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.
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meic
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby meic » 12 Mar 2011, 9:56am

Odd,

I have done 37,000miles in the past 6 years and only managed to scrape my knee when learning how to use SPDs.

Why should I have to wear a helmet?
Yma o Hyd

Jonty

Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Jonty » 12 Mar 2011, 11:40am

I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty
PS
I don't support compulsory use of cycling helmets. I'm simply pointing out what I think is the inconsistency in your argument.

gremlin
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby gremlin » 12 Mar 2011, 12:43pm

Having attended the combined Outdoor and Bicycle show in the London Excel centre earlier this year I got talking to the staff on the NI tourism stand. I was surprised to hear that in NI the rivers allow almost complete access for kayakers, a fact that I was not previously aware of. Being a kayaker this certainly got me thinking about my next adventure holiday as I have previously spent 18 months in NI due to work commitments, but would love to visit for a holiday.

As a kayaker (and a former instructor) I would certainly wear a kayaking helmet where the situation warrants it. I do not need any law to tell me when or where to wear a helmet. Subject knowledge, training, experience, common sense and freedom of choice are the principles I apply to myself and those I have taught in the past in relation to the wearing of helmets when kayaking. Why would I want to wear a helmet when kayaking down a gently meandering river in the lovely countryside of NI? Statistically the risk is negligible in this situation. On the other hand kayaking down a raging rapid would see me definitely wearing a helmet.

As well as being a kayaker I am also cyclist (and a cycling instructor) who regularly commutes 30 miles a day, as well as cycling for pleasure. As with kayaking I wear cycle helmet as and when the situation warrants it. As described above just change a meandering river to a meandering country road etc. Having also previously been a driving instructor (Cars and LGV) I believe rather than wasting valuable time, money and resources on this law the authorities of NI would be better served in providing training for cyclists and indeed all road users to prevent the likelihood of accidents between road users.

Forcing people to wear helmets is not the answer as like many health and safety issues, you should proactively prevent the cause (through awareness and training) rather than reacting to potential accidents by forcing people to wear PPE. The health related benefits of cycling are well documented so why put another barrier in the way of people enjoying cycling and getting fit?

Myself and many of my kayaking and cycling friends would now certainly think twice about visiting NI on holiday, if by law we have to wear a helmet at all times to cycle in what is a lovely country famous for its Ulster Fry and Soda bread!
Simon
AKA - Gremlin

"The glass is always half full"

Steady rider
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 12 Mar 2011, 1:51pm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... 00/?page=1

Wasserman 1988 Reported interviewing 516 cyclists over the age of 10 years regarding helmet use. At the time of the interview, 40 out of 516 (7.8%) were wearing helmets. The 516 were asked if they had fallen and struck their heads in the previous 18 months. Out of 21 who reported such falls, 8 were helmeted at the time of their fall and 13 were not. For helmeted riders this represented 20% (8 from 40) of their group and for non-helmeted 2.8% of their group (13 from 476). Comparing the 20% to the 2.8% shows a ratio of 7 to 1 (700%) of helmeted riders being more involved in accidents.

In Melbourne cycling reduced by 36% and for country areas perhaps even more, precise survey data for country areas were not made public.

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

Robinson provided a detailed assessment for children in Victoria and the data has been available for the past 14-15 years.

the more examples of cyclist falling off wearing helmets in a relatively short time period may tend to prove their accident rate is higher than would be the case without wearing them.

e.g
Erke and Elvik (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."
They also have a higher risk of impacting the helmet, see
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/head-helmet.doc

Mike Sales
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Mike Sales » 12 Mar 2011, 2:27pm

Jonty wrote:I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty
PS
I don't support compulsory use of cycling helmets. I'm simply pointing out what I think is the inconsistency in your argument.


What is the inconsistency? Is that you accept, like so many, that compulsory seat belts are a good thing? And if that is so, then compulsory helmets must be too? Given the evidence, one could make a case for drivers' seat belts to be illegal.
Apropos of NI, but not seat belts, I seem to remember that throughout the Troubles there, the road death rate was twice the rate for the rest of Great Britain, and twice that from paramilitary action.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Cunobelin » 12 Mar 2011, 4:08pm

Jonty wrote:I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty
PS
I don't support compulsory use of cycling helmets. I'm simply pointing out what I think is the inconsistency in your argument.


Actually you are correct - lets mirror the arguments

More car occupants suffer head injuries than cyclists

Professional bodies recommend car helmets (RAC/ ACU)

All car sports require helmets

There are lots of "Helmet saved my life" anecdotes

Medical professional suggest the use of helmets in racing and motor sports

Steady rider
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 12 Mar 2011, 5:12pm

http://www.copenhagenize.com/2011/02/au ... lmets.html

http://www.monash.edu.au/muarc/reports/atsb160.pdf

I think they proposed legislation for car occupants some time ago, another first again the sunshine land.

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

Postby [XAP]Bob » 12 Mar 2011, 5:44pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Jonty wrote:I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty
PS
I don't support compulsory use of cycling helmets. I'm simply pointing out what I think is the inconsistency in your argument.


What is the inconsistency? Is that you accept, like so many, that compulsory seat belts are a good thing? And if that is so, then compulsory helmets must be too? Given the evidence, one could make a case for drivers' seat belts to be illegal.
Apropos of NI, but not seat belts, I seem to remember that throughout the Troubles there, the road death rate was twice the rate for the rest of Great Britain, and twice that from paramilitary action.

huge difference between illegal and not compulsory.
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.

Mike Sales
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Mike Sales » 12 Mar 2011, 5:50pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:huge difference between illegal and not compulsory.


I know. I meant what I wrote.

Mike Sales
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Mike Sales » 12 Mar 2011, 7:00pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Jonty wrote:I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty
PS
I don't support compulsory use of cycling helmets. I'm simply pointing out what I think is the inconsistency in your argument.


What is the inconsistency? Is that you accept, like so many, that compulsory seat belts are a good thing? And if that is so, then compulsory helmets must be too? Given the evidence, one could make a case for drivers' seat belts to be illegal.
Apropos of NI, but not seat belts, I seem to remember that throughout the Troubles there, the road death rate was twice the rate for the rest of Great Britain, and twice that from paramilitary action.


I'm sorry. I did not read very well.

Steady rider
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 14 Mar 2011, 8:45pm

Northern Ireland Assembly debates, 31 January 2011
Mr Ramsey, stated
"Let me refer to a peer-reviewed ‘British Medical Journal’ study into the impact of cycling helmet legislation in Canada, where there are different pieces of legislation in various states. It makes for interesting comparisons. The study found that helmets were reportedly worn by 73·2% of respondents in Nova Scotia, where legislation applies to all ages; by 40·6% of respondents in Ontario, where legislation applies to those who are under 18 years of age; and by almost 30% of respondents in similar areas where no legislation exists.

It also found that, following the implementation of legislation in Prince Edward Island and Alberta, recreational and commuting bicycle use remained unchanged among youths and adults.

The study concluded that Canadian youths and adults are more likely to wear helmets as the comprehensive use of helmet legislation increases. Interestingly, it also found that helmet legislation is not associated with changes in ridership. In other words, it did not impact negatively on the number of people who use bicycles. I can provide references on those figures if any Member is interested in reviewing any of the evidence that I have presented
."

From the following information you may see Mr Ramsey was referring to misleading claims. The Assembly may have been unintentionally misled.
There are concerns about reports from Canada because on a few occasions they have failed to provide reliable information.
Cyclehelmets.org provides comment on the Canadian papers.
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1201.html

"
The authors therefore conclude that provincial helmet legislation in Canada has not led to the sharp declines in cycling that were seen in Australia and New Zealand following enforcement of cycle helmet legislation[1],[2].

The data presented do not support these conclusions. There are in fact sharp falls in cycling after legislation evident in the data, which the authors do not draw attention to."


In Canada they have failed to provide full surveys and assess the data properly.

http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/16/4/219
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content ... ev_el_2778


http://www.cycle-helmets.com/canada_helmets.html
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/canada-hel ... ssment.doc


Mr Ramsey also mentioned
Macpherson and Spinks in 2008 concluded that:

“Although the results of the review support bicycle helmet legislation for reducing head injuries, the evidence is currently insufficient to either support or negate the claims of bicycle helmet opponents that helmet laws may discourage cycling."

Earlier, I referred to a 2010 Canadian study, which found no adverse effect on the number of people who cycle. I will share my references with my colleagues in the Chamber, if they wish. I have the information, and they can see it for themselves.


Cycle helmet law not properly assessed
Published 2 September 2010,

Cyclists (Protective Headgear) Bill: Second Stage
Northern Ireland Assembly debates, 31 January 2011

Mr Ramsey made a point of the claim that legislation had not reduced cycling with one reference and referred back to it. However, he did not mention that Injury Prevention had published an e-letter, 'Cycle helmet law not properly assessed', claiming

“it appears the conclusions reached were ill considered and unreliable for a number of reasons”
and
“The article concludes that helmet legislation is not associated with changes in ridership. This statement is somewhat misleading. Fig 3 in the article shows trends of recreational bicycle use and the mean number of times cycled in Alberta and Prince Edward Island. Alberta youth data 2001 shows approximately 58% use bikes, 30 times a year, a combined product of 17.4 may indicate the level of cycling activity. In 2007, 58% also used bicycles but only 16 times per year, indicating a product of 9.28 and suggesting a reduced level of cycling activity by 47%.”

The authors did not reply.

Canada - East Yorks, Toronto studies.

Claims that the helmet law, a non-enforced law, did not discourage cycling appear not to be reliable. Law introduced Oct 95. The reports 2001, 2003 and 2006 contradict each other. The authors were asked to provide more information but they did not respond to the e-letter published in Injury Prevention. http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content ... ev_el_2451

Mr Ramsey provided information indicating cycling had not been discouraged but failed to mention concerns had been published claiming the statemnets were 'somewhat misleading', 'not properly assessed' and concerns expressed about reports from 2001and 2003.

Steady rider
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Steady rider » 21 Mar 2011, 5:15pm

http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/record/com ... tsBill.pdf

6/55, Mr Pat Ramsey
According to a UK Department for Transport report of 2008, cyclists accounted for over 50% of all those killed on the road and 9% of those seriously injured in road traffic collisions. In addition, Department for Transport figures for 2009 show that 115 pedal cyclists were killed and 2,450 were seriously injured across Britain.


(2538 road deaths in 2008, 115 cyclists (12 child), 572 pedestrians (57 child), so the 50% claim is an error)

6/55
Approximately 40% of seriously injured pedal cyclists were admitted to hospital with serious head injuries. That is quite an alarming figure. However, I do not want to suggest that it is dangerous for cyclists to be on the roads. That would be very misleading, and I would be misrepresenting my position. However, those are the facts of what happens in real life.


( 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%.
The average length of stay in hospital was, pedestrians 4.8 days, car occupants 3.3 days, pedal cyclists 2.3 days.)
It was misleading to claim a 40% figure for cyclists was alarming as head injuries are common for serious injuries.

8/55
A 2010 Canadian study by Jessica Dennis found that the compulsory wearing of cycle helmets had no adverse impact on the number of cyclists. Others speaking after me will argue differently, and that comes back to the finer point, which is that we need to independently examine that assertion in the round and get more detailed information from the Governments of those regions
.

Pat Ramsey referred twice to this claim on the 31 January as part of his speech in the Assembly and again referred to a misleading report.

Cyclehelmets.org provides comment on the Canadian papers.
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1201.html

"The authors therefore conclude that provincial helmet legislation in Canada has not led to the sharp declines in cycling that were seen in Australia and New Zealand following enforcement of cycle helmet legislation[1],[2].

The data presented do not support these conclusions. There are in fact sharp falls in cycling after legislation evident in the data, which the authors do not draw attention to."
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content ... ev_el_2778


23/55 Mr Peter McCabe (Headway NI):
“I have been in correspondence with Simon O‟Brien, the former Transport Minister for Western Australia”.

I have correspondence from Mr O‟Brien that states that legislation has worked in Western Australia and that there is no intention of repealing it. He believes that it has been beneficial to citizens. He states that although there was a decline in cycling for a short period, it subsequently picked up and the sales of bicycles in Western Australia have increased significantly over the past few years. It is the same in New Zealand


41/55 Mr Derek Armstrong (Cyclists’ Touring Club/Sustrans):
In New Zealand, when the law was introduced in 1994, cycle trips dropped by 26% and continued to fall until 2006, when they had dropped to 51% below pre-law levels.

The statment about NZ 23/55 does not reflect the serious reduction in cycling as mentioned on page 41/55.

http://www.cycle-helmets.com/nrss-submission1.html provides details on cycling in Australia.

Mr Ramsey states Headway had provided a briefing document. Statements by Headway and Mr Ramsey may mislead readers.

http://www.bmj.com/content/332/7543/722.2.extract
No clear evidence from countries that have enforced the wearing of helmets

chrismyatt
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby chrismyatt » 19 Apr 2011, 7:43am

Norman Baker is my local MP, I have never seen him riding a bicycle, but he does seem to drive everywhere, so he would not really know much about cycling apart from boosting his own publicity.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Cunobelin » 19 Apr 2011, 6:56pm

Jonty wrote:I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty



You certainly should, there would be a far greater contribution to Public Health, and a far greater reduction on the burden of head injuries to the NHS if car drivers wore helmets

The evidence also suggests that helmets in cars would be of greater benefit than seatbelts in reducing head injury to vehicle occupants!

Jonty

Re: Wrongheaded - the campaign against compulsion!

Postby Jonty » 23 Apr 2011, 5:51pm

Cunobelin wrote:
Jonty wrote:I've driven a car for 50 years and never had an accident except when I bumped my head when closing the boot. Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Perhaps I should wear a helmet instead?
jonty



You certainly should, there would be a far greater contribution to Public Health, and a far greater reduction on the burden of head injuries to the NHS if car drivers wore helmets

The evidence also suggests that helmets in cars would be of greater benefit than seatbelts in reducing head injury to vehicle occupants!


Are you sure? What about injuries to other parts of one's anatomy?
jonty
PS
A cycling helmet could protect your hands and knees if your head breaks the fall. :wink: