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.
eltonioni
Posts: 171
Joined: 22 Aug 2009, 11:53am

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby eltonioni » 2 Sep 2010, 7:16am

If the campaign has a single issue (helmet choice) I'd be careful that it remains so to avoid confusing messages.

To me, cycle path safety (and the choice to use them) is a separate topic and you wouldn't want to create any wriggle room for a case for helmets on roads and no helmets off the roads.

User avatar
7_lives_left
Posts: 798
Joined: 9 May 2008, 8:29pm
Location: South Bucks

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby 7_lives_left » 2 Sep 2010, 10:27am

eltonioni wrote:If the campaign has a single issue (helmet choice) I'd be careful that it remains so to avoid confusing messages.

To me, cycle path safety (and the choice to use them) is a separate topic and you wouldn't want to create any wriggle room for a case for helmets on roads and no helmets off the roads.


+1 re Helmets on road, Helmets on cycle paths.

I have my doubts about the wisdom of this whole endeavor. I see helmets are somewhat irrelevant. If you make helmets the focus of the campaign you are falling into a trap. They are only incidental. What measures actually make cycling safer?

The way to counter the arguments of the likes of Headway is to move the argument away from helmets and make the helmet mongers irrelevant.

User avatar
Guy951
Posts: 1596
Joined: 14 Jul 2009, 8:23am
Location: Mid Beds

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Guy951 » 2 Sep 2010, 11:49am

[quote="7_lives_left]

I have my doubts about the wisdom of this whole endeavor. I see helmets are somewhat irrelevant. If you make helmets the focus of the campaign you are falling into a trap. They are only incidental. What measures actually make cycling safer?

The way to counter the arguments of the likes of Headway is to move the argument away from helmets and make the helmet mongers irrelevant.[/quote][/quote][/quote][/quote]

+1
While still using the stats to refute Headways ridiculous claims of course.
What manner of creature's this, being but half a fish and half a monster

Kirst
Posts: 375
Joined: 16 Nov 2007, 7:38pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Kirst » 2 Sep 2010, 2:04pm

[XAP]Bob wrote: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 ;)

Use Your Head?
I can handle bars and cycle paths but I can't handle cars and psychopaths

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/notinmyname

User avatar
anothereye
Posts: 750
Joined: 8 Mar 2009, 4:56pm
Location: Haringey, North London

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby anothereye » 3 Sep 2010, 11:53am

Here is an idea ('may not be a good one!):
Instead of emphasising helmets, why not make the website about all the 'counter-intuitive' aspects to cycling, eg:
Most people assume:
1. cycle paths are safer than roads, they're not (give explanation).
2. helmets save lives, they do sometimes but .........
3. cycling fast in traffic is dangerous, in fact it's safer when you can keep up with the speed of other vehicles.

plus, eg. Lots of cyclists think it's safer keeping near the curb, it's not (give explanation).

There are probably other things that could be added?
_______________________________________________________________
http://www.roadusers.net/
reducing danger for all road users

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby iviehoff » 22 Sep 2010, 11:05am

Few people using the new Boris Bikes in London wear helmets. Being aimed at occasional users who don't expect to be equipped with everything, I think a compulsory helmet law would have destroyed its prospects. I think the no-compulsion movement has a powerful new supporter and practical argument.

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Jonty » 22 Sep 2010, 10:54pm

I'm a great believer in talking to people if you have a difference of view on an important matter which you wish to try and resolve.
If the CTC as a body thinks that Headway has got the wrong end of the stick on helmet use then I suggest that the way forward is to marshall your evidence and arrange to discuss the matter with them with a view to identifying those areas where we agree and those areas where we disagree.
I suggest this is the mature approach.
It would demonstrate that you reasonable, open-minded, confident that you have a case and you immediately occupy the moral high ground.
If they agree to meet then all may benefit from the interchange of views and evidence. If not then their position I suggest has been weakened and an approach on the lines suggested may be necessary.
I agree that our approach should be to assume that the position they have taken on the matter is for the very best of reasons.
If we were to do this however I suggest we need to clarify our position because it seems to me to be riddled with inconsistencies. In particular it seems to me to be dominated by a anti-helmet lobby which hasn't properly thought through its postion, and which will raise anything no matter how irrelevant to undermine helmet use, rather than focusing on why the use of cycling helmets should not be compulsory in the UK.
This, I suggest would not only alienate members of the public but also the many cyclists who choose to wear a helmet.
jonty

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby snibgo » 23 Sep 2010, 1:31am

Jonty wrote:In particular it seems to me to be dominated by a anti-helmet lobby ...

Where do you see an anti-helmet lobby? There have been a few jokes about exploding heads, and I plead guilty to a few myself. But I am anti-compulsion, not anti-helmet. There is a big difference.

I don't know if CTC have a position on compulsion, or on whether Headway is misguided.

I agree that a meeting between Headway and the anti-compulsion lobby could be interesting.

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby snibgo » 23 Sep 2010, 1:44am

CTC Policy Handbook, March 2004, http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3839:

CTC believes compulsion to be negative and unnecessary.

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Jonty » 24 Sep 2010, 12:54pm

snibgo wrote:
Jonty wrote:In particular it seems to me to be dominated by a anti-helmet lobby ...

Where do you see an anti-helmet lobby? There have been a few jokes about exploding heads, and I plead guilty to a few myself. But I am anti-compulsion, not anti-helmet. There is a big difference.

I agree with you that there is a big difference between anti-compulsion and anti-helmet.
Like you I'm anti-compulsion but not anti-helmet.
But what you find reading posts on this subject is that some justify anti-compulsion by being anti-Helmet. They say that Helmets are of no use - they argue that they don't offer any protection and in some accidents make matters worse. They don't want to accept that in certain limited circumstances helmets may help because they think that if this were accepted then it would strengthen the case for compulsion.
Their positon is that they are not anti-helmet in the sense that people can wear them if they want but if they do so they are acting irrationally as helmets don't provide any protection in any circumstances.
I think this is an unreasonable stance to take. Helmets do provide some protection in some limited circumstances. All the people who wear them are not misguided.
I also think that this unreasonable stance has two unfortunately implications. First, it weakens the case for anti-compulsion. If the argument that helmets don't provide any protection in any circumstances is used to justify the case for not making them compulsory, then the case will lack credibility. People will say why should we take any notice of this when it's quite obvious that wearing a helmet does provide some protection in some circumstances and to argue otherwise is ridiculous.
Second, it means that perhaps not enough effort is being directed to improving the quality of helmets and ensuring the cyclists are aware of which helmets meet the highest standards when they want to buy one.
I've actually come across a response to a post of mine where it was argued that the CTC shouldn't lobby to improve helmets because this would undermine the case against compulsion as it would implicitly be accepting that helmets were of value and offered some protection!
I'm writing posts on this subject because 1) I want the argument against compulsion to be reasonable and credible and 2) I want to give a higher profile to the issues of improving helmet design and standards and ensuring that cyclists have accurate, easily accessible and helpful information on existing helmet standards and know where to buy a helmet which meets the highest standards currently available.
I think both objectives are worthwhile.
jonty

MartinC
Posts: 1840
Joined: 10 May 2007, 6:31pm
Location: Bredon

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby MartinC » 24 Sep 2010, 1:40pm

Jonty wrote: They don't want to accept that in certain limited circumstances helmets may help


Jonty, if your definition of being anti-helmet is anyone who doesn't agree with your semantic view of the effectiveness of helmets then you're going to find yourself creating many "anti helmet" people.

I don't think I've ever come across anyone who doesn't think that helmets may provide some protection in some circumstances. For me, and many others, the issue is whether the protection offered makes them effective in doing what they're "supposed to". I believe a helmet will provide a degree of protection against scrapes and grazes (so will track mitts). Beyond this neither the evidence nor the physics allow you to assume much else - so promoting the idea that they're effective in mitigating head injury in cycling accidents is speculative. A reasonable definition of effective would go way beyond stopping scratches.

There are also sound rationales for expecting them to have a negative effect in other circumstances. But there's no more evidence to support this than there is to support the view that they help.

I'm not anti helmet. I'd welcome the invention of an effective one but I haven't seen it yet.


edit for typo

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Jonty » 24 Sep 2010, 2:13pm

MartinC wrote:
Jonty wrote: They don't want to accept that in certain limited circumstances helmets may help


Jonty, if your definition of being anti-helmet is anyone who doesn't agree with your semantic view of the effectiveness of helmets then you're going to find yourself creating many "anti helmet" people.

I don't think I've ever come across anyone who doesn't think that helmets may provide some protection in some circumstances. For me, and many others, the issue is whether the protection offered makes them effective in doing what they're "supposed to". I believe a helmet will provide a degree of protection against scrapes and grazes (so will track mitts). Beyond this neither the evidence nor the physics allow you to assume much else - so promoting the idea that they're effective in mitigating head injury in cycling accidents is speculative. A reasonable definition of effective would go way beyond stopping scratches.

There are also sound rationales for expecting them to have a negative effect in other circumstances. But there's no more evidence to support this than there is to support the view that they help.

I'm not anti helmet. I'd welcome the invention of an effective one but I haven't seen it yet.


edit for typo


Martin
Thanks for that.
I've come across quite a few who haven't been willing to accept that helmets can provide some protection in some circumstances.
I've put this proposition forward in a number of posts and several have rejected it.
I suggest to you however that their benefits could go beyond "scrapes and grazes".
You make these sound trivial but that depends on their severity.
What about lacerations and perhaps bruising? Would helmets not reduce these?
Are these not head injuries?
jonty

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby Jonty » 24 Sep 2010, 3:24pm

Perhaps the campaign needs to be extended to the British Medical Association as well as Headway. The BMA supports compulsory use of helmets to the Snell Certification standard.
Perhaps we need a meeting with the BMA as well as Headway?
jonty

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby snibgo » 24 Sep 2010, 4:06pm

Personally, I don't care if I pick up a few scrapes and bruises, but I do care greatly about getting a brain injury with effects of more than a day or so.

My position is:

- If I'm in an accident, a bike helmet may mitigate such an injury. Or it may exacerbate it.
- It may increase the chance of me being in such an accident.
- It is almost totally irrelevant to my safety while cycling. Factors under my control that are far more important include: bike roadworthiness, my cyclecraft, and my choice of when, where and how to ride.

I do sometimes wear a bike helmet. It is Snell-certified.

I never wear one while walking or in a car. Why not? My position here is difficult to defend. After all, my chances of brain damage as a car occupant or pedestrian are similar to that as a cyclist.

MartinC
Posts: 1840
Joined: 10 May 2007, 6:31pm
Location: Bredon

Re: Stop Headway - Campaign

Postby MartinC » 24 Sep 2010, 4:12pm

Jonty, couple of points.

Lacerations, bruising, etc. This is getting to the nub of one of the issues. What's a reasonable expectation from an effective helmet? Knowing that a helmet might mitigate some trivial injuries and then implicitly inferring that it might do much more beyond that is a leap of faith.

The BMA's position is interesting and I'm sure you'd be interested to google around and find out more about this. The BMA's position was fairly agnostic for a long time based on their Cycling and Health study from the mid nineties (google Mayer Hillman). They reversed this recently at a conference where a motion was pushed through with virtually no debate leaving many members unhappy with the outcome.