Stop Headway

For all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmet usage will be moved here.
irc
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby irc » 19 Jul 2010, 7:50pm

snibgo wrote:Then you need to answer a pro-compulsion campaigner who will say, "If we only save one child's life, it is worth it."

My answer might be: "No, because X children won't then exercise, leading to Y person-years lost." It's a weak argument, because it is a death now versus others later.


What about "In that case I take it you support reducing the urban speed limit to 20mph in all streets in all cities as that would save far more than one life?"
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

snibgo
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby snibgo » 19 Jul 2010, 8:03pm

That's a partial answer, like "you should campaign for car occupants to wear helmets", and points to Headway's absurb position, but is a weak argument.

It could be interpreted as "yes, compulsory helmets for cyclists is a good idea, but 20mph limits, or helmets for car occupants, are better ideas."

FatBat
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby FatBat » 19 Jul 2010, 9:54pm

A couple of years ago, I asked the web-editor of NHS direct about their rather dubious statistics on their head-injury (how to prevent) pages. They claimed to have just taken the numbers straight from Headway. When I asked whether the numbers had actually been checked, they suddenly went quiet. Anyone want to have another go;

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Head-injury-severe-/Pages/Prevention.aspx

snibgo
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby snibgo » 19 Jul 2010, 10:25pm

NHS website wrote:Cycling helmets reduce the risk of a head injury by up to 88% ...

That number sounds familiar. Probably from that famous study that compared white wealthy helmet-wearing kids who cycled in parks with poor black kids who cycled on roads. Guess which group had more head injuries? Take your pick:

- being white reduces the risk of head injury
- being rich reduces the risk of head injury
- wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury
- riding in parks reduces the risk of head injury

The report authors decided, with no evidence, that helmets were the significant difference.

(If I was really on the ball, I would cite the report and refutations.)

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Cunobelin
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Cunobelin » 19 Jul 2010, 10:29pm

Unfortunately the medical profession does not have a good record on this.

The classic was the BMA "vote" at the conference which established the "pro helmet" stance.

It was the only non-electronic vote of the day and the show of hands was close to equivocal - they are notorious for innacuracy

The entire debate was five minutes, with pro compulsion first, and little time allowed for anti-compulsion viewpoints, Finally the claimed figures were the totally disproved BHIT claim that helmets would save the 594 children and 1081 adults killed by head injuries in 2002.

In fact only 107 adults were killed in total and 22 children in that year is not acceptable, and even if these were all due to head injuries - a fraction of what the conference were told were due to head injuries. The classic and again devalued "helmets save 88% of all head injury victims" was also given as proof.


So much for "Evidence Based Practice"

SilverBadge
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby SilverBadge » 19 Jul 2010, 11:13pm

snibgo wrote:Then you need to answer a pro-compulsion campaigner who will say, "If we only save one child's life, it is worth it."

My answer might be: "No, because X children won't then exercise, leading to Y person-years lost." It's a weak argument, because it is a death now versus others later.

Then you can rattle off a lengthy list of other actions that will also probably save at least one child's life, and ask them which they subscribe to.
Need to find the time to phone Headway - opening line something like "I'm having trouble locating any of your campaign material regarding preventing the 99% of head injuries that occur when not cycling."

Steady rider
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 20 Jul 2010, 5:08pm

http://www.headway.org.uk/headway-conference.aspx

Headway Conference is in Harrogate this year Monday 11 Oct, could put on some sort of display to show there are concerns about the charity or about helmets.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby hubgearfreak » 20 Jul 2010, 5:34pm

i'm half tempted to offer sponsorship, pretending to be from halfords and looking forward to children's helmets being obligitory :twisted:

Steady rider
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 20 Jul 2010, 6:00pm

The ECF (European Cycling Federation) stated "the evidence from Australia and New Zealand suggests that the wearing of helmets might even make cycling more dangerous,"

European Cycling Federation. 'Improving bicycle safety without making helmet use compulsory;
Brussels, Belgium. 1998. http://www.fiab-onlus.it/andare/helm_gb.doc

Erke and Elvik19 (Norwegian researchers) 2007 stated: "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."
Erke A, Elvik R, Making Vision Zero real: Preventing Pedestrian Accidents And Making Them Less
Severe, Oslo June 2007. page 28
http://www.toi.no/getfile.php/Publikasj ... 7-nett.pdf

The UK's National Children's Bureau (NCB) provided a detailed review in 200572 stating
"the case for helmets is far from sound", "the benefits of helmets need further investigation before even a policy supporting promotion can be unequivocally supported" and "the case has not yet been convincingly made for compulsory use or promotion of cycle helmets."

Helmets in general are not designed to limit rotational acceleration and Lane reported "it has been recognised since the work of Holbourn (1943) that rotational acceleration of the head plays a major part in brain injury". Helmets incur more impacts than a bare head due to their size and increase the risk of rotation.

Helmet requirements can add to inconvenience and detract from the enjoyment of cycling. Enjoying physical activity is a key element in taking part. Helmet laws try to force people into wearing them with threats of fines or police involvement. This infringes on the main reason for cycling and is part of the discouraging process.

Victoria Australia, survey data following their helmet law;

297 extra wearing helmets and 1110 fewer cyclists

New South Wales, survey data following their helmet law;

569 extra wearing helmets and 2658 fewer cyclists

Main effect was to discourage cycling.
See Robinson DL; Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws; Accid Anal Prev, 28, 4: p 463-475, 1996
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-head-injuries.pdf

The health benefits of cycling exceed the risks by 20 to 1, therefore helmet laws do much more harm than good. Forcing people to wear helmets detracts from the pleasure of cycling. Curnow concluded that "Compulsion to wear a bicycle helmet is detrimental to public health". Curnow WJ, Bicycle helmets and public health in Australia, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2008 Apr;19(1):10-15.

The consumer magazine Which? independently tested 24 helmets and reported
that only 9 passed all tests and therefore even new helmets may not be reliable.

Are those promoting or selling helmets providing suitable warnings?

irc
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby irc » 20 Jul 2010, 7:03pm

Steady rider wrote:Helmet requirements can add to inconvenience and detract from the enjoyment of cycling. Enjoying physical activity is a key element in taking part. Helmet laws try to force people into wearing them with threats of fines or police involvement. This infringes on the main reason for cycling and is part of the discouraging process.


Headway take the line that helmet laws don't reduce cycling-

"Headway is disappointed the Government has decided against pursuing a law change on the grounds that it could lead to a decline in the number of children cycling. Cycle helmet laws have been introduced in a number of states across the USA and no trend has ever been recorded showing a reduction in the number of cyclists on the roads."

Of course this may be true where sensible police depts ignore stupid laws and in one example have not issued a single fine in the year since a law was enacted.

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/lo ... ml?sid=101
Last edited by irc on 20 Jul 2010, 8:04pm, edited 1 time in total.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Cunobelin » 20 Jul 2010, 7:34pm

irc wrote:[........ and no trend has ever been recorded showing a reduction in the number of cyclists on the roads."


Almost worth an ASA challenge if they ever put it on suitable literature

Steady rider
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 20 Jul 2010, 8:10pm

There is evidence both from the USA and Canada of reduced cycling connected with helmets, see USA report and page 17 for other reports.

http://www.ctcyorkshirehumber.org.uk/US ... t_laws.pdf

Health and safety assessment of state bicycle helmets laws in the USA

Abstract
There are more than 60 million children under 16 years of age in the USA and about half have been subjected to state bicycle helmet laws. Survey data, 1998 to 2007, shows cycling reduced by 29.9% for 7-11 year age group. This assessment focuses mainly on fatality and health data and estimates the outcome. The findings show that helmet laws can result in 120 times more harm than the intended good and helmet promotion 12 times more harm. States with helmet laws, compared to those without, did not show significant improvement. It is estimated that between 1020 - 2040 premature deaths per year will occur due to helmet laws.

snibgo
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby snibgo » 20 Jul 2010, 8:18pm

Great research, Steady rider.

This seems typically misleading of Headway. Their statement means one thing, but seems designed to be misinterpreted to mean "no trend anywhere in the world..."

If that half statement is quoted, the lie will spread that helmet compulsion doesn't reduce cycling.

Steady rider
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 20 Jul 2010, 8:30pm

http://www.nsga.org/files/public/2006Yo ... risons.pdf

Headway is incorrect.

The charity commission do not get involved with misleading statements provided to the public, collecting funds with incorrect statements. The system is very weak.

Kirst
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Re: Stop Headway

Postby Kirst » 20 Jul 2010, 9:30pm

I emailed the NHS about the stuff on the website, saying

Hi

Can you please identify where you got the information that "Cycling helmets reduce the risk of a head injury by up to 88% and the risk of an injury to your face by 65%"? I've done quite a lot of reading around the issue of head injuries and bike helmets and I can't find anything which is as definitive as that.

thank you


and they have replied with

Thank you for contacting the NHS Choices Service desk.

We have assigned your query to the relevant team and you will receive a response to as soon as this has investigated further. If you require an update on this issue at any time, please contact the NHS Choices Service desk, quoting the reference number (SD52153).

Kindest Regards,

The NHS Choices Service Desk
I can handle bars and cycle paths but I can't handle cars and psychopaths

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