Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compulsory

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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Mick F
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Mick F » 9 Dec 2015, 2:29pm

cliffyboy1962 wrote: My basic assumptions have been challenged and I am not handling it at all well.

I think this post (from another thread recently) hits the nail on the head quite well.
irc wrote:Cyclists make up just over 100 of the roughly 2000 RTA fatals in the UK. Of the other 1900 fatalities - over 50% of car occupants suffer skull fractures. Of the pedestrians - 80% of their serious injuries are head injuries. If as helmet law advocates say wearing a helmet is a trivial thing to do why no campaign to save the far greater numbers of drivers and pedestrians a helmet would protect?
Mick F. Cornwall

bluemootwo
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby bluemootwo » 9 Dec 2015, 3:30pm

I've had a reply from the Bolton councillor. It is a sad reply and deserves some sympathy and respect. It also shows how some policies get made despite and in full knowledge of the evidence :

"Paul, Thank you for the information. I understand the arguments but I really wanted to highlight the use of helmets, I would never go out without my helmet. After seeing my son in hospital with blood pouring from his head I had to do something.

John Byrne"

I thought carefully before posting this response here and I have expressed my sympathise to him about his son.

But in the end I decided to post here because I think this is a useful insight for us who wish to make the "no mandatory helmets" argument.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Dec 2015, 3:34pm

cliffyboy1962 wrote:This hits the nail right on the head. My basic assumptions have been challenged and I am not handling it at all well.


You'll not be the first, or the last, person in that situation. It was me a few years ago (on this topic) ;)

At the moment I wear a magic hat (as I insist on calling it) on many of my two wheeled jaunts, but not my (far more common, I wonder why) three wheel jaunts.

I do occasionally fall off two wheels - I've hurt my hip, my wrist, my knee, my elbow - but never my head.
I often clout my head in the garage - but only when wearing said magic hat...

It's trying to head towards winter at the moment, so I'm on three wheels for a few months :) Power slide!!!! :D
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Dec 2015, 3:36pm

bluemootwo wrote:I've had a reply from the Bolton councillor. It is a sad reply and deserves some sympathy and respect. It also shows how some policies get made despite and in full knowledge of the evidence :

"Paul, Thank you for the information. I understand the arguments but I really wanted to highlight the use of helmets, I would never go out without my helmet. After seeing my son in hospital with blood pouring from his head I had to do something.

John Byrne"

I thought carefully before posting this response here and I have expressed my sympathise to him about his son.

But in the end I decided to post here because I think this is a useful insight for us who wish to make the "no mandatory helmets" argument.


I have to question whether he *does* understand the arguments... Why not ban trees or cars or tarmac (depending on what his on collided with).
The "I must do something, this is something, I'll do this" argument should be taken out and shot.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Bicycler » 9 Dec 2015, 3:38pm

How many of us have been in A&E with children who've bashed their heads? How many of us as children bashed our heads? Was the solution football helmets, rugby helmets, playing around helmets, climbing stairs helmets...

It's an understandable emotional response but that doesn't justify it as a policy.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby irc » 9 Dec 2015, 4:45pm

bluemootwo wrote:I've had a reply from the Bolton councillor.. After seeing my son in hospital with blood pouring from his head I had to do something.


So why does he need a law to tell his son to wear a helmet? Has his son had any cycle training?


At least in his case a helmet might have helped his son. Unlike the Californian Senator who tried to get a helmet law passed after her nephew was killed by a drunk driver.

1. Helmets don't protect much from cars.

2. Campaigning against drunk driving would seem the logical solution.

3. Her nephew was wearing a helmet when he was killed!!


http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transp ... 57085.html

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Mick F
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Mick F » 9 Dec 2015, 5:03pm

People who want a compulsory helmet law should have their heads banged together.

That was a punishment when I was kid. :lol:
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Zigster » 9 Dec 2015, 6:08pm

cliffyboy1962 wrote:This hits the nail right on the head. My basic assumptions have been challenged and I am not handling it at all well.


You won't be the first one to have responded the way you have, and you won't be the last. When people say don't talk about religion and politics, they should add cycle helmets to the list. I've had several friends and acquaintances get quite irate with me for simply not wearing a helmet, and even more irate when I explain (with reasons) why cycle helmets are not very important and even have some negative consequences.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Bicycler » 9 Dec 2015, 6:24pm

I often wonder why. Why is someone else's lack of headwear worth getting irate about?

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Dec 2015, 7:00pm

Countries where helmets are mandated and/or heavily promoted are those with a high casualty rate for cyclists and a low rate of cycling per head.
They are, for some reason, the one time British colonies. U.S.A., South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are all rather more dangerous for cyclists than Britain, and a lot more dangerous than other North European countries.
Helmet wearing correlates inversely with safety.
I am not saying that helmets make cycling unsafe, but they certainly have failed to make it safer in these countries. In no state with a helmet law has there been a reduction in cyclist casualty rates, but just a reduction in cycling.
What helmets are is a reaction to poor cycling safety in a state where it is not thought possible to do anything else for cyclists, whether infrastructure or restraining motorists.
They are an alibi for real action, a substitute for doing something effective.
They divert attention away from the effective measures which are those taken in countries with a high rate of cycling, a low casualty rate and little wearing of foam hats.

I refuse to join in this charade which is designed to exonerate drivers and the authorities from their connivance in keeping our roads dangerous.
Much of the clamour for helmets comes from anti-cyclists, those who call for licences, insurance, road fees etc. Their intention is clear and would be effective in their terms.
For some cyclists especially Americans, they serve as a badge of being a serious responsible cyclist, but they are just a concession to motor supremacist thinking.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Tonyf33 » 12 Dec 2015, 5:58pm

I emailed him earlier in the week, didn't get a response, amongst the information that I urged him to look at I mentioned that it was a terrible waste of taxpayers money pursuing this, money better spent on making the roads safer for cyclists. :roll: :x

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Vantage » 13 Dec 2015, 9:43am

It's Bolton council. They'll not listen. Never have in the past from what I've seen.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby TonyR » 13 Dec 2015, 11:21am

I went ice skating with my daughter and her BF yesterday at the Natural History Museum. Despite lots of people tottering on slippery ice and quite a few falling over there was no requirement to wear a helmet or any other protective gear
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/1/124

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby axel_knutt » 13 Dec 2015, 1:01pm

cliffyboy1962 wrote:This hits the nail right on the head. My basic assumptions have been challenged and I am not handling it at all well.


If you're coming round to the idea that risk compensation is not ridiculous then you're handling it very well, it seems to me that people who change their mind in the light of evidence are a rare breed.

I think risk compensation is better explained by turning it on it's head: do you take more care when you see more danger? I think that most people would regard it as self-evident that more danger makes people more careful, and that the purpose of being careful is to mitigate the risk, but you can't have it both ways: if you're being more careful when there's more danger you must be being less careful when there less danger.

As people have pointed out though, it doesn't have to be a conscious decision, psychology textbooks are full of experiments that demonstrate bizarre things that people do without being aware of it.

Here's another example of risk compensation: people drive faster, and closer to the car in front when they wear a seatbelt, thus nobody has been able to demonstrate that seatbelt legislation leads to a lower fatality rate on the roads. Fewer fatalities among car occupants is offset by an increase in deaths among pedestrians and cyclists as motorists drive less carefully. Like for the Bolton Councillor and his son, this is particularly uncomfortable for me personally, because I would have died on 9.11.85 if I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt when I crashed head-on into a lorry. The point is that proving that Axel Knutt's life was saved by a seatbelt is not the same as proving that seatbelts have reduced total road fatalities, and it's the job of government to legislate for the benefit of society as a whole, not me personally.

If you want a text on risk compensation John Adams' Risk is an excellent read.
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby pjclinch » 13 Dec 2015, 7:30pm

Bicycler wrote:How many of us have been in A&E with children who've bashed their heads? .


My daughter's been in 3 times with mildly concussive injuries. The skiing one I think there was a plausible case for a lid, but not as strong as the case her dad ought to have seen it was icier than she'd ever been out in before and taught her to side slip or some such coping strategy.
The others were getting too dizzy on a roundabout, staggering off the safety matting (read Tim Gill's work on playground safety matting, btw, another unintuitive case of "common sense" not working very well), falling over and hitting head, and finally playing on a handheld game on a sofa and somehow contriving to fall off and bullseye the corner of a coffee table right between the eyes.
Helmets for roundabouts? Helmets for sofas?

She doesn't wear a helmet to ride unless she has to (racing, for example). She's fallen off quite a bit over the years... She's not yet hit her head in the process, or been hurt beyond grazes.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...