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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 178 10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 94 5.63%
I've always worn a helmet 648 38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 408 24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 342 20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-03-12, 02:56 PM   #2501
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
It might be pointed out in this case that, according to NYC DOT, cyclist safety has increased with increasing bicycle use, without the nuclear option of a MHL, that helmet use is an outlier regarding this particular statistic, and that a MHL is unlikely to change this trend significantly.

All kinds of appropriate responses in this case:

- Suggest at public hearing and in editorials that the law be expanded to include motor vehicle operators and passengers, since they are, by far, the leading group of head injury recipients, and thus a drag on the public coffers.

- Suggest that the proposed law be amended to include 4 hrs of mandatory bike safety instruction in schools and driving classes, which is shown to have a greater effect regarding bike rider safety than mere use of a helmet.

- Ask the councilman point blank why he is proposing this law in stark contrast to published studies regarding overall cycling safety, and who/what prompted him to introduce such legislation.

- Ask the councilman in a public meeting why he wants to decrease cycling in the City, since that's what MHL's have been proven to do, with resultant decrease in cyclist safety and increase in constituent mortality rates.

But while these suggestions would be more than appropriate and very effective in killing this proposed law, I'm sure the screeching bare-head brigade will offer up at least a bushel's worth of impotent outrage and useless posturing -- supported by scientific studies -- instead of effective politicking.
Remind me to call you if I ever get involved with politics. Can I turn these into a letter just incase I ever have to fight a MHL in my hometown?
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Old 06-03-12, 03:05 PM   #2502
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I lulz at your attempts at humor......
So, you appreciate humour. A sign of intelligence.

There's hope.
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Old 06-03-12, 04:20 PM   #2503
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So, you appreciate humour. A sign of intelligence.

There's hope.
Aww, i got a pat on the head from the capitulator......how nice.......
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Old 06-03-12, 04:35 PM   #2504
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There's some new news on the legislation front. Looks like a New York City councilman is proposing a Mandatory Helmet Law there.

http://gothamist.com/2012/05/31/new_...s_mandator.php



Interesting that the Deputy Mayor says no major city [in the USA] has imposed an MHL. Seattle is a fairly major city and it is covered by King County's MHL.
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^^Oh brother, here we go.

This quote is a classic:

"Not wearing a helmet is worse than not wearing a seatbelt. You're endangering...the lives of those in your community." - Council Member David Greenfield

Oh really? By not wearing a helmet, I'm endangering the lives of the people of my community, how exactly?

Here's another gem, from a WSJ article about this proposed helmet law:

"The best way to get killed if you're riding a bicycle is to not wear a helmet." - Council Member David Greenfield


I can't even chart the absurdity of these statements. How do people like this even get elected?


Oh wait, here's another one from this guy, reported by Capital New York. The hits just keep on coming:

"The reality is, a helmet is instant safety." - Council Member David Greenfield
After having lived with an all ages MHL for the last 16 years, this type of response is no surprise to me.

With a challenge to our law before the courts, the upcoming Velo-City conference, and the first public bike share system in North America that will require helmet use, the issue is getting some press.

In a recent column, BCs Cheif Medical Officer said that there is:

a) no evidence helmet laws discourage cycling,

b) public bike shares are not affected by helmet laws (because people carry helmets around when they are planning to use public bikes), and

c) that a comparison with The Netherlands works in BCs favor because the rate of head injury for cyclists is far higher there, than here.

Throw in the columnists opinion that simple falls from bicycles result in devastating brain damage, and the case is complete.

Quote:
For me the most compelling argument for mandatory helmets is that children are the most likely to suffer permanent brain damage from a bike accident...

... as a parent it was always much easier to get my kids to follow safety rules if the adults had to follow them too.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Hel...770/story.html

This is why this thread is important, ignorance is harmful. Misprioritizing helmet use results in more danger to cyclists and lowers the worth cycling brings to society.

Last edited by closetbiker; 06-04-12 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 06-04-12, 07:11 AM   #2505
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While I promote the use of helmets, I think almost everyone thinks that MLH laws are stupid.
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Old 06-04-12, 07:45 AM   #2506
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While I promote the use of helmets, I think almost everyone thinks that MLH laws are stupid.
... but it's the [sarcasm] informed [/sarcasm] judgements, and attitudes like yours that get helmet laws passed.

Case in point; another helmet law passed on the same kind of shaky ground that we see here on this thread,

Doctors Manitoba, the provincial medical association, has told the government that bike helmet laws reduce the number of head injuries that require hospitalization by as much as 45 per cent.

Rondeau knows that first-hand. He was involved in a collision with a vehicle last year while out riding his bike.

"I went sideways and hit my head and cracked my helmet. I know that if I was not wearing a helmet, I would have had a serious brain injury," he said.


and...

Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau introduced legislation this afternoon that would make helmets mandatory for bike riders under the age of 18.

In the event of a crash, bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of death and serious injury by as much as 90 per cent, Rondeau said.


(gee, now helmets reduce death by up to 90%. That's twice as good as it was a few weeks ago)

Governments pass helmet laws because people believe this crap. Crap like what you, and others post here.

Last edited by closetbiker; 06-04-12 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:43 AM   #2507
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Remind me to call you if I ever get involved with politics. Can I turn these into a letter just incase I ever have to fight a MHL in my hometown?
I used to be involved in politics, so that's where I'm coming from with such suggestions--what will work on the ground at the local political level. Please feel free to crib from my post and use as needed on your end.

Within this helmet thread/debate is the tangential issue of Mandatory Helmet Laws. The vast majority of people here in this thread don't want them, even most dedicated pro-helmeteers. There's lots of gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair about how MHLs suck, but not a lot of practical advice about fighting them. I'd love to see more of that...
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Old 06-04-12, 09:49 AM   #2508
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Governments pass helmet laws because people believe this crap. Crap like what you, and others post here.
Gov'ts pass laws when people can't come up with strategies for defeating them. There's all kinds of useless legislation that doesn't even make it off the floor for consideration, gets killed in committee, or loses in a final floor vote, with plenty of time for those who oppose such legislation to get their views heard.

Rather than continuing this debate in a dedicated bike-geek sub-forum, how would you take it public to defeat such legislation? What political tactics and strategeries are effective in shooting down MHLs?

That would be a lot more helpful than whinging to the converted online...
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Old 06-04-12, 10:00 AM   #2509
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Gov'ts pass laws when people can't come up with strategies for defeating them...
and people won't even try to defeat them if they believe the crap that's told to them.

another example...

Vancouver city councilor Heather Deal says better safe than sorry. "The issue of helmets is not on the table at the city," she tells me on the phone from Vancouver. "You can do statistics, but one person saved is one person saved."..

When asked about why she believes helmets save lives, she tells a personal story about why she wears her helmet when cycling around town: "I was at a roundabout, going downhill, on an icy street, black ice, wiped out, cracked my head against the curb,"
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Old 06-04-12, 10:10 AM   #2510
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Gov'ts pass laws when people can't come up with strategies for defeating them. There's all kinds of useless legislation that doesn't even make it off the floor for consideration, gets killed in committee, or loses in a final floor vote, with plenty of time for those who oppose such legislation to get their views heard.

Rather than continuing this debate in a dedicated bike-geek sub-forum, how would you take it public to defeat such legislation? What political tactics and strategeries are effective in shooting down MHLs?

That would be a lot more helpful than whinging to the converted online...
It might perhaps be of interest to know what the European Cyclist Federation has done to prevent EU countries from making MHL. More here http://www.ecf.com/road-safety/helme...lective-vests/, but their site isn't the easiest to navigate.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:16 AM   #2511
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It might perhaps be of interest to know what the European Cyclist Federation has done to prevent EU countries from making MHL. More here http://www.ecf.com/road-safety/helme...lective-vests/, but their site isn't the easiest to navigate.
It's also of interest to know that the governments which pass helmet laws totally ignore, or dismiss this research while at the same time cite TRT's/their own reseach that shows helmets prevent 85/88/90% of head/brain injury/death.

Politicians rely on the publics perception that cycling is dangerous, and helmets are the most effective means to prevent deaths.

Kind of like what so many posters present on this thread

Last edited by closetbiker; 06-04-12 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:21 AM   #2512
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and people won't even try to defeat them if they believe the crap that's told to them.
...but you belittle the power a small group with strong feelings and research to back it up can have on defeating legislation before it becomes law.

The example you provide is very much less than helpful and not pertinent -- easier to keep legislation from becoming law than try to rescind or overturn an existing law.

Who's got examples of places where MHLs were proposed, but shot down before enactment? What means were used to do so?

That would be helpful in this case; hand-wringing over an existing law, not so much.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:28 AM   #2513
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...but you belittle the power a small group with strong feelings and research to back it up can have on defeating legislation before it becomes law.
No I don't. I've seen proposed laws defeated with such research, but once laws have been put in place, they're very hard to overturn, despite the results of legislation.

In spite of this difficulty, many advocacy organizations, (like the BTA in Portland, and Bike to the Future in Manitoba) will not oppose helmet laws. Some will, but with funding for such groups often provided by government, they risk their very existence by "biting the hand that feeds them"

Ignorance and hard bred bias dominate the issue, as it does in many of the posts here, telling the lidless they're organ donors and airheads.

Keep it up. It'll just make things worse for people who want to ride bicycles.

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Old 06-04-12, 11:54 AM   #2514
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I used to be involved in politics, so that's where I'm coming from with such suggestions--what will work on the ground at the local political level. Please feel free to crib from my post and use as needed on your end.

Within this helmet thread/debate is the tangential issue of Mandatory Helmet Laws. The vast majority of people here in this thread don't want them, even most dedicated pro-helmeteers. There's lots of gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair about how MHLs suck, but not a lot of practical advice about fighting them. I'd love to see more of that...
There are some good articles in this thread and its predecessors that you could email to you city/county council members. That would take some work to weed them out though.

I can tell you what made the MHL happen in the town near me. They attached a one-time $5000 funding to distribute helmets to children in low income families. I'm sure they've blown the $5K by now but the law is still on the books. No city council person can risk being seen as a hater of the children

The vote was 6-1 for.

I thanked the lone dissenter for attempting to keep stupid laws off the books. I reckon if you see legislation with similar earmarks come up, encourage your local representatives to not vote for laws that can't stand on their own.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:15 PM   #2515
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There are some good articles in this thread and its predecessors that you could email to you city/county council members. That would take some work to weed them out though.

I can tell you what made the MHL happen in the town near me. They attached a one-time $5000 funding to distribute helmets to children in low income families. I'm sure they've blown the $5K by now but the law is still on the books. No city council person can risk being seen as a hater of the children

The vote was 6-1 for.

I thanked the lone dissenter for attempting to keep stupid laws off the books. I reckon if you see legislation with similar earmarks come up, encourage your local representatives to not vote for laws that can't stand on their own.
I saw the councils meeting in which they discussed and listened to submissions by the public about the then, proposed law.

It was incredible to see how many were so ill-informed. Sort of like some of the posts on this thread.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:18 PM   #2516
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There are some good articles in this thread and its predecessors that you could email to you city/county council members. That would take some work to weed them out though.

I can tell you what made the MHL happen in the town near me. They attached a one-time $5000 funding to distribute helmets to children in low income families. I'm sure they've blown the $5K by now but the law is still on the books. No city council person can risk being seen as a hater of the children

The vote was 6-1 for.

I thanked the lone dissenter for attempting to keep stupid laws off the books. I reckon if you see legislation with similar earmarks come up, encourage your local representatives to not vote for laws that can't stand on their own.
What really makes it difficult to handle, politically, is the complexity of the issue. Like helmets being beneficial for children and other slow, unstable riders, but on the whole not for faster riders. There are a number of counter-intuitive things to handle, and how they can be translated to politics I don't know...

Perhaps the best starting point is that it's better for your health to cycle helmetless than to drive a car. Allways good to have a positive message. Then go on to point out the grave limitations of bike helmets. Further, stress how helmet campaigns erroneously depict cycling as dangerous, and how MHL seem to result in decreased cycling.

Michael Colville-Andersen's blog "Copenhagenize" has a lot to offer when it comes to the political side of it, I think.
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Old 06-04-12, 01:43 PM   #2517
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...telling the lidless they're organ donors and airheads.

Keep it up. It'll just make things worse for people who want to ride bicycles.

You're certainly not suggesting that I'm one of these kinds of people, are you...?
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Old 06-04-12, 01:46 PM   #2518
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There are some good articles in this thread and its predecessors that you could email to you city/county council members. That would take some work to weed them out though.
It's not enough to email local gov't people articles, studies, and whatnot -- you need to show up in person. With friends and like-minded advocates who oppose MHLs. A lot of it is just having enough bodies in the room supporting your cause to make an impression. Yes, certainly have the studies to back it up, follow through by handing in hard copy position papers to back up your public assertions, but the most effective way to influence legislation is to show up at public hearings and speak out.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:33 PM   #2519
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Re the poll in the beginning of this thread: it makes difference if the person is riding a road bike or hybrid, etc.. I would think more road bike riders wear helmets than hybrid bike riders, given the usual speed and riding occasion differences.
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Old 06-05-12, 02:56 AM   #2520
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While I promote the use of helmets, I think almost everyone thinks that MLH laws are stupid.
I think the mandatory helmet laws are stupid too, but then again so are the seat belt laws. I think everyone has the right to use their own common sense, and if that common sense fails then so be it, but they don't get to sue because they did something stupid and voided of all common sense.
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Old 06-05-12, 05:28 AM   #2521
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Being stationed on a military base always required me to wear not only a helmet but also a reflective vest. If people don't see me they just aren't looking which would describe most drivers. I trust myself because I am attentive when riding but I don't trust others. I never used to wear a helmet at all; when I was growing up in a small town in the late 80's I didn't know bicycle helmets were even made. Hitting your head when bicycling seemed to be the rarest thing that only one in a thousand would ever experience so for a while I didn't see the need to. If it wasn't for the military requiring it I never would have started. However now that I am used to it, it is like a seatbelt. I use it without giving it a second thought.

My thoughts are if it's a legal thing it's better to go with the flow then swim upstream. But yeah I think it should be your own choice. Only bad side is if I did actually wreck and get seriously hurt as a result of not wearing a helmet, I would have been making the medic's job harder and I would probably have to wear a uglier safety helmet to keep from hurting myself when competing in the yearly special olympics run. Hey at least everybody's a winner.

If it's a requirement then just do it, if not then do what you want because you aren't hurting anyone else. Maybe.

I think in Georgia you only need a helmet if you are under 16 years of age, which may lead some of those from that area to think helmets are for children. However, above all, your personal safety is your own concern unless a law or rule mandates the wear. Regardless I wish everyone a safe ride.
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Old 06-05-12, 11:17 AM   #2522
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MHLs are usually promoted by liberals that think it is their duty to dictate and "look after" all of us lower class dumb people. Those polititicans think that putting new laws in effect indicate that are "doing things" for the people. Second and maybe first it gives local tax and spend b'crats money from fines for them to spend.
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Old 06-05-12, 11:37 AM   #2523
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MHLs are usually promoted by liberals that think it is their duty to dictate and "look after" all of us lower class dumb people. Those polititicans think that putting new laws in effect indicate that are "doing things" for the people. Second and maybe first it gives local tax and spend b'crats money from fines for them to spend.
MHL laws are a result of attitudes based on poor understanding that result in some believing not wearing a helmet is wrong. An attitude that you have so aptly demonstrated right here on this thread.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:55 PM   #2524
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I hope no law will require wearing helmet when riding a bike. If such a law is ever proposed seriously, at least it should have the qualification such as: a helmet is required if your riding speed is over ____ (a high speed). But then it will be hard to carry the law out. So, please, no law.

Thousands of people ride bikes mainly locally for errands. It will be ridiculous to require them to put on a helmet in order to ride to the post office 5 blocks away.
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Old 06-06-12, 01:33 AM   #2525
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MHLs are usually promoted by liberals that think it is their duty to dictate and "look after" all of us lower class dumb people. Those polititicans think that putting new laws in effect indicate that are "doing things" for the people. Second and maybe first it gives local tax and spend b'crats money from fines for them to spend.
Stop your political BS, please. Wanna talk politics, do it instrumentally: how to prevent MHL. Throwing around abuse won't help anyone. It's pure flaming.
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