School trying 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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Cunobelin
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Jan 2018, 6:08am

horizon wrote:
drossall wrote:
The question here was about trying to extend that to the journey to school, which is of course on the public road/pavement/whatever.


I'm not sure that really was the issue - the school might have tried to do various somewhat ultra vires things and it wouldn't bother us. It's still the helmet issue. And for a school it's even more poignant as they need to show that they have done everything they should have done (and if that means helmets it means helmets). You might get somewhere by challenging the school on that basis but the psychological and emotional foundation of helmet use remains untouched.



Once again it is the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the individuals who are imposing their wishes on an easy target group.

The biggest problem with any school is parking in surrounding areas, illegal and dangerous driving, obstruction and a plethora of other issues

These same head teachers could ban children from being brought to school by car, and staff parking in local areas....... yet whilst they are happy to impose restrictions on the children, they happily accept the dangers caused by motor vehicles and claim they are outsidentheir responsibility

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby The utility cyclist » 25 Jan 2018, 7:53am

Even bikeability indoctrinates kids into thinking helmets are needed/needed to be worn. The whole system from top to tail pushes helmets at every avenue ignoring all the hard facts. Given that we know children take far greater risks when they feel protected and the consequence of that means less safety it's disgusting that this indoctrination is allowed to carry on. :twisted:
As I've said elsewhere, children in other walks of life are at more risk of death by head injury than children dying whilst cycling of any injury, and yet only children on bikes are forced to wear helmets :twisted:

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jan 2018, 8:58am

The utility cyclist wrote:Even bikeability indoctrinates kids into thinking helmets are needed/needed to be worn. The whole system from top to tail pushes helmets at every avenue ignoring all the hard facts. Given that we know children take far greater risks when they feel protected and the consequence of that means less safety it's disgusting that this indoctrination is allowed to carry on. :twisted:

Bikeability does not indoctrinates kids into thinking that helmets are needed. This is usually a requirement of the local authority or training organisation. When I taught Bikeability for a local authority, I was told that I needed to wear a helmet, and I needed to make the kids wear helmets, and I got a list of exceptions by asking specific questions, and when I argued the point, I was told rather bluntly to put up and shut up.

My solution was to talk to the kids about it and recommend some reading. I doubt many took me up on the reading, but several school libraries did get copies of Cyclecraft. The kids also saw that I rode my bike to work without a helmet, and put one on when I was required to.

When I worked independently, or for another provider, there was no requirement for helmets. None of the Bikeability providers in my area, except the local authority (I think there were two others and a few independent contractors) required helmets.
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Steady rider » 25 Jan 2018, 9:36am

Two suggested AGM motions that could be submitted relate to helmets, if you want to second them a private message please.
1
The CTC provides (either alone or with others) a biennial (every two years) road safety 'Bikesafe' conference.

Reason:
This would allow for technical research papers on topics and presentation of information, together with discussions of how best to improve conditions for cycling. A publication of 'Bikesafe' conference papers could be published every two years. This would promote UK cycling related research and highlight issues where improvements could be made. This could be in addition to one day events that CTC already provide. Hopefully UK universities could be encouraged to become involved and provide suitable research or host the event. Cycling UK Right To Ride representatives should have access to the mini Velo type conference and contribute with their experience to the level of understanding required to advance the conditions for cycling. The above would be more than key note speakers and discussions, it would help promote and provide new research.

2
The CTC promotes research into establishing the effects from wearing helmets on the accident rate that appears to increase with helmet usage according to several reports.

Reason;
Reports and accident data raise concerns that helmet usage results in a higher accident rate per km or hour cycled.
Robinson's 1996 report provided injury data for children from Victoria and New South Wales. In Victoria, the equivalent injury numbers for pre law levels of cyclist numbers increased 15% from 1990 to 1992. For children in NSW that the relative injury rate proportional to cycling levels increased 59%.
Erke and Elvik 2007 examined research from Australia and New Zealand and stated that "There is evidence of increased accident risk per cycling-km for cyclists wearing a helmet. In Australia and New Zealand, the increase is estimated to be around 14 per cent."
Porter 2016 report in the US detailed that cyclists wearing helmets had more than twice the odds of suffering an injury than cyclists not wearing helmets.
Clarke 2012 reported on New Zealand and changes to the injury rate per million hours of travel following helmet legislation in 1994. The study reported “by 2003–07, cyclists had a 20% higher accident rate compared with pre law”. Other information shows a much larger increase than the 20% figure. There is additional research that raises concerns.

see http://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k94/rr-2

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jan 2018, 10:22am

Steady rider wrote: The CTC promotes research into establishing the effects from wearing helmets on the accident rate that appears to increase with helmet usage according to several reports.

Cycling UK has every reason to fight compulsion, and absolutely none to promote research.
-helmet use is a huge red herring, and taking the bait is a waste of money
-there is plenty of research, and organisations that get funding for such research
-Cycling UK needs to use its limited funds to focus on initiatives that will get more people on bikes improve safety

One could argue that Cycling UK has a vested interest in demostrating that helmets make things worse, rather than better, BUT the more focus this issue gets, the more set in their ways the pro-helmet lobby get. If the UK can create a cycling culture like that of Denmark or the Netherlands, no one will listen to the fanatics. It is a long term goal, but far more important than helmet research.
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 25 Jan 2018, 10:44am

Hi,
Stats say wearing a helmet / seatbelt once made legislation, increases the injury numbers.

But I wonder if a long term non helmet wearer was then to wear a helmet how that would change their venerability?

Two sides to the argument-

One is that a helmet is bad for your health.
Two is that stats show increased injury numbers of helmet wearers?

But I am thinking that neither is true, more that when donning a helmet you feel saver or are made to think its safer so you take less care, especially the unexperienced.

In one of the links back posts, it said when seatbelts were made compulsory, accident numbers increased but not necessarily injuries, also that the speed increased.

Some of the posts also reveal that some just don't like being told what to do, even if its obviously safer (exclude helmets), we have all met people like that in life.
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby The utility cyclist » 25 Jan 2018, 10:47am

Vorpal wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:Even bikeability indoctrinates kids into thinking helmets are needed/needed to be worn. The whole system from top to tail pushes helmets at every avenue ignoring all the hard facts. Given that we know children take far greater risks when they feel protected and the consequence of that means less safety it's disgusting that this indoctrination is allowed to carry on. :twisted:

Bikeability does not indoctrinates kids into thinking that helmets are needed. This is usually a requirement of the local authority or training organisation. When I taught Bikeability for a local authority, I was told that I needed to wear a helmet, and I needed to make the kids wear helmets, and I got a list of exceptions by asking specific questions, and when I argued the point, I was told rather bluntly to put up and shut up.

My solution was to talk to the kids about it and recommend some reading. I doubt many took me up on the reading, but several school libraries did get copies of Cyclecraft. The kids also saw that I rode my bike to work without a helmet, and put one on when I was required to.

When I worked independently, or for another provider, there was no requirement for helmets. None of the Bikeability providers in my area, except the local authority (I think there were two others and a few independent contractors) required helmets.

Are children forced to wear helmets AND hi-vis tabards when doing bikeability yes or no?
Answer, yes it does, this then sends the message that this is the default for cycling, a small handful like yourself might tell the kids otherwise but that is all for nothing if parents, schools and LA push for helmet wearing or indeed ithe latter ignore the overbearing schoolmaster from banning kids cycling to school unless they wear a helmet. In this bikeability is complicit from the outset, this is a simple fact you don't want to accept.

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jan 2018, 11:41am

The utility cyclist wrote:Are children forced to wear helmets AND hi-vis tabards when doing bikeability yes or no?
Answer, yes it does, this then sends the message that this is the default for cycling, a small handful like yourself might tell the kids otherwise but that is all for nothing if parents, schools and LA push for helmet wearing or indeed ithe latter ignore the overbearing schoolmaster from banning kids cycling to school unless they wear a helmet. In this bikeability is complicit from the outset, this is a simple fact you don't want to accept.

Actually, the answer is 'sometimes', rather than yes or no.

I agree that we need to fight schools banning kids cycling, or forcing them to wear helmets.

However, I would like to point out that Bikeability philosophy is one of choice. It is usually employers and local authorities who impose the helmets. That's not Bikeability. I admit that some, likely a majority of instructors either encourage or require helmet use. But that still isn't Bikeability.

The training material for Bikeability used to say that the pros and cons of wearing helmets need to be discussed with trainees. I don't know if it still does, though I know that with limited time, many instructors skipped it.

The gent who used to run one of the independent cycle training companies in the East of England was very anti-helmet and made sure that his instructors did not require helmets and *did* talk to the kids about it; he gave out some cards with talking points to folks who weren't familiar with the debate. So, there were lots of kids trained with his instructors who didn't have to wear helmets.

As for the hi-viz, it's handy for keeping track of the kids during training, but I take the point about it normalising hi-viz.
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Steady rider » 25 Jan 2018, 1:33pm

Vorpal wrote
Cycling UK has every reason to fight compulsion, and absolutely none to promote research.


https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default ... at_agm.pdf
4.3 advance education by whatever means the trustees think fit, including the
provision of cycling, training and educational activities related to cycling;
and


Vorpal I think your are incorrect in regards to research. The motion asks to promote research as compared with asking to conduct research, but does not exclude doing research - sometimes it can be low cost but significant.
cycling/accident/injuries/health is full of science related topics, research is essential to gain b a better understanding of any of the issues.

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jan 2018, 1:53pm

Steady rider wrote: The motion asks to promote research as compared with asking to conduct research, but does not exclude doing research - sometimes it can be low cost but significant.
cycling/accident/injuries/health is full of science related topics, research is essential to gain b a better understanding of any of the issues.

Steady rider,

I encourage appropriate research. I am a data-oriented kind of person, and I do research for a living.

Research on helmets is like putting sugar on a turd. Sorry for the crude metaphor, but there is already sufficient evidence to demonstrate the pointlessness of helmets. I would far rather funds be spent on preventing crashes in the first place.

'nuff said.
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Steady rider » 25 Jan 2018, 3:54pm

The CTC promotes research into establishing the effects from wearing helmets on the accident rate that appears to increase with helmet usage according to several reports.

http://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k94/rr-2
Two recent studies associated helmet use with increased injury rates. 1) Individuals with documented helmet use had 2.2 times the odds of non–helmet users of being involved in an injury-related accident [12]; 2) helmet use by transport cyclists was associated with being injured while cycling in the past 2 years, OR=2.81 [13].

In a study of Canadian cyclist injuries, helmet legislation was not associated with reduced hospitalisation rates for brain, head, scalp, skull or face injuries. Females had lower hospitalisation rates than males, and higher cycling mode share was consistently associated with lower hospitalisation rates for traffic-related injuries, suggesting a ‘safety in numbers effect’ [14].

New Zealand introduced helmet laws in 1994. Travel surveys (conducted in 1989 and 1997) show big declines in time spent cycling per week, from 28 to 15 minutes per child aged 5-12, from 52 to 31 minutes for 13-17 year olds and 8 to 5 minutes per week for adults. The declines in cycling were accompanied by increased injury rates per million hours of cycling [15]. Evidence from Australia also suggests that injury rates per cyclist increased, compared to what would have been expected without the helmet law [16]. Cycling injuries continue to increase in Australia [17] without any increase in participation [18].


'effects from wearing helmets on the accident rate that appears to increase'
Extra research to explain the increased risk, is this due to behavioural change, helmets and their effects, safety in numbers or other aspects.
People need to know any details that can be provided or if a combination of effects occurs.

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby pjclinch » 25 Jan 2018, 4:58pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Are children forced to wear helmets AND hi-vis tabards when doing bikeability yes or no?
Answer, yes it does, this then sends the message that this is the default for cycling, a small handful like yourself might tell the kids otherwise but that is all for nothing if parents, schools and LA push for helmet wearing or indeed ithe latter ignore the overbearing schoolmaster from banning kids cycling to school unless they wear a helmet. In this bikeability is complicit from the outset, this is a simple fact you don't want to accept.


Up to a point, Lord Copper... it seems a bit like saying evolutionary biologists are complicit in eugenics programmes. That Bikeability is used as a delivery vehicle for propaganda that isn't part of it is hardly its fault.

I'm currently in the process of withdrawing my services from teaching cycling at the local primary where I've done it for years because I insist on teaching in normal clothes and that's no longer okay. Aside from the LA deciding instructors should wear helmets and hi-viz, apparently parents have been complaining that I set a bad example, and this illustrates how hard it is to do anything without someone getting the Wrong Idea idea about helmets and using it as a stick to beat you with.

This is, of course, appalling, but it isn't Bikeability's fault. The only mention of helmets in the NS Outcomes is that if trainees are wearing helmets they must know how to fit them correctly. That's it, across all three levels. The recommended reading for Bikeability is Cyclecraft, not renowned for its pro-helmet stance.

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jan 2018, 5:34pm

Cunobelin wrote:Once again it is the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the individuals who are imposing their wishes on an easy target group.

The biggest problem with any school is parking in surrounding areas, illegal and dangerous driving, obstruction and a plethora of other issues

These same head teachers could ban children from being brought to school by car, and staff parking in local areas....... yet whilst they are happy to impose restrictions on the children, they happily accept the dangers caused by motor vehicles and claim they are outsidentheir responsibility

Whilst I agree totally with you,can a school really stop children being brought and picked up by car?
Parking within the immediate environs if it's a danger to pupils yes,otherwise I doubt it.
As for requiring helmet wearing of children cycling on school premises prhaps,but once off school premises I can't see how a head teacher can have any jurisdiction over pupils mode of transport or headwear
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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Jan 2018, 5:40pm

Steady rider wrote:Whately S, Bicycle Crashes in the Austrian Capital Territories, CR 35, FORS, 1985, Table 25 ...


I think the word I have highlighted should be "Australian."

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Re: School trying to make helmets compulsory

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jan 2018, 6:35pm

reohn2 wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:Once again it is the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the individuals who are imposing their wishes on an easy target group.

The biggest problem with any school is parking in surrounding areas, illegal and dangerous driving, obstruction and a plethora of other issues

These same head teachers could ban children from being brought to school by car, and staff parking in local areas....... yet whilst they are happy to impose restrictions on the children, they happily accept the dangers caused by motor vehicles and claim they are outsidentheir responsibility

Whilst I agree totally with you,can a school really stop children being brought and picked up by car?
Parking within the immediate environs if it's a danger to pupils yes,otherwise I doubt it.

https://www.st-john.hackney.sch.uk/safer-streets-day/

As part of the Safer Streets Scheme, Crondall Street is temporarily closed to traffic during school opening and closing times (during the times of 8:30 – 9:15 am and 3:15 – 4:00 pm). The aim is to encourage walking, cycling and using public transport to get to school, create a safer environment and improve air quality around the school.
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