interesting" viewpoint. The weighing up of risk vs costs seems to have a different outcome when others are inconvenienced (cyclists) than when you may be inconvenienced (as a driver).

 

 

It's a bigger pain to get around in a wheelchair for want of a helmet. 

 

 

Anecdotes are not data.

 

The statistics show that it is a bigger pain to die early from weight related issues. 


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  Reply # 1980628 20-Mar-2018 18:13
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Is there not an elephant in the room?

 

No-one is suggesting mandatory helmet laws are required for other risky activities - rugby players, alpine skiers, hockey players, skateboarders etc. (the potential list is endless). There is something unique about cycling apparently.

 

Could it be that this is because cycling occurs on the roads, shared with car drivers?

 

The anecdotes in this thread have been selected to be cyclists in sole fault accidents.

 

Is the issue not motorists reluctance to share the roads, and victim blaming.

 

The mandatory cycle-helmet law is a cop-out allowing politicians to avoid addressing cycling safety issues e.g. removal of parking spaces and adding cycle lanes.




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  Reply # 1980705 20-Mar-2018 20:50
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Geektastic:

 

tdgeek:

 

Geektastic:
MikeB4:

 

Rikkitic:

 

 

 

As long as we are so busy passing laws to protect people from themselves, when are junk food palaces going to be banned? There is plenty of solid scientific evidence that hamburger heavens clog arteries and cause diabetes. Not if such food is consumed in moderation, of course, but people cannot be counted on to do things in moderation so they must be protected from themselves. Of course alcohol should also be the first to go. Smoking while driving and talking to a passenger must certainly be prohibited, as these are distractions. Jogging can only be permitted after a full medical examination, as this is known to have caused heart attacks in the unfit. Restaurants must carry warnings against consuming large pieces of meat due to the danger of choking. No motorcycles without training wheels and no swimming without a life vest. I could go on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking with my son, even on grass a bike helmet can lessen the impact on the brain. Coming off a bike at a low speed of say 10k and striking an egg sized stone has a likely hood of causing brain damage. 

 

 

 

He and I discussed this over the weekend and he believes the "nitwits" promoting the abolishing of the law need to spend some time with patients in rehab units to see what it is really like to have disabilities. I personally don't get the problem, the helmets are lightweight, not expensive, easy to wear and can prevent very serious injury and guess what being disabled is not fun at all, riding bikes safely is.

 

 

 

I believe this whole anti helmet thing is a pile of petulance. 

 



It seems to me that the airbag helmet I referred to solves the problem.

No sweaty helmet unless you crash, then it springs into action.

If it isn't legal here, it jolly well should be.

 

Whats the cost? $200? $350? Maybe a motorcycle helmet, and knee and elbow pads and a speed restriction of 5kph might be cheaper!

 

 

 

 

The cost is irrelevant. It's a matter of personal choice.

 

If you wish to cycle without an intrusive helmet, you'll pay the cost. Otherwise, there are plenty of cheaper options.

 

 

 

It's EUR300 I think. That's about $500.

 

 

My cycle helmet is light and not large. if it had an airbag, it will be intrusive possibly. Air bag, pressure thingie etc. You or I may not care about a $500 helmet, but I assure you many families of two parents and two children will.


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  Reply # 1980711 20-Mar-2018 21:03
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I think we are straying from the topic here. The point is not whether someone wants to wear a balloon or a pot on their head, or how much it costs, but their right to choose to wear nothing at all so they can smash their head against the pavement like those melons we see splattering all over the place.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 




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  Reply # 1980796 21-Mar-2018 07:23
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Rikkitic:

 

I think we are straying from the topic here. The point is not whether someone wants to wear a balloon or a pot on their head, or how much it costs, but their right to choose to wear nothing at all so they can smash their head against the pavement like those melons we see splattering all over the place.

 

 

 

 

The topic is safety. But if we wish to make it political, as in rights to choose, we need to bring in many more mandatory safety laws and make them a choice as well

 

 




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  Reply # 1980798 21-Mar-2018 07:32
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In links I have already posted, shows that cycling on roads decreased before the 1994 law. Too risky. Primary and Intermediate school use plummeted, High school was IIRC similar to past years. More cars, more traffic, more risk, car convenience, all contributed to lets drive than use the bike. That the law was passed in 1994 is being used as a convenient truth. It was passed then, cycling use on roads did reduce after that, but it also reduced before that, so its not a cause. Why would a low cost helmet cause parents to take the kids to school every day instead? Its costs more in a car. Did the kids get angry having to wear a helmet? Why have cycling sales gone up and up in recent years? Safer with helmets, health, parking convenience.


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