Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

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.
StopHeadway
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby StopHeadway » 5 Mar 2011, 11:58pm

It's true that evidence of reductions in cycling are not prima facie evidence of lower activity overall, but if cycling was replaced by an equivalent form of exercise there would not be a profound difference in health between those who do and do-not cycle.

If you asked me to speculate on an example cause - when we talk about moving people from cycling to something else, it generally means that maintaining an equivalent activity level would require people to *add* an extra two 20-30 minute cardio sessions every day, in addition to spending the time they formerly spent on the bike sitting in their car. Most people will not have an hour a day slack time every single day, and thus miss out on exactly the kind of short, regular exercise that comes so highly recommended.

And by no coincidence, long-term studies which look at (amongst other things) whether people cycle to work or not have demonstrated those who do enjoy a vastly lower mortality rate than their colleagues who do not. This suggests that while non-cycling colleagues *could* do other forms of exercise, they don't.

There are also studies directly estimating these effects in numbers (for Australia especially, where the helmet law repeal campaign is growing ever stronger). I leave it to the interested reader to have a snoop about.

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Graham
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Graham » 6 Mar 2011, 8:52am

Are there Northern Ireland statistics available for head injuries and their severity and how they were caused ??

Headway will concentrate on these rather than the wider picture of KSIs.
(Well I hope they are, otherwise the call for plastic hat compulsion is even more bonkers than I first thought.)

EDIT : partially answered here.

snibgo
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby snibgo » 6 Mar 2011, 9:05am

Graham wrote:Are there Northern Ireland statistics available for head injuries and their severity and how they were caused ??

I don't know the answer, but it must be very low.

From a BMJ paper I recently quoted (http://adc.bmj.com/content/90/11/1182.abstract), over a one-year period in Northern Ireland, 27 children (age 0 to 14) were admitted to ICU for traumatic brain injury. The paper doesn't break this down, but for the UK as a whole, 10% of such admissions were from cyclists.

So we might estimate child cyclist brain injuries (that require admission to ICU) in NI at around 2.7 per year.

Steady rider
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 6 Mar 2011, 11:50am

Head injuries

Great Britain accident data for 2009 reports the proportion of road casualties with injury to head/face.
For the age group 0 - 15 years, pedestrians 53%, car occupants 46%, pedal cyclists 40%
For all ages, pedestrians 46%, car occupants 32%, pedal cyclists 37%.

Length of stay (all injuries)
The average length of stay in hospital was:
pedestrians 4.8 days, car occupants 3.3 days, pedal cyclists 2.3 days.
Table 6d 2009 report (85/205)

UK includes NI, whereas GB does not of course

http://www.nisra.gov.uk/archive/demogra ... RG2009.pdf
Eighty-Eighth Annual Report of the Registrar General 2009, Table 5.1, page 28
Suicide and Undetermined, Deaths (Year Registered) , 2007 – 242, 2008 – 282, 2009 - 260

2.6.5. page 48, During 2009 there were 14,413 deaths registered
of which 189 or one per cent were to children
Last edited by Steady rider on 19 Mar 2011, 1:10pm, edited 1 time in total.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Mar 2011, 1:44pm

Some website info... Looking at top referrers (i.e. how people found Wrongheaded)

I've filtered out some mail sites etc...
http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=44779.0
http://forum.ctc.org.uk/ (various links)
http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpres ... hp?id=2443
http://www.facebook.com/ (probably various)
http://www.cyclechat.net/topic/78718-an ... -petition/
http://www.cyclenation.org.uk/news.php
http://downfader.blogspot.com/

Oops - I'll come to a point - is there anywhere else we should be waving the flag?
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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Si
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Si » 8 Mar 2011, 9:15am

Oops - I'll come to a point - is there anywhere else we should be waving the flag?


BikeRadar has a pretty big readership.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 Mar 2011, 9:50am

Anyone with an account over there?


We've had >350 hits from Ireland - which is nice...
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.

Jonty

Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Jonty » 11 Mar 2011, 1:17pm

Although I wear a helmet I think their use should not be compulsory; however, I don't feel sufficiently strongly about the issue to sign the petition to the NI Assembly.
jonty

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Mar 2011, 5:22pm

Jonty wrote:Although I wear a helmet I think their use should not be compulsory; however, I don't feel sufficiently strongly about the issue to sign the petition to the NI Assembly.
jonty


Would you feel more strongly if the law was being passed in Leicestershire?

(not saying you should or shouldn't, just a question)
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.

Jonty

Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Jonty » 11 Mar 2011, 7:01pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Jonty wrote:Although I wear a helmet I think their use should not be compulsory; however, I don't feel sufficiently strongly about the issue to sign the petition to the NI Assembly.
jonty


Would you feel more strongly if the law was being passed in Leicestershire?

(not saying you should or shouldn't, just a question)


Possibly a bit.
I suppose NI could be a reasonable test case. If compulsory use were to be introduced in NI IMO it should be for a limited period and then subject to monitoring and evaluation.
if say after 3 years the evidence suggested that compulsory use did significantly reduce cycling activity and did not significantly reduce injuries then I think there would be a good case for the "experiment" being discontinued.
On the other hand if the evidence suggested that it did not significantly reduce cycling activity and did significantly reduce injuries than there could be a case for compulsion to be made permanent and extended to the rest of the UK.
jonty

Steady rider
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 11 Mar 2011, 7:46pm

PART III, Article 7 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

Article 7
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

The UK report RSRR30 reported 31 papers in favour of helmets or legislation compared with 32 against. The evidence supporting helmet use and legislation is clearly divided.

People have a right not to be experiemented on, passing a law to see how it goes would be an experiment.

Jonty

Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Jonty » 11 Mar 2011, 8:30pm

Steady rider wrote:PART III, Article 7 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

Article 7
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

The UK report RSRR30 reported 31 papers in favour of helmets or legislation compared with 32 against. The evidence supporting helmet use and legislation is clearly divided.

People have a right not to be experiemented on, passing a law to see how it goes would be an experiment.


Are you implying that introducing compulsory helmet use in NI subject to a 3-year review would be illegal? If so, is your view based on professional legal advice?
jonty

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Mar 2011, 8:58pm

What's wrong with looking at Australia for instance...
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.

Steady rider
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Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 12 Mar 2011, 9:09am

professional legal advice would probably be expensive for me to obtain, but it is a consideration, there is substantial evidence to support the statements made.

http://www.freedomcyclist.blogspot.com/

You will see mention of;
"Dear Prime Minister,
In view of Article 7 of the ICCPR, I no longer want to be part of the bicycle helmet 'medical or scientific experiment'. Therefore please respect my right to ride my bicycle without a helmet which I exercise with my free refusal, the counter to free consent.
Kind regards,
Freedom cyclist
(extract from letter sent 4/11/2009)"

Freedoncyclist is a qualified solicitor.

Bendo
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Bendo » 12 Mar 2011, 9:46am

I'm an Australian cyclist living in the state of Victoria where compulsory helmet laws have been in effect since 1990. That's enough time for it to become a simple fact of life (a bit like compulsory voting, which many foreigners also find strange). But Australians seem to be fine with mandated safety measures: seat belts in cars, helmets on motorbikes and .05 BAC for drivers (.00 BAC for probationary drivers) with random breath-testing are measures that have been in place for years here and have always found widespread acceptance. In many of the above examples we were among the first in the world and many other countries have since followed suit.

Although we have a lot of great bike paths and bike lanes on our roads here, traffic increases seem to be exponential. Side streets that were quiet when I was young are lined with parked cars and are now effectively single lane thoroughfares where drivers (and cyclists) have to learn to yield. For a people accustomed to large amounts of space this is a bit of a shock for us. Speed limits have only recently been lowered to 50 km/n on side roads. Elsewhere cyclists share with traffic going 60, 70 and 80 km/h. Gov'ts of all stripes continue to build cities and infrastructure to accommodate cars but not people. Cyclists live in fear of the opening car door, debris in gutters, tram tracks, SUVs, etc, etc. Maybe this is the same as most countries.

While I can't comment on the pros and cons of compulsion, I can share personal experience. I have ridden two-wheeled vehicles since the age of 3 1/2. I am very at home on a bike. Yet in the last three years I have had three accidents where my helmet has been destroyed: 1) tyre caught in tram track, head was the first thing to hit the ground, 2) large radius left hand turn, hit a small patch of loose gravel with 1 inch tyres, head and shoulder hit the ground first, 3) chain came off whilst out of the saddle, pedalling uphill, again straight to ground. In each situation where I not wearing a helmet I would have been rendered unconscious. In situation (1) I would have been lying unconscious in the middle of a major city street. Even with a helmet, each time I suffered significant concussion (spaced-out feeling all day). In each case the helmet itself was cracked right through and had to be binned.

My point is this: I don't find helmets sexy or even stylish. If they were not compulsory I would never wear one. And if that were the case I would probably not be around (or not be able) to type this. So I feel it is my duty to register thanks to a law which may have saved my life more than once.

b