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Australian cycling boom? Nope - it’s a myth

Cycling industry reports of significant bicycles sales in Australia suggest a growth in cycling participation. As the Tour de France re-excites interest in cycling around the world, a new analysis published…

Lost generations: if Australians now cycled at the same rates as in the mid 1980s, up to a million more people would be riding. Flickr/taisau

Cycling industry reports of significant bicycles sales in Australia suggest a growth in cycling participation. As the Tour de France re-excites interest in cycling around the world, a new analysis published in World Transport Policy and Practice, taking into account population growth, casts doubt that there is a boom in cycling in Australia.

Net decline in cycling

The Australian population grew by 58% between 1986 and 2006 and the daily average number of bicycle trips grew by only 21%, representing a net decline in cycling.

Two national surveys of cycling in Australia were examined. The earlier survey was The Day to Day Travel in Australia 1985-86 (CR69) survey, which examined travel modes among Australians aged nine years and above. The 1985/86 survey results are the earliest known detailed national count of bicycle use. The CR69 survey was a geographically stratified, random sample of households throughout Australia. For a randomly chosen day in the year-long survey period, details of all trips made by all members of the selected household were collected by a self-completed, mail questionnaire. It was conducted by data analysts INSTAT Australia Pty Ltd for the Australian Federal Office of Road Safety and produced a final dataset of 145,000 trips by 45,000 people from 18,000 households.

Data for 2011 are from the 2011 Australian Cycling Participation survey which was conducted in March and April 2011 and is the official baseline data source for the Australian Government’s National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016. The 2011 survey was by telephone and contains details of trips by 24,858 people of all ages from 9,661 households across Australia. The average daily trips by bicycle was estimated, to compare with the earlier national survey.

Total population levels for Australia and for each state and territory from the Australian Bureau of Statistics population Census data for the years 1986 and 2006 were examined.

The Australian population aged nine years and over grew by 58.4% between 1986 and 2006 and the daily average number of bicycle trips grew by only 20.9%, representing a net decline in cycling. These results are conservative. The data from 1985 were standardized to the smaller census population of 1981, and the 2011 survey reported the highest levels of participation in any Australian survey of cycling participation.

Other data support the conclusion that there is no national increase in cycling participation. The proportion of Australian workers riding a bicycle to work from 1986 to 2006 (measured every five years in the Census) has been largely unchanged at about 1% of journeys.

It is important to note that there has been an increase in the absolute number of Australians cycling. Observations of more people cycling and increases in the number of bicycles sold are correct. The need for more bicycle lanes and paths is still a priority to cater for the increased number of people cycling. However, compared to 1985/86, if there was the same rate of bicycle trips as in 1985/86, there would be between a half a million to a million more people cycling today.

Three explanations

Alone in the world, Australia and New Zealand have mandated helmets, deterring large numbers of people from riding bikes. Flickr/cyclotourist

There are three likely explanations for the per capita decline in cycling in Australia. These are the historical prioritization of the motor vehicle in urban planning, lack of investment in cycling infrastructure, and mandatory helmet legislation.

The Australian urban sprawl and the desire for the quarter acre block for housing has led to low-density housing and longer distances to destinations of interest, making bicycle use less competitive in transport mode choice. Coupled with little investment in bicycle paths or lanes, most of Australia has not developed a bicycle-friendly environment.

The one cycling specific policy to make cycling safer was mandatory helmet legislation, unique to Australia and New Zealand. This had the unfortunate side effect of reducing the number of Australians cycling by about 30-40%, and even more in New Zealand. Helmet legislation continues to be a barrier to cycling participation, with 23% of Sydney adults reporting they would cycle more if they didn’t have to wear a helmet.

While there has been an increase in the absolute number of people cycling since 1985, and there are local examples of high levels of cycling (e.g., the City of Sydney), across the country there should be many more Australians cycling if we simply maintained the same rate of cycling. Much more needs to be done before claims of a cycling boom can be supported.

People who do not see themselves as “cyclists” might consider riding if there were bike paths or lanes, or if traffic was slowed (to a 30km/h speed limit) in high-demand areas. Substantially more money needs to be spent on bike paths in urban areas to get non-riders cycling. Relaxing helmet laws might also contribute to normalising cycling.

Comments welcome below.

Join the conversation

476 Comments sorted by

  1. Glen Turner

    Network Engineer

    Dear Chris,

    I have cycled to work since the 1980s, so I have lived through the change you describe.

    Urban sprawl is a bit more complex than your article suggests. The reason is that bikes have become a lot faster. Today you can buy a carbon fibre road bike for $2,000, whereas in the 1980s the cycling commuter couldn't afford such a thing and we rode heavy mountain bikes.

    The real constraint to distance is effective cycle paths -- on a good cycle path even a unfit person can do 25Km in an…

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    1. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Glen Turner

      Bikes might be lighter and safety may have improved but commuting speeds have almost certainly gone down with the amazing multiplication of the numbers of traffic lights. The number of stops you have to make has gone way up and even the traffic-light cycles seem to have been extended.

      Vicroads extends traffic-light cycles to increase the efficiency of shifting traffic, because it reduces the proportion of time lost in the interphase between traffic being stopped in one direction then allowed in…

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  2. terry lockwood

    maths/media/music/drama teacher

    I have noticed a decline in kids riding bikes to school and generally around about. Is this due to the cotton wool effect of recent parenting? Or the increasing prestige of bikes? No-one would have bothered flogging the old bike I rode to school with its footbrakes and packrack (and marlin bars). And do kids ride to a mates place to hang out after school or do they maintain their friendships through facebook?
    Does the above survey tell us who is riding and when? Weekend recreational riding does seem to be huge among the educated, middle class but does this cross all sectors? Rail trails near me are well used up my way but it seems largely by holiday makers. Maybe on these trails, the case for helmets is much reduced given the absence of fast cars. I am happy to wear a helmet anywhere but then i am a slap-head. Hat-hair is not an issue.
    Serious riders won't use the rail trail however.

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  3. jennifer sheridan

    sustainability officer

    I wonder if our aging population is causing the data to show a decline in cyclists as a percentage of the over-nine population. If we could look at the figures for, say, the population aged nine-to-fifty five (or an age when many people might give up cycling) we might see a percentage increase for that age group.

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  4. Rod Banyard

    Resource manager

    The test of the helmet law policy is surely its total impact on happiness - health and wealth, etc. Can someone do the numbers please? Is Austalia going to be healthier if the helmet law is repealed?

    The decision for the individual is; are they happier if they ride with or without a helmet or don't ride. I know my answer to that one, helmet on for me. But I don't want to stop risk takers killing themselves, provided of course they have insurance in case they don't.

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    1. Stephen Prowse

      Research Advisor at Wound CRC

      In reply to Rod Banyard

      The city bike hire schemes in Europe work quite well and one reason is that it is not compulsory to wear helmets. Many cities are also are flatter and more suited to bikes. I believe there is some data that suggest that the wearing of helmets is not as beneficial as it might seem. Australian cities with the urban sprawl, steep hills (Brisbane and Sydney in particular) and lack of bike paths are not well suited for bikes. We need to keep pushing for the changes in culture, behaviour and infrastructure that encourage bike riding.

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    2. nik dow

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Rod Banyard

      In brief, riding a bike without a helmet is good for your health - the benefits outweight the risks by a large factor. So rather than requiring insurance, you should be calling for a subsidy for bike riding - with or without a helmet.

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    3. Markie Linhart

      Rouleur

      In reply to Rod Banyard

      Ron, wearing a helmet won't save you from anything if you're doing over 20kmh…
      This whole helmet wearing thing for recreational cyclists is a furphy - it implies that somehow cycling is a dangerous activity and riders need protection. In fact one could argue that helmet wearing encourages excessive speed due to the 'comfort of protection'.
      I should add that I'm NOT anti helmet - just anti MHLs.
      I firmly believe in informed decisions for informed adults…

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    4. Rod Connan

      Retired

      In reply to Rod Banyard

      I am a parent who has a now adult child who had an aquired brain injury in her late teens (she has mostly recovered now) and know the stress on all concerned. Also I knew a family where the son had a farm bike accident with no helmet hitting his head on a tree bough I MUST point out that a head injury is not hust an enormous impact on the victim, it is also a major trauma for their families and friends.

      I would not ride my bike without a helmet except in a dire emergency!

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    5. Dean Kremer

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Rod Connan

      Rod, I'm sorry about your personal annecdotes. The thing is we hear one story or have something bad happen to someone we know and extrapelate the experience.

      Think about the number of people who are hurt by alcohol. I don't have papers or hard accademic evidence at hand but I'm sure it dwarfs the number of people hurt by motor vehicles and cycling. Should we not take away the choice of people to drink alcohol. Maybe we should require drinkers to wear helmets, it would be safer.

      The point is about taking acceptable risks in life. If you sat in your room with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears, your risk of injury would be much less.

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    6. Rod Connan

      Retired

      In reply to Dean Kremer

      Dean, yours is a valid and reasonable reply to my comment.

      But I must say that I consider helmet wearing like ensuring that my car tyres have reasonable tread depth. Very easy to do and it lowers my personal risk significantly.

      I am distressed by others putting themselves at risk by excessive drinking but I do feel that as a ratioinal society we should try to help/protect the third parties affected by such behaviour.

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    7. Dean Kremer

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Rod Connan

      Thanks Rod. You sound like a nice perosn caring about others who put themselves at risk.

      The thing with your car tires is correct like you said you should do things that are easy to do but lower your personal risk significanlty.

      The argument is that wearing a helmet lowers your risk insignificantly due to the following:

      *if you are going fast or get hit by a car, they do not offer much protection
      *When you are wearing a helmet you take less precaution as you have a greater sense of security
      *Motorists take less care around you as they see you are wearing a helmet. I seem to get more space on the road not wearing one.

      This website makes for interesting reading
      http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1139.html

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    8. Rod Banyard

      Resource manager

      In reply to nik dow

      a response to Markie and nik. I am a long time cyclist, commuting and recreational riding and I have seen enough and done enough crashes to choose to wear a helmet. Now that i am aging i often ride below 20kph and i mistakenly believed that the need for a helmet was diminished. Markie, i cannot easily overcome the feeling that the faster i ride the more i like to have the helmet on. I note that the tour de france riders must wear helmets and they ride a lot faster than me. Nik, can you explain why not wearing a helmet is good for my health, do you suggest that the helmet will injure me or I will take more risks with a helmet.

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    9. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Rod Banyard

      Rod - Pardon me for piping in; truthfully only you are qualified to know your riding style and risk factor no one can advise you on helmet use. The real issue is that of pace.
      For example in the Netherlands, a cyclist wears street cloths and shoes, will travel to work, to restaurants, coffee shops, do shopping at a relaxed pace. You often see pedestrians and cyclist happily using the same areas. The other cyclist over their make up less than 2% of riders, and are given another tittle, not unlike ours of "Lycra Nazis".
      As for the actual damage and effectiveness of certain accidents and helmet protection, I will refer you directly to a site partly maintained by a young Brisbane Doctor, familiar with head injuries and emergency procedure.
      http://helmetfreedom.org/helmet-research/

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    10. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Rod Connan

      Rod - I have a daughter nursing, and a wife who specialises in intensive care, so have an intimate knowledge of the genuine "fear" you have. The excerpt below is put up at helmet freedom . org site by a Doctor familiar with head trauma caused during cycling.

      HELMET EFFECTIVENESS
      There is little doubt that helmets are good at what they are designed to do – limiting linear deceleration from low speed impacts. The ASNZS2063 standards for bike helmets requires a helmet dropped from 1.5m to have…

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    11. nik dow

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Rod Banyard

      Rod, not wearing a helmet may make a difference if you are in a crash, especially at low speed (helmets are tested for 20km/h impact), but at that speed death and serious injury are very small - that is why 30km/h is the evidence based (car) speed limit for mixed areas. In fact on the most optimistic assessment of helmet effectiveness you would have to wear a helmet for 11,000 years to prevent one head injury, and that includes minor concussion.

      However my point was not that wearing a helmet…

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    12. Rod Banyard

      Resource manager

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Thanks Paul, i had a look at the site and it is very interesting. It seems to focus on the effect of helmets in relation to death (a 16% reduction in falatities) whereas i suspect that injury reductions might be more significant. Like you say individuals are in the best position to make a judgement on the need to wear a helmet although we must sympathise with Rod Connan who was a collateral victim of a loved one being injured.

      I found myself in a similar situation, i encouraged a work colleague…

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    13. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to nik dow

      Rod, Nik is correct in saying the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks. Across a population cycling improves the health of those who participate - which results in longer lives and lower usage of health services; society benefits from the reduced demands on the health services, from lower congestion, from less pollution; businesses benefit as well from less sick leave and even happier employees.

      Bicycle helmet legislation fines people for benefitting their own health and saving society and business…

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    14. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Dean Kremer

      Incorrect dean, cycling with a helmet does not increase risky behaviour. People who readily use helmets slow down when they ride without them. The two things are different.

      Emotional reactions to cycle helmet use
      Aslak Fyhri, , Ross O. Phillips
      Institute of Transport Economics, Gaustadalleen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
      Received 22 November 2011How to Cite or Link Using DOI
      Permissions & Reprints
      Abstract
      It has been suggested that the safety benefits of bicycle helmets are limited by risk compensation…

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  5. Geoff Russell

    Computer Programmer, Author

    Having spent a month cycling Switzerland last year and discussing how they have made the place cycling friendly ... safety is paramount. You hit a cyclist in Switzerland and you are in serious trouble. So drivers take serious care. In Australia, if you stick out your hand to turn right, cars from 100 metres behind will accelerate to try and get in front of you. In Switzerland in the similar situation, they all just slow down and allow you to turn. As a pedestrian, you can walk around a Swiss city…

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    1. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Geoff Russell

      Completely agree Geoff.

      I used to cycle to work when I had a bike path the entire way. But once I had to either ride on the road or a shared path it became hazardous to my health. I've since quit altogether after being clipped by a truck. Like you mentioned, we need a complete rethink of attitudes to cycling and cyclists on the road before we'll see a bigger proportion of people cycling.

      Also, I have to share this little story with everyone: the saddest/funniest cycling moment I have experienced…

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  6. Paul Richards

    integral operating system

    Paul - I stand guilty of backing the first compulsory helmet legislation is WA. I admit my thinking was wrong, miss informed and totally influenced by the guerilla marketing tactics of the motor vehicle lobby.
    As a cycling commuter dealing with traffic five days a week, alI I saw was the risk from drivers and accepted the premiss I was totally 'responsible' for my own risk.
    Over the last decade, I have discovered European humanised streets, cites and building infrastructure along with development…

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    1. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I seriously cannot fathom this push for relaxing helmet laws in the name of increasing cycling popularity. Lobbying for increased risk-taking to promote an activity is not sensible policy in my mind. It smells of zealotry.

      Even in the event that we substantially improved cycle path infrastructure I would still be reluctant. Comparing Australia to Europe is not helpful - two very different beasts. Sure, we can wish for a similar culture & system but that is at least 20-30 years away, at best.

      Would I let my son ride on a road in Sydney without a helmet? Absolutely not. It is not safe (yet). I was witness to a cycling friend taking a fall at speed onto his head and without that helmet I fear that he might not have made it. I will not support it.

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    2. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul - Your criticism of zeal is warranted as most of us have a bad taste in the mouth because of growing through religious zealotry of previous generations. But ask yourself, is a parent dumb enough to let his son or daughter K5-K10 ride on Sydney Road? It is a ROAD traditionally meant for traffic, as apposed to a Street which over hundreds of years was designed for PEOPLE.
      None of us here who are parents are suggesting helmets are not warn. It is just that where it is no unsafe it should not be compulsory to where one. It is understandable hearing your plea, many of us once thought as you do. The 'zeal' that you hear is those who understand are asking you to raise your awareness, read understand the probable futures and then decide. Still regardless of what you personally want, humanised cites are rolling out for logical, practical, profitable and community reasons. Helmets will eventually be unnecessary in most situations in 10 years.

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    3. Rob Crowther

      Architectural Draftsman

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      My neighbour studied and reported on this in the final year of her degree.

      She told me the evidence shows helmets are a nett loss. That is, they add a little to rider safety but adversely impact on physical fitness through being an impediment to participation.

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    4. nik dow

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Have you read the paper by de Jong
      http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1249.html
      which explains that helmet laws increase costs to the health system if they cause even a tiny decrease in cycling rates? This is because the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a large factor, with or without a helmet.

      The helmet law supporters now have to claim with a straight face that helmet laws won't decrease cycling by more than 1 or 2 percent in order to justify them on public health grounds. Hard to swallow that, given the number of fines given out by police, every one a disincentive to ride a bike.

      We need to get more people cycling for so many reasons, not just for their health, but for the health of our cities and our planet. The law needs to go, and fast. You can sign the online petition at http://www.freestylecyclists.org to support law reform.

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    5. Frank Moore

      Consultant

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul,
      congratulations on your mea culpa.
      Such behaviour ought to be encouraged.

      Recognition that such choices by governments can and do kill and maim people ought to be put to the public in a serious and open fashion, as Paul does here.

      It can simply get down to a body count.

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    6. Rod Connan

      Retired

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I think a re-read of Paul's comment will show he was discussing Sydney (NSW) roads in general rather than Melbourne's "Sydney Road"

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    7. Paul Atkinson

      Social Worker

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul: you "cannot fathom this push for relaxing helmet laws" because you have the same problem most Australians have when contemplating risk. Our terrible risk assessment leaves us in the workplace, for example, incessantly worried about trip hazards or walking barefoot on the office carpet while sitting down all day eating biscuits. Once you get a better grasp of the statistics and the multiple risks and benefits associated with MHL - not just the risk of head injury in the event of a collision - it is pretty obviously bad policy to mandate helmets.

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    8. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Rod Connan

      Thanks Rod - You can be my editor anytime I frequently make typo, grammatical errors and dump drafts in place of completed comment.

      I have driven trucks, and cars and cycled on both "Sydney Rd" and "Sydney ROADS" it makes no difference to the point I made.
      What parent would allow a K5-K10 student access of heavy traffic?
      The bloody helmet would do nothing in an accident with 1500kg of car, 2000kg of 4WD or 10 000kg of truck.

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    9. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Frank Moore

      Frank M - thanks for the comment and segway.
      The metrics for Netherlands and Denmark show a fall in death rate, cycling injuries and an average of seven on life extension of the cyclist. Plain and simple metrics as you say;
      "It can simply get down to a body count."
      We can invert metrics and focus on negative numbers to justify anything. This strategy is in constant use by neo-liberals on many issues and used very effectively by the automobile lobby worldwide. Helmet legislation is auto lobbyists greatest PR tool against "cycling safely" in peoples minds.

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    10. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Rob Crowther

      I've read about that. The comparison between preventing head injuries and lowering physical fitness is a nonsense. And let's face it - if wearing a helmet is deterring people from cycling then they are not terribly serious about in the first place and are looking for an excuse not to ride.

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    11. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      This is my point - you can't avoid heavy traffic in Sydney (at least where I live). Recreational cycling on a separated cycling path is fine. However, if you want to ride for function in Sydney you must use the roads, which in combination with the horrible attitudes of Sydney drivers makes it a dangerous activity. I have near-misses with vehicles all the time.

      Ultimately most bike accidents will not involve direct impact collisions with a 2000kg car but rather falls onto the side of the road, etc. Seat belts will not save a person in the event of a semi-trailer crushing a car either.That is not the point of wearing them and you know that. It is a disingenuous argument. This is an aspect of the zealotry I previously mentioned. Helmets have proved valuable in my personal riding experience, which is extensive.

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    12. Rod Connan

      Retired

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      I do agree with Paul - impact with a truck, be it a Pajero or a semi will be absolutely traumatic and probably the same with impact by a car.

      My view is, the risk I use a helmet for is that of hitting a kerb or road furniture (poles, signs, kerbs, dividers, etc) which have a good chance of impacting my head and giving me fractures or brain damage I may be permanently damaged by though I may well still be affected by rotational trauma. These incidents are more likely in country or suburban streets (not roads) than big vehicle impacts and I want to be as safe as possible when I am street riding as is my usual wont.

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    13. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul, you need to consider the wider impact of requiring helmets. For example, how many parents have bought into the dangerisation of cycling produced by helmet promotion and laws and reduced their children's cycling? See the childhood obesity figures lately?

      Here in New Zealand the Government department responsible for promoting the helmet law later admitted (in an unguarded moment during a public meeting) that they had "shot themselves in the foot" over falsely portraying cycling as dangerous…

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    14. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Sure, that definitely seems like the NZ government promoted the policy poorly, whether intentionally or not, to the detriment of cycling there.

      However, I don't believe that parents will suddenly storm the cycle shops here if the NSW government drops the mandatory helmet laws. Nor do I suggest it sensible to withdraw the requirement for children to wear them. So where does that leave us?

      As far as I am concerned the debate (for now) starts and ends with infrastructure. I'll happily revisit the helmet issue when there are decent stretches of safe cycle ways in Sydney.

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    15. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      The debate should start and end at what is right. Infrastructure is just a red herring.

      Given that the benefits of cycling outweigh the costs bicycle helmet laws are fundamentally unsound. In what other area would you accept a law which fines the individual (or maybe their parents in the case of children) for doing something which benefits their own health and saves society money?

      What message does it send children that they can be fined for doing something which is good on the arbitrary grounds…

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    16. jamie jardine

      Acupuncturist

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul P: I haven't heard anyone advocate the abolishing of helmet wearing, only the relaxing of laws that govern their wearing. By all means continue to wear your helmet and encourage your children too also if you think it's neccessary. It is not an all or nothing argument, no one is trying to take your helmet away..

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    17. Markie Linhart

      Rouleur

      In reply to nik dow

      …and the point too nik is, if helmets are so damn good why do we need laws to enforce their use.
      As I've said here and in other forums, if you want to wear a helmet then good for you, but if I choose not to, don't hit me with a fine…

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    18. Doug Paice

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      " if wearing a helmet is deterring people from cycling then they are not terribly serious about in the first place"

      I think that's the point, we want more and more people who aren't serious about cycling going for a ride, especially for short trips. Lower the barrier to entry.

      Personally I'll always wear a helmet and I'd make my kids wear them too, but perhaps we could relax the laws a bit, just to get people started, eg: helmet's aren't required if you are on a bike path or on a suburban road (the 50km/h roads here in Perth)

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    19. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Infrastructure is a red herring? Are you serious? That is patently absurd.

      Nigel, all due respect but your argument starts with faulty logic. Cyclists are not fined for riding but for not wearing helmets. This is a massive distinction to the argument you are trying to forge. We could make the same argument for soccer - we are discouraging active children by forcing them to wear shin pads. Or rugby players - we are forcing them to wear mouthguards. It is a tiny inconvenience which is for their greater good. What is so horrible about wearing a small, light helmet? I just don't get the hostility towards it. You are not being asked to tie a brick to your head. Like I've mentioned before, I have been a beneficiary of wearing a bike helmet and so has a good friend. That's more than enough justification for me.

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    20. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to jamie jardine

      That's a fair enough point Jamie.

      I guess my position starts with my favourable personal experience with bike helmets. I also find them absolutely no hassle or deterrence. In that context, you may understand why I support the current laws. Seatbelts could also be left to choice but it is regarded as more important than an individual right.

      An issue also arises with any public health costs that ensue from cyclists suffering injuries due to not wearing a helmet.

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    21. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul P - The culture of fear generated by helmet compulsion to the point, were we literally have parents routinely taking children to school, driving 1.5klm in 2500kg of 4WD out of fear. Who benefits the most from this daily routine where three quarters of K1-K10 students are cocooned. That is just one example of thousands of short, safe, healthy rides that can be done on suburbans streets, with out a helmet. Netherlands traffic metrics prove regarding K1-K12 prove this.
      The automobile lobbyists worldwide have inverted the "Risk"deliberately to mask how unsafe motor vehicles actually are, just to promote sales now and with future generations. Promoting cycle helmet compulsion has been their most successful tool.
      The culture of fear has been the "red Herring" diverting the issue away from the real costs in lives lost, injury, financial burden and productivity lose across society.

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    22. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Doug Paice

      Yes, of course we want more people riding. But these short trips where I live are dangerous for inexperienced riders. People keep comparing the situation to Europe but that is so different as to be worthless as a comparison. I've ridden in Germany, for example. You walk out of your apartment in Berlin and there is a segregated cycle path right there that runs through the city and it is functional (i.e. it runs along shopping routes). It is very simple for even a grandmother to jump on a bike for an easy ride to buy some bread & milk. This is not the case in Sydney and in my suburb it is dangerous enough driving in a car.

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    23. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      1. How do you actually know the reasons why these parents drive their children to school? There could be scores of reasons. I'd have thought that bone laziness would be the number one reason. These same people drive into the city rather than take public transport when it is so impractical (some of my friends & relatives are these people).
      2. The cycle infrastructure and driver culture is markedly different between Australia and the Netherlands, and it is remiss (??) of you to not qualify your argument with that information.
      3. Countries without mandatory helmet laws still have widespread vehicle ownership and car love (e.g. Germany). I think you are testing credulity with that claim.

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    24. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul you miss the point. Cycling today *without* a helmet is a benefit both to the individual and society - and the experts don't disagree on this. It is in relation to this that infrastructure is a red herring, we don't need a helmet law because of the lack of infrastructure because we don't need a helmet law full stop - a helmet law is counter productive.

      And we *are* fining people for cycling. Every person who is fined is fined for doing something which benefits their own health and saves society…

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    25. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      I am a cycling enthusiast and environmental advocate. I want less cars and more bicycles. I used to ride with Critical Mass for many years. Of course I concur with you on the benefits of cycling for individual benefits and societal progress on health and cleaner air. However, I fundamentally diverge from you on the issue of helmets. I have found them to be very, very useful and, just like seatbelts, I support mandatory wearing of them because of these very benefits. I disagree with your notion that…

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    26. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul P - I too live with the density and gridlock, ensuing frustration, and predilection for law breaking by drivers and have empathy for your issues with "safety".
      As for the "overstating", the same can be said of faith in helmets our governments have placed over separation and humanising our streets again.
      In the Netherlands all K1-K12 students ride bikes to school, it is considered normal. If that was here in Australia the numbers would mean 20% of our population would take short trips on…

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    27. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel,
      Your conclusion is correct but your argument is flawed.

      "In NZ 10,000 fines are issued a year for "improving your health and saving society money"."

      The fines are for not wearing helmets, presumably.

      A helmet IS required to maximise safety for a cyclist, but as others have mentioned the risk is somewhat relational to pace and location of riding.

      Where you win the argument is that cycling laws requiring people to wear helmets has led to a declination in overall societal health…

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    28. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      "The culture of fear generated by helmet compulsion"

      really? isn't this a little overwrought? I agree that helmet wearing legislation should be repealed for adults, but I'm not sure there is a 'culture of fear' preventing cycling... maybe a fear of hat-hair.

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    29. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul - How do you actually know the reasons why these parents drive their children to school? Because I served as a Parents and Citizens President for many years, and was a student / parent advocate. Hearing parents give this as the reason for carrying their children to school. Perceived safety is a big issue when dealing with parents.
      "The cycle infrastructure and driver culture is markedly different ............... not qualify your argument with that information." Paul P
      I suggest you read my first comment on this forum two days ago
      I have made may experience and knowledge crystal clear. The only conflict you and I have of values, is your faith in helmets. And my belief that the helmet compulsion law was brought in to smokescreen the driver culture and infrastructure issues surrounding the safety of the motor industries products.
      I have always ridden a bike with a helmet. Using my Mango velomobile I don't and risk a heavy fine regularly.

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    30. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - You are entitled to your values. From your point of view I know there are far more life threatening issue than wearing a helmet in life. But most people do not carry your perspective and are grounded in the reality of the human condition. Fear is about perception, and atmosphere can and do get generated.
      This is just one example of surrealism we absorb about cars, there have been thousands over 50 years; http://youtu.be/vSFLsrTwpBE
      I had to look up overwrought to grok your meaning;
      Overwrought-(of a piece of writing or a work of art) Too elaborate or complicated in design or construction.
      By that definition I am fighting the auto industry propaganda that most certainly is "overwrought" and even if you were right. Why would that not be fair?
      Hunt through these and just see the meaning of 'elaborate' or overwrought; http://goo.gl/ErV2t

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    31. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul-P

      You've got a great point on infrastructure.

      Helemts don't make cycling look dangerous, the problems encountered when trying to mix bicycles with other traffic do.

      Infrastructure is easily the most significat barrier to cycling participation.

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    32. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Hey Paul,
      believe it or not I am in favour of making helmet wear non-compulsory for adults. I used to be a rabid pro-helmet advocate, but the evidence is pretty compelling that legislation correlates with decreased cycling and worse overall societal health... hence my change in view.
      Admittedly I am biased towards protection (after working in a Neuro-ICU) but also have been a 5 day a week cyclist for 18 years. A helmet to me is as natural as doing up my cycling shoes.
      Nevertheless, I am not convinced that helmets associated with cycling increases fear of cycling (at least not to the extent you claim). I think that the decision to not cycle is mutifactorial - access, 'helmethair', sweatiness, environmental, bike design, etc but the biggest sources of fear are probably the lumbering tons of metal that blithely thunder past... I've had enough near misses and actual collisions with vehicles to understand why people don't cycle.

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    33. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - " ...'helmethair', sweatiness, environmental, bike design, etc" Take your point and everyone does and always will contribute. But 20% of ou population are K1-K12 students and few of them cycle, the predominate reason is parents have carried children to school. Later no doubt at all "helmethair', sweatiness, environmental, bike design, etc" also come it play but have been fostered by earlier parent fear. In the Netherlands with good laws, infrastructure all K1-K12 students ride to school routinely…

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    34. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I think the Dutch experience says more about urban design and cultural aspects to be honest. Making no-helmet riding legal tomorrow is not going to change the vast majority of Australian roads into some sort of serene bike mecca.
      I think making helmets compulsory changed behaviours, but i'm not convinced that it's associated cycling with fear. Or rather, the main roads are bad enough that they are contributors to fear without helmets having anything to do with it. I think there is more than…

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    35. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - Our values are more alike than you give them credit ; "... The european experience is the ideal as to what it could be and it's worth working towards." Sean Parker
      That it the issue, working toward, helmet compulsion is ..."not working toward."
      Generating fear "overstated". OK you have you values, I have mine. I once was of your opinion and value yours, as I did mine. But I admit I was wrong, and if you have the vail of cognitive bias put in place by agencies / lobbyists lifted enough to start to see the issue from another perspective. Great. Who knows where awareness may lead?
      By now you are in a different place to two days ago and probably can't even imagine you thought differently, but this forum serves as a record. Wishing you well.

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    36. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul P, I have not stated that abolishing helmet laws will see a "*massive increase* in cycling" and I have not said that "infrastructure is not important" or that the "obesity crisis is *caused* by mandatory helmet laws" (emphasis added) - the laws undoubtedly have a part to play in the first and last, and the importance of the second is probably over stated, sometimes so the "we don't have it so need helmets" argument can be made.

      What I am simply stating as fact is that the benefits of cycling…

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    37. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean, let me clarify "In NZ 10,000 fines are issued a year for "improving your health and saving society money by riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet". A helmet is *not* required for the benefits to outweigh the costs.

      There are all sorts of things we can do to "maximise safety" for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, swimmers, bathroom users, kitchen users - basically anybody and everybody - without such things being *laws*. Do you wear a helmet in a car (the Government says it would save millions), while walking (its been suggested and trialled), in the bathroom (great source of head injuries slippery floors and hard surfaces), etc., etc., etc. You mean you don't "maximise safety" is such a simple way? Don't worry, you're not alone, it part of the human condition.

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    38. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel - your values regarding abolishing helmet laws as taking us in the right direction. Like all transitions it will take time. The Dutch did not create their culture quickly, but still they had no real model for worlds best practice like us.
      My intuition suggest most of the cyclist advocates for the law as it is, are "cyclists" who ride at pace.
      What translates from Dutch as "wheel runners" or here as "lycra nazi"[ typically negative of us ] This group makes up less than 2% of the Netherlands cyclists. In Australia they dominate, just ask pedestrians. This group seem to be threatened by developing a culture of utility riders or normal cyclists; http://youtu.be/XuBdf9jYj7o

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    39. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Hi Nigel,
      Did you read all my post? You'll find I support scaling back helmet laws.

      It's about risk, yes walking is a risk but cycling is riskier but not as risky as motorcycling. The level of protection should be proportionate to the risk. I suggest that it is unusual to have a head injury sustained whilst having a fall when walking. It is not unusual from cycling.

      As i posted, the risk of enforcing helmet usage in a community is greater in terms of societal health than the risk of unprotected cyclists occasioning head injury. It doesn't suddenly make cycling less risky.

      What is the level of risk when cycling? depends upon location, speed and exposure times. The sort of suburban, low velocity trips envisaged by changing the law is of sufficiently low risk to make the law worth repealing. If we were all training 2 hours a day on road/mountain bikes the equation would be different.

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    40. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      "Our values are more alike than you give them credit"
      I agree... I'm mystified as to why we're arguing, Paul - you may have misinterpreted my posts, or I may not have been sufficiently clear.
      If you read my previous posts you will find I have stated that I do not support compulsory helmet laws. I used to be an advocate for compulsory helmet usage, I no longer favour it for many of the reasons quoted on this forum, the main reason being societal health is worse as a result.
      I still think wearing helmets is a good idea... I just don't think they should be compulsory for adults.

      Mind you I still disagree with you about compulsory helmet laws leading to fear... but we can agree to disagree...

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    41. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - Good to hear / read.

      Have a watch of this video and comment. Taking note of the range of ages and gender, helmets, pace, lack of "wheel runners" or as we say "lycra nazis" compared to our cycling culture.
      I warn you, it begs the question though.

      From eight to eighty
      http://youtu.be/swqaAIkGtpA

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    42. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Yeah they are augmented pedestrians really. It'd be nice to see a bit of this in oz!

      I couldn't watch more than a couple of minutes... Not enough Lycra or sunflowers.....

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    43. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean, we're not that far apart I agree. However as you say you "support scaling back helmet laws" - apparently you support fining or punishing children for doing something which is good for them and society on the basis that you believe they could do something which is even better.

      I cannot support punishing or fining children, or discouraging them from doing something which is good for them in so many ways (e.g. independent mobility is a key part of growing up). Children have the same inalienable rights as adults.

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    44. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - I suspect a lot of our "wheel runners" or as we call them "lycra nazis" like the status quo, and resist developing a utility cyclist dominated culture here.
      So with the little you observed - can you call our cycling culture fear free? Or is it the Dutch model?
      From eight to eighty
      http://youtu.be/swqaAIkGtpA
      Our utopian dream of the motor car and Dutch point of divergence, "we have the got the wrong end of the stick" in so many aspects ;
      http://youtu.be/XuBdf9jYj7o

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    45. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Hi Paul R: The Dutch changed their whole attitude to transport in a surprisingly short time - 5 years. Back in the 70's the Dutch authorities realised that given the small size of the country and the relatively large population that if they did not do something to get the Dutch out of cars then the country was in danger of gridlock. So they set themselves a 5 year plan to persuade them to using anything but the car if at all possible - walk, cycle, bus, tram, train, boat - and they succeeded. Tell…

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    46. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Children do not have the rights of adults in any country. It's a nice philosophical position but so long as children do not possess sufficient maturity to make reasoned decisions about their safety they are rightly subject to restrictions on their liberty determined by their guardians or by society.

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    47. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I don't think that a culture can possess a fear. I think the individuals making up Australia's cycling culture are subject to many threats when they cycle. The threats that are most obvious are being struck by a vehicle on our busy roads. The second threat, as I apprehend it, is injury from a crash not caused by a motor vehicle. For the first, fear may be a reasonable response, if occasional and extreme - depending on where one rides. The second I would judge as not requiring a fearful response…

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    48. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean. General rights maybe, but human rights - I haven't checked the UN Charter recently but I think OZ & NZ guarantee them the same human rights to children as adults under it.

      You are apparently supporting enforcing children to do something (wear a foam plastic hat) which you *believe* is a benefit to them, and there is certainly not universal agreement that it is, on the basis that they (or their parents for them) have chosen to do something else (cycling) which is good for them (and society…

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    49. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Children have poorer balance, poorer sense of relative speed, are poorer decision makers than adults and are more subject to brain injury in the event of a blow to the head. The risk of injury and potential severity of injury is greater in children.
      Helmets protect the brain from forces sustained in a collision by lengthening the duration by which the forces are applied to brain tissue.
      Children have their freedoms curtailed by their guardians or society rightly (see above).
      The un charter does not mention the right to cycle unencumbered by helmets.

      The argument for allowing helmet free cycling in sadults is predicated on accepting a rise in head injuries balanced by an overall maximization of societal health. I do not accept that this wager should be applied to children as the risk is higher and their rights to freedom are subject to their guardians.

      Allowing helmet free riding does not magically stop head injuries from occurring.

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    50. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      OK, in summary:

      The benefits of cycling outweigh the costs, even when riding without a helmet, and even for children: We agree on the first two and it is a "good". I don't know if you accept the latter, if you don't then you've an out - there is no "good" for children from cycling. You'd be wrong of course, but you are entitled to be so.

      Riding with a helmet may, or may not be, a population "good": I argue this is moot when taking about laws because of the next point.

      It is wrong to pass…

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    51. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Cycling is not a 'good' in terms of a moral act. Cycling is an activity that is pursued for recreational or utilitarian means. The incidental 'good' that derives from cycling is the maximising of health.
      To equate the act of cycling with a moral good is evangelical, which i suspect is the source of your anti-helmet hysteria. your argument runs along the lines that to trespass on a person's right to travel by cycling without a helmet (if indeed there is such a 'right') by enforcing helmet wearing…

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    52. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - At anytime in my cycling history I would considered part of the 2% of "wheel runners" in the Netherlands. I am qualified to talk about this because I have cycled in many of our suburbs and cities. Last cycling culture was Perth WA, one of the best cites to cycle in. This tag 'lycra nazis' I never heard until I was responding to a 'hater' in this forum on another article. I was defending his typed "lycra nazi's", saying most were well meaning, not to be feared as he expressed and his over…

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    53. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Hi Paul,
      thanks for the reply -I'm not sure why you're so avid for me to comment on the video you provided, you seem rather evangelical about it. My perception of the dutch experience is that it is cycling as an extension of pedestrianism, which is excellent but it is no more virtuous than pedestrianism really, cycling in itself (although i believe it has an intrinsic beauty) is not a virtuous activity.
      The dutch cycle every where because presumably the distances are too far to walk, not far enough…

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    54. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - that is clear as mud, have another try. Line of argument needs to be clear, to be affective. Those here are not that familiar with a medical professional style of writing. As good as the argument might be.

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    55. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Apologies, I was just using "good" to mean something beneficial - as in "public good science fund"- no moral acts or religious anti-helmet hysteria here - this is about the *law*. So sorry, my language misled you and your counter argument is targetting an argument that simply was never made.

      BTW it is incorrect to claim that for children the "inhibitory effect of act B is not seen" as some parents choose to ban/reduce act A because of it, e.g. because they are persuaded that act A is too dangerous…

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    56. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul R.
      Read the post I replied to. It is likely to be more intelligible in context and really it was a reply not a general comment, but thank you for your interest in why helmets are great for kids.

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    57. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      You've thrown in a variable that confuses the argument not clarifies it. Healthy diet is a non sequitur. Enforcing healthy diets in walkers is not the same as helmets for cycling because a healthy diet won't change the risk of walking, just overall health risk. Helmets are relevant because they decrease the risk of head injury in a collision/fall, which is a real risk when cycling. you may not like this but it remains evident as a consequence of physics and epidemiology.
      So if you remove this irrelevancy your last paragraph is a good one just leave it as: 'lets abolish the the bicycle helmet law for adults and leave it for children'.

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    58. John Knowles Stretch

      Arid Rangeland resident

      In reply to Citizen SG

      I understand your ambivalence about the enforced wearing of helmets for adults Sean but this suggestion that nevertheless it is appropriate to force children to "hard hat up" is one that is seriously retrograde. For the age old reason that 'picking out' those with no voice' on grounds that the attention "is for their own good" is uncivil and thus (today hopefully) untenable.

      Perhaps at competative cycling events this degree of compulsion can be justified but for the majority of children who do cycle, their bike is as much an item of dress as it is a mode of transport.

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    59. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      You misread my last paragraph.

      If you're really concerned over the lack of connection between cycling and eating a healthy diet, how about forcing children who eat healthy diets to do so with blunt plastic cutlery - like the stuff we voluntarily give to very young children - rather than sharp metal cutlery? That surely meets your requirement of reducing the risk of the activity. Sure some kids will object because they don't want to use "baby cutlery" - and they can eat fatty pie and chips with…

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    60. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Sure: reducto ad absurdum

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    61. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - I understand your values on this and adhesion to them. I once was were you are.
      "Tribal" seriously, you use this anthropological term describing 'culture' and still do not agree with me saying Dutch have distinct utility dominated culture - utility cyclists 98% -"wheel runner' 2%. In our culture dominated by 'wheel runners' or lycra clad pace cyclists, 'tribal' if you wish..
      As for that 'single video'. Failure to acknowledge the elderly women, children, mothers and all those not commonly…

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    62. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel - you are partly right, the reversal of bias was started in the seventies. So yes, agreed they reversed the bias quickly, and as I relentlessly argue with those who can not project a better future here. We can too.
      What you corrected in my comment was; "The Dutch did not create their culture quickly" however my meaning of 'cycling culture' did not develop quickly is still right.
      Your correction; "changed their whole - attitude - to transport in a surprisingly short time" is not in question…

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    63. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      That's an amazing set of inferences based upon what I wrote.....
      Just because I don't fetishise the utility bike it doesnt follow that I deride it or pedestrians... Just because i see cycling as part of culture not a separate culture doesn't mean that I wish Australia to change to a more sustainable bike or pedestrian friendly urbanity. It appears that you are so wedded to your version of what cycling should be that any alternative is some fascistic anti-Dutch pro automobile dystopia. Well, my friend, we are already in a dystopia and gnashing your teeth about how undutch we are is helping no-one. My advice, get some perspective- not all of us live in inner citynmelbourne and the rest of us have to come to some other compromise with our transport choices or how we protect ourselves from busy urban or rural roads.
      I'll leave you to watching your endless loop of grannies on bikes and cyclists holding hands....

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    64. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - Is that the best you have? Denial of two distinct motives for cycling. Denial you contradicted me about cycling culture. This is an inner self issue, change of values is confronting. "They do shoot the messager"
      I understand your perspective, have held similar and know it is appropriate for you now.
      For the record my field of study is foresight. Wishing you well.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foresight_(futures_studies)

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    65. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I didn't intend to "correct" but merely to "add" a little - I'm pretty sure we're on the same page as well :-)

      And it's not only the Dutch, its most of Europe and Scandinavia. It is shocking how off the mark our "world leading" (that is at least what the NZ claim) approach to cycling (and frankly road safety in general) is.

      Happy cycling!

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    66. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Dude,
      That made no sense whatsoever... And I've read James Joyce's Ulysses....

      My denial of culture was denial of cycling as a distinct culture, not cycling as an entity within a culture. My closest definition of cycling as a culture is hipsters, or more correctly bike couriers. I think the Dutch would find it absurd that you would define them as a cycling culture, in the same way Londoners would find it odd to be called a tube culture or pedestrian culture, so yes I deny your version of culture except where manifest in 'tribal' groups.
      I appreciate your condescension, it appears that you see yourself as more enlightened. Nice. I'll remember that when I get on my converted steel roadie with panniers and ride to work and the shops. It's to be reminded that there are people in the world way more conceited and deficient of perspective then oneself. Your rabid and histrionic advancement of your worldview does cycling no favors.

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    67. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel - in the list of video I gave on Humanising Cities, the architect Jan Gehl is featured and he is encouraging Humanising Cites everywhere. I saw him when he came to Australia. I would encourage you to take time out to watch, well worth it.
      Our culture is still dominated by the motor car, I would love 'strict liability' to be applied though our vehicle licences, and administered through our government insurers.
      'Strict liability' [not criminal but civil]
      "... discourages reckless behavior and needless loss by forcing potential defendants to take every possible precaution. It also has the effect of simplifying and thereby expediting court decisions in these cases."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strict_liability#Tort_law
      the architect Jan Gehl
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Gehl
      Favourite story on humanising cites " .... gonna make it just about anywhere ..... New York, New York"
      http://youtu.be/RbB5p2KYtyw

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    68. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - Dude" ok! Hmm ..... interesting ....... something to think about.
      "My denial of culture was denial of cycling as a distinct culture" Sean P - Yes, we all know.
      "Your rabid and histrionic advancement of your worldview does cycling no favors." - Sean P - Go back and read yours in a couple of weeks and see how you feel, old son.

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    69. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Probably won't feel any differently. The paucity of argumentation here has done little to change my view, except to realise how jaundiced my fellow cyclists can be. I'll keep working in my way to make my part of the world more bike friendly, as I am sure you will too. Im sure I won't have to start speaking Dutch anytime soon... Enjoy your bike granny videos ;)

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    70. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      So what about a 14 year old riding 50 kmh down a hill without a helmet, still has the same adolescent poor judgement, still has a growing brain subject to damage... Whils this catastrophising does not prove the point the definition of child isn't just 6 year old girls pootling around the back street.

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    71. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Sound familiar:

      The UCI - Union Cycliste Internationale have adopted helmets for protection.
      Their model carries the weight of superior experience, knowledge, and wisdom regarding cycling.
      No amount of logical argument, statistics, supposition and dare I say cognitive bias will ever compete with their insurers actuarial data.
      Yes, insurers carry a bias, toward reducing risking their profit. Insured riders are killed, injured permanently disabled in and out of competition, but they are insurable…

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    72. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean P - " ..... No amount of logical argument, statistics, supposition and dare ...... "
      We all hear you, logic, c/bias, etc. etc. all will never convince you compulsive "helmet use is redundant".
      This is crystal clear, you have made your point. Personal experience tells me this is an emotive issue with you, and it will take an emotional decision to alter your belief or faith or value what ever.
      Having seen motor cyclists and heads severed. And two cyclists head severed, all perfectly intact…

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    73. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Perhaps I am being overly sensitive but I would dearly like to know how my above comments (and others) were construed as unconstructive. My belief is that the Conversation was about constructive debate and the red button was for nasty or deliberately provocative statements. It seems that those who favour relaxing the mandatory helmet laws have engaged in a juvenile bullying exercise through the anonymous red button. It is not there to state your disagreement with my opinion - it is for comments that are unconstructive. I thought I was adding some valid counter-arguments. If you examine the entirety of the comments on this article closely you will find that there is a very distinct pattern in the (over)-use of this web function. Hardly conducive to healthy "conversation" but very educational about the nature of ideologues and their response to dissent.

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    74. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      All this about a small, light piece of foam worn on the head for a short period of time. You would think that the government was forcing you to strap a brick on your head encircled by a crown of thorns. What is the big deal? It reduces SOME risk to injury - that is denied by noone (except maybe Nigel and Paul). It is not a gross human rights violation (sorry Nigel, but I find that whole association somewhat odious on a relativity scale) and mothers are not waking in fright due to nightmares about…

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    75. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul p.
      Yeah I agree, the strident and hyperbolic fixation on helmets as a human rights issue is overwrought and spurious.
      The fixation on Australia becoming New Holland (ironic) is an admirable goal but unrealistic for all but a few urban centers.
      A balanced and nuanced view would accommodate the reality of current urban design with a move towards slow but sure change to cycling friendly urban and rural streetscapes. I advocate helmets being optional for adults, if that helps, but again am unconvinced of how they could project to general society an aspect of extreme danger. I think most people would reason that the risk is mainly from furious traffic activity.
      If the commentary here is the standard arguments espoused by cycling advocates then it will fall on deaf ears, much like any lunatic fringe.

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    76. John Knowles Stretch

      Arid Rangeland resident

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean Parker< "What is the level of risk when cycling? depends upon location, speed and exposure times. The sort of suburban, low velocity trips envisaged by changing the law is of sufficiently low risk to make the law worth repealing. "

      A sound observation. True, there are also situations where traffic is furious - these are best avoided.

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    77. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to James Wookey

      Yeah I agree James. This whole helmet fear thing is wildly overstated.
      Infrastructure and urban design are much bigger influences.

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    78. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      And there are situations in-between, some cyclists travel long distances, increasing exposure to harm, or travel in moderate traffic ( between 0 and 'furious') the risk is higher for this subset of cyclists.

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    79. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul p.

      'Helmets reduce bicycle-related head and facial injuries for bicyclists of all ages involved in all types of crashes, including those involving motor vehicles. '

      Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists

      Diane C Thompson2, Fred Rivara1,*, Robert Thompson3
      Editorial Group: Cochrane Injuries Group

      Published Online: 21 JAN 2009

      Assessed as up-to-date: 7 NOV 2006

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    80. jamie jardine

      Acupuncturist

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Wear it as a badge of honour Paul, being an alternative health practitioner (acupuncturist) I am no stranger to having the the red flag next to my comments on this site, thats what happens when your view is in the minority (doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong). But on this topic I'm with the majority, especially after recently copping a $150.00 fine for not wearing my helmet whilst ambling along my local bike track. You see the police have now taken to patrolling bike tracks, which is where I like to ride when on a nice day. Since being fined I haven't ridden again, it really put me off. As well as making an example of me they made me walk the 5 km home. I agree with what you say for commuter riders, but leisure riders like me should be able to decide for ourself whether or not we wear a hat.

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    81. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      'Bicycle helmets appear to be an effective way to reduce head injuries among children. Interventions to increase helmet use may be effective, particularly community-based, school-based, and those that provide free helmets; however, no effect of the interventions on helmet use were reported in randomized controlled trials. Finally, helmet legislation appears to be effective in increasing helmet use and reducing head injuries.'

      Cochrane Review
      You have full text access to this content
      Cochrane review: Bicycle helmet legislation for the uptake of helmet use and prevention of head injuries

      A Macpherson, Ms A Spinks Research Fellow*
      Article first published online: 26 MAR 2008

      DOI: 10.1002/ebch.211

      Copyright © 2008 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
      Issue
      Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal
      Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 16–32, March 2008

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    82. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - said "..... You or another Paul Richards." Guilty, yes my writing, you feel vindicated clearly "Point made I feel." Sean Parker
      I also said four days ago and at the very beginning of 'this' article, and quote;
      ".. I stand guilty of backing the first compulsory helmet legislation is WA. I admit my thinking was wrong, miss informed and totally influenced by the guerilla marketing tactics of the motor vehicle lobby." - Paul Richards [4days ago]
      So thank you for the segway, I said I changed…

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    83. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      This research provides an important nationally repre- sentative analysis of bicycle-related injuries occurring to children and adolescents in the United States. These injuries continue to be a major problem for US children. According to Healthy People 2010,31 increasing bicycle safety is a national priority. A multi- prong approach to reducing the number of bicycle- related injuries among children is vital and includes increasing bicycle helmet use, improvements in passive protection (ie, spoke covers and energy- absorbing handlebars), and primary prevention mea- sures to reduce bicycle crashes through construction of bicycle paths, educational campaigns, and other efforts.

      Bicycle-Related Injuries Among Children and Adolescents
      in the United States
      Tracy J. Mehan, MA, Ricky Gardner, BS, Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH, and Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, MA (2009)

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    84. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - As always, you never give references and shoot from the hip.
      This is an academic portal, please consider the academic values on offer. If you had bothered to read, I backed up the the auto lobby comments with the site belows record of industry commercials verifying the hundreds of millions spent globally on promoting motor vehicle vs cycling; http://www.copenhagenize.com/search/label/car%20industry%20strikes%20back
      Highly recommend you read today's article on The Conversation I learned from it;
      https://theconversation.edu.au/seven-secrets-of-stylish-academic-writing-7025

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    85. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      My vindication was not of what you wrote, but of what you reflexively criticized ie your own writing. Not everyone who has a vision different than yours is contemptible. Yet you continue to denigrate those with only slightly differing views as either less enlightened or pawns of the motor lobby.
      Yes, your vision of a cycling friendly urban environment is admirable. This does not mean that views different to yours are worthy of contempt. Nor does it mean that your vision should be implemented if people don't want it.
      There are many reasoned views here that are far more worthy of consideration than yours. Any view perceived by the general public as ideological or cultish will be rejected. Moderate your tone, sir. Let all views be heard, if yours is the most convincing it will win out.

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    86. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      31 st Australian Transport research forum... No mention of helmet fear....
      Here's an exet from the conclusion....

      'Moreover, many areas of Australia were found to lack bicycle friendly design and this presents a considerable barrier to greater bicycle use. Overcoming these barriers requires the development of a whole-of-government approach, encompassing the health, transport, environment, education and planning portfolios. Only through a combined approach can the significant benefits of increased cycling be fully realized'

      ycling: getting Australia moving – barriers, facilitators and interventions to get more Australians
      physically active through cycling
      Adrian Bauman1, Chris Rissel1, Jan Garrard2, Ian Ker3 Rosemarie Speidel4 and Elliot Fishman4

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    87. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Oh and Wikipedia and blogs aren't references, by the way.

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    88. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean Parker - my references did not need to be academic white paper, they are overview with reference to concepts and ideas using multimedia of the vehicle lobnby. Which is fitting since we the reference was to 'spin' incase you did not know it propaganda is delivered on TV commercials by paid agencies.
      Where are you references white paper, actuarial data, blogs verifying concept. Nada, pardon some ineptly worded BS form the NRMA.

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    89. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      '). A recent survey of 1150 Sydney residents living within 10 km of the CBD suggests that perceived traffic danger is the primary reason why non-regular cyclists do not cycle more often (City of Sydney, 2006). Thus, improving cycling safety is an important approach to encouraging more cycling among a broader cross-section of society. Of course, reducing cyclist injuries and fatalities is an appropriate public health goal in itself, but the potential impact of improved safety on people’s willingness to cycle is yet more reason to pursue this goal.'

      Journal of Transport Geography
      Volume 19, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 332–345

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    90. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Note I still agree helmet laws should be repealed.... It's just that your helmet fear premise is not mentioned at all in the literature... It's all about urban infrastructure and traffic.....

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    91. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - that idea, concept, sentence backing the issue requires metrics. It is opinion and carries little weight.

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    92. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to jamie jardine

      The badge of honour idea works for me, it's just that this red-mark approach also lumps me in with the car chauvinists. I was kind of expecting someone to red-mark my grievance - some ironic humour I would applaud!

      Don't misinterpret me because I am generally in favour of compulsory helmets, biased by my personal experiences, but I would be furious too with such a fine. The sensible approach is obviously a caution unless you were riding with your eyes closed and head on the seat. I would suspect that many police officers are not cyclist-loving peacemakers and probably salivate at the thought of some kind of strange justice (or retribution, or whatever it is). In a place like Berlin where the bike paths are segregated, ubiquitous and the paths are highly respected, such laws are probably unnecessary because the risks are so much lower.

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    93. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul,
      That's why I included the citation... Look it up you'll find it's not opinion it's a scholarly article. You're displaying amazing confirmation bias here.....

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    94. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      You wrote:

      Paul Richards
      (logged in via Facebook)
      Jon - since you are an MD, and a proxy lobbyist for the auto industry.
      Here is a link to an MD. and his data around the issue. He is not a BBoomer, or Gen X, but younger. Your worldview is a complete contrast to his.
      http://helmetfreedom.org/
      Raise your awareness, come back, your comments would be interesting and very welcome;
      http://goo.gl/

      So the only comments worthy are ones that accord with yours?

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    95. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Sorry...couldn't resist red flagging you.... Too late for irony though I suspect

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    96. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - that's ok, no harm done.
      I do like the the +insightful -unconstructive as feed back, have been flagged before. The guy got so nasty he was reported for abuse, not by me. His pseudonym has not been seen since by me.

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    97. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul,
      As interesting as your anecdote is here is a study in qld that states the following:
      'In the current study, traffic and criminal safety issues were identified as important factors governing parental decisions regarding child transportation modes. Dellinger and Staunton (2002) proposed that safety was of particular concern in primary school children, which may account for the finding that parents rated their child’s age as the most important factor in their decision to allow their child to…

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    98. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      I thought we'd closed this thread.

      You are quoting a selection of research, there is a large body of research and as you well know plenty of it does not support helmets laws, and some of it does not even support helmet promotion. What does the balance of the research conclude? Why after over two decades of experience with helmet laws is there no conclusive evidence they work? Why have the Norwegians rejected helmet laws after reviewing the available results from the NZ & OZ laws and concluded…

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    99. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - yes and as I have said, infrastructure, strict liability, form based architecture [new urbanism US] and no helmets allow children i.e. Netherlands and Danish students to cycle to school from K1-K12. [personally I feel after K4 when peripheral vision kicks in is better]
      Here in Australia and other countries with helmet laws, parents take students to school travelling as little as 500metres in a STELL CAGE cocooning children, the term 'helicopter parent' is ours. Not Danish or Dutch.
      Yes it is complex and we need Stuff to keep our children safe, but hey that is the culture here, promoted by who?

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    100. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Sean - the spellings is not getting better with the wine. Apologies I know how it pisses you off, and is demeaning in light of your clarity of argument.
      What is again?
      Is it Helmet Compulsion has reduced death and injury?
      You must have put the metrics up somewhere, I just can not find them. Must be the wine.

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    101. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Hi Sean, different thread and a different topic ;-)

      You quote that "perceived traffic danger is the primary reason why non-regular cyclists do not cycle more often".

      You do know what a major factor in causing that *perception* is don't you?

      Well to sell helmet legislation the authorities needed a problem so they could enforce the solution... so they intentionally over-emphaised the dangers to cyclists from traffic to create the problem - its called "marketing". Then having created the "problem…

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    102. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul P - you are allowed to have an opposing view.
      I sport many reds on The Conversation. It takes guts or stupidity to wear "your heart on your sleeve."
      I am both and neither at times.

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    103. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Citizen SG

      No, not too late - now it's just funny. I would have done it too.

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    104. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - if you are referring to the subscription paper, that was clever. No online access, as I don't have Uni Library privileges at the moment and you failed to quote metics, again. This is an Academic conduit to the 'Public' technically me presently, a bit of understanding please.
      How hard it it to copy and paste?
      We will or at least I will trust the source if you sight it. Come on, be serious put up the metrics.

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    105. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel your argument would me more compelling without the hyperbole...

      See my qld study quote ( citation somewhere in my replies total) other factors include commuting distance and kiddy fiddling fear as large factors as well... Anyway it's a quantum leap to say that fear of throwing kids into traffic is generated by helmet wearing.... Had you thought that the fear may come from the traffic?

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    106. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I cited my quote. I can't copy the whole paper and post it here. Look it up.

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    107. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I've cited my sources. I assumed you had access to google scholar or similar as you posted that your 'area of research' was future studies or some other thing.
      I cannot cut and paste the entire article as that would be too large a post and it's copyrighted. You'll have to pay for it yourself if you don't believe me.
      Or you could just find a blog to reinforce your cognitive bias in this matter.

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    108. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - " 31 st Australian Transport research forum... No mention of helmet fear....
      Here's an exet from the conclusion...." [sic]

      Sean - said - "exet from the conclusion" Yes, you excerpted what suited your argument.
      I am guilty of cognitive bias, it is a normal human condition. However scanning involves setting this aside and being aware of the values presented, vested interests and where ours are.

      My use of the "Climate of Fear" or "culture of Fear" you have denigrated is consistant…

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    109. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - Whole article?
      Copyright comes under the term of "fair use" furthermore subscriptions allow legal use. If commenting and backing up with references is not "fair use", the whole of academia worldwide would daily be in breach. The integral nature of research allows for "citing and publishing"as a core principle within academia, and this applies to the public as well. Breaches have to do with intelectual property, corporate secrets or property.

      "Come on, be serious put up the metrics" Paul Richards - This was the often repeated request for statistics on decrease in child injuries due to the introduction of helmet compulsion laws in Australia.

      All you need to do is copy and paste a paragraph or three with page and article reference. So we can scan, the source, vested interests and value system.

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    110. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - every woord and order you wrote it in is here to read.
      All you have done is argue for the sake of it. If we hold similar views, they are lost in your vitriol.
      All we need in this forum is for a simple set of statistics backing up your "premiss", children need to wear helmets because road deaths and injury in 'their' class of rider are lower now we have compulsory helmet laws.
      What I have in comment after comment, is snide remarks about perfectly workable ideas modelled by cycling culture who do not use cycle helmet compulsion.
      Time to step up, we are all interested.

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    111. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - whole paper? Here we go again.
      I trust excerpts, links to tables with statistics from Australia about our helmet compulsions effectiveness. All your papers and reference are people with 'opinions' and without links it is imposible to scan for vested interest, statistics, and values of contributors.
      Please cite readable sources or copy and paste paragraphs. My opinions and others are always open to disagreeing with, that is healthy.

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    112. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - comments quoting statistics and specification like helmet.org are. Opinion is opinion, ideas are shared, right wrong or indifferent.

      Premiss like for example yours; helmets have reduced death and injury in Australia since helmets were made compulsory.
      Are not worth more than opinion, mine or anyones. Prove the premiss, that is all. Simple.
      Projecting "that all I say is right proper true and just" - is again your opinion, no one takes it seriously, let alone me. Just a snide cynical commet demonstrating a win lose mindset.
      Most commenters here are after a win win scenario for our Australian cycling community.

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    113. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Sean - if you were a parent you would understand how much fear has an effect on the effective learning of a child. The use of fear to teach, make obedient are ideas and constructs of un-evolved value systems or beliefs or stage of human development. The helmet like it or not is a symbol of risk, risk taking and associated with fear.

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    114. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - for as long as I have studied I have heard this 'trusim', it is opinion and we are free to read about the idea or accepted norm.
      Personally I can not quote any paper - wikipedia - legal document - or opinion with out looking up references. This strategy is particularly useful in law, and why I have rarely paid for professional opinions on law.
      If you choose to accept statistics written or premiss in wikipedia or any document without an effective scan, of source, vested interest or contributors…

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    115. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul,
      I understand your angst. I once was ignorant of cognitive biases and critical thinking and thought I had to turn everything into a zer sum game. Have a look at:

      http://www.criticalthinkeracademy.com/ and

      http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/poster

      Take your own advice and read your own posts, especially in light of 'begging the question'. This 'conversation' is getting as circular as your reasoning, I
      I don't appreciate being called vitriolic either... Read your own posts, especially where you accused a poster of being in line with the motoring lobby, ive called you out on that twice and youve ignored it.... In line with the intransigent line of your thinking.
      That type of inflammatory post is not in line with the virtues you purport to espouse. At the least you owe that man an apology.

      Remember, a zealot and his cause are soon parted.

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    116. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - I make no apology for anyone who lifts text or language of know lobbyist, no defence. They use it they get it back, their rules. Most of the vitriolic comments on this and other forum are similar, lobbyists and their language get little respect. Since I have been here since the site opened, I have rarely even bother with known cut an paters of neoliberal think tanks supporters. I make no excuse for comment made earlier, lobbiyists and their meme are not helpful in real debate.
      So where are the statistics backing up you premiss;
      Children need to wear helmets because road deaths and injury in 'their' class of rider are lower now we have compulsory helmet laws.

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    117. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - " .... Remember, a zealot and his cause are soon parted" intersting truism, I do hope so.

      Because I am geting tired of asking for statistics backing up you premiss;
      Children need to wear helmets because road deaths and injury in 'their' class of rider are lower now we have compulsory helmet laws.

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    118. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean I like the - "Cherry-picking data clusters to suit an argument, or finding a pattern to fit a presumption." That is a favourite of dirty energy, tobacco, climate change deniers, and typical of think tank lobbyists
      Thank you for the reference, great link.

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    119. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      1/2 an hour finding citations, 1/2 an hour to post, and now you've spent an entire Sunday responding to a WUM.
      My work here is done, zealots are incredibly gullible.....

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    120. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sigh.

      To generate the need for helmet laws the danger of cycling (inherent and from external sources such as traffic) was intentionally over-stated. This increased the perceived danger way beyond the actual danger - our Governments were successful in their goal.

      But later the goal changed and they wished to increase cycling, and by their own admission that was rather harder than it should have been due to their prior success. Hence the NZ Government quote that they "shot themselves in the foot…

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    121. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Paul Richards

      What struck me about The Netherlands ws that the proportions of both racer types and earnest cycle advocates were both stikingly similar to Australia as population ratios.

      What differs is the far greater proportion of ordinary people who just use a bike to get around.

      So, as a proportion of people cycling, the racers and the activists are much smaller elements.

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    122. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      It is not merely the culture of fear but the myth of protection.

      Helmets keep you prettier after a crash. They are much less effective at reducing concussion.

      Most of the safety data refers vaguely and generically to "head injuries" but very little of it is at all enlightening as to brain damage.

      I get to see a reasonable number of helmets claimed to have saved thier owner's life. Although the helmets are sometimes shattered, they seldom show any evidence of the foam having absorbed kinetic…

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    123. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      Like I've always said- I support changes to helmet laws in adults. To say a helmet doesn't protect you from facial injury and head injury. Your suspicion is wrong, actual heads do not deform- or rather, the skull,doesn't. ,it's the brain inside that gets the kinetic energyntransferred to it. The idea of the helmet is that it shatters instead of the skull, and the energy of impact is mitigated by the helmet not brain tissue.

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    124. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul,
      There ya go some methodology from the citation above.. Strangely no mention of projected helmet fear... I'm starting to think you made that up..... Or just quoted from some blog or watching a YouTube clip....

      A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to parents of children attending three primary schools within the Brisbane metropolitan district (Queensland, Australia) in which a ‘Walk-to-School’ program was about to be implemented. Questionnaires were distributed via the school…

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    125. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Oh and if you've forgotten the article was originally cited in reference to your reasons for parents driving their kids to school.

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    126. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There ya go, Paul... No mention of projected helmet fear.. Just the same old infrastructure and safety concerns... Before you say it, the best inference is that safety concerns come from cars on e road not helmet fear.... But that would challenge your bias wouldn't it...

      Cycling down under: a comparative analysis of bicycling trends and policies in Sydney and Melbourne
      [PDF] from rutgers.edu
      Full Text @ La Trobe
      J Pucher, J Garrard… - Journal of Transport Geography, 2011 - Elsevier

      5…

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    127. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      'major factor'...ummmmm let me think....cars, trucks maybe not some specious 'helmet generated fear' that is not even mentioned in the literature. Not mentioned. At all. Anywhere. By anyone.

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    128. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      So which opinions are acceptable to you Paul if evidence isn't? Presumably just evidence that fits your world view... And you have stated that you're enlightened!
      See your comment to Jon hunt... Despicable and arrogant. You should be ashamed to state that you've demonstrated critical thinking and this thought control in e same forum.

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    129. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      This makes no sense...

      Is what you're saying: I can say anything I
      Ike without references or evidence? Because?
      Does not validity and accuracy matter to you?

      Any comment from an organization you don't like you wave away without attacking it. Why? Because you are incapable of presenting a reasoned response presumably.... What a farce.

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    130. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Which situations will helmets be necessary and which situations unnecessary. Please explain this position. Your argument in other parts of this forum is that helmets are not necessary and in fact engender fear of cycling...
      Is this another non core statement or are you comfortable with any contradictory position. Cognitive dissonance?

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    131. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul, r.
      You may have been right to lobby for helmets in children:
      Study in Germany (yes adjacent to holland)
      See the conclusion.

      do. In the youngest group (3–6 years) 19% of bicycle-related head injuries are attributable to the non-use of helmets, but this proportion rises to 67% in the oldest group (14–17 years). The PAR% of head injuries associated with not wearing a helmet may be reduced by more than a third by increasing the helmet wearing rate to 67% (2 out of 3) among adolescents…

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    132. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Oh is that supported somewhere?, you must have a reference then... Like from the literature, not some cycling blog written by wild eyed beards frothing at the mouth about car lobby conspiracies.

      Like how about something reliable that says helmet wearing enforces the perception that cycling is an unsafe activity and demonstrably prevents people from cycling.... Or do you think it may be the qty of cars,poor infrastructure, urban design.. Like I and others and all e references kep telling you...

      Cog bias?

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    133. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Please do think. While it might be de rigueur to treat politicians, both elected and career, with contempt, to de-humanise them to the extent that they are not included in "anyone" is surely a little excessive.

      It is the *NZ Government* which decided to increase the perceived danger of cycling as part of marketing the need for helmet legislation and then later, when faced with promoting cycling, stated that they had "shot themselves in the foot". So clearly they believe it is a significant factor and one they helped to create.

      Time to close this thread as well, as usual you may have the last word - whether it earns a :-) we'll see.

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    134. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      happy cycling with or without a helmet!

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    135. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Frank M. said "It can simply get down to a body count."
      I personally challenged one commenter here to come up with statistics backing helmet compulsion.
      Nothing has been put up, this amounts to a pro helmet fail. Not surprising because all the reports supporting this issue have been contracted by pro helmet government departments. In fairness, not all government department suport the compulsion law, heath is an obvious one.
      So in order to put this helmet compulsion issue in perspective of actual…

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    136. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul wrote:
      'Few acknowledge that the converse of pro cyclist groups is the vehicle motor lobby [perhaps they do not like their group of choice and association by logic]'

      Few acknowledge it because it is fallacious reasoning.

      It may be that the converse of cycling activists is the motor lobby but it does not follow that those who argue against strident members of the cycling lobby are in any way aligned with the motor lobby. This is a fallacy. It's the same as saying:
      'the converse of fascism is communism therefore all those who disagree with fascists are communists'.

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    137. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul quoted:
      'SDR for pedestrian injured in transport accident 1.0 per 100,000 '
      As helmets have been shown to protect cyclists from facil and head injury, imagine what this figure would be like if these cyclsts were not wearing helmets?

      Paul wrote:
      'When I ride at pace or in known high risk area, the helmet is part of my strategy'
      Paul wrote:
      'there is no clear, unequivocal evidence that wearing a bicycle helmet provides any significant protection from serious or life-threatening injuries…

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    138. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul wrote:
      'all the reports supporting this issue have been contracted by pro helmet government departments'
      So you can substantiate his? If there is clear bias in 'all the reports' than surely you can tell us interested readers where this bias lies.
      Would it be more reasonable to assume that you possess the bias and that every article that does not support your position is perceived as biased for this reason?
      Fail.

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    139. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean Parker said - " imagine what this figure would be like if these cyclsts were not wearing helmets?"

      All we can do is imagine, ........................................ there are no figures to support this premiss because no one has any that prove death rates have improved since 1989. The figures in the ABS data base do not support your 'belief. None of us are silly enough to believe you are sitting on them, put the statistics up. We have waited over a week.

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    140. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Death rate is not the only measure of helmet effectiveness; in fact, given the epidemiologyof bicycle accidents it is not the best measure. The best measure would be prevention of facial and head injury. See the article from france that i quoted from, as well as other articles that i cited. It's ben up. For one week.

      You don't like my evidence because it contradicts you. Says more about you than me.

      Given your adversion to helmets I'm interested as to why you wear them?

      http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/f/dissonance.htm

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    141. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul wrote:
      'I personally challenged one commenter here to come up with statistics backing helmet compulsion.
      Nothing has been put up, this amounts to a pro helmet fail. Not surprising because all the reports supporting this issue have been contracted by pro helmet government departments. In fairness, not all government department suport the compulsion law, heath is an obvious one.'

      6 days ago I wrote:

      Sean Parker
      Nurse Educator (logged in via email @y7mail.com)
      Paul, r.
      You may have…

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    142. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      So Sean where is the Australian Data, we have had the experiment for helmet compulsion going longer than any country, since 1989.
      Our data is the most comprehensive set of data set in the world. Where is your proof?

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    143. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There is no 'proof'... There is evidence that confirms or denies.... You want 'proof' go to a blog for advice. This argument is about supportive evidence. Data, Australian or otherwise, shows a protective benefit for wearing helmets. The data is not strong. The data is not 'conclusive. However, There is sufficient evidence to support the protective qualities of bicycle helmets. You said so yourself on this forum'. You said you wore them. Now you're saying there is no benefit? Do you retract what you wrote? Which of your statements is 'core' or 'non-core'?
      Do you retract what you said earlier? Do you now state that helmets are non protective and that you will no longer wear them when mountain biking or cycling at pace?

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    144. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Waiting......waiting....

      No evidence, no 'metrics' just wild unsubstantiated fallacious statements.
      Zealots frothing at the mouth again......

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    145. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean Parker said - "There is no 'proof'... There is evidence that confirms or denies.... "
      Great segway Sean Parker. The zealots that brought in this spurious legislation in demanding helmets pushing for it saying it would reduce death and injury have nothing to justify their belief after all these years.

      Where is your proof that injury and death rates are improved data is there for anyone to examine since 1989, you included ?

      Come on put up or .........

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    146. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Ahhhh.... I see... The goalpost change.. I asked first, old son. You still stand by your statements of one week ago or not.

      I have provided sufficient data on helmet efficacy from worldwide data... Time for you to explain your contradictory statements..... Crickets chirruping.... Well?

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    147. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      You wrote:
      'I have raced mountain bikes, in cross country and downhill events. Commuted most of my life using a helmet and always will because of the "pace" I ride. '

      Why wear a helmet, Paul? I don't understand? You dispute their efficacy...yet you state you 'always will' wear one.....

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    148. John Knowles Stretch

      Arid Rangeland resident

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Paul's aversion is evidently to a needless compulsion that targets low-risk cyclists Sean. Rather than to a voluntary wearing of helmets by individuals that chose to cycle where the risk of injury is more pronounced.

      Informed choice.

      Something to be encouraged.

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    149. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      so this is your reference:
      http://www.copenhagenize.com/search?q=culture+of+fear

      that's it..... the basis of your argument?

      You've extracted 'projected fear from helmets' from frank furedi's book....

      Despite the australian evidence that lack of cycling is directly related to infrastructure.
      again... i'd believe helmet hair over this argument anyday...

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    150. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      So this the argument from copenhagenise.com//// have a squiz.. any flaws noted?

      http://www.copenhagenize.com/search?q=culture+of+fear

      Since scientific opinion is still unclear about the relationship between melanoma and sun exposure, it is surprising that such a solid and unquestioning consensus was established in the media, so quickly. A practice which had been long seen not only as healthy but as a source of pleasure suddenly became a danger to all."

      Now, after having read this excerpt, do yourself a favour. Read it again and think about cycling instead of the sun. Think about the way bike helmets are marketed instead of sun lotion. Think about the media and the public have embraced the fabricated fear of cycling instead of sun-exposure.

      And compare the helmet industry with the lotion-producing cosmetic industry and how much money there is to be made out of these constructed fears.

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    151. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      John,
      At every point in this debate I have acknowledged that MHLs should be rescinded. Personal protection is different than population protection.

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    152. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      4.1. Bicycle injuries
      Similar to most mechanisms of injury, bicycle crashes are preventable. While the prevalence of bicycle injuries requiring hospitalization is lower among adults than children, injury severity and the resultant burden to the individual and society are greater for adults than children (Ackery et al., 2004). In the present study, one-third of those injured presented with neurotrauma, and adults, as compared to children, had a ten percent increased rate of spinal cord injuries…

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    153. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There's no evidence that repealing of cycling laws will lead to more cycling.

      Cycling rates in Australia are greater now than in Britain, yet Britain does not have compulsory helmet laws. This is because there more variables nvolved in cycling than just cycling laws.

      http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications/files/Cycling_Infrastructure_Background_Paper_16Mar09_WEB.pdf

      Mm.".no evidence of 'helmet fear' just infrastructure, safe roads etc etc.... Sound familiar?

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    154. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Not the kind of thing Infrastructure Australia would write about. They do, however, mention the sharp dip in cycling during the 1990s but say they have no explanation.

      Perception of safety is mentioned as a major deterrent from cycling but helmets are not mentioned at all. (Wonder if some of the people contributing to the report might not have been involved in making helmets mandatory.)

      On page 12 of the cited report is a graph that shows clearly why it cycling numbers are so important to safety…

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    155. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Thanks for the link Sean / Seamus for the paper; Cycling Infrastructure Background Paper 16Mar09

      On page eight they even talk about the community and consideration of other than the 'lycra brigade'. Which is all healthy undisputed information. It has after all been this group within the cycling community who have largely promoted helmet use appropriately because of their pace.

      Under the heading in your quoted paper; Safety [page 12]
      "Perceived and actual traffic hazards are a key constraint…

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    156. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I'll add some actual data. I rode my bike for the first time in over 3 months on Sunday. I made it 400m from my home before I was t-boned by a car, sending me flying over the handle bars onto the middle of the road. Fortunately there were no cars following me. I don't ride much because it is such a horrible and dangerous area to drive and there are regularly near-misses. It is not perceived but actual danger that is keeping me off the road (and I am a very experienced rider). I've had plenty of accidents - this is just the latest.

      The real challenge is making cycling safe for me to ride in my area (and city). Until that time I have no complaints with compulsory helmets. Certainly making them non-compulsory will add nothing to my safety.

      BTW - the guy that hit me was a cyclist himself !

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    157. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani said; "I'll add some actual data......."

      Please do, so far this has been anecdotal. All based on one size fits all.
      Put the actual data up, no one can show real numbers, just 'stories', fairytales to scare the children. I expect more from a teacher.

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    158. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I am sorry that you do not class a real accident as real data. I am sorry that my cuts and bruises are scaring the children. I am sorry that this is not evidence (for you) that infrastructure is the most important issue. I am sorry that I do not ride in the same utopia that you must.

      Of course you would prefer me to add something juicy to your dark conspiracies about Big Auto and helmets but I'll leave the real fairy tales to experts such as yourself while I get my bike repaired and contemplate jogging.

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    159. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani said ; " ........ real accident as real data"
      Paul statistically your accidents, and for that matter mine do not make a case to prove the idea applied to compulsory helmet legislation. If you had ever seen cyclist obliterated by a motor vehicle, you would not have such 'faith'in the compulsory cycling helmet vs 1500kg plus of steel, rubber and plastic.
      Anyone can find statistical data proving the compulsory helmet idea, with the one caveat "if it is real."
      Remembering we have recoded…

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    160. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I don't wear a helmet to keep my head looking beautiful in a casket just as a sensible person wearing a seat belt in a car does not wear it to save themselves from an accident in which a car explodes into flames. You are being intentionally obfuscatory. It is harm minimisation.

      You also completely miss the point I am making. The two adults in my house are not riding regularly because it is dangerous on the road, particularly in our local area. This is not a "perceived fear" - it is real and is…

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    161. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani said ; "......... if there was good infrastructure (just as we did when we lived near a very convenient cycle way that took us to work)." This all cyclists agree on, your emotive attack and line of argument is wasted.
      How does compulsory helmet legislation assit in the need to change driver and law enforcement mindset along with a radical change in infrastructure?
      What proof do you have statistically that helmet compulsion has saved lives and injuries it promised to do?

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    162. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani, commiseration on your crash and those of your housemates.

      However it does seem to me that there are crossed lines here. The crashes are the result of the actions of the motorist, the cyclist, or both. Helmets are not going to prevent crashes, nor are they going to do much to prevent injury.

      If you happen to fall on your head, a helmet may be of some assistance in absorbing shock and reducing abrasion.

      However helmets do not help in some crashes and there is good reason to suspect…

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    163. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Mmmm...perhaps the point was missed... Britain does not have complulsory helmet laws and yet the rates of cycling are low. I might say it again in case you didn't get it the second time, britain does not have compulsory helmet laws and yet rates of cycling are low.
      This infers that MHLs (in Britain) are not a significant contributor to rates of cycling, especially when compared to the Low Countries.
      Perhaps the answer in britain is cycling infrastructure as 'helmet generated fear' does not appear to be a factor at all.

      Who Knew.

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    164. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      That's disingenuous. Posters to this forum, including myself, have discriminated between the harm done to the population by low cycling versus the harm done to individuals by crashing and not wearing a helmet.
      If MHLs do lower cycling rates (and there is no evidence for this except correlation) then it is worth repealing MHLs for adults. This does not affect individual risk in a crash. This is reduced by wearing helmets (see various posts here to see the evidence for this).
      Paul Richards has…

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    165. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      John,
      '...good reason to suspect that they may severely worsen the effects of falling off at high speed, due to increasing rotational shock over that experienced where no helmet is worn'
      I suspect you stole this from reseacrh into motorcycle helmets where it has been shown that helmets may increase the incidence of Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) due to rotational forces imparted in a collision. This research comes from tesrting a dummy head with an accelerometer in it. It makes no comment on whether…

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    166. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul richards wrote:

      "... if we ride at pace, downhill mountain bike, ride down Sydney Rd Brunswick at 07:45-09:30 hrs it would be dumb not to wear a helmet... "

      hmmm... why would it be dumb not to wear a helmet I wonder?
      is it because:
      a. helmets are protective and
      b. helmets do not make one fearful of cycling it is risk mitigation from: 'pace, downhill mountain bik(ing), rid(ing) down Sydney Rd '

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    167. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus Gardiner said; " ...... Who Knew." Every single commenter here knows infrastructure is the solution.

      No matter which pseudonym you want to write in it does not change you have run away from your premise.
      Helmets have contributed to greatly saving lives and injury, and the statistics prove it.

      So again.

      How does compulsory helmet legislation assit in the need to change driver and law enforcement mindset along with a radical change in infrastructure?

      What proof do you have statistically that helmet compulsion has saved lives and injuries it promised to do?

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    168. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul read my post again. In fact read it twice, you'll see that i've answered your question and that you've ignored mine.

      My question to you was:
      if MHLs do not exist in Britain why is their rates of cycling below ours?I infer that it has either nothing to do with helmets but with infrastructure, which all the literature I have quoted to you supports.
      I ask again, what evidence do you have that
      a. helmets are not protective to individuals
      b. helmet 'fear' has a tangible contribution to…

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    169. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus Gardiner / Sean : " .... helmets are protective and" Your emotive line of argument is redundant.

      Put up the data, the promise was compulsory helmet legislation would save lives and reduce injury.

      Run away and prove the premise. Freedom to choose, was restricted. That is the issue, with no result.

      So again man up ;

      "What proof do you have statistically that helmet compulsion has saved lives and injuries it promised to do?"

      This experiment has being running since 1988, the data is there. Prove it.

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    170. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      See the data I have already posted. As already described there is no 'proof' only data that supports or refutes. If you refuse to read the data supplied that is your choice.
      lets look at the logic of this:
      a. The low countries have high rates of cycling, ideal infrastructure and no MHLs
      b. Britain has low rates of cycling , poor infrastructure and no MHLs
      c. Australia has low rates of cycling , poor infrastructure and MHLs

      what's the variable?
      Infrastructure...who knew?

      Nowhere in the literature is there mention of 'helmet related fear' I have quoted many articles citing improved accident statistics post helmet laws. I have quoted papers stating that in the australian experience it is fear of traffic and 'stranger danger' that stops children cycling... what more do you need? a religious experience?

      Time to find some evidence to support your case...

      crickets chirruping...

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    171. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus Gardiner / Sean : " ..... Infrastructure...who knew?" You clearly did not red a word I have written.

      My premise has always been infrastructure, right from my first comment on this page, supported by many blue tags. The compulsory helmet legislation is now transparent for the smoke screen it was.

      Your emotive red herring arguments, have been used over and over, be a man. Again we ask;

      "What proof do you have statistically that helmet compulsion has saved lives and injuries it promised to do?"

      This experiment has being running since 1988, the data is there over twenty years of it. Prove it.

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    172. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus Gardiner / Sean said "..... generate a fear of cycling" No one care if you disagree with 'the fear' it is my opinion, why does my opinion matter.

      Be a man, your premise has been compulsory helmet laws save lives, you have left a trail of attacking comments all over this site on article after article any normal man with an evolved values system would be ashamed of.

      Just put up the data, we all a mature enough to acquiesce to your proof and 'hail the king' of WU.
      Just put the data up.

      "What proof do you have statistically that helmet compulsion has saved lives and injuries it promised to do?"

      This experiment has being running since 1988, the data is there over twenty years of it. Prove it.

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    173. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean Parker / Seamus / whoever you are today said : "The findings provide support for extending
      the law to include adults."

      'The findings' are opinions like yours, they have not used the data recorded showing the correlation between compulsory helmet legislation and the statistics gathered for over twenty years.

      If they did prove your premise, you would put them up with great excitement we are certain.

      "All hail the King"
      We acknowledge you are brilliant at writing rhetoric, using…

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    174. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      First, Seamus, your response is offensive. Even if I had referred to motorcycle data, the term "stolen" is stupidly pejorative.

      I was actually unaware of the motorcycle data. As you say, the design of bicycle helmets is very different, as are the impacts. Bicycle helmets are much more likely to rotate the head. Both because of their shape and the materials they are made from, they are more likely to grip the surface when they impact. The distance of fall is roughly double that of a fall from a…

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    175. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to John Harland

      John Harland thank you, your explanation is easy follow logical carefully crafted.

      It backs personal anecdotal experience talking AE trauma surgeons and neurologist over many years. The cycling communities issue is reversing opinion, not the data, the laws as most know promised to reduce death and injury significantly.

      We still have no improvement and over twenty years stalled infrastructure development on the Netherlands, Denmark and many other European countries who have reduce death and…

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    176. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Here's some stats from 2012, in a Victorian study. Not that you'll believe it of course because it threatens your world view. At the end I've also included a link to 2012 paper on reasons for non-cycling in Australia. Nothing on helmet related fear, I'm afraid. It appears that your argument, taken from a cycling blog, regurgitated from a rephrased excerpt from a frank furedi book is bunkum. Who knew?....

      Risk factors for severe injury in cyclists involved in traffic crashes in Victoria, Australia…

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    177. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      None of what you have written shows anything tangible in relation to increased risk of DAI in a collision by virtue of wearing a bicycle helmet as compared to the risk of the same collision not causing DAI. In respect of this collision it is even possible that the bicycle helmet could result in a survivable DAI injury as distinct from a lethal bleed injury/mass effect. Your logic does not bear scrutiny.
      I'd be interested to see how a bicycle helmet could 'grip' the road.
      'The distance of fall of a cyclist is twice that of a motorcyclist'
      You are making all this up.
      .

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    178. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      In fact lets turn this around. As the britishexperience strongly suggests that mandatory helmet laws have no effect on rates of cycling and All the evidence that I have posted suggests a reduction in head and facial injury by wearing helmets, lets keep MHLs. Show me the evidence why we should not have MHLs. It doesn't reduce rates of cycling, it is protective (as you have admitted by saying that you yourself wear them when cycling). Where's your logic in not having MHLs? I'd be curious to know.

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    179. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Britain has lower rates of cycling than Australia and no MHLs.
      Helmets are protective as I have demonstrated with at least 8 papers from various countries, including Australia.
      'I have raced mountain bikes, in cross country and downhill events. Commuted most of my life using a helmet and always will because of the "pace" I ride. Paul Richards agrees helmets are protective.

      I am confused, tell me again why we shouldn't haveMHLs, especially for children?

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    180. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus Gardiner :"Here's some stats from 2012, in a Victorian study" Been there done that, with your alter ego. It is all recorded on this page for anyone to read. Good grief, more discredited Cochrane study stuff, yawn.

      What proof do you have statistically that helmet compulsion has saved lives and injuries it promised to do?

      We want statistics, not opinions. Twenty years of data is there for you or anyone to use, go write a thesis and back yourself.

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    181. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      You sit down on a motorcycle, but are at almost standing height on a bike. The difference is possibly not double, but it is considerably greater.

      The chance of going over the handlebar, and being catapaulted upwards, is a lot less on a motorcycle. The centre-of-gravity is much lower and wheelbase longer.

      The grip of foam-only helmets on the road surface was the justification at the time for the introduction of microshell helmets. I suggest you compare the grip of the two on a similar surface…

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    182. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus Gardiner / Sean I & II / all your alter ergos.

      Do you realise the likelihood of any removal of the helmet legislation is remote.
      Nearly every cyclist here has 98% of their focus on good infrastructure and developing a cycling culture, including me. Why the obsession?
      Seriously, why the fear it will go? Are you ok?
      Please go and talk to some one if is bothering you. Email me if you need to talk, I mean it. It might help you let go, it could be a win win scenario.
      Wishing you well.

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    183. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to John Harland

      John Harland "....... am entertained by your allegations" I was once too. Seriously he has an emotional attachment to defending this issue, and unless either of us works our what it is, both our lines of argument will fall on deaf ears as will request for statistical proof. It really is hard to believe anyone can obsessively defend such an inadequate piece of equipment, as the cycling helmet.

      Your points raised about repeated head trauma, helmeted or not, I have heard from several leading AE trauma surgeons and also from a leading neurologist, your premise is on solid ground. Not only that but many functional neuroimaging papers have new recommendations for all sports on the issue you raised.

      Lets hope our infrastructure get better asap. Thanks, your comments are always worth reading.

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    184. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Seamus / Sean I & II said " ..... Paul Richards agrees helmets are protective."
      Oh dear Sean have you just realised that, I am sorry.
      It is just that repeating is so often I just thought you realised.
      Again, and please take notice.
      I use a helmet when needed and yes, break the law when I am not at risk. Naughty I know, breaking the rules, however I am happy to go on record as objecting, as are many others here in Brunswick, even on Sydney Road.
      For the record compulsion means just that. No choice.

      Statistically the trip down the birth canal is the greatest risk all humans take, nothing comes close, not even the motor vehicle accident death rate comes close.
      Seems to me any risk cycling, looks like a piece of cake, compared to being born.

      Seriously email me if you want to talk, I am a good listener.

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    185. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      There are several factors influence rates of cycling. Mandatory helmets are just one. Britain does not have mandatory helmets but it would appear that there are greater discouragements there.

      Australian data on the effect of mandatory helmet laws is confounded by the reality that introduction of the law coincided with a lot of Black Spot funding from the Federal Government. That funding was actually the bludgeon that the Feds used to pressure the State governments to mandate helmets. No MHL, no…

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    186. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      "I use a helmet when needed"

      OK. So this "inadequate piece of equipment" is actually useful... sometimes...

      You are not only exhausting but confusing.

      So when are helmets needed? Is this the same everywhere, at everytime? Should children be applying this same kind of discretion, based on their wisdom and maturity? Is it needed more or less by less competent and experienced riders (and how do they know)?

      Also, I really don't think you are in any position to deride people for their obsessions.

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    187. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani said ; "inadequate piece of equipment"
      Yes, anyone who follows science and medical technology knows billions of dollars have gone into protecting those in the steel cage from one another.

      But seriously, by comparison and literally comparing the two forms of transport, bugger all has been spent on helmets. Inadequate as it is, at times I am at high risk of getting fined. So use a helmet.

      "You are not only exhausting but confusing." Yes, hard critical thinking can be exhausting for some.

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    188. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani ; "Also, I really don't think you are in any position to deride people for their obsessions."

      My obsession as you call it is not about the helmet issue, but the personal attack on my 'motive' and that any evolved human being will defend.

      Go back over the comments here and there is a record of negative un-constructive comment to all genuinely interested and well meaning cyclists who commented. All happy to contribute positvely to our culture. You have relentlessly attack person after person. Is that an obsession?
      If you are in denial of this type of mindset, it is certain that it is reflected in every part of your relationships with others, where you work and with family.
      I can only recommend an honest look at your interior, even paying for someone to walk you though it, show them you comments it might help. Wishing you well.

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    189. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to John Harland

      I am confused. Why are helmets used at all then, even by off-roaders? Why do people wear them in countries in which it is not compulsory? Why does Paul Richards wear them? Surely they are useful, in which case I don't understand the pathological resistance to them. Does the deterrence factor of a helmet override the safety element of a helmet? I'm certainly not convinced on the fear-inducing argument attributed to helmets. The data for that is hardly irrefutable.

      Yes, it does seem rude to suggest that I learn the road rules. I was t-boned while riding along a straight stretch of road. I do appreciate your concern though - that's nice.

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    190. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Um, I think you are confusing me with Sean.

      I am who I am. I think I have contributed positively, in good-faith, with honest responses from real experiences. Please re-read all of my comments on this thread. I just have a fundamental difference of opinion with you and do not read any of the data as being overwhelmingly convincing against MHL.

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    191. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani : " So you have only ever worn them to avoid a fine?" Paul I will give you the benefit of the doubt as my comments to Sean I&II / Seamus / whoever he is on the day / maybe you.

      I have covered the fact that as a cyclist initially as indoor competitive velodrome track rider up till fifteen I was required a helmet, and they were pathetic. This was and is a UCI

      After that I raced mountain bikes cross-country and downhill with Scott Sharples, who much younger than me went on the world…

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    192. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      The name is Paul Pagani (not Paganini) and he and I are very real and very different to the person you deem guilty of repeated personal attacks. I really don't appreciate your tone and you have given me no benefit of the doubt. I would prefer a bit more respect (you also impugned my professionalism the other day - not cool). You have also been condescending on this thread (the "I was ignorant like you once but now I am enlightened" line - also uncool). There is more than one person who disagrees…

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    193. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      ahem
      read the data I have posted. The blogs you rely on will not have a counter argument to this data as it derives from papers written in the last two years and the helmet blogs only quote papers written in the 90's/early 2000s or rely on chris rissel's retacted paper.
      The data is there, helmets and MHLs are effective.
      MHLs do not deter cycling (see data from Britain)
      Cycling helmet 'fear' is a myth. (see the published data I have quoted).
      Any legs left to stand on here?

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    194. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      I see that your claims are creeping back from your original statements. Where is the data that links bicycle helmets to risk of DAI, specifically addressing my questions above?
      Where is the anthropomorphic data comparing vertical fall vectors in motorcycles vs bicycles, I'm very intereted in your contention that cyclists heads are twice (now retracted) the height of bicyclists: data please.
      Where is the data that asserts that bicycle helmet design increases rotational forces in a standard fall from a bicycle, and if so, whatis the risk in comparison to a non-helmeted head?
      Just saying stuff doen't make it true, and wild assertions about relative heights of motorcyclist head heights in relation to bicyclists does not even affect the ability or otherwise of bicycle helmets' protective ability. This displays seriously flawed logic which hampers your message.

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    195. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul (P)
      You are indeed a different poster than myself. It's interesting to me that you have ben subject to vindictive and passive/aggressive comments when countering the anti-MHL orthodoxy.
      An analysis of commentary on this forum quickly reveals the pseudo-scientific nonsense surounding the anti-MHL posistion. What is most interesting to me is the classic anecdotal/appeal to authority/burden of proof and ad hominem approaches demonstrated by Richards et al.
      When confronted with evidence it's…

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    196. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      wrong: flexibilty of skulls' is not the issue. the forces transfered to neuro tissue and blood vessels by rapid deceleration is the issue. You are confusing skull fracture risk with neurovascular injury. Helmets reduce decelerative forces, which I presumed you knew since you are 'researching' them.
      Also, childrens bones are indeed more flexible when they are young. The definition of children extends into adolescence when the bones of the skull are long fused into a rigid vault.
      This line of argument has no merit.

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    197. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Wrong again, Paul. This data is from this year. Nothing to do with the cochrane collaboration article. This is new data.
      Your inability to apprehend new evidence is seriously hampering your credibility. I think that this is the final nail in your coffin.
      Finally we can see that your position has no merit because it does not allow the contribution of new contradictory data. A clear marker of zealotry.
      This is now closed, it has been revealed that the anti-MHL cliques is devoid of critical thinking. See my response below as a summary to the evidence on both sides of this debate.
      My last piece of advice: sharpen your debating skills, retreatiing into dogma and ad hom every time you are confronted with new evidence that contradicts your line of debate will not win your case in the public domain, only reassert your credentials with your like minded peers.
      Happy Cycling.

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    198. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      'but as great as authors in the 90s and mid 2000s asserte' should read 'but not as great as authors in the 90sand mid-2000s asserted'

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    199. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      John,
      The difference between sitting and standing is not double but a factor of femoral length. The distance in head height between a seated motorcyclist and cyclist is immaterial, as it is not germane to the debate. The premise is about the degree of injury experienced by a cyclist who falls from a bicycle and strikes the road or another object. The energy imparted is a combination of vertical and horizontal velocity and also rotational forces, of course, come into play.
      If the forces involved…

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    200. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Helmets are used by off-roaders because they are protective.
      There is no data on the 'fear inducing qualities of helmets' this line of argument is taken from an cycling blog which paraphrased Frank Furedi's line of argument in one of his books on social fear. Ter eis no specific evidence on helmet laws inducing fear of cycling. Al the evidenc that I have viewed, most of which I have quote to Mr Richards, states that the biggest deterrents to cycling are infrastructure, specifically traffic volume…

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    201. Paul Richards

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani : " Um, I think you are confusing me with Sean" Apologies, it is hard he is a morphing entity, if you actually exist I accept my chastisement.
      Disregard any references you feel apply, we all welcome differing opinion it is healthy in a civilised society, but winding people up for some twisted satisfaction will get similar responses from anyone.

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    202. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      John,
      This article refutes many of the assertions that you have presented in your claim above:

      Oblique impact testing of bicycle helmets
      N.J. Mills, , A. Gilchrist

      I particular, the contribution of rotational forces on simulated bicycle crashes ( using a head form with a MODERN specialised helmet falling from 1.5 m onto bitumen) was found to be insufficient to cause DAI type injuries as the forces were too low.
      It's suggests that in the majority of bicycle crashes the bicycle helmet is…

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    203. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      That's interesting, Mr Richards, using anecdotal hearsay to 'support' your case when you deride Mr Pagini quite dismissively for his anecdote. More evidence of paucity of critical thinking and insight into your own obsessiveness oñ this matter.
      I'd be interested to know what 'childish games' that I am guilty of. If refuting your opinion and blog-based 'evidence' with research for journal articles is childish than I put it to you that you are on the wrong forum. It's site is for critical thinkers…

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    204. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      There is an entertaining contrast here between the assumption that helmets help and the demand for specific data on whether people sit higher on a bicycle than a motor cycle, or travel at higher average speeds.

      A big part of the helmet issue is that there is a major deficiency of data in several key areas.

      Much of the data we do have is confounded by other factors. Major infrastructural changes (particularly from Federal Black-Spot programs) and changes to the capacities of the police to detect…

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    205. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      The Mills an Gilchrist data Is not sufficient to "refute" the possibility of head rotation.

      Their equipment was limited to a simulated forward speed of 13.5 km/h. Racers are falling off at three and four times that speed.

      The tests used sandpaper as a simulated road surface, which may - or may not be - a good simulation.

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    206. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      John have a look at this paper, in particular it addresses the head rotation hypothesis nicely:
      Oblique impact testing of bicycle helmets N.J. Mills, , A. Gilchrist

      Have a look at the other papers that I have cited in regards to helmet efficacy. There is a demonstrable benefit demonstrated in the literature.

      I'd be curious to see the data that suggests: ' observed sharp rise in serious brain injuries in cycle racing since helmet mandation at that level', I see no data on this when doing…

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    207. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      You may be confused by this paper:
      An Epidemic of Traumatic Brain Injury in Professional
      Cycling: A Call to Action
      Mark W. Greve, MD* and M. Ramin Modabber, MD

      This paper discusses the incidence of concussion and head injury over the past year, it does not discuss the the comparison with injury levels prior to helmets being made compulsory in the peleton. It was written as a response to the consenus paper of by european neurologists on the incicdence of concussion in all sports. This paper…

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    208. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      John,
      I never stated that the paper refuted the possibility, just the conclusions of previous research. The methodolgy of the paper is predicated upon slip coefficient increasing with greater velocity. This means a helmet is more likely to slip and not 'grip' to a surface with increasing speed, a principle we know from cornering on rubber tyres, to use an analogy. using slower speeds and a grippier surface as the substrate (sandpaper instead of bitumen0 actually increases the propensity of a…

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    209. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Thank you for the apology - although it is a bit qualified.

      This thread has been a genuinely disappointing experience for me. Although posters continue to assert that different opinions are welcome, this has not really been true of the debate. I have put forth my own arguments only to be overwhelmed by negative reactions. Just have a look at the red counters next to every one of my comments. Apparently everything I have written from Day One has been "unconstructive". Read them if you have time and let me know if I am wrong. No entries that disagree with your position have the same negative response. I would say that the attitude of anti-MHL have been highly "unconstructive" in terms of their treatment of the debate. It has been a pathetic example of majoritarianism and a form of bullying. This is something I would expect from The Punch, which is why I avoid forums like that. I expected better from a more erudite crowd.

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    210. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul Pagani said; " Thank you for the apology - although it is a bit qualified" Just drop the qualified, I unreservedly apologise for offending you, any comparison with that WUM would be truly offensive to anyone.
      Email me if you want a coffee or two to make up this injustice, we have more in common than most.

      In fairness to all those you disagree with, this article and the premise by Chris Rissel Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney, only suggested "Relaxing helmet laws might…

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    211. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Pagani

      Paul P.
      They are not particularly interested in rational debate, their arguments are regurgitated verbatim from crag.asn.au or cycling freedom.org. Both websites are just sheer propaganda services which latch uncritically onto any source of information that supports their views. If you look at crag.asn.au it is a virtual mirror of some of the argumentation here.
      The anti-MHL zealots cannot read sources critically on their own they rely on these websites to interpret data for them, which is why…

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    212. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      If the sources for your 'data' are coming from crag.asn.au I suggest you pick a site that has writers with more critical faculties. This is purely a cherry picking service. It even managed to misinterpret the article I quoted above 'the epidemic of Traumatic Brain Injury in professional cyclists' as a comment on injur post helmet compulsion. It is no such thing, the data is from the previous year only.

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    213. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      A new paper was released last week examining head injuries subsequent to MHLs. A synopsis is available here:

      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bike-helmet-critics-not-using-their-heads-20121003-26yvc.html

      and here:
      http://www.
      ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23026203

      If you have open minds, as claimed, it is worth paying for the full article to get the full picture. Any comments made rebutting the conclusions of this new paper should only be made after reading the full paper and judging for yourself.

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    214. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      A new paper was released last week examining head injuries subsequent to MHLs. A synopsis is available here:

      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bike-helmet-critics-not-using-their-heads-20121003-26yvc.html

      and here:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23026203

      If you have open minds, as claimed, it is worth paying for the full article to get the full picture. Any comments made rebutting the conclusions of this new paper should only be made after reading the full paper and judging for yourself.

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    215. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      A new paper was released last week examining head injuries subsequent to MHLs. A synopsis is available here:
      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bike-helmet-critics-not-using-their-heads-20121003-26yvc.html
      and here:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23026203
      If you have open minds, as claimed, it is worth paying for the full article to get the full picture. Any comments made rebutting the conclusions of this new paper should only be made after reading the full paper and judging for yourself.

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    216. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There you go Paul,
      A new paper was released last week examining head injuries subsequent to MHLs. A synopsis is available here:
      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bike-helmet-critics-not-using-their-heads-20121003-26yvc.html
      and here:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23026203
      If you have open minds, as claimed, it is worth paying for the full article to get the full picture. Any comments made rebutting the conclusions of this new paper should only be made after reading the full paper and judging for yourself.

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    217. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There you go Paul,
      A new paper was released last week examining head injuries subsequent to MHLs. A synopsis is available here:
      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bike-helmet-critics-not-using-their-heads-20121003-26yvc.html
      and here:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23026203
      If you have open minds, as claimed, it is worth paying for the full article to get the full picture. Any comments made rebutting the conclusions of this new paper should only be made after reading the full paper and judging for yourself.

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    218. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      To claim, as the authors do, that mandation was not coincident with other measures affecting cycling safety is outright misrpresentation.

      It was bundled politically with Blackspot funding and Random Breath Testing at the time. Both contributed to a major drop in traffic casualties for all road users. The drop in casualties for cyclists actually seemed to be less than for pedestrians and car passengers, despite the the failure of the campaign to introduce helmets for car occupants.

      If the authors are prepared to misrepresent the basics, what other misrepresentation is less obvious in the paper?

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    219. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      Read the entire paper. It is adjusted for improvements in road safety as well. The paper is also adjusted for injuries in toto. To infer a misrepresentation from this shows
      A. Cognitive bias
      B. appeal to the fallacy fallacy ( yourlogicalfallacy.com)
      Read the paper in full and you will get a clear representation of the methodology.

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    220. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      This is the neurosurgeon that Paul R. refers to, From the news report quoted by crag.asn.au. Crag.asn.au authors really should read th whole article when they link, pretty much pulls apart Curnow's and Rissel's paper as well, hilarious really.

      Rosenfeld, the neurosurgeon, dismisses any suggestion helmets potentially make head and brain injuries worse. "I haven't seen any evidence of that," he says. "It's counter-intuitive to me; why would it make things worse? That doesn't make any sense to me."
      He wants to keep the legal status quo. "We should not bend the rules on helmets. The helmet laws should remain."

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/bicycle-helmet-dos-and-donts-20100915-15cs8.html#ixzz28P6H1AGP

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    221. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Rosenfeld, the neurosurgeon, dismisses any suggestion helmets potentially make head and brain injuries worse. "I haven't seen any evidence of that," he says. "It's counter-intuitive to me; why would it make things worse? That doesn't make any sense to me."
      He wants to keep the legal status quo. "We should not bend the rules on helmets. The helmet laws should remain."

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/bicycle-helmet-dos-and-donts-20100915-15cs8.html#ixzz28P6H1AGP

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    222. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There has been a flurry of posts 'gloating of success' by those who back the premise that helmats have save lives and reduced injury.
      All these are is 'papers' are opinion pieces, seeded by anti cycling lobbyists and misguided safety professionals.

      Gillham and Rissel account for this drop thus, in the conclusion to their research paper: "Reasons for this [decline] are unclear, although a historical lack of investment in cycling infrastructure coupled with mandatory helmet legislation may have…

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    223. Linda Ward

      Biostatistician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      You don't even need to read the entire paper to see that the authors did not 'claim that mandation was not coincident with other measures affecting cycling safety'. It is clear/easy to see by reading the 5th sentence of the abstract (using the NCBI link you posted) that the effects of general safety improvements were taken into account: 'The simultaneous modelling of related injury mechanisms . . . accounts for the effects of changes in the cycling environment, cycling behaviour and general safety…

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    224. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Linda Ward

      Hospital reportage of brain injuries has changed dramatically through thenstudy period, particularly with the advent and increasing use of new scanning techniques. Any study of arm:head injury ratios should allow for that.

      Bicycle imports are a very poor indicator of bicycle use. For more than a century bicycle sales have incrased while usage per bicycle has declined. It now averages only a couple of percent of the 1900 figure.

      In more contemporary terms, bicycle sales per capita in The Nethlands are not very different to those for Australia but usage is an order of magnitude lower.

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    225. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      John - you wrote:
      'Hospital reportage of brain injuries has changed dramatically' You are conflating two different things here. The article above and the article in question are predicated on reporting of head injuries not brain injuries. Whilst brain injury imaging has improved with the advent of MRI all that means is more discrimination can be applied to the degree of injury within the brain, it does not change the reporting code of the injury - which is head injury. so the diagnosis is the…

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    226. Linda Ward

      Biostatistician

      In reply to Paul Richards

      With respect to your statement that 'Thankfully Professor Rissel has not bothered to answer these questionable lines of argument, and truly said more by his silence letting his article stand undefended.' . . .

      Figures in various publications indicate that there has been a considerable increase in cycling participation, not a decrease as claimed by Prof Rissel:
      - the ABS' Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation reports (http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/second+level+view?ReadForm&prodno=4177.0&viewtitle=Participation%20in%20Sport%20and%20Physical%20Recreation,%20Australia~2009-10~Latest~21/12/2010&&tabname=Past%20Future%20Issues&prodno=4177.0&issue=2009-10&num=&view

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    227. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      There's a new study published this week that concludes that helmets are protective in child bicyclists, the summary can be found here:

      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_129836.html

      the original paper (which I haven't been able to access) is htis:

      Mattei, Tobias A. (10/2012). "Performance analysis of the protective effects of bicycle helmets during impact and crush tests in pediatric skull models Laboratory investigation". Journal of neurosurgery. Pediatrics (1933-0707…

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    228. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Interesting, but a couple of caveats:

      - the testing appears to be based in the same unfounded (and seemingly incorrect) assumptions as to how bicyclists hit their heads in crashes

      - if you are hit by a car travelling at 75 or more knm/h, one of the listed risk factors, you have an overwhelmingly high chance of dying, and not from head injuries alone.

      - a majority of fatalities are from rear-end impact and a common cause of death is the spinal column forced up into the skull. Helmets would…

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    229. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      Well in keeping with the principle of scepticism I have looked at the published data and, especially weighting it with recent research, I can find precious little reason not to wear a helmet in circumstances where a collision is most, or more likely. I agree that with adults this should be a matter of choice not compulsion. But to deny that helmets offer protection in a collision is cnot only counter-intuitive, it flies in the face of the research that has been conducted to date, including this…

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    230. Linda Ward

      Biostatistician

      In reply to John Harland

      Re your claim that 'For more than a century bicycle sales have increased while usage per bicycle has declined', the evidence below suggests that usage per bicycle has been increasing at a considerably faster rate than bicycle sales over the past 10 years or so . . .
      Bicycle import counts published by the CPF (and shown in table 2 of the Olivier paper), show that bicycle imports increased by 4% between 2002 and 2009, which equates to an average increase of 0.6% per year
      Participation rates published…

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    231. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I'll address each of your points in terms of the logical fallacy you commit:

      Firstly. Ad hominem attack, to accuse the authors of papers you don't agree with bias is ad hom. In other words you don't like the conclusions, you lack the evidence or ability to argue against them so you can only resort to accusation of bias to refute them ( ironically, this argument supports my case, as the evidence that you have provided is from an anti helmet activist (Rissel's) or cycling blogs and YouTube clips…

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    232. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      The pedestrian death toll recognised by WHO, with a call for changes world wide.
      "This is because their needs have been neglected for decades, often in favour of motorised transport. We need to rethink the way we organise our transport systems to make walking safe and save pedestrian lives." Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users, the WHO said.
      Helmet compulsion for cyclist is a poor response to this recognised dominance of the motor vehicle.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-02/pedestrian-death-toll-prompts-who-safety-plea/4666652

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  7. Michael Brown

    Professional, academic, company director

    Cycling in the city is downright dangerous - have a look at the stats - a serious injury in the big cities every day on average. Sensible people don't ride on roads. Research shows helmets definetely save lives and must be retained.
    The other issue you haven't addressed is the heat - most people are drenched with sweat in summer, and that's not conducive to any professional job, even if you have access to showers. For these reasons cycling is likely to remain a recreational activity and will never be a major commuting mode.

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    1. Paul Atkinson

      Social Worker

      In reply to Michael Brown

      Cycling is very safe, it is very rare that a cyclist kills anyone. Cars on the other hand are always killing other drivers as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists and people on push bikes. If we stopped blaming the victim and forcing people away from safe activities (cycling) and into dangerous activities (driving) then we could address safety concerns.

      I live in Melbourne and the city is flat, the summers are cool and the streets are wide, so the only thing stopping more people getting bikes is bad policy - like MHL and bad publicity. I cycle to work daily (in good and bad weather) and have been hit three times by cars with only one serious injury (an grade 3 tear of my AC joint). But even that didn't keep me off the bike for long. Cycling saves me so much time and money and keeps me happy (even with the silly hard hat).

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    2. Ryan Farquharson

      Research officer

      In reply to Michael Brown

      I commute by bike most days, even through the Adelaide summer, and have never needed to take a shower.
      By the time my computer has fired up the sweat has stopped a simple change of clothes and I'm good to start my day.

      You might be sweatier and smellier than me, Michael, but there are plenty of professionals who ride to work.

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    3. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Michael Brown

      Michael - You are so right if we continue down the foolish path of letting our motor industry dominate us. We have already spent billions in support for Australia's automakers since the 1950s, when the utopian dream started.
      The result is gridlock and a two hour commute for most Australian's in cars. The neo-liberal in this country bang on about productivity. Imagine if our cites allowed everyone to get to work in thirty minutes, productivity would be amazing. Productivity will not be achieved…

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    4. Adam Butler

      Engineer and Data Analyst

      In reply to Michael Brown

      Sorry Michael but have to disagree. As a "professional" I have been cycling to work for 20 years; summer, winter, rain, hail or shine. It makes not one ounce of difference.

      If cycling remains a "recreational activity" then the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of the nitwits masquerading as "representatives" in parliament. Safety and the perceived lack thereof is the No.1 reason people do not cycle (shown by numerous studies). Cycling infrastructure is virtually non-existent in comparison to…

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    5. Markie Linhart

      Rouleur

      In reply to Michael Brown

      I recently read a paper written by two trauma surgeons from London which dealt with traffic fatalities and injuries in that city. (sorry, can't find the reference)
      In a nutshell, far and away the most common serious injury to the cyclist was to the hip and leg, followed by shoulder and arm injuries. Almost all these injuries were from left turning vehicles across the path of the cyclist.
      At no time in this wide ranging paper did these involved medicos mention head injuries or the wearing of helmets.
      If I can dig up the reference to this informative piece I'll put it up…
      Whether I choose to 'chance it' or not one thing I don't ride without is mitts. If you take a tumble the first thing you're going to do is put your hand out - and gravel rash is painful…

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  8. John Knowles Stretch

    Arid Rangeland resident

    Hats and helmets don't mix and intelligent Australians wear hats!

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    1. nik dow

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      Yes, my doctor says my risks from skin cancer are much bigger than risks from head injury. I've looked at modifying a helmet but that would make it non-compliant with the standards, therefore illegal. The law gives me no choice.

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    2. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to nik dow

      There's this new thing called sunscreen.....

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    3. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to nik dow

      'We found no randomized controlled trials, but five well conducted case-control studies met our inclusion criteria. Helmets provide a 63 to 88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Helmets provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles (69%) and crashes from all other causes (68%). Injuries to the upper and mid facial areas are reduced 65%.'

      Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists

      Diane C Thompson2, Fred Rivara1,*, Robert Thompson3
      Editorial Group: Cochrane Injuries Group

      Published Online: 21 JAN 2009

      Assessed as up-to-date: 7 NOV 2006

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    4. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Thompson, Thomson & Riveras "inclusion criteria" excluded rather a lot.

      In particular any whole-country results, such as those available from NZ & OZ, are excluded. Roughly speaking the argument is that as there is no parallel NZ & OZ were laws were not enacted there is no control and hence results do not meet the criteria... I am of course sure excluding NZ & OZ results had nothing to do with them contradicting their conclusions.

      TTR's results have never been reproduced in helmet law jurisdictions, or anywhere else. Indeed some of their results, in particular those quoted often by the NZ & OZ Governments to justify their laws, have been shown to be flawed - even TTR have acknowledged this.

      TTR's Cochrane Review is the last thing you should turn to if trying to promote helmet legislation, it's just too easy to challenge. One critique even showed they managed to prove that helmets, worn on the head, reduced knee injuries!

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    5. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel - " ... reduced knee injuries!"
      I missed that in the paper when scanning. Brilliant.
      Still no metrics then Sean. Tough gig, been there done that. Conceded.

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    6. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Paul,
      Please comment on the article, tell me the flaws in the methodology...

      Bicycle helmet wearing and the risk of head, face, and neck injury: a French caseecontrol study based on a road trauma registry
      Emmanuelle Amoros,1,2 Mireille Chiron,1,2 Jean-Louis Martin,1,2 Bertrand Th ́elot,3 Bernard Laumon1,2

      From this year a French study, interesting ..

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    7. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Yes it concentrated on American data and there are no random controlled studies, which is not a surprise.

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    8. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul r. You wrote:
      'HELMET EFFECTIVENESS
      There is little doubt that helmets are good at what they are designed to do – limiting linear deceleration from low speed impacts. The ASNZS2063 standards for bike helmets requires a helmet dropped from 1.5m to have a and impact deceleration of less than 250gn. That’s the equivalent of hitting the ground at a bit under 20kph. Helmets are also good at limiting some lacerations, abrasions and other surface injuries.'

      And now dispute the effectiveness of helmets using the citation I used?

      Hypocritical? Or is this just another 'non- core' statement like the one I challenged you with from last year? Have you heard of The 'moving the goalpost fallacy'?

      You contradict yourself at every turn. If I said 'the Netherlands is a great place to cycle' would you fume and sputter and deny that?

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    9. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - said "..From this year a French study, interesting .. " It may well be.

      I have said this before citing "whatever" you have fails in a standard google or google scholar search.
      If I have a link to it, I will scan it.
      First for source credibility, age and then for statistics 'metrics' proving hypothesis. Have your checked funding, of the research and any affiliation?
      Having proved I am again willing to be open, you have failed to offer genuine critique of any source I have given you, on culture, world acclaimed Copenhagenization video and more. All we have received is sniping. Why?

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    10. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - " ....And now dispute the effectiveness of helmets using the citation I used?"
      That quote you have lifted out of context deliberately. I have never disputed wearing a helmet, encouraging others to do so if they are at risk of this kind of damage.One of the reasons I raced in competition was because of this risk and have said so.
      You still fail to admit that my line of argument is against compulsion for those who do not wish to ride at "pace" - loosely pace is exceeding 20kph.

      Sean…

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    11. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      mmmm... not really convinced that a 'world acclaimed vidio" is a reference... but whatever floats your boat

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    12. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul,
      I have never said anything against the following positions:
      1) infrastructure modeled on the Netherlands / Danish can be further developed to suit our cities and suburbs
      2) Strict Liability to enforce drivers duty of care toward pedestrians and cyclists

      Your misquoting and distortion, though typical, is the hallmark of a demagogue. Please reTract this accusation.

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  9. James Wookey

    Paramedic

    Given the level of safety legislation in other areas it's highly unlikely helmet laws will be lifted anytime soon. A case could be made to exclude short suburban trips but commuter cycling is just too dangerous. Seperated commuter cycleways make good sense from a safety stand point but I don't know if they're cost effective for the >1% of the population who would use them.

    Perhaps focusing on suburban "short hop" trips of >5km would build a cycling base large enough to justify more local infrastructure that could then be linked for the longer commuter users?

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    1. Dave Kinkead

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to James Wookey

      Far from being 'highly unlikely', repealing helmet laws in Australia (for adults at least) will come, its just a matter of how soon. Increased petrol costs & urban roads reaching breaking point make it inevitable.

      In the last 2 years, Mexico and Israel have both repealed their helmet laws while the UK parliament rejected a bill introducing one. This year, the mayors of Fremantle, Sydney and Adelaide have all called for an exemption before they implement bike share schemes (after watching the failure of the only helmet requiring schemes in Melbourne, Brisbane & Auckland).

      The science has never supported helmet laws. As soon as politicians believe most people want to be like the other 98% of the planet regarding cycling, the laws will be repealed. Until then though....

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    2. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Dave Kinkead

      Good points. Cotton wool mindset of some in public policy is truly amazing, anyone would think human evolution was not posible without a helmet.
      July 2013 and the Bike Share program in New York City seems to be working fine and they have no compulsory helmet legislation with punitive fines. The model is there in other cities, now NYC. Just why do lag behind in public policy, academia and from politicians?
      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/07/03/the-citi-bike-story-no-ones-talking-about-only-three-injuries-in-500000-rides/
      http://consumerist.com/2013/07/02/nyc-a-bike-share-program-without-a-helmet-requirement-is-totally-fine/

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  10. Richard Monfries

    logged in via Twitter

    The decline - or at least stagnation - in the uptake of cycling is a multi-faceted problem.

    [Although, if you live in inner-city Melbourne - especially in the inner-north suburbs of Carlton, Fitzroy, Brunswick - and so on, there is no problem (ditto for the city-fringes of Adelaide). Cycling is seriously cool in these Melbourne suburbs and is being taken up in droves by the 20 to 30-something age group at a rapid pace. In that geographical area alone there at least 3 very thriving bike shops within…

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    1. Margo Saunders

      Public Health Policy Researcher

      In reply to Richard Monfries

      'And guess who's making the effort to learn how to ride a bike? Women aged between 40 and 60. They don't care about helmets, but they do want the confidence to ride a bike safely, and confidently. Now, what do you make of that?'
      As a member of that group, I would respond by saying... not a big mystery, really. Reasons for that demographic being interested in cycling include: getting the health & fitness message; finally having the time & absence of constraints to act on the message; being environmentally conscious esp. re 'think global, act local' lifestyle. Maybe some gender issues going on, too: when I come home from work, I'm ready to go to the gym. The males I know want to sit in front of the tv and 'chill out'.
      Wearing a helmet has never been an issue for me, but I will only ride on off-road cycle paths.

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    2. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Margo Saunders

      Margo - are you saying that men are addicted to using a car, and are lazy between 40-60? Shame on you for using misandry in this male dominated forum : )
      Don't you just love the excuses? Males are so clever at giving reasons for maintaing the status quo.

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    3. Elizabeth Blades-Hamilton

      Social Analyst

      In reply to Margo Saunders

      I just wanted to briefly respond to Richard and Margo on the issue of 40-60 yr old women riding. I have cycled and commuter cycled for years but, like Margo, always seek the safer off-road tracks where I can. After a recent inner city incident (and believe me I don't possess a super-duper $2k machine) when I was cut-off at a roundabout - where I had right of way and was knocked off as the car cut in front of me. I was shocked. Who knew I could be so invisible. After that I sought and found a safer route. It is most definitely about safety.

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    4. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Elizabeth Blades-Hamilton

      Elizabeth B H - Sadly invisibility is an issue with "mindset" dominated by "I have right of way over pedestrians and cyclists". Looking at and understanding the incident with Shane Warne demonstrated that, he foolishly ruined any bias he had with celebrity by condemning himself legally in the media.
      Have a look at "Strict Liability" this transfers responsibility from the pedestrian or cyclist onto the driver in the case of an incident. Requiring no police to rule on, because 1500kg-10000kg+ of metal…

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  11. Dean Kremer

    logged in via Facebook

    I think people over look the fact that if we remove helmet laws, you are still allowed to wear a helmet if that is your choice. You can ride down the street wearing a bubble wrap suit and what ever you like strapped to your head. It's another example of the nanni state. "Watch your step" is printed on every step at the train station, it's an international joke.

    I also love how the motorists who complain about school zones and the continuous goverment intervention in regards to speeding and want greater personal responsibility are against it when it comes to cycling.

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    1. Jon Hunt

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Dean Kremer

      Cars have safety belts which are compulsory to wear, there are speed limits, there are many ADRs regarding safety aspects of car design, you can't smoke at a service station, you must remain seated when the aircraft is taking off or landing. There always be compulsory requirements in the name of safety so to complain about bike helmets being an imposition seems a little trivial. People left to their own devices would kill themselves at an alarming rate I'm sure.

      Can anyone show me convincing evidence that wearing a helmet is bad for your health? All I seem to find is heresay evidence. I'm not all that convinced they prevent injuries but at the same time I wouldn't ride without one because to me simply not needing sutures would be of benefit.

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    2. Dean Kremer

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jon Hunt

      I'm not arguing that it riding without a helmet is safer. I'm saying that it should be a choice because the risk of not wearing one is blown out of proportion. People don't generally have many accidents and when they do, they tend to not be that serious. You aren't travelling very fast and then the argument when you are traveling very fast or get hit by a MV that they don't really make much difference. It's kind of like if I told you to wear gloves every time you eat food cause you may get food poisoning…

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    3. Jon Hunt

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Dean Kremer

      Yes, okay. I can attest that people do have accidents on bicycles and even at very low speed you break things, although not necessarily your head. I think the question is do they or do they not make a significant difference in an accident? Has compulsory bike helmets really worsened people's health (public health or individually) or is this just an opinion because if people say they would ride a bike if they didn't have to wear a helmet is not convincing. If that's all it takes to put them off then what happens if its raining, too hot, too tired, too hungry or just too lazy? Isnt' a car so much easier?

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    4. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Jon Hunt

      Jon - since you are an MD, and a proxy lobbyist for the auto industry.
      Here is a link to an MD. and his data around the issue. He is not a BBoomer, or Gen X, but younger. Your worldview is a complete contrast to his.
      http://helmetfreedom.org/
      Raise your awareness, come back, your comments would be interesting and very welcome;
      http://goo.gl/yxRQR

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    5. Dean Kremer

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jon Hunt

      Here is an article on a study that I just found

      http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/helmets-keep-cyclists-off-the-road-study-of-bicycle-users-claims/story-e6freon6-1226409946596

      I think the most crucial thing was this sentence

      Australia's cycling rate was considered "low" compared with most other countries and the "international consensus was that mandatory bicycle helmet laws introduced in 1990-92 were a significant contributor to this lack of participation".

      I think if you look at the…

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    6. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul, I did some reading on "helmet freedom" and the author has gone to great lengths to make an inconclusive (are seriously biased) argument.

      If anything his conclusion that the standard helmet is "useless" points to a need for better helmets and perhaps knee, elbow, wrist and ankle guards, even back protectors akin to MotoGP riders.

      This of course would be excessive.

      What I can't seem to figure out is why helmets are percieved as such a big problem? Compared to the financial and social…

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    7. nik dow

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to James Wookey

      "cheap insurance". No, the cost of helmets purchased is greater than the total cost to the health system from looking after cyclist head injuries. Can't find the reference for that however. That's without considering the really big cost to the health system from exercise forgone by people who don't want to wear a helmet for a particular trip.

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    8. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to nik dow

      Sorry I was unclear, the cost to the individual for a helmet is quite cheap compared to the medical bills and the suffering of a patients family. Exercise forgone is unlikely to have much do do with helmet laws and alot more to do with an aversion to exercise.

      A helmet is not a significant expense or hinderance. Alot like a vaccination or a fluro vest, it's a reasonable precaution (and considerably more reasonable than alot of other leglislation). Time and energy would be better spent on other cycling promotions rather than complaining to the deaf ears of the nanny stateists.

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    9. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - Good point and coming from a bias is aways and issue. It takes an advanced value system to read between the lines using a strong worldview. Does not change the issue that our government has gone the cheap option, transfered the responsibility of interaction with 1500kg - 10000kg of steel rubber and glass to you the cyclist. Giving you responsibility for damage to yourself.

      If you are under the illusion a helmet is good for an impact with 2000kg of steel rubber and glass, that is your story. I have raced mountain bikes downhill competitively, crashed many times and knew the risk. But believe me helmets are not the answer with vehicle collisions.
      Infrastructure, separation, law enforcement via "strict liability" are. See my earlier post, second on the forum.

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    10. Markie Linhart

      Rouleur

      In reply to James Wookey

      There you go - making the implication that cycling is a dangerous thing - IT'S NOT.
      If we were to wrap ourselves in cotton wool every time we leave the the house to walk, cycle or jump on a train or bus we'd never leave the place…

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    11. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - your reference to "Nanny Statists" is a little low brow. Our motor industry locally has not promoted and lobbied for helmet laws to assit a "Nanny State", I wish they were that benevolent. The Helmet Laws being brought in by various companies are to promote the safety of motor vehicles.
      There is a promotion of the "Nanny State" when we are cocooned in a in 2500kg of 4WD and hurtling off down the street to drop the kids 1.5 k down the road. At least get your metaphors right, this is a serious discussion.
      Worldwide the greatest tool automobile lobbyists have is promoting the need for a helmet cycling because it is so unsafe.
      The lie is motor vehicles are safe, just look at the US Data since 1901, that is reality; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

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    12. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul my reference was made in the context that arguing against the nanny state is often fruitless and if your a minority with limited resources it is far more logical to focus on small achievable promotions than trying to tackle a deeply entrenched safety policy.

      Far better to pick your battles, grow your number and deal with a minor inconvenience in time.

      The best tool the automotive companies have is that they produce a very desirable consumer product that fits their customers lifestyle requirements.

      For cycling to be a more competitive option there are far more complex problems to deal with.

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    13. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - "Helmets are a small precaution that can save lives." What about the thousands of short leisurely trips to, schools, shopping, visiting friends and coffee shops all possible on quiet suburban streets that just do not happen? Do you take your kids to school or cycle them? If so you can count on your hand how many class mates they have. Why, fear. The message is clearly stopping people going on short safe trips.
      We should be deemed intelligent enough to understand, when to use caution, helmets and a wary eye for idiot mindsets. Free to choose.

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    14. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I have no illusion that the helmets discussed would have much bearing on the outcome of a Cyclist vs Car incident. They do however provide good protection when there are lesser forces at work, see Dennis' comment below.

      I agree that separation and infrastructure is the way to go. I think sorting out suburban "short hop" cycling will yield better results than trying to get them into commuter cycling from the start. Make cycling to the local shops, pub or the train station a realistic proposition…

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    15. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      A helmet is not a massive imposition on these "short safe trips", really easy, takes less than 5 seconds to put on or take off. Good to have your kids wearing helmets too as there reasoning is not nearly as evolved, neither is their peripheral vision.

      You shouldn't bank on bad luck taking a day off, I am constantly astounded by the level of stupidity in the general population.

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    16. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - I respect your point of view, based on your value system and would consider your points valid if I held the same.
      Morally wrong? That the driver of 1500kg - 10000kg+ of steel, rubber, plastic and glass should not be accountable automatically in law, because you deem it morally wrong. Are your serious? That is like saying an adult is not at fault for sitting on a on six month old.
      So based on your moral indignation or value system, we should not look at "Strict Liability"
      The tort law…

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    17. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Of course a motorist should be held accountable, if they're at fault.

      Your proposing a system where motorists would automatically be at fault no matter what the circumstances, where one side of the equation is required to take "every reasonable precaution" and the other is given absolute immunity. While I agree a "driver culture" would be far better than the current "road user" model strict liability is a hopelessly unworkable idea in a city like Sydney with an ever increasing attitude of entitlement…

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    18. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - Currently right or wrong in an incident with a car, the cyclist must prove the driver was wrong.
      No acceptions, not only that a rider has to prove it to a police officer, who has to get approval higher up.
      Then a summons may be issued and court processing in enacted. The police have little interest prosecuting what they consider is cycle vs vehicle, as it is a minor issue to them, unless it is serious.
      Crushing your bike or causing minor injury does not rate highly. There is literally…

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    19. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I never said the current system was more acceptable, and from what you say it clearly needs reworking.

      I said "Strict Liability" is wrong because it automatically assigns blame to a particular party regarless of circumstances (to assign blame to either party automatically, would be wrong). In a city like Sydney with a culture of entitlement by motorists and cyclists alike it would also promote a false sense of security resulting in more risk taking behavior, mostly by the kind of cyclists who seem to have trouble following what are a pretty simple set of road rules already. The problem is compounded by cyclists who are often unwilling to scarifice momentum for saftey and their actions are often very difficult to predict.

      Wouldn't it be far better to try and seperate cyclists from motorised transport where ever possible and define some none arterial/suburban streets as "mixed traffic" areas to be encouraged as cycling corridors?

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    20. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      James - ".... helmet is not a massive imposition on these "short safe trips" - As a hemet user for over thirty years I agree.
      Fact is the metrics tell us CONCUSSIVELY people are not riding anymore because of helmet compulsion. The reality is the FEAR it projects on parents and potential cyclists. A FEAR the motor vehicle has fostered to counter the horrendous safety record the auto industry has worldwide. Using lobbyist at work right now.

      When I ride at pace or in known high risk area, the helmet is part of my strategy, my safety strategy is not just my helmet that is utterly nonsensical. So is helmet compulsion, it's best effect is as a tool to project FEAR.

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    21. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - The culture, interpretation and practice of traffic law around cycling incidents protect the driver unfairly now. You disapprove of balancing the scales. Currently it is 1500kg+ who carries the benefit against pedestrians and cyclists.
      Why is some one who uses a tool that has the potential to kill on the road not have the liability to match?
      Who is this fair too?

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    22. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I never said I disapprove of correcting the balance.

      I said that "Strict Liability" sends the balance too far the other way and risks endowing one group of users with a "diving right". It also poses a genuine problem in defining what "every reasonable precaution". Not to mention that it implies that someone is "guilty until proven innocent" which is contrary to one of the core principals of the Australian legal system.

      The same issues would exist if "strict liability" were imposed on cyclists…

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    23. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I'm not convinced that helmets promote fear on the level suggested. A lot of the helmets I see around my local area are really quite unique and have been made statements if individuality. They've taken ownership of the problem and made it work for them.

      I'd be very worried about the business sense (and the mental health) of any auto or oil executive who dedicated the massive resources required to generate an elaborate conspiracy to instil "fear via helmet" in a very small number of people. It's…

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    24. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - how could the balance go the other way, literally. 1500kg+ vs a human or human+12kg of cycle.
      What you suggest is physically impossible.
      All strict liability has done in the Netherlands, is assign drivers "duty of care". Very reasonable.
      Why has strict liability taken the "responsibility of one group", you say cyclists, there is absolutely no evidence this has ever happened.
      This is a construct of "your story, and so far away from how Tort Law is applied anywhere in the work it sounds ridiculous.

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    25. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to James Wookey

      I could not agree more. My partner used to ride to work when she had a nice safe route. Now she won't get near her bike because the route to her new workplace is via some heavily trafficked streets (even though it is a much shorter distance). It has nothing to do with her helmet. I don't ride much to work either anymore because I just do not enjoy the route. I didn't even realise wearing a helmet was such an issue for the cycling community.

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    26. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul- Assigning "liability without fault" in the case of traffic law where both parties are engaging in activities with known risks and multiple vairables is ridiculous. Road rules are in place to goven and control these many vairables.

      Disobeying the road rules places someone at fault for damages they cause by disobeying them. Ergo if one road user run's into another and causes damages they have disobeyed a road rule, namely "driving without due care and attention" and are now liable for the damage caused.

      I can't see how imposing additional liability on one group of road users would promote anything other than a sense of entitlement among the other group and increase insurance premiums across the board.

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    27. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - said "Assigning "liability without fault" in the case of traffic law ......... is ridiculous"
      Offences breaching OHS laws fall under the "strict liability" principle in Tort Law are enforced and applied to employers in our workplace as "duty of care". Who do you know that disagrees with this?
      The dangerous traffic environment most Australian's enter has metrics that far exceed death and injury in the workplace. This ia a clear anomaly, fostered by the automobile lobbyists and needs balancing…

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    28. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      As a patient advocate the first goal is to prevent injury, suffering and death, the second is to ensure the best possible treatment for a patient in your care. Patient advocacy has little to do with deciding who was right or wrong and everything to do with working for the best possible patient outcome.

      The best outcome is for there to be no Cyclist vs Car accidents.

      To protect all road users from injury suffering and death the best tool is to make all groups more responsible for their own and…

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    29. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - "...cases liability in an accident can be decided by who had right of way." That is my point deciding costs time and money, in all cases you mentioned the larger vehicle will be found at fault. There are exceptions but few. That is the reason "strict liability"works in civil law. Good point, well made thanks.
      As for your projected fear of "cost blowouts" hurting your pocket, that is bias. When our history shows in the first months of the Howard governments regime they introduced legislation…

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    30. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul, your enthusasim for one particular mode of transpot is clouding your judgement and tainting you understanding of my argument. It's also leading you to some wild conspiracy theories and a victim mentality that seems to blinding you from any concept of intrinsic positive action. I would suggest you focus on what you can do rather than constantly dwelling on insidious external influences that may or may not exist.

      A truck is more vunerable than a train, but if the truck fails to stop at a…

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    31. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - said "Strict Liability" as you describe it would require road users of all persuasions to take "reasonable precautions" to prepare against the unreasonable actions of others..."

      Now you get it, "prepare against the unreasonable actions of others" [cyclist] because they do not have the benefit of 1500kg+ STEEL CAGE around them. This is exactly how "automatic liability works"

      As for your workplace comparison, it is poor. A cyclist is hardly going to line up a series of lawyers and a…

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    32. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      His comments are welcome any time, given that this is a public forum... More overwrought cant, Paul?

      What's The link between Jon Hunt MD and the car industry?

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    33. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to James Wookey

      James - you write "Assigning "liability without fault" in the case of traffic law where both parties are engaging in activities with known risks and multiple vairables is ridiculous", there is an interesting contrast here in approaches:

      Europe: liability laws - greater emphasis on the onus of care for other humans being on those in charge of machines, a disdain for bicycle helmet legislation, and lower cycle injury rates than OZ/NZ.

      OZ/NZ: no liability laws and a disdain for countries with…

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    34. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      'We found no randomized controlled trials, but five well conducted case-control studies met our inclusion criteria. Helmets provide a 63 to 88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Helmets provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles (69%) and crashes from all other causes (68%). Injuries to the upper and mid facial areas are reduced 65%.'

      Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists

      Diane C Thompson2, Fred Rivara1,*, Robert Thompson3
      Editorial Group: Cochrane Injuries Group

      Published Online: 21 JAN 2009

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    35. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Paul. r. Wrong again

      No mention of this absurdist helmet fear as a barrier to cycling, it is concern for safety predominately stemming from poor urban infrastructure.

      Cycling: getting Australia moving – barriers, facilitators and interventions to get more Australians
      physically active through cycling
      Adrian Bauman1, Chris Rissel1, Jan Garrard2, Ian Ker3 Rosemarie Speidel4 and Elliot Fishman4

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    36. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - give me the link to their data, white paper formed ideas, blogs, whatever. I will scan and verify, as I did the poor outcomes with helmet compulsion, if the case is correct and verifiable will add into my values happily.
      As you now I can change my view.

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    37. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Nigel Perry

      Nigel - clear and concise line of reasoning. It comes down to metrics the Dutch and Danes have the data, it is readily available and transparent.
      But you do need to read it with awareness of the opposite group and the trillion dollar industry making STEEL CAGES to cocoon occupants because of high death rates.

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    38. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      *sound of crickets chirping in the background*

      Is this the sound of Paul Richards changing his view.... Or finding a blog or YouTube clip to advance his opinion?

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    39. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - given I scanned this document and verified this a government body. Why would we not expect comments backing helmets as a key safety factor? If the government statistics existed.
      I used my 'find' to search the document and found no reference to 'helmet' in the document, the article above;
      Australian cycling boom? Nope – it’s a myth - We are all commenting on, and your premiss is helmet compulsion has NOT contributed to our failure to increase cyclists.
      Further more there are no statistics within this document that backs your premiss cycling injury and deaths have fallen since helmet compulsion was introduced.

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    40. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - with reference to YOUR reference. With a 'find' search a scan of the document shows no reference to even the word HELMET. hmmm .......
      Where links have been shared via my comment they have been to spread others success stories, enrich our cycling culture and provide a win win. Your adversarial approach and use of vitriol is better suited to a court room.
      It is simple were are the statistics verifying YOUR premiss; Helmet compulsion has reduced injury and death on Australian roads since introduction.
      Something to think about ...
      http://goo.gl/QUnQA

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    41. Paul Richards

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - continued once again, your snide win lose comments as a matter of fact the author produced a pdf from the lecture and slideshow supporting If you have the time page 26 of Prof Chris Rissel, Sydney South West Area, Health Service University of Sydney.
      The source you cite and VALUE SYSTEM you extoll is worth reading as the Prof sees a culture where fear is projected.
      •Fear is socially constructed
      •Part of a fearful culture – “be careful”
      •The ‘bubblewrap’ generation
      •Risk management frameworks (eg bike pool)*
      * Rissel C, Telfer B. Managing risk in a workplace bicycle pool. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety 2

      Some headings from Prof C Rissel's pages 26 - 29 and are as follows [ cut and pasted for proof ];
      •Dominant public perception is that cycling best occurs in ‘safe’ and pleasant places
      •Therefore, normal roads are no place to cycle – they are to be fearedFear of becoming ‘a cyclist’
      Perception of cycling legitimacy - a hierarchy

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    42. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Lol...I think that's the point, Paul...open your mind, helmets weren't mentioned because they aren't a large factor.

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    43. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - a government group is hardly likely to touch helmets regarding safety because like you they have no statistics backing the premiss;
      Cycling deaths and injury have fallen in Australia since compulsory helmet legislation was introduced;

      "Lol...I think that's the point ........ helmets weren't mentioned because they aren't a large factor."

      Really, if they had such an important statistic no one is under the illusion but you they would have been included. Try again.
      The source you cited listed injury for cycling as less dangerous than;
      Hockey [grass]
      Cricket
      Netball
      Basketball
      Equestrian sports
      Motor Sport
      Roller Sport
      Touch Football
      Rugby Union
      Rugby League
      Soccer
      AFL
      A/Prof Chris Rissel page 30 - http://www.irmrc.unsw.edu.au/documents/CRissel.pdf

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    44. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Says nothing about a culture of fear, nothing at all. Just states that fear of accident is a cause for people not to cycle, no mention or inference on helmets.
      texas sharpshooter fallacy...

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    45. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Prof Chris Rissel - Stated;
      Fear is socially constructed
      •Part of a fearful culture – “be careful”
      •The ‘bubblewrap’ generation
      •Risk management frameworks (eg bike pool)*
      Factors contributing
      1. Road Safety Education
      2. New cycling spaces
      3. Objective risk

      * Rissel C, Telfer B. Managing risk in a workplace bicycle pool. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety 2005; 16(1): 18-24.

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    46. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Yes.. Less dangerous because people wear helmets when cycling... Did you think of that Paul?
      Cognitive bias anyone?

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    47. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      And this projected helmet fear is where???

      Keep looking Paul, please it just makes you look increasingly desperate. Rather sad really.....

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    48. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      You obviously never heard the VicRoads ads with their repeated simulations of heads hitting concrete.

      That terrorist propaganda was almost twenty years ago but it affected a whole generation at a subliminal level.

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    49. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      I wasn't living in victoria and neither was the majority of Australia's population 20 years ago, so how does that comment apply australia wide?
      Is there are generation of adults in victoria with helmet generated fear? Are they demonstrably different to the rest of australia that didn't have these ads?

      I live in victoria now and of all the cities in ausrtalia melbourne has the strongest cycling culture. There are more commuters in melbourne than sydney (i have a reference for that by the way i can find it if you wish). Therefore, i would say that the ads helped turn victorians into commuters not hindered them (or more obviously had no measurable effect whatsoever).
      Surely if these ads had the effect you claim there would be less rates of cycling in Victoria than sydney?

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    50. James Wookey

      Paramedic

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I'm sorry Paul, I can appriciate you passion on the subject but assigning liability to one group automatically for the actions of others regardless of how unreasonable those actions may be is still unfair in principal. If we existed in a system where personal motorised transport was a luxury only the case would be more reasonable, but it remains a necessity for many. If a Motorist is negligent and collides with a Cyclist they must be held liable but the same is true should a Cyclist be negligent…

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  12. Dale Baldwin

    Digital Marketing Officer

    This article only seems to point out daily usage primarily around cycling to work. What about those of us who primarily are weekend riders or who may ride a couple of times a week after work?

    I ride mountain bikes usually once to twice a week for a couple of ours, longer on weekends and have probably spent over $16,000 on bikes and associated gear over the last 4 years alone.

    I often ride with a larger group of people and I can say I'm not alone. The amount of trafic on the trails that I…

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    1. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Dale Baldwin

      You are probably right, it is the difference between sport (e.g. mountain biking and car rallying) and transport (commuter cycling and driving); and the laws/rules/requirements for the two are different.

      The Standards for helmets as mandated by MHLs usually specifically exclude off-road use. This puts the protective capability of such helmets into sharp focus - they are not deemed suitable when hitting a tree at normal mountain biking speeds.

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  13. Mark Tirpak

    PhD candidate

    Hi Chris

    There are a few barriers to 'everyday' cycling that I notice in the greater Sydney area (beyond the mandatory helmet law . . . and some of the hills!), namely:

    - apartments / units not designed for bicycle parking or storage
    - very little 'high performing' public bicycle parking (eg. secure and conveniently located) - including at rail stations, universities and schools
    - no bicycle racks on buses
    - no bicycle racks on taxis or car share systems
    - rail station design and train…

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  14. John Davidson

    Retired engineer

    I have asked myself whether I would ride a bike if I went back to work in the city. (Brisbane) It would take me about 3/4 of an hour at my current level of fitness but should go down if I did it most days and bought a more commuter friendly bike than my mountain bike. For most of the year "sweaty wreck" is a key problem. Rain adds to the potential sweaty wreck problem since peddling in rain clothes simply makes you wetter than riding without them.
    In theory it makes sense if I count riding to…

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  15. Dennis Singer

    Student

    I commute between 15 and 30km a day on my, depending on what I am doing on a particular day, almost every day, and have done so for the past three years. In Canberra where I live, there is an excellent network of cycle paths.

    In the last year I have come off my bike twice. The first was when I collided with a cyclist as I was entering a tunnel and she coming out - we both landed heavily, and she struck her head on the ground and said to me afterwards that she believed that her helmet had probably…

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    1. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Dennis Singer

      Denis - no one against compulsory helmet laws is saying don't wear a helmet, it is about pace and intent. In Europe their are less than 2% of cyclists that ride at "pace". The culture is about slow travel and transport alternatives. In the Netherlands the word cyclist means just that.
      The 2% are known by a similar derogatory term we use for the testosterone driven uber light frame rider in lycra, when we say there goes the "Lycra Nazis".
      We need to be free to choose, if we ride at pace, downhill mountain bike, ride down Sydney Rd Brunswick at 07:45-09:30 hrs it would be dumb not to wear a helmet. What the anti-helmet law advocates are moaning about is the thousands of trips, to shops, schools, restaurants, shopping and done at a leisurely pace safely on quiet streets that just do not happen.
      Pace, it is about pace, Cycling is not just done at one pace.

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    2. Margo Saunders

      Public Health Policy Researcher

      In reply to Dennis Singer

      Canberra's good system of cycle paths means that it has probably been physically possible for me to commute to work in various locations around Canberra (assuming that there was no problem with the frequently dodgy weather, early winter darnkess, the need to carry extra clothes, the extra travel time each way, and time required to get dressed twice). However, no one ever had the nous to run guided cycling programs to show people how to get from A to B to C on a bicycle, using this cycle path network…

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    3. Jon Hunt

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Me again, I'm not sure if I'm commenting in the right place. The question as I see it is: Are helmets harmful, in the public health sense.

      Just riding a bike isn't necessarily going to improve your health. The number of people riding isn't necessarily a measure of "health".

      We recommend 20m/day most days of the week of "moderate" exercise or so like walking. I'm not sure if the reduction in "illness" is proportional or not, but I'd be surprised; I would think there would be a threshold. So…

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    4. Dennis Singer

      Student

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your response.

      In both situations I was moving at slow speed - the tunnel collision happened at no more than 10km/hr - it's a tight 90 degree turn and there was a rider in front of me, and the oncoming rider who I collided with cut into the turn a little early without seeing me.

      The second happened on a footpath after crossing an intersection and riding up a slope - literally I was moving at walking pace and trying to build up speed.

      These weren't high speed events.

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    5. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Margo Saunders

      Margo - " ... but why do I suspect that so many ........ single males, or men who ......... make simple, point-to-point journeys?"
      Because we have developed a culture inverse to European, there they have 2% are what we call "Lycra Nazi's" and 98% are cyclists who make their way shopping, leisurely, going out and commuting. In Denmark there are two terms for cyclists the real Danish Cyclist 98% of commuters riders are in this video and their is no dominate gender or type like here.
      "Bicycle Rush Hour in Copenhagen"
      http://youtu.be/FXw_t172BKY
      Holland is similar, "What defines Dutch cycling?"
      http://youtu.be/BqkDiExIEiE
      The two percent are what we call "cyclists", that is why we want culture change.

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    6. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Jon Hunt

      Cycling is an overall benefit to the individual and to society and business - see my response elsewhere in this forum. There are few, if any, experts or research which disagree with this; any disagreement is over the size of the benefit - anything from around 8:1 to 70:1.

      If you are in Government and wish to pass a law related to bicycling with the aim of improving public health and reducing societal costs then you pass a law making bicycling compulsory; passing a law which may reduce cycling is just counter productive.

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    7. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Dennis Singer

      Dennis - I understand, been there done that also. This is were helmets actually function, selling them to the public as replacement for driver "duty of care", infrastructure and human biased streets is the issue. But give the automobile lobbyist their due, just read the comments for compulsion and the agencies have been effective.

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  16. Domonic Motto

    logged in via Facebook

    I don't think le Tour has re-excited interest in "cycling around the world"; perhaps "around the world it's re-excited an interest in cycling." (Me: Anal I know).

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  17. Ron Krueger

    Director

    Unfortunately, we are a car-dependant nation with uncivilised attitudes towards cyclists. We continue to fund road and tunnel construction which only adds to the malaise. We all know the benefits of cycling and while the author's statistics indicate that there hasn't been an obvious cycling boom, I only have to look around my neighbourhood and the commute into Sydney to realise that cycling's had an upsurge in the past decade. However, if we want to get more individuals and families cycling more often, we need dedicated cycling infrastructure, not another bloody road!

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  18. Sue Abbott

    Bicycle blogger, conference coordinator & master of media practice student at Freedom Cyclist Blog

    Chris, your cogent article states the case that the rest of the world agrees with - inter alia, it's only here in our Big Oil world that we struggle with your facts and evidence.

    During Gil Peñalosa's keynote session at the Velo-City Global 2012 conference in Vanvouver a couple of weeks ago, the only mention of note that Australia received throughout his world's best cycling wrap-up was that it was primarily 'MAMILs' who used bikes Down Under - this term was fully explained (Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra) with accompanying gruesome image, and needless to mention, bucket loads of delegate guffaws!

    We're a global joke, and no-one in the world is under any delusion that cycling is thriving and growing here - sigh

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    1. John Knowles Stretch

      Arid Rangeland resident

      In reply to Sue Abbott

      Sue - Canada does have a problem on its public footpaths in recreational areas, where suicidal cyclists give little consideration to those who prefer to walk. (Or to the matter of dogs that frequently accompany walkers.) A serious matter when one is confronted by the nutters travelling hell-bent downhill!

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  19. John Knowles Stretch

    Arid Rangeland resident

    Much consideration for the minority that is hell bent with its determination to compete with urban traffic snarl.
    What of the "disposessed" majority that seek simply to cycle to the local shop or park under sunny skies; wearing a comfortable cotton hat?
    Are we considered too meek and hence inconsequential? Is our need for exercise and relaxation of no account?

    Perhaps (at some cost) the legislation might be rephrased to permit an exemption - for bikes that are fitted with efficient speed-limiting devices?

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    1. Nigel Perry

      Computer Scientist at University of Canterbury

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      John, I understand your sentiment. However the technology is not required - helmets are only specified for speeds up to 20km/h (they're for falling off not getting hit by cars). Such an exemption would effectively make the law worthless - the law could just go (as it should).

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  20. Under_Exposed

    logged in via Twitter

    It is simply not correct to assert that "mandatory helmet legislation [is] unique to Australia and New Zealand." Many states and provinces in the US and Canada have some form of mandatory helmet legislation, as do Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Japan, Malta, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Dubai. Some, but not all, of these are limited in their application by age. But it is a nonsense to suggest the Antipodes are alone on some frolic.

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    1. Under_Exposed

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Under_Exposed

      I should say, according that is according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

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    2. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Under_Exposed

      Under_Exposed - No we are not as you say ".. are alone on some frolic..."
      The motor vehicle lobby has been using this as a tool to generate "fear" of cycling in every county of the world with varying success. Sadly people fail to see the reality that all the metrics on safety are heavily weighted against cars.

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    3. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Under_Exposed

      I'd like to see some evidence that the motor lobby is using helmet laws as a tool to push their agenda. I wouldn't put the motor lobby above using any tactic to advance their cause but it sound like an overly convoluted and ineffective way to influence behavior.

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    4. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - You are clearly no student of media, and the methods of clandestine persuasion by the corporate world.
      Sean - In the US the in the 1930s the big three automakers actively lobbied and successfully made the then Government rip out thousands of miles of railroad infrastructure. To be replaced with their trucks, they then rolled out an unsustainable network of highway, freeway, malls, industrial parks all serviced by length motor transport. They are now are faced with the imposible task of…

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    5. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      I've looked for evidence of transport lobbying affecting policy in Australia, can't find any.... I'm sure it exists but there is no evidence that I can find. The only reference to motor groups is from the Nrma, who have a reference to consideration of cycling aims.
      Do you have any evidence to back your claims of a malevolent auto industry influence on cycling policy?

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    6. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - I can't help you, the Copenhagenization principles are meme and not intergal in society at a corporate level.
      The ideas are not backed by a trillion dollar industry and it's resources, sorry. But if you read, .................and I actually mean read.... this passionate site about lifestyle. http://www.copenhagenize.com/
      It becomes clearer, with awareness.

      Saying ; " ......... evidence of transport lobbying affecting policy in Australia"
      This premiss is like saying, "I can't see…

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    7. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Sean - old Story of Stuff Video - New one coming, I just discovered. : /

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    8. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      That's not what I said and you know it. Your misrepresentation and distortion is getting tiresome. I wrote:
      'I've looked for evidence of transport lobbying affecting policy in Australia but I can't find it... I'M SURE IT EXISTS but there is no evidence that I can find.'

      No evidence does not equate with denial as you can see from my comment, inversely a statement without evidence does not imply truth. I've asked you for evidence and you've replied with two blogs, neither about australia. On this page you've accused others of being motor lobby patsies WITH NO EVIDENCE. It's time for this to stop.
      Like I said I'm as sure as you are that motor lobbies influence public policy but there is no evidence it's just conjecture. The conjecture that follows, that helmet laws are somehow influenced by the motor lobby is gettingn close to paranoid....

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    9. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean " ... you've accused others of being motor lobby patsies WITH NO EVIDENCE""
      An opinion, is just that or critic of an opinion needed no evidence, the support of the jargon promoted by the industry is self evident, 'if' your awareness is raised. Group think often leads to compliance without question.
      If one can't employ the principles of critical thinking well, it is a problem. As old as time.
      Meme are what they are similar to truisms, based on values and reality in varying amounts of balance…

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    10. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      You wrote:
      'Jon since you are an MD and a proxy lobbyist for the auto industry'

      Care to explain?

      The rest of your comment is laughable as you comment on critical thinking and then call a meme a truism......

      I'm not a fan of the ad hominem, but can you read your posts before hitting the button, your grammar is execrable. The last paragraph is stream of consciousness waffle.

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    11. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean sorry it was poorly witten and apologies to Richard Dawkins, a truism is a cultural belief passed down by people an idea that can move through centuries. Generally held by Tribal Culture.

      My meaning was that both are used, but I failed to clarify that. Poor writing, to much Cape Mentelle Chanon Blanc. No excuse, chastised.

      "A truism is a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning, except as a reminder or as a rhetorical or literary device and is the opposite of falsism." wikipedia

      "Meme - is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena." - Pardon my wikipedia source.

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    12. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Sean - you are starting to sound like a sore losser, and we are looking for a win win. I have failed.

      One day you may grasp our ideas, as we do yours. Wishing you well, may you never get a flat.

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    13. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Somewhere there's an anti cycling activist laughing at us..

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    14. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Citizen SG

      I was thinking that earlier too. Actually, one of *those* guys entered this forum only today, I think. Fortunately the engorged dimensions of this super-topic probably scared him away and saved us from some level of embarrassment. This whole debate is a little Life of Brian-esque. Splitters!

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    15. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Sean - it has been a little on sided this repartee, as those who support freedom, have the metrics. That is funny and unfair on the line of argument you hold.
      I am genuinely interested if you can actually scan and uncover independent verification. Seriously.

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    16. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      You want some blogs and YouTube links?

      This is getting septic, you won't address my criticisms of your argument, you won't accept that you've made stuff up to press your case..... You've provided no 'metrics' which presumably is blogspeak for evidence....yet insist that my citations are opinion..

      I think you have proven the paucity of your case time and time again, repeating some BS about freedom and enlightenment is not critical thinking or argumentation. I'm off to watch Le Tour. Adieu.

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    17. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      so which are opinions and which are facts, Paul...which are 'non-core' truths?
      ambiguity and special pleading fallacies..

      anything that doesn't fit your concept of reality is ignored or handwaved away... sound slike fundamentalism of the usual order...

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    18. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Paul Richards

      So that's it:

      http://www.copenhagenize.com/search?q=culture+of+fear

      vs

      No evidence anywhere in the literature about potential cyclists being put off by 'cycling generated fear' . Not mentioned. Anywhere. By anyone.
      In fact the literature mentions infrastructure, busy roads etc.

      Don't let the evidence get in the way of your cog bias, Paul. Cling dearly to your blogs....

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  21. Margo Saunders

    Public Health Policy Researcher

    Check out Alan Davies comments in The Urbanist blog, Is cycling under-performing (or did they just get it wrong)? at: 'http://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2012/07/11/is-cycling-under-performing-or-did-they-just-get-it-wrong/
    And after you've doing that, perhaps consider whether we've got a more serious problem (and I don't mean to single out anyone in particular, as there are several I can think of): individuals who use their academic public health positions as a launch-pad for advocating their personal beliefs and preferences, the dominance of which makes it difficult for them to be as rigorous and as objective as they otherwise would be in terms of assessing the evidence.

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    1. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Margo Saunders

      Margo - Seriously, we live in culture with many values, those un-evolved will never see the more developed stages, people use what they have and do their best. Where is the great revelation about academia?
      Our culture was once dominated by agrian values and before that the feudal system. "turtles all the way down" to paraphrase the flat earth myth.
      We are about to meet singularity head on, this is time of transition. It is completely understandable we have diverging values promoted and very frustrating…

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    2. John Knowles Stretch

      Arid Rangeland resident

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Hopefully you count yourself with those of us that seek to chart our own paths Paul. Except where there is overwhelming risk that dictates otherwise! (As for example with firearms and the sadly unstable psychological profile of some in the community that ill-equips them for such responsibility.)

      The hard hat brigade's intrusion on the topic of recreational and 'normal' low-speed cycling is unwelcome. Better they practice their own belief and leave others free to do similarly.

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    3. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      John K S - Comments are a little cryptic, as a former Toodyay region resident spot the "tongue in cheek" and if you are asking me to lighten up. Fine, will do.

      Good call;
      "... count yourself with those of us that seek to chart our own path"
      Good call, my field of research is "Futures Studies" - 10 points old son.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futures_Studies

      May your rains come on time, JKS.

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    4. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Knowles Stretch

      JKS,
      The best description of bike helmets I have heard is that it is an intelligence test.

      Which means that if you're cycling 1km to a shop on a quiet street it would be such low risk to render a helmet unreasonable.

      If you're cycling at higher speed, for longer, further or on busy roads the risks increase and make wearing helmets sensible.

      Setting up a false struggle between 'hard hat brigade' and others is neither helpful nor logical. Where would someone sit if they wore no helmet pootling to the shop on a bike path but then wore a helmet on a fast risky mountain bike track? Which of your camps would hey fall into?

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  22. Iced Volvo

    Phsycian

    "...Substantially more money needs to be spent on bike paths in urban areas to get non-riders cycling...."

    What a load of rubbish! No seriously; our local Council (and that means us!) has wasted MILLIONS on virtually unused bike paths. The Lycra clad latte sippers are way to "tuff" to ride of the wimpy bike paths and instead cause traffic chaos as they insist on taking up the whole lane "two" abreast! And they cant ride on the side of the road because (and I paraphrase from numerous conversations…

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    1. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Iced Volvo

      That's a good point, Volvo.. So we should place bike lanes on the sides of suburban streets rather than concentrate on separating cycling from traffic by creating more bike paths. That's not a bad idea, but do you realise that will take rom away from the area of road apportioned to drivers? Oh wait.... There is no area of road apportioned to drivers!
      Sharing the road with other road users is something drivers will have to continually learn to accommodate. Whatever time of day, it's the concept of sharing. If you can't negotiate a road with a cyclist on it get a Volvo c30 instead of a XC90.

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    2. Iced Volvo

      Phsycian

      In reply to Citizen SG

      "... So we should place bike lanes on the sides of suburban streets rather than concentrate on separating cycling from traffic by creating more bike paths..."

      Yes, Queensland has done this reasonably well on the Gold Coast! But this comes with a LAW: when there is a bike lane cyclists MUST ride WITHIN the lane!

      As to "sharing" and seeing as we live in a democracy (you know rule by the MAJORITY for the MAJORITY) sharing should be equitable and proportional yes ... OK so for every cyclist on the road lets say there are ~10,000 cars so I am happy to share 1/10,000 of the road to them!

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    3. Paul Pagani

      Teacher

      In reply to Iced Volvo

      Just a heads-up on the democracy thing - it is not the same as majoritarianism. If you can get past that it would be helpful. People over 100 are a tiny minority - should we care for them or leave it to survival of the fittest? Should we just hand over the UN to China and India, or do you believe that Australia's interests should also be considered (even if we are the size of a single Chinese city?)

      Democracy is about representing the interests of the people. There are many competing interests and all need to be considered in formulating public policy.

      By the way, I agree with you on a more equitable arrangement on the roads.

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    4. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Iced Volvo

      Cyclists are vehicles under the Act.

      Just as entitled to use the roads.

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  23. Citizen SG

    Citizen

    In Britain they have a 'cycling to work scheme' where a bike costing less than £1k is tax deductible
    http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/
    Britain has optional helmet usage and, in part, very good cycling infrastructure. They still see the necessity to improve cycling numbers for trips to and from work. Cycling infrastructure in Australia should include areas to secure bikes and showers available for workers if we are to maximize the numbers of cyclists.

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  24. John Merory

    neurologist/environmentalist

    In reply to Chris Rissel I have problems with the methodology of his study on helmets and head injuries. I also have considerable anecdotal evidence about the protective effects of bicycle helmets both in my hospital practice and my participation in the GVBRs. However he has a strong point about health cost-benefit ratio of the MHL through effects on cycling participation.
    As for the presence or absence of a cycling boom, the absolute numbers concentrated in the CBDs and inner suburbs (particularly…

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    1. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Merory

      Yeah good points... The article concentrates on the relative numbers that could be cycling had rates kept up with pre1980 levels. It says nothing about the very recent surge in cycling. Bicycle sales have hit record highs in recent years- which doesn't mean that they are being ridden, or ridden every day, but this would accord with the anecdotal perception that cycling recently has increased. It doesn't contradict the author's stats either, as rates still haven't reached that of the 80s.

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    2. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Bicycle sales are not even an approximate indicator of cycling levels.

      Sales per capita were close-enough to Netherlands levels, last I checked, and ownership per capita is even higher.

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    3. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      it doesn't surprise me because commuting percentage has not changed in recent years despite 1 million bicycles being sold last year.
      Conclusion:
      1. people are buying bikes but not using them
      2. people are buying bikes but not using them much
      3. people are buying bikes, using them lots for recreation but not for commuting.
      4. people are buying bikes using them lots for recreation and commuting but thestats aren't being captured (yet).

      i reckon 2 and 3 are the most likely.

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    1. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Elizabeth Blades-Hamilton

      Elizabeth B H - said; "First of all you have to decide what sort of a city you want..."
      Thanks, fortunately our government, contract planners and architects are on board, and the consensus in their community is Jan Gehl's ideas as pictured have merit and are rolling out here;
      My favourite story is Times Square New York, and the Mayor Bloomberg's humnization program, it is changing their city; http://youtu.be/RbB5p2KYtyw
      Further examples;
      http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1BE9A8FAB3FDA95D&feature=mh_lolz

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    1. John Harland

      bicycle technician

      In reply to Citizen SG

      TdF riders were forced to wear helmets against their own preference.

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    2. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to John Harland

      that's right... by insurers. because helmets are protective.

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    3. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Citizen SG

      wow a negative vote within 1 minute... amazing. The zealots have me on speed dial...

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  25. David Stewart

    I.T.

    When the Helmet law was about to come into effect here in WA I wrote a letter to the editor (back then - didnt get published sadly) saying that as far as I was concerned that I wanted the choice between wearing a helmet and wearing a sun protection hat (because most helmets produced then and now 'suck' completely at protecting people from sun and skin cancer. I've had two skin cancers removed so far (one from my ear), and my argument then and it stands today, is that it should be MY choice as to what it is I die of! Whether that be head inury or cancer. Not some idiot-with-an-opinion in parliament.
    I ride to work here in Perth down Walter rd, and William and Beaufort streets and none of those roads cater for a cyclist and are among the busiest in the city. I am appalled at the behaviour of car drivers, and even more appalled at the city planners lack of vision for catering for cyclists - string-em up I say!.
    David

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  26. John Harland

    bicycle technician

    In reply to several of Sean Parker's recent question:

    The rate of head injuries amongst hospital admissins reflects people's perception of what is important, not the incidence of head vsus otherr injury in crashes. A slight knock on the head and they have a brain scan. Abrasion of lacerations and they apply a bandage on the spot

    Rates of cycling in Sydney differ from Melbourne for many reasons other than helmet advertisements..

    Obviously, lobbyists avoid leaving documentation. It is meaningless to demand evidence of whether the motor industry or helmet manufacturers were involved in lobbying for helmet mandation. You can choose either to believe someone who was involved in the process at the time, or disbelieve them.

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  27. Markie Linhart

    Rouleur

    Seamus/Sean I&II/Paul P, these ever decreasing circles you're taking us in are quite frankly making me dizzy, sorry but had to say it.

    If you or anyone wants to wear a piece of near useless plastic covered foam on your head then fine - but don't fine me if I choose not to. In other words it's the mandatory nature of all this that is the main issue

    In the meantime, in between rounds while your seconds are sponging you down have a read of this New York times piece. The last para draws a bit of a line under all this.

    www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunday-review/to-encourage-biking-cities-forget-about-helmets.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    It's Spring, the sun is trying to shine so go ride a bike…

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    1. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Markie Linhart

      Markie Linhart said ;" these ever decreasing circles you're taking us in are quite frankly making me dizzy, sorry but had to say it...." So right, well read. that is exactly what straw man and red herring arguments do, sow confusion.

      So you are right, however that will please Sean Parker / Seamus G / whatever his pseudonym is on the day as he specialises in straw man linnes of argument and sowing discontent.

      The key issue is 98% of comments here agree, we have drastic need to change traffic…

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