Stop Headway - Campaign

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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[XAP]Bob
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Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Sep 2010, 12:58pm

This is a new thread, leaving the Stop Headway thread to carry on naturally, but allowing us to focus on setting up...

I've offered to host, someone has offered the domain registration fee.

We need to pick a name and specific aims...

- Stopping headway is one possibility, but seems rather combative, and narrow.
- Promoting cycling, with emphasis on the safety and convenience of a bike for short journeys seems more rounded.

Views?
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.

TwoPlusTen
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby TwoPlusTen » 1 Sep 2010, 1:35pm

Thanks for doing that [XAP]Bob.

I agree with you. If we just go on a narrow brief of undermining Headway, then it could end up being counter-productive even before it gets off the ground.

I think the idea of cycling as a fundamentally safe activity is the better approach. It's something that we can all do.

All we have to do (and I use the word "all" advisedly) is convince the petrolheads...

Tom Richardson
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Tom Richardson » 1 Sep 2010, 1:46pm

I think that Headway do a good job, apart from their misguided fixation with forcing helmets onto cyclists.

I think a campaign should be directed at them matching head protection to risk and taking into account other outcomes like e.g. the negative effect it would have on general health to discourage activity by making protective equipment mandatory.

GrahamNR17
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby GrahamNR17 » 1 Sep 2010, 1:49pm

I think you need a campaign based solely and entirely upon proven statistical and scientific data, otherwise it's just going to be seen as a "let's get Headway" bullyboy kind of thing.

Provided the said scientific and statistical data exists, I'm happy to offer my support in whatever way you deem appropriate.

AlbionLass

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby AlbionLass » 1 Sep 2010, 2:04pm

GrahamNR17 wrote:I think you need a campaign based solely and entirely upon proven statistical and scientific data, otherwise it's just going to be seen as a "let's get Headway" bullyboy kind of thing.

Provided the said scientific and statistical data exists, I'm happy to offer my support in whatever way you deem appropriate.




+1

What Graham said.

eltonioni
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby eltonioni » 1 Sep 2010, 2:45pm

Sounds like a plan. How about setting it up as a Facebook page first? That way it's easy to support and very visible to anyone that gets pointed that way. Trying to create a new web page will probably get it lost among the zillions of others out there and it's no good if you don't know it's there.FB gets round all sorts of visibility issues.

How about calling it something constructive and non-confrontational like Helmet Sense

cycle carnot
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby cycle carnot » 1 Sep 2010, 5:06pm

I think that a non-confrontational approach is the way forward. I actually met some of the Headway people, carers, victims of head injury and their families a few years ago at a charity event. It was very moving. The devastation caused to families by having a family member with severe head injuries cannot be adequately explained here. Whilst I can understand what they are trying to do (from their perspective), I think that promoting cycling as a healthy and *relatively* safe pastime / sport is very sensible.

I would advise great care, though, in the use of statistics such as "deaths per mile travelled" in your alternative campaign. For those interested I have, on the other thread and based on numbers given there proved to my satisfaction at least :shock: that cycling is significantly riskier for me than walking is.

And I can pretty much predict counter-arguments right now, for example "if one death or serious injury is prevented then it is worth making helmets compulsory, even for short journeys to the shops". You'll need to counter that somehow, and not just by attempting to prove that it would reduce the numbers of people cycling.

Just a couple of other thought. I know from personal experience that cycling helmets are not seen as "cool" by some. That may explain why the numbers of cyclists reduces if helmets are compulsory. Could any campaign attempt to counter that (it will be a long-term campaign if so)? Also, would the vehemence of opposition to compulsion on here rule out recommending the use of helmets when riding on busy roads? When not on cycle paths?? See what I mean - this might come across as more constructive and even less confrontational.

hth.

snibgo
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby snibgo » 1 Sep 2010, 5:57pm

Headway do some good things, and I could never support a general "anti-Headway" campaign. But I do oppose them on this issue.

cycle carnot wrote:The devastation caused to families by having a family member with severe head injuries cannot be adequately explained here.

I still suffer from a brain injury sustained 19 years ago. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Headway's head has a child with a more devastating brain injury, which I suspect provides the impetus for their campaign. It is natural, in these circumstances, to want to save "even just one" death or serious injury.

Cycling helmets aim to reduce injury when getting on a bike and falling off the other side. They will have very little benefit at higher-speeds. There is little evidence that compulsory helmets would save a single KSI. There is plenty of evidence that they would reduce overall fitness levels, leading to early mortality. But one person in a wheelchair trumps a thousand people dying a decade before they should, so Headway have emotion on their side.

GrahamNR17
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby GrahamNR17 » 1 Sep 2010, 6:36pm

I don't know the answer to this one, but would a campaign to improve the design of helmets perhaps be more productive? Maybe at least this way we'd be working with the likes of Headway etc but giving the opportunity to demonstrate the shortcomings of existing equipment and even maybe get Headway etc on side?

cycle carnot
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby cycle carnot » 1 Sep 2010, 7:29pm

Snigbo - sorry to hear about your injury. I think that you and I may have to agree to disagree, though, on the efficacy of a cycling helmet if you have a crash at speed. And on the latter I'm speaking from personal experience, where a crash at speed last year left me with minor leg and shoulder injuries, a damaged helmet but a head that was uninjured.

Graham - excellent suggestion IMHO. Nice one.

TwoPlusTen
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby TwoPlusTen » 1 Sep 2010, 9:33pm

GrahamNR17 wrote:I don't know the answer to this one, but would a campaign to improve the design of helmets perhaps be more productive? Maybe at least this way we'd be working with the likes of Headway etc but giving the opportunity to demonstrate the shortcomings of existing equipment and even maybe get Headway etc on side?

Good point. I like the idea in principle, but their rather wanton flinging of statistics and their blinkered approach (helmets for pedestrians? car drivers? Nope...) makes me think they'd struggle.

As has been mentioned, it's unlikely that a helmet would prevent many (if any) serious head injuries in a collision scenario given that they're designed to mitigate the effects of an essentially "controlled flight into terrain" (i.e. you fall off your bike without any further forces acting on you).

snibgo
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby snibgo » 1 Sep 2010, 10:06pm

cycle carnot: And I'm sorry to hear about your injuries. A helmet may be of some benefit at higher speeds, of course. Especially for preventing road rash, I would think, where the helmet actually covers the skin. The real limitation is for impacts that can cause brain damage. A 36 mph relative speed impact carries 9 times the energy of 12 mph. A helmet designed to only just cope with the lower speed will absorb only one-ninth of the energy at the higher speed. One-ninth may be worth having, of course, but it isn't the magic bullet that some claim. I wish it was.

Happy and safe cycling!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Sep 2010, 10:32pm

Adding FaceBook is easy, and is a good publicity tool - but I've no idea how flexible it is in terms of publishing.
Also, however pervasive it appears, there are a good number of people who do not use FB.

Any better ideas than helmetsense... One advantage - It's available ;)
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: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Sep 2010, 11:01pm

Made a very brief start - no content yet, but that's not my primary talent ;)

http://tennis.dawnlink.ltd.uk/helmetsense/
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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7_lives_left
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Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby 7_lives_left » 2 Sep 2010, 12:41am

cycle carnot wrote:Just a couple of other thought. I know from personal experience that cycling helmets are not seen as "cool" by some. That may explain why the numbers of cyclists reduces if helmets are compulsory. Could any campaign attempt to counter that (it will be a long-term campaign if so)? Also, would the vehemence of opposition to compulsion on here rule out recommending the use of helmets when riding on busy roads? When not on cycle paths?? See what I mean - this might come across as more constructive and even less confrontational.

That's good advice. But on a technical point the roads versus cycle paths thing might actually be counter-intuitive. I've seen data posted on the forum here suggesting that cycle paths can end up having higher accident rates than certain types of road. Road: good surfaces, benign environment, predictable road users. Cycle paths: often poor surfaces, less than benign environment, unpredicatable users.