Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compulsory

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

Postby horizon » 13 Dec 2015, 8:07pm

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"



Here's what he said to the newspaper:

“Jon was riding to work when he hit a curb and came off his bike, thankfully he was wearing a helmet at the time."

I may be missing something here.
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gaz
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby gaz » 13 Dec 2015, 8:30pm

You are missing nothing. His son was wearing a helmet, it saved his life :wink: . Now he wants to save more lives :roll: .
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irc
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby irc » 13 Dec 2015, 8:46pm

Bolton born Fred Dibna will be spinning in his grave right now. What would Fred have thought of the Bolton helmet brigade? Whether it was steeplejacking, demolishing chimneys or operating traction engines - the only head gear needed was a cloth cap.

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

Postby Bicycler » 13 Dec 2015, 9:08pm

irc wrote:Whether it was steeplejacking, demolishing chimneys or operating traction engines - the only head gear needed was a cloth cap.

I recently re-watched the documentary which started Fred Dibnah's rise to fame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBQrcKF5_rA
I got a bit nervous just watching some of the chimney climbing (eg. 10 mins in) :o

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby sapperadam » 14 Dec 2015, 11:17pm

Having read through this whole thread and I do not wish to get drawn into the actual helmet, no helmet argument but I do wish to comment.

I agree with both sides. Partly. Here's my reasons why. I used to be a non-helmet wearer. Mainly because most of my cycling was quite leisurely but even when I was mountain biking, I didn't wear one. Young and invincible see.

I then used to go out a lot with my kids and not wear one but made them wear one. That was down to cost. Wouldn't pay for anything I didn't HAVE to pay for. I once took my kids out and realised my then five year old daughter (now 17!) didn't have her helmet on about five minutes into the ride. No worries thinks I, she'll be fine she never falls off (I actually said this to her mother as well). Two hours later, she follows me down a step just as I tell her to stop but she thinks she can do it. Falls off, blood everywhere, ambulance and a stay in hospital for my baby girl. Needless to say, she never went without a helmet again even though I still did. Back then.

Nowadays, I've done that bit more research, I'm riding a LOT more and I wear a helmet. But that is MY choice from MY experiences and MY research. I fully understand the risks, risk compensation, risk management and all of that and I believe that the risk of ME not wearing a helmet out weighs the risk of ME wearing one. They both have their own separate risks, most people tend to forget that. But it's about weighing up the risks and making your own PERSONAL risk assessment. We don't need a law, we need a proper study and education to ensure that we have a fully balanced view that is fully understood and that is what we currently do not have. I will quite happily "have a go" at other cyclists for doing things wrong, such as running a red light for instance, but while I might shake my head a bit, if a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, I will never have a go, that is down to choice.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby mjr » 14 Dec 2015, 11:39pm

sapperadam wrote:Having read through this whole thread and I do not wish to get drawn into the actual helmet, no helmet argument but I do wish to comment.

The trouble is, there is no shortage of people who wish to comment, but even leaving aside the anecdote, make incomprehensible comments like this:
Nowadays, I've done that bit more research, I'm riding a LOT more and I wear a helmet. But that is MY choice from MY experiences and MY research. I fully understand the risks, risk compensation, risk management and all of that and I believe that the risk of ME not wearing a helmet out weighs the risk of ME wearing one.

Why? That's the interesting bit that is omitted, yet necessary to make any sense of the decision.

... but while I might shake my head a bit, if a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, I will never have a go, that is down to choice.

Firstly, the government has indicated its willingness to remove the choice from ordinary cyclists if the majority choose to wear crash helmets; and secondly, if you're judging by shaking your head, are you really respecting the choice of ordinary riders? That's a bit passive-aggressive, order-of-the-white-feather-y, isn't it?
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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Bicycler » 15 Dec 2015, 12:46am

I don't think any of us can look at all the different reports out there and form a clear opinion of personal levels of risk and the extent of our subconscious compensation for those risks. Even if you could I think you asked yourself the wrong question.

sapperadam wrote:Nowadays, I've done that bit more research, I'm riding a LOT more and I wear a helmet. But that is MY choice from MY experiences and MY research. I fully understand the risks, risk compensation, risk management and all of that and I believe that the risk of ME not wearing a helmet out weighs the risk of ME wearing one. They both have their own separate risks, most people tend to forget that. But it's about weighing up the risks and making your own PERSONAL risk assessment..
my emphasis
We don't make the decision to wear additional protective gear because it is less risky than not wearing it. If that were the case we'd wear all kinds of stuff all the time, so it is not sufficient to merely form the opinion that not wearing a helmet is more risky than wearing one.

The correct questions would be:
a) Does unhelmeted cycling present an unacceptably high risk of serious injury to the part of the head which might be covered by a helmet?
and
b) Does wearing a helmet lower that risk of serious head injury to an acceptable level?

while I might shake my head a bit, if a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, I will never have a go, that is down to choice

Well earlier it was down to each individual's own personal risk assessment informed by their own intimate knowledge of their own risk profile. If you are willing to judge somebody for not wearing a helmet then you don't actually believe that. You accept that others have a free choice but you have made your mind up that they ought to wear a helmet. Theirs is a choice between the right decision and the wrong decision.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby TonyR » 15 Dec 2015, 7:20am

sapperadam wrote:But it's about weighing up the risks and making your own PERSONAL risk assessment. We don't need a law, we need a proper study and education to ensure that we have a fully balanced view that is fully understood and that is what we currently do not have.


A proper study is not going to happen. If the effect were as great as some have claimed there would have been no problem showing it in the studies done to date and the effect of mandatory helmet laws around the world would have been dramatic. But it hasn't been and the effect isn't. One of the country's and the world's leading statisticians has looked at the issue and all the research and declared that both the effect is too modest to capture and that further studies are unlikely to resolve the matter. It is as he put it a political, cultural and psychological issue, not a scientific one.
http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f381 ... eytype=ref

So what you do is you pays your money and makes your choice while not passing any judgement on others who pay their money and make their choices that are different from yours. Simples.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby TonyR » 15 Dec 2015, 7:24am

sapperadam wrote:.....but while I might shake my head a bit, if a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, I will never have a go, that is down to choice.


What you wrote is fine until that point. Why do you feel the need to pass judgement on people who have done their research too and reached a different conclusion to you?
Last edited by TonyR on 15 Dec 2015, 8:05am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Mattyfez » 15 Dec 2015, 7:40am

And there's the whole risk compensation angle.. A helmet wearing cyclist may chance an action a non wearer won't, due to perceived protection from the helmet.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Zigster » 15 Dec 2015, 9:03am

pjclinch wrote: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.


Re skiing helmets, the New York Times did an article a couple of years ago, the thrust of which was that skiing (and snowboarding) helmets haven't made any real impact on head injuries. When I go skiing now, probably 80% of people (Switzerland) wear helmets yet 10 years ago it was rare to see an adult wearing one.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sport ... .html?_r=0

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby TonyR » 15 Dec 2015, 10:36am

Zigster wrote:
pjclinch wrote: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.


Re skiing helmets, the New York Times did an article a couple of years ago, the thrust of which was that skiing (and snowboarding) helmets haven't made any real impact on head injuries. When I go skiing now, probably 80% of people (Switzerland) wear helmets yet 10 years ago it was rare to see an adult wearing one.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sport ... .html?_r=0


The Schumacher case which that is centred on has three interesting aspects which may or may not be related. The first is that he had a camera fixed on his helmet. The second is the helmet split open in what was apparently a simple fall. Was that due to the camera impact or was it a failure of the helmet? And lastly all the reports seem to point to him having suffered diffuse axonal injury which is typically a sign of a rotational injury, not an impact. Again how much of that could have been caused by the camera catching or the split helmet catching or just the fact that helmets are not tested for anything other than linear impacts and are known to increase rotational impacts because they disable natural scalp movements over the skull and increase the radius of the head is all unknown.

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Re: Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compul

Postby Vorpal » 15 Dec 2015, 10:38am

sapperadam wrote:I then used to go out a lot with my kids and not wear one but made them wear one. That was down to cost. Wouldn't pay for anything I didn't HAVE to pay for. I once took my kids out and realised my then five year old daughter (now 17!) didn't have her helmet on about five minutes into the ride. No worries thinks I, she'll be fine she never falls off (I actually said this to her mother as well). Two hours later, she follows me down a step just as I tell her to stop but she thinks she can do it. Falls off, blood everywhere, ambulance and a stay in hospital for my baby girl. Needless to say, she never went without a helmet again even though I still did. Back then.

Nowadays, I've done that bit more research, I'm riding a LOT more and I wear a helmet. But that is MY choice from MY experiences and MY research. I fully understand the risks, risk compensation, risk management and all of that and I believe that the risk of ME not wearing a helmet out weighs the risk of ME wearing one. They both have their own separate risks, most people tend to forget that. But it's about weighing up the risks and making your own PERSONAL risk assessment. We don't need a law, we need a proper study and education to ensure that we have a fully balanced view that is fully understood and that is what we currently do not have. I will quite happily "have a go" at other cyclists for doing things wrong, such as running a red light for instance, but while I might shake my head a bit, if a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, I will never have a go, that is down to choice.

Whilst I largely agree with the personal risk assessment aspect, I would like to comment on how you came to the conclusion that your daughter should wear a helmet. I completely understand the protective impulse. When my daughter was small, she had a number of crashes; happily, none were serious, but I would like to describe my thinking after one of these...

We were cycling in a country park, and I went down a hill. She followed me and crashed fairly hard into a rose garden. She was only upset and scratched by the thorns, but the outcome could have been far worse. Thinking about the incident, I realised that I had done something that might have been unsafe for Mini V and she followed me. Further, I realised that Mini V was likely to follow me in similar circumstances, even if I told her not to (kids, right?).

My conclusion from this was that if I wasn't certain she could do something, I should deal with it in a different way. In that particular case, I thought I should have stopped at the top, and talked to her about it, and then either let her have a go, if she felt she could do it (maybe with a little instruction about where to aim the bike), or walk down together.

I didn't conclude that she should wear a helmet.
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Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compulsory

Postby bluemootwo » 15 Dec 2015, 3:59pm

I've no problem with someone wearing an apron when there is a good chance they will get chip fat on their clothes when cooking. No problem with a gardener wearing gloves when pruning roses. And no problem with elbow and knee and head pads when someone rides down steps on a bike.

But when I go in my kitchen to make a sandwich I don't wear an apron. When I read a book in my garden I don't wear gloves. And when i cycle to work I don't wear a helmet.

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Bolton Council asks UK government to make helmets compulsory

Postby Heltor Chasca » 15 Dec 2015, 4:20pm

I would like to make the point that this may be yet another unenforceable law invented by politicians and pen pushers. Like mobile phone usage, 20mph speed limits, smoking in work vehicles etc etc; there is just no hope in Hades our police force can catch the law breakers.

It's a wind up yet again by someone who has too much time on their hands. Perhaps said council should put their energy into proper cycle infrastructure...b
Last edited by Heltor Chasca on 15 Dec 2015, 4:23pm, edited 1 time in total.