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Old 11-05-04, 09:55 AM   #1
pinerider
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Mandatory Helmet Law coming to Ontario - Anybody else have it???

From today's Toronto Star:


Helmets-for-all law moves ahead in Ontario


CAROLINE MALLAN
QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF

A law that would force cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers of all ages to wear protective helmets cleared a hurdle in the Legislature yesterday.

The private member's bill from Liberal backbencher John Milloy (Kitchener Centre) passed second reading. It's been referred to a legislative committee for further study.

The bill requires helmets to be worn on all public roadways in the province and would beef up an existing law in Ontario, on the books since 1996, that mandates all children under 18 wear helmets while cycling. The fine for not having a child wear a helmet is $80.

Exemptions are made for religious headgear, but the law would force parents to set an example for their children by donning helmets.

During debate yesterday, Beaches-East York NDP MPP Michael Prue described the loss of his brother Derek in a 1998 bicycling accident.

"This bill is absolutely right," said Prue. "There isn't a day goes by that I don't see someone on the streets of Toronto, an adult, with no helmet on their head, and I want to get out of my car or off the sidewalk and I want to grab them and I want to shake them."
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Old 11-05-04, 10:00 AM   #2
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That is absolutely unimaginable to me. Talk about a nanny State and a violation of rights. Don't get me wrong, I wear a helmet 95% of the time but I should have the right not to. Same with seat belt laws. Why do Canadians vote for things like this?
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Old 11-05-04, 10:05 AM   #3
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It's actually not a violation of rights. The roads you travel on are not private and if you want to use them you have to obey the laws set for them whether you agree with the laws or not.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:09 AM   #4
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We didn't vote for the legislation, we voted for the governing party. This legislation is a little different, it started as a private member's bill, which historically don't get much support and usually die off before second reading.
The real kicker will be what they decide for a penalty and how it will be enforced. It will probably end up as token legislation with a small fine and haphazard enforcement.
I wear mine all the time, and it usually bothers me when I see someone not wearing one, so it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehenz
Why do Canadians vote for things like this?
We like to punish the stupid.

Me personally, I don't want my tax dollars going to keeping some guy on a ventilator just because he didn't want to wear a helmet... 'cause that's what happens with our healthcare system up here...
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Old 11-05-04, 10:49 AM   #6
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We pay for hospitalization and care of brain damaged people through our taxes, so it is in our interests to keep these costs down. We also want to keep as many people as possible contributing to the economy.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ehenz
That is absolutely unimaginable to me. Talk about a nanny State and a violation of rights. Don't get me wrong, I wear a helmet 95% of the time but I should have the right not to. Same with seat belt laws. Why do Canadians vote for things like this?
I wear a helmet all the time. But, you need to bear in mind that in Ontario (Canada as a whole), all health care is paid for by the government. Therefore, the government is going to require you to take reasonable precautions to prevent injuries. It's the same theory behind mandatory seatbelt laws. If the taxpayer is paying for your healthcare, then you are going to be required by law to wear a seatbelt.

In addition, this proposed law will also require a helmet while skateboarding, inline skating, or using a scooter.

Canadians don't vote on every law proposed or enacted. They elect a government, the government creates laws.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:03 AM   #8
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It's a close call. I lean towards opposing the laws because I don't want to give cops another reason to hassle us. If the law contains standards, they could say that I violated them by, say, strapping a light to my helmet or not replacing it immediately because of a minor defect.

That said, I don't think helmet laws are the first step towards totalitarianism. And the laws might just save a life or two.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 11-05-04 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:23 AM   #9
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I have no problem with the law. Like it was said in this thread when that person takes a choice to endanger themselves they burden the healthcare system if their actions lead to brain injury. Stats show in Ontarion serious head injuries fell by 27% when helmet laws were inacted.

Personal freedoms are fine but this isn't a big imposition however clogging up precious health resources is.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinerider

Exemptions are made for religious headgear, but the law would force parents to set an example for their children by donning helmets.
What does this mean? I'm a Wiccan so I can get away with not wearing a helmet by donning a witches hat?
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Old 11-05-04, 11:28 AM   #11
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When my grandmother was in the last few months of her life, she was in a coma ward. Most of the other people in the coma ward had been there for months, some for years. I was shocked how many of the people in the ward were young men. They had been riding motorcycles, bikes, skateboards without helmets.

Because the $50,000 or so a month it cost to have someone in that ward soon exhausted a family's insurance and savings, the taxpapers were picking up most of the cost of taking care of those young men. That coma ward cost the taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

So, people ought to be free to ride without a helmet, if they carry an insurance card for a million dollars in long-term nursing home care. But, if they are riding without insurance, and expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for their medical care, then the taxpapers get a say-so on whether or not bike riders wear a helmet.

It does not make sense to say "You don't have the right to make me wear a helmet, but if I hurt my head, I'm sending you the bill".
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Old 11-05-04, 11:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ajay677
Canadians don't vote on every law proposed or enacted. They elect a government, the government creates laws.
Isn't your government comprised primarily of Canadians? Or have you outsourced this to Pakistanis?
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Old 11-05-04, 11:57 AM   #13
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Will you people get real?

You have a greater chance of suffering brain damage from swimming than you do riding a bicycle. So what's with all of this pumped up, hostile talk about brain damage, death, and so on from riding a bike? There's no support for mandatory life jacket wearing in swimming pools here. No one here fantasizes gleefully about non-jacket wearing swimmers drooling on their pillows.

*900* people a year die from bicycling in the U.S. And of these, only a handful would have had their lives saved by a helmet. Maybe.

So, no, the "coma wards" are not full of bicyclists who didn't wear helmets. Jeezuz. If they're full of any accident victims, it's people who suffered head injuries in car accidents. So, do you wear your helmet in the car? Do you give all of this obnoxious nagging to people who drive bare headed?

All of this pro-helmet talk is just an object lesson in group-think. All of the hostility, cajoling, warnings about the "dangers" of riding a bicycle without a helmet are all out of any--ANY-- realistic appraisal of the dangers.

So, Canada's got a state-run healthcare system. So, of course the state's decision to subsidize health care costs gives it the right to invade your privacy. Yes? And you do use the roads, after all. So, what makes you think it's any of your business what you have on your own head?

Brother. If the state is going to get into the health care business, then it's just going to have to adjust its spending to make allowance for individual liberty. They've got no business sending inspectors into your homes to monitor your diet, giving out "wine rations" to prevent alcohol abuse, or nagging you about the *miniscule* benefit of wearing a styrofoam hat on your head. None.

At least an adult helmet requirement is a *long* way from happening in American states.
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Old 11-05-04, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merriwether
\
*900* people a year die from bicycling in the U.S. And of these, only a handful would have had their lives saved by a helmet.
nice stat now what about the 67,000 who got head injuries? Whose paying for their hospital bills?


http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm

There is way to much placed on "personal freedom"which here in the states is not covered in the Constitution, it talks of liberty which is different. I really do not care what people do as long as it does not interfere with me or cost me tax dollars. Since most people do not have the insurance or money to pay hospital bills that are racked up by these injuries the bill is footed by the tax payer, at least in most cases. As tax payers we do have the right to protect our interests.
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Old 11-05-04, 12:15 PM   #15
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The real danger here is that helmet use will lead riders to think they are safer than they are.

A review of the motorcycle fatality data shows onlya 5% difference between wearing a helmet or not.

If they really wanted to decrease biking deaths:
1. require all bikes sold to be sold with lights
2. require all bikers to use lights from twilight to dawn when riding
3. require all bike accidents to be reported and accident investigation completed
4. create an organization to tabular and report at least annually on cycling injuries and deaths
5. annually revisit biking laws
6. annually revisit driving laws
7. adust as needed
8. review effects of adjustments and correct defects.

But this is probably too much a scientific approach.
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Old 11-05-04, 12:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by supcom
Isn't your government comprised primarily of Canadians? Or have you outsourced this to Pakistanis?
I'm so terribly sorry I confused you. If you re-read my post slowly and carefully I'm sure you'll be able to understand it. If you're still having trouble, just ask for help. As for me, I'm counting the days until I can leave the People's Republic of Canada.
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Old 11-05-04, 12:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ajay677
I'm so terribly sorry I confused you. If you re-read my post slowly and carefully I'm sure you'll be able to understand it. If you're still having trouble, just ask for help. As for me, I'm counting the days until I can leave the People's Republic of Canada.
I'm sorry you feel that way. I have lived and worked in the USA and prefer Canada. To each his own. I certainly disagree with your comment the "People's Republic of Canada".
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Old 11-05-04, 12:40 PM   #18
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I'm sorry you feel that way. I have lived and worked in the USA and prefer Canada. To each his own. I certainly disagree with your comment the "People's Republic of Canada".
I've lived and worked in the USA and Canada too. I much prefer the USA. Canada has much too much BIG governemnt for my tastes. Canada is a socialist state, IMHO. But, as you said to each his own.
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Old 11-05-04, 01:33 PM   #19
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Well, you have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle so it follows that you should on a bike too. City speeds at least aren't too much different.
It certainly won't harm anyone to be wearing a helmet.
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Old 11-05-04, 01:46 PM   #20
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Don't have to wear a helmet everywhere. Point is simple- more cycle accidents and injuries can be prevented by requiring bicycle lights than helmets. Helmet laws are feel good laws but provide society with little real benefit. They are like cigarette laws. The majority feels good for punishing the minority but there is little real benefit from the laws.

Law makers seem to forget that more laws does not make a safer society. It just makes people more apt to choose to ignore more and more laws. For example, the almost exclusive replacement of Yield signs with Stop signs. Has it helped? How many accidents are from people blowing thru red lights and stop signs cause there are too darn many of them. We don't want to wear out the brains of the vehicle operator by having to decide: who has the right of way, what am I doing here, etc....

I do wear a helmet because it doesn't hurt to wear a bike helmet. A motorcycle helmet is not as effective as a bike helmet because it is heavier and does decrease both visual scope and hearing abilities of the wearer.

Most effective would be to replace the law requiring wearing a helmet with a law required public broadcast of educational messages promoting helmet use and safe biking. This would have an additional and not inconsequential side effect of raising the awareness of vehicle operators, oh, sometimes there are bikes on the road.
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Old 11-05-04, 02:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huffypuffy
The real danger here is that helmet use will lead riders to think they are safer than they are.
That is ridiculous. I really doubt many people are going to go crazy on their bike just because they have a helmet on. That's like saying people aren't scared to crash in their cars if they have airbags.
"Oh a train's coming but I have a helmet on so I should be fine...."
No I sincerely doubt that will become an issue.
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Old 11-05-04, 02:37 PM   #22
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Not really, for some people it means going back to the teenager "I am invincible" mentality. Can you conceive of any case where a rider on a mountain trail would slow down because they are wearing a helmet?

I've heard mountain bikers talk about their helmets like knee pads, I can go a tad faster because I will only be hurt and not really killed. Their joy is jumping logs, careening side to side down the trail, and bragging of all the bike parts they broke just because you know I'm stronger than that dumb bike, smile.

Don't know if this applies much to city trail riding, but sure applies to mtn biking.
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Old 11-05-04, 05:04 PM   #23
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Yeah ok we can stop with the "this is good because i won't have to pay for your hospitilzation bill". Now that that's out of the way.

I'd like to see this being enforced. We already HAVE a law that states that you must wear a helmet if you are under 18. Have I ever seen someone being ticketed/charged for not wearing one? Never in my entire life.

This law is going to be a complete waste of time if it isn't enforced. (I'd seriously like to see this happen).
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Old 11-05-04, 05:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
It does not make sense to say "You don't have the right to make me wear a helmet, but if I hurt my head, I'm sending you the bill".
Good one... Well said...
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Old 11-05-04, 05:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merriwether
*900* people a year die from bicycling in the U.S. And of these, only a handful would have had their lives saved by a helmet. Maybe.

According to the site provided by ngateguy, there would have been 533 people saved by the helmet.

2/3 of 800 = 533.00

>>>Two-thirds of the deaths here are from traumatic brain injury<<<<
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