Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

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meic
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby meic » 28 Jan 2017, 12:55pm

I have not attended any rides with the group since starting the thread more due to weather and a cold than this helmet rule.
An email has just been distributed by the club secretary, informing the members that CUK HQ informed them (after receiving the AGM minutes) that they were not at liberty to impose such a rule.
It has now been modified to "strongly recommended"
with this bit added
Therefore:
1/ If you will not wear a helmet you do so at your own risk, and may be asked to sign a disclaimer absolving the RIDE LEADER from responsibility.
2/ The RIDE LEADER is at liberty to refuse to take the ride, and go home.

This obviously does not apply to those CTC members who, from time to time, turn up from other CTC groups.


I have replied to the secretary, informing him that I had notified HQ of this new rule because I thought it was not allowed and asking him to inform all ride leaders that I will not be wearing a helmet on any rides that I attend, so that if they wish to withdraw they can withdraw themselves now, in order to avoid anger and disappointment of canceling a ride after everybody has already arrived at the start point.
The next ride is tomorrow but I still have my cold and the weather is a bit miserable.
Yma o Hyd

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horizon
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby horizon » 28 Jan 2017, 1:13pm

I find it very sad that the members of this group have chosen so strongly to side with the helmet idea, even if they can't enforce it. These kind, intelligent men and women are locked into a way of thinking by reason of, some would say, fear and propaganda. It makes me wonder what other restrictive ideas they may have so willingly absorbed and how much their lives might be constrained by their thinking. This isn't so much an assault on cycling as a rejection of the human spirit and our natural intelligence.

By the way, I'm not questioning their wearing of helmets (that's fine), I'm questioning their obsessive insistence that everyone else does - that's at least slightly pathological.
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby Psamathe » 28 Jan 2017, 2:25pm

I think it reflects badly on CUK/the group where as an organisation "in totality" it seems to be pushing in very different directions. Compulsory or very strong pressure makes little difference both are completely contrary to CUKs stance on helmet wearing. If the MG cannot agree with such a central tenet of the organisation they exist under then they should leave that organisation (or switch to be an affiliate group).

and as to why the rule does not apply to visiting CUK members is just a complete joke/farce. If helmet wearing is so important for safety then why does the group expose visiting members to such dangers and if it is not so important for safety then why effectively require members to wear one.

And there will undoubtedly be very very strong pressure to wear one as, one person turns-up for a CUK group ride and does not want to wear a helmet, leader says "no ride" so that one person is stopping the entire group from having a ride! Would you be the one person ending everybody's enjoyment for the day or would you succumb to pressure and allow everybody to go on their ride (or would you end-up just not going on the ride because you didn't have a helmet - so you were effectively barred from the ride that day). CUK NO should be coming down on that group like the proverbial "ton of bricks" - they either accept CUK policy or they leave - no cherry picking.

Ian

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby gaz » 28 Jan 2017, 2:38pm

meic wrote:I have replied to the secretary, ...

I hope the secretary's response has been communicated to Cycling UK, it is seriously flawed.
1/ If you will not wear a helmet you do so at your own risk, and may be asked to sign a disclaimer absolving the RIDE LEADER from responsibility.

Slater and Gordon take a very straightforward view of such disclaimers.
Although legal in their own right, waivers can’t be used to completely shield event organisers from liability as a result of their negligence. Under the Unfair Contract Terms Act, activity providers can’t exclude or restrict liability for injury or death caused as a result of their negligence.

2/ The RIDE LEADER is at liberty to refuse to take the ride, and go home.

If any Cycling UK Group Ride Leader is not willing to lead a ride on which helmet use is optional, they should be removed from such role by the Member Group's organising committee.
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby gaz » 28 Jan 2017, 2:42pm

meic wrote:The next ride is tomorrow but I still have my cold and the weather is a bit miserable.

I wish you a speedy recovery, I do not envy your position when you next seek to join a ride with the Member Group.
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meic
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby meic » 28 Jan 2017, 2:42pm

Psamathe wrote:I think it reflects badly on CUK/the group where as an organisation "in totality" it seems to be pushing in very different directions. Compulsory or very strong pressure makes little difference both are completely contrary to CUKs stance on helmet wearing. If the MG cannot agree with such a central tenet of the organisation they exist under then they should leave that organisation (or switch to be an affiliate group).

and as to why the rule does not apply to visiting CUK members is just a complete joke/farce. If helmet wearing is so important for safety then why does the group expose visiting members to such dangers and if it is not so important for safety then why effectively require members to wear one.

And there will undoubtedly be very very strong pressure to wear one as, one person turns-up for a CUK group ride and does not want to wear a helmet, leader says "no ride" so that one person is stopping the entire group from having a ride! Would you be the one person ending everybody's enjoyment for the day or would you succumb to pressure and allow everybody to go on their ride (or would you end-up just not going on the ride because you didn't have a helmet - so you were effectively barred from the ride that day). CUK NO should be coming down on that group like the proverbial "ton of bricks" - they either accept CUK policy or they leave - no cherry picking.

Ian

It certainly can be made to look like that!
In reality the spoiling of the rides was started by those who chose to impose extra rules.
So when being told that I cant ride unless I obey their whims, they have created the problem and can easily defuse it by not interfering with my choice of headgear.
As it is I have four choices
Agree to wear the good luck charm and keep all the bad feelings within myself.
Not ride with the group any more and just leave without a fuss.
Not ride with the group and kick up a fuss along the lines of "constructive dismissal".
Turn up and ride without a helmet and share the harm caused by their imposition or hopefully just cause it all to be given up on, swept under the carpet and return to the happy cycling of last year..
Yma o Hyd

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meic
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby meic » 28 Jan 2017, 2:49pm

gaz wrote:
meic wrote:I have replied to the secretary, ...

I hope the secretary's response has been communicated to Cycling UK, it is seriously flawed.
1/ If you will not wear a helmet you do so at your own risk, and may be asked to sign a disclaimer absolving the RIDE LEADER from responsibility.

Slater and Gordon take a very straightforward view of such disclaimers.
Although legal in their own right, waivers can’t be used to completely shield event organisers from liability as a result of their negligence. Under the Unfair Contract Terms Act, activity providers can’t exclude or restrict liability for injury or death caused as a result of their negligence.

2/ The RIDE LEADER is at liberty to refuse to take the ride, and go home.

If any Cycling UK Group Ride Leader is not willing to lead a ride on which helmet use is optional, they should be removed from such role by the Member Group's organising committee.


I have asked the secretary's permission to do so and given him the choice to rewrite it before he does so, there were other bits in it that I havent posted. It was an informal internal email, where people can speak "freely".
The helmet issue has now got mixed up with a "who has the power" issue. Rather reminiscent of Brexit. They may decide to vote "leave"!

I am sure a disclaimer is not valid in general for the ride leader but a disclaimer about the helmet use alone, may be?
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby Psamathe » 28 Jan 2017, 3:00pm

meic wrote:....
As it is I have four choices
Agree to wear the good luck charm and keep all the bad feelings within myself.
Not ride with the group any more and just leave without a fuss.
Not ride with the group and kick up a fuss along the lines of "constructive dismissal".
Turn up and ride without a helmet and share the harm caused by their imposition or hopefully just cause it all to be given up on, swept under the carpet and return to the happy cycling of last year..

There is another option - pursue the issue through CUK and get the rule completely discarded.

If it were me (and I actually do wear a helmet a lot of the time but would strongly argue that it is a matter for personal choice not compulsion), I would attend rides without a helmet, refuse to sign any disclaimers and if the ride leader said no ride I would tell them that I will go home and spend the time writing correspondence to CUK NO about how I was effectively refused a club ride because of their helmet rules (which is contrary to CUK's policy). I think that would reverse the situation (maybe unfairly) to the ride leader who would then be faced with being the cause of the issue being raised with CUK, etc. But I would actually be pursuing it with CUK NO anyway as it is a something that I strongly disagree with (helmet compulsion). And I'm such a contrary person that despite normally wearing a helmet (despite being "unconvinced") I would probably be turning up to club rides without a helmet just to force the issue (but I'm not even a CUK member so not for me to dictate MG for CUK policy).

Ian

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jan 2017, 3:58pm

meic

I had been missing you and I'm pleased you are back. :D

More generally, I suspect that this and others like it may be largely caused by fear of legal claims / compensation culture etc. Before anybody points it out, I do know that the whole point insurance cover for these rides is to indemnify ride leaders / club officials etc against such claims but people do worry. In fact, DIY disclaimers, waivers etc, can cause unexpected problems and can provide rich picking for the learned friends they are intended to defeat.

FWIW, and with the caveat that I'm only a layman, I fancy that something of the "ride at your own risk" type may undermine the valuable cover provided by Cycling UK. I cannot link to it but some years ago I remember a personal injury case where a driver had stuck some "Passengers travel at their own risk" signs in his car, probably with the intention of being funny. There was a crash in which a passenger was injured and would have been covered by the driver's policy but the insurers avoided a payout on the basis that the passenger had agreed to travel at their own risk.

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby Psamathe » 28 Jan 2017, 4:07pm

thirdcrank wrote:meic

I had been missing you and I'm pleased you are back. :D

More generally, I suspect that this and others like it may be largely caused by fear of legal claims / compensation culture etc. Before anybody points it out, I do know that the whole point insurance cover for these rides is to indemnify ride leaders / club officials etc against such claims but people do worry. In fact, DIY disclaimers, waivers etc, can cause unexpected problems and can provide rich picking for the learned friends they are intended to defeat.

FWIW, and with the caveat that I'm only a layman, I fancy that something of the "ride at your own risk" type may undermine the valuable cover provided by Cycling UK. I cannot link to it but some years ago I remember a personal injury case where a driver had stuck some "Passengers travel at their own risk" signs in his car, probably with the intention of being funny. There was a crash in which a passenger was injured and would have been covered by the driver's policy but the insurers avoided a payout on the basis that the passenger had agreed to travel at their own risk.

A good point.

I would have hoped that the MG would have contacted NO to clarify the insurance issues about Ride Leader liability when some riders don't wear helmets and that they would have done this before introducing rules contrary to CUK's policy.

I can see how where a Ride Leader assumes greater responsibility for safety (e.g. by requiring additional safety gear beyond that required by the insurance covering their liability) that this could complicate things.

In fact I think the aspect you raise could even be worse in that should somebody forced to wear a helmet suffer an injury made worse by the helmet (as I understand can happen depending on the nature of the accident) then the Ride Leader may become personally liable in that they (or the MG) required the helmet be worn against the judgement of the individual rider and that might take them beyond the scope of cover of their indemnity (as they required something beyond (and thus outside the scope of) the insurance cover).

Ian

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby gaz » 28 Jan 2017, 4:08pm

meic wrote:I am sure a disclaimer is not valid in general for the ride leader but a disclaimer about the helmet use alone, may be?

Ride Leaders of Cycling UK Member Groups are protected by the insurance where the ride is organised in accordance with Cycling UK policies. The insurance policy covers a wide range of cycling activities which, when properly conducted, have been assessed as sufficiently safe not to require an obligation to wear a helmet.

If a Ride Leader considers a rider without a helmet must sign a disclaimer to join his ride, is the Ride Leader declaring his ride is not safe enough to meet Cycling UK policy and effectively invalidating the cover he would otherwise have?

TC & Psamathe have both posted whilst I was typing.

Please note that gaz is not FCA regulated and cannot assess individual needs for insurance. You will not receive advice or recommendations from gaz about them. Other providers are available, always read the label prior to use. Posted on a forum that contains track nuts and cannot be guaranteed track nut free. Wash dark colours separately. Do not iron.
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jan 2017, 4:59pm

I've reflected on my earlier post and remembered that restrictions were put on disclaimers by this legislation

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/50

In this context you can't use disclaimers to avoid liability for death or injury caused by negligence.

DIY legal work may be counterproductive, but in any case what's the point in having cover from an organisation like Cycling UK and the playing at lawyers? A bit like having a dog then meowing yourself.

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby millimole » 28 Jan 2017, 5:24pm

It reads to me as though there is one ride leader in the group who is very 'loud' and has influence over the committee. I suspect that once this individual is isolated then the issue will go away. Private, personal contact with members of the group's committee would go a long way to finding out what is /really/ behind this madness.


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meic
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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby meic » 28 Jan 2017, 5:33pm

I wasnt at the AGM but everything that I have heard and seen has been about protecting riders from injury and I have heard nothing said about fear of litigation or financial responsibility.
I have heard helmet zealotry and about emotional responsibility of the ride leaders if somebody gets hurt on their rides. To some it all boils down to "wear a helmet" and the box is ticked.

The common motivator is the recent serious accidents and nobody has mentioned any blame, litigation or accusations of responsibility arising from those. I still dont know if any of those involved were wearing a helmet or not at the time.

and on seeing Millimole's post, I think it may have been sparked by a couple of extremists, they managed to win the argument on the day and clearly have swung the majority.
I dont think anybody was really making much of a stand against them, I heard there was only one non-helmet wearer at the AGM and they were persuaded to agree to start wearing one during the AGM.
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Compulsory Helmets in Local Group.

Postby meic » 28 Jan 2017, 7:12pm

Here is a copy of the club secretary's email wording agreed by the committee
Dear Members,

You may recall that at the AGM the proposition from TC, seconded by JC, that the wearing of helmets be compulsory was carried, to be effective from the start of the new year, 2017.
As Secretary I am obliged to send the minutes of the AGM to the Ultimate Authority, the CTC. Not long after they informed me that we were not at liberty to impose such a rule.

Of course, we obey all orders from Higher Authority without demur.
Your Sub-Committee, after due consideration, has amended the application of the AGM resolution as it applies to the PFW as follows:

The wearing of helmets by PFW members during organised club rides, though not compulsory, is very strongly recommended.

The reason for this recommendation is simply that it is simply unfair on THE RIDE LEADER to have to take the responsibility of shepherding unprotected riders. (And feeling responsible for someone who has suffered a serious injury)

Therefore:
1/ If you will not wear a helmet you do so at your own risk, and may be asked to sign a disclaimer absolving the RIDE LEADER from responsibility.
2/ The RIDE LEADER is at liberty to refuse to take the ride, and go home.

This obviously does not apply to those CTC members who, from time to time, turn up from other CTC groups.

In an attached note to myself the secretary added his personal comments about it originating from the accidents. The proposer was actually one of those who had crashed and suffered a broken jaw and possibly wrist and was wearing a helmet when they crashed, I dont think that this was on a club ride though.
In his personal opinion, he didnt think that anybody would be bothered by somebody with my cycling mileage not wearing a helmet and he hoped that I would continue to ride with them.
So the "Helmets" letter was really an effort to allow ride leaders to "CYA" (cover your ass).

It would be a mistake to see the club as having a single reasoning on this issue and this (second quote) is probably more a personal take from the secretary. It is after all just a friendly cycling club run by volunteers, not a slickly run professional corporate venture.

Edits
Last edited by meic on 28 Jan 2017, 7:42pm, edited 1 time in total.
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