Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

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.
KTM690
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Postby KTM690 » 2 Feb 2011, 7:11pm

I think compulsory wearing of helmets is a good idea.

My perspective is from working in A+E for over 15 years and dealing with many cyclists that have sustained head injuries.

If my head were to strike the pavement at 20mph I'd prefer it to have a helmet on!

All of society pay's for head injury.

Some of the compensation will come from motorists insurance.

I don't see why motorists should pay greater premiums due to cyclists not wearing helmets.

I don't see why I should pay more tax to care for those injured that could've reduced their injury with a helmet.

"Wind in the hair" was the argument against compulsory motorcycle helmets. They've been shown to be a good idea.

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meic
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby meic » 2 Feb 2011, 7:25pm

KTM690 wrote:I think compulsory wearing of helmets is a good idea.

My perspective is from working in A+E for over 15 years and dealing with many cyclists that have sustained head injuries.

If my head were to strike the pavement at 20mph I'd prefer it to have a helmet on!

All of society pay's for head injury.

Some of the compensation will come from motorists insurance.

I don't see why motorists should pay greater premiums due to cyclists not wearing helmets.

I don't see why I should pay more tax to care for those injured that could've reduced their injury with a helmet.

"Wind in the hair" was the argument against compulsory motorcycle helmets. They've been shown to be a good idea.


They wouldnt if they didnt knock them off their bikes would they? They are paying the premiums for causing injuries NOT because the cyclist didnt have full body armour on.


Do you see why you should pay tax for ANYBODY who receives an injury without a helmet on that could've reduced their injury with a helmet, ever?
Yma o Hyd

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Feb 2011, 7:27pm

KTM690 wrote:I think compulsory wearing of helmets is a good idea.

I disagree. (No surprise there then)

KTM690 wrote:My perspective is from working in A+E for over 15 years and dealing with many cyclists that have sustained head injuries.

How many cyclists did you see over 15 years? And how many were wearing a helmet? What was the incidence of non head injuries to head injuries?
Did you ever deal with a motorist with a head injury? Or a pedestrian? Or a child who hit their head at home? Or me when I cracked my head open in the kitchen?

KTM690 wrote:If my head were to strike the pavement at 20mph I'd prefer it to have a helmet on!

Probably - but it's massively unlikely to happen, and I'd want to wear a full motorbike helmet for that anyway.
I can't recall the last time I hit my head falling off a bike - In fact I can't recall ever having done so (I have seen one crash where the rider hit their head, but that was 15 years ago)*

KTM690 wrote:All of society pay's for head injury.

All of society pays a much higher price for a sedentary lifestyle, both personally and as a society.
Additionally an increase in cycling would reduce congestion, which most people think would be a good idea.

KTM690 wrote:Some of the compensation will come from motorists insurance.

Compensation for what?

KTM690 wrote:I don't see why motorists should pay greater premiums due to cyclists not wearing helmets.

Neither do I - I do think they should be banned from driving if they hit a cyclist.

KTM690 wrote:I don't see why I should pay more tax to care for those injured that could've reduced their injury with a helmet.

I don't see why I should pay more tax to care for those who could have improved their health by cycling.

KTM690 wrote:"Wind in the hair" was the argument against compulsory motorcycle helmets. They've been shown to be a good idea.

Have they? I can't say I've seen very many damaged motorbike helmets outside a track. Where is the sharp drop in motorcyclist fatalities which would bear out your assertion that they have been shown to be a good idea.


One thing that is very surprising about statistics is that across the country the seemingly random events of a drunk getting behind the wheel and driving up onto a pavement and killing people add up to pretty much the same number of deaths each year.
No amount of "they work, look at this person" can substitute for the complete lack of statistical evidence that any road safety measures have actually improved road safety. The statistics do however bear out a "safety in numbers" effect for motorists as well as cyclists...


--
* We'd just set off on a tour round Dartmoor, he got speed wobble down the first hill, and came off pretty fast. He cracked the helmet, but I'm pretty sure he'd not have died if he wasn't wearing it (although it might have taken a bit more than 6 hours for him to rejoin us). He'd have had much worse leg injuries but for the fact that I'd welded up some L section to carry 65 litre rucksacks as panniers, the fall bent the steel about 30 degrees but it held him and the bike well off the ground - that would have put him off the bike for a long while, make MickF's recent picture (old injury?) look like a small scrape.
Last edited by [XAP]Bob on 2 Feb 2011, 7:37pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.

irc
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby irc » 2 Feb 2011, 7:34pm

KTM690 wrote:I think compulsory wearing of helmets is a good idea.

My perspective is from working in A+E for over 15 years and dealing with many cyclists that have sustained head injuries.


A Glasgow study found that most head injuries were alcohol related. I'm sure your A+E experience will confirm this. Do you support a call for drinking helmets?
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?

iron legs
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Postby iron legs » 2 Feb 2011, 7:36pm

I've been cycling longer than 15 years and work in the emergency services. Cycle helmets have not been shown to save lives. A motorcycle helmet will not always save a motorcyclist when in collision with another motor vehicle. Fat chance of a cycle helmet protecting a cyclist when hit by a motor vehicle. This legislation is supposedly to protect cyclists, the spurious reason used for compulsory wearing of helmets. There isn't even a decent BS standard applicable to cycle helmets to protect against cranial injury, but how will a helmet prevent a broken neck caused by an impact with a motor vehicle? Anyway what weight would a helmet and neck support be to give the level of protection required?

Motor insurance companies do not 'always pay' as anyone who has been involved in a collision with a hit and run driver will confirm. If the driver makes off and is not caught or else is not insured it is the Motor Insurance Bureau which picks up the tab which means I pay for it on my insurance along with everyone else.

I also pay tax, both to central government and local government. The stupid legislation has to be policed so the tax payer has to pay. A £50 is to be implemented for not wearing a helmet. If you don't pay the fine then I would image court will follow, again paid for by the tax payer. If fined in court and still refuses to pay, then likely a warrant will be issued in default, so then I would image a week or two in HMP will follow. Is this a good use of tax payers money? Under Human Rights legislation, is this legislation a proportionate response to the problem?

KTM690
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby KTM690 » 2 Feb 2011, 7:48pm

Interesting.


I see little difference in your arguments against helmets and the advocation of scrapping seatbelts.

There's a wealth of evidence demonstrating reduction in injuries from helmet wearing motorcyclists Vs not wearing helmet.

Get googling the evidence is substantial.

a good example from A+E is the way those that are used to working in cities have to be made aware of the different approach required to assessing cyclist injuries in rural areas.

Cyclist (and other traffic) speed is generally lower in cities as opposed to rural areas. a higher degree of caution/suspicion is required when establishing events of a cyclist's head injury as their speeds are frequently higher.

Another part of examination is checking the cyclist's helmet. They are frequently crushed split etc demonstrating that they have absorbed the energy of impact.

The major shortcoming in Headways campaign is not requiring that Cycle helmets should meet minimum standards fror impact resistance, visibility (white) and reflectiveness.

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meic
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby meic » 2 Feb 2011, 7:53pm

KTM690 wrote:Interesting.


I see little difference in your arguments against helmets and the advocation of scrapping seatbelts.

There's a wealth of evidence demonstrating reduction in injuries from helmet wearing motorcyclists Vs not wearing helmet.

Get googling the evidence is substantial.

a good example from A+E is the way those that are used to working in cities have to be made aware of the different approach required to assessing cyclist injuries in rural areas.

Cyclist (and other traffic) speed is generally lower in cities as opposed to rural areas. a higher degree of caution/suspicion is required when establishing events of a cyclist's head injury as their speeds are frequently higher.

Another part of examination is checking the cyclist's helmet. They are frequently crushed split etc demonstrating that they have absorbed the energy of impact.

The major shortcoming in Headways campaign is not requiring that Cycle helmets should meet minimum standards fror impact resistance, visibility (white) and reflectiveness.



Are you claiming to be a highly qualified materials engineer now?

Because if not this slightly qualified material's engineer would like to point out that that statement is completely wrong and shows a total misunderstanding of energy "absorption" of materials.
Unfortunately a lot of this argument is based on similarly flawed axioms.
Yma o Hyd

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Phil_Lee
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby Phil_Lee » 2 Feb 2011, 7:57pm

KTM690 wrote:I think compulsory wearing of helmets is a good idea.


Then you don't know how to evaluate the evidence, or simply haven't bothered.

KTM690 wrote:
My perspective is from working in A+E for over 15 years and dealing with many cyclists that have sustained head injuries.



And how many in the same period from other causes?
What proportion were actually serious, compared to those from other causes?
And how many fewer head injuries were there among helmeted cyclists?

KTM690 wrote:
If my head were to strike the pavement at 20mph I'd prefer it to have a helmet on!



If my head passes within an inch of another vehicle's mirror I'd much prefer it to miss, instead of braining me.
If I fall off, for whatever reason, I want my reflexes unaffected by any perceived protection, so that my natural instinct to protect my head will do it's job. And I don't want my effective head size increased to the point that it makes contact with other objects pretty much inevitable if I do have a minor tumble.

KTM690 wrote:
All of society pay's for head injury.



But cycling is a relatively unusual way of acquiring one.
Strokes are a far more common cause of brain damage, and cycling regularly reduces the chances of having a stroke.

KTM690 wrote:
Some of the compensation will come from motorists insurance.



More probably should, since motorists seem to be a major cause of it.

KTM690 wrote:
I don't see why motorists should pay greater premiums due to cyclists not wearing helmets.



There is no evidence at all that they would have to.

KTM690 wrote:
I don't see why I should pay more tax to care for those injured that could've reduced their injury with a helmet.



There is no evidence that increases in helmet wearing have ever reduced the likelihood of cyclists getting a head injury.
There is solid evidence that it seriously reduces the level of cycling, which reduces the "safety in numbers" effect AND increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, several cancers, etc. The cost of caring for the victims of these suck up far more of your tax than a few injured cyclists.

KTM690 wrote:
"Wind in the hair" was the argument against compulsory motorcycle helmets. They've been shown to be a good idea.


Actually, they haven't.
The US states that have revoked their compulsory helmet laws have not seen any increase in head injury rates.
The decreases elsewhere can all be attributed to other changes that happened at the same time.

But, (like headway) you've clearly made up your mind, and won't be confused by facts.

This entire thread is about how to counter the lies told by headway, so your support of those lies in this thread is trolling.

irc
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby irc » 2 Feb 2011, 8:04pm

KTM690 wrote:a good example from A+E is the way those that are used to working in cities have to be made aware of the different approach required to assessing cyclist injuries in rural areas.

Cyclist (and other traffic) speed is generally lower in cities as opposed to rural areas. a higher degree of caution/suspicion is required when establishing events of a cyclist's head injury as their speeds are frequently higher.


So cyclists involved in accidents on high speed rural roads are more likely to sustain serious injuries than cyclists injured in low speed urban accidents. I'm sure that's news to us all.

Although I'd prefer my doctor to assess my injuries without preconceived ideas as to their nature.
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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Phil_Lee
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby Phil_Lee » 2 Feb 2011, 8:16pm

Ah, I've just noticed that KTM690 only joined yesterday, and has made 40 posts since, among which I haven't yet seen one that isn't provocative.
I suspect that either he is associated with Headway, and has joined for the specific purpose of disrupting this effort to counter their lies, or just came here to make contentious posts and provoke arguments.

So I don't believe a word he has written.

KTM690
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby KTM690 » 2 Feb 2011, 8:16pm

Wearing a helmet doesn't prevent you from operating a bicycle!

I see some have "sucked up" arguments that it will reduce the amount of people choosing to use a bicycle.

Deciding not to cycle to work and use the car/motorbike/bus isn't going to result in a stroke/infarct/chronic cake retention.

Of all cycle journeys how many are for getting to work?

I cycle to have fun, trailer my daughter about, build up fitness for enduro motorbiking and as a cheap alternative to a taxi when going for a night out.

These reasons fit in with a large proportion of people that cycle. Choosing not to commute to work on a pushbike doesn't mean your not a "cyclist"

Like my view or not they are the ones of a layman cyclist as opposed to the ones of a self appointed hardcore puritan cyclist so anointed because they commute to work on a pushbike.

I suspect the general public, like myself, will welcome helmet cycle law.

Some will welcome the aspect of accountability that it imparts on cyclists.

As for enforcement - that'll be a joke. Can't even get cyclists to use lights let alone helmets!

I do agree that current cycle helmet design needs improvement - they're a long way off motorcycle helmets.

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meic
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby meic » 2 Feb 2011, 8:25pm

There is a good point, IF helmets are to be compulsory, they should at least be helmets that are effective, like motorcycle helmets.
Otherwise it is inconvenience for no benefit.
Yma o Hyd

irc
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby irc » 2 Feb 2011, 8:26pm

KTM690 wrote:I cycle to have fun, trailer my daughter about, build up fitness for enduro motorbiking and as a cheap alternative to a taxi when going for a night out..


Hopefully your nights out are alcohol free or you may need your helmet. I'd suggest the increased risk from cycling after a few pints far outweighs any benefit from a helmet.
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?

Malaconotus
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby Malaconotus » 2 Feb 2011, 8:28pm

KTM690 wrote:Interesting.


I see little difference in your arguments against helmets and the advocation of scrapping seatbelts.

There's a wealth of evidence demonstrating reduction in injuries from helmet wearing motorcyclists Vs not wearing helmet.

Get googling the evidence is substantial.

a good example from A+E is the way those that are used to working in cities have to be made aware of the different approach required to assessing cyclist injuries in rural areas.

Cyclist (and other traffic) speed is generally lower in cities as opposed to rural areas. a higher degree of caution/suspicion is required when establishing events of a cyclist's head injury as their speeds are frequently higher.

Another part of examination is checking the cyclist's helmet. They are frequently crushed split etc demonstrating that they have absorbed the energy of impact.

The major shortcoming in Headways campaign is not requiring that Cycle helmets should meet minimum standards fror impact resistance, visibility (white) and reflectiveness.


Not sure if you're arguing naively from a position of ignorance or trolling for fun.

Please bring yourself up to speed on the debate, (there are dozens of previous threads on here) and come back when you have yourself considered at least a representative sample of the evidence. This is the best place to start... http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1139.html

This thread is for the discussion of how to tackle the threat of compulsion in Northern Ireland. No-one who believes in evidence-based policy-making, and who has properly studied the matter can contend that, on balance, compulsion is a good idea or has positive health outcomes for the population as a whole. Like me, they might still choose to wear a helmet depending on how and where they are riding, but there is simply no rational case for forcing people to wear them.

Graham

PS - Like many people I took the 'commonsense' view on helmets until I did some proper reading. Please do the same.

Malaconotus
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Re: Stop Headway - Helmet compulsion in Northern Ireland

Postby Malaconotus » 2 Feb 2011, 8:31pm

Phil_Lee wrote:Ah, I've just noticed that KTM690 only joined yesterday, and has made 40 posts since, among which I haven't yet seen one that isn't provocative.


Agreed. I call 'troll' and suggest we stop feeding him.

Graham