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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 11-06-11, 07:36 AM   #476
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Am I just being paranoid here, or does it seem that a non-opposition stance, encourages helmet laws, and just why does a governing body go against the wishes of it's members?

I ask this in light of Portland's BTA shift in policy and the experience of progress of helmet laws in Canada, that is, in every province that has an all ages MHL, there was no advocacy organization that had a policy of opposition against such laws and in every province that had an advocacy organization opposed, the law was defeated.

Story here

Quote:
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance announced Friday that it will no longer actively oppose mandatory bike helmet laws

“In the past,” Sadowsky said, “we would automatically show up to testify against such legislation and rally the troops against the bill.”

What’s more, Sadowsky said, the alliance will phase out of photos of riders not wearing helmets in all publicity and education materials.

At the heart of the new strategy, the BTA says, is a belief that “helmets can and do save lives.”

66 percent said that they believe that everyone should be encouraged to wear a helmet, but that it’s ultimately an individual choice and that the BTA should oppose a mandatory helmet law.

Nearly 84 percent said they believe the best way to change behavior on helmet use is through education and encouragement, not through legislation. They prefer the BTA focus on education and encouragement.
Another article shows that less than a year ago, the same people were piping a different tune:

Quote:
“helmet laws set in place a ready-made ‘blame the victim’ reaction so that each time a helmetless cyclist is in a crash, their bare head becomes the focus -- even if the driver deliberately ran them over and they died not from head injuries, but internal injuries... Helmets do not prevent crashes...The risks of cycling are low...Helmet laws often have the unintended consequence of reducing helmet use... Portland already has one of the highest rates of helmet use currently in the nation...The goal of the BTA is to reduce crashes "
Does this shift in policy grease the skids for a mhl in Portland?

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-06-11 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:46 AM   #477
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That would really be too bad, if it does...
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Old 11-06-11, 07:49 AM   #478
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If I remember right, I believe a couple of years ago there was some talk of passing one in Oregon.

Yup. In 2008.

Eugene senator will look to expand Oregon's bike helmet law


Obviously, it didn't pass. The idea only lasted a couple of weeks

Prozanski puts brakes on helmet law expansion plan


Quote:
The O's Michelle Cole says Prozanski felt pressure to pull back due to the negative response he received. She wrote, "Prozanski also got a pounding this week from bloggers...". Prozanski told Cole that, "Based on the information and reports I've gotten in the last day, I'm probably leaning away from a mandatory helmet law."
Since news of Prozanski's idea broke back on July 22nd, many people have expressed their opposition and the story quickly spread to media outlets across the state.

Advocacy groups like the Bicycle Transportation Alliance -- who have long been opposed to mandatory helmet laws for adults -- can now breathe a sigh of relief that this is one less battle they'll have to wage in the coming legislative session.
Had the BTA (and others) not opposed a helmets law 3 years ago, there might have been a law.

That's advocacy in action.

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-06-11 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 11-06-11, 05:31 PM   #479
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Did they need to make a huge announcement about it? Isn't that inviting a legislator to propose a new MHL? Maybe better to just have kept this quiet...?

So, any Oregonadians write The Oregonian any reply letters to the editor? Nowadays, a good political tack to take might be to point out that this has been shot down before and maybe there's other, perhaps more pressing issues for a legislature to be considering.

Maybe there's more to this. Might be a concession by the BTA to further other legislative ends.

What if it was a MHL with bike rights amendments including a set of unprotected road users laws -- euro-style, driver assumed at fault unless proven otherwise; criminal penalties for at fault actions resulting in injury or death.

Would you trade real legal consequences along the lines of drunk driving penalties for those who hit cyclists for an MHL?
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Old 11-06-11, 10:15 PM   #480
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I have no idea how big this is in Portland, but being from a place that had a similar experience of having an advocacy group not oppose a law because most in the group wore helmets and thought they were great, I think it's a significant development.

Not everybody that rides bikes is in the BTA, they're a lot of people who use bikes that don't have anything to do with them and don't care about them, but they may soon have a reason to care.

Nearly 84 percent of BTA members that completed the survey said they believe the best way to change behavior on helmet use is through education and encouragement, not through legislation yet the governing body change their policy from opposition to non-opposition, something must be going on.

I'd like to know how the BTA rectifies the contradictory results of helmet use with their belief that "helmets save lives" my guess is they dismiss any evidence that contradicts what they believe. At the very least it's irresponsible to claim the issue is clear cut and go against what the membership wanted.
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Old 11-07-11, 10:07 AM   #481
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Dave Moulton blogged about the shift in policy this morning.

Portland BTA’s shift on helmet use

Quote:
Portland’s BTA calls its shift in policy is a "Slight Modification," but by standing on the sidelines and saying “We no longer oppose mandatory helmet laws,” is not doing any favors for its membership or the cause of cycling. Just because most of its membership wears a helmet anyway is not a reason to no longer oppose.

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-07-11 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 11-07-11, 05:12 PM   #482
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I wear one, as it gives me an extra place to mount a rear light.
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Old 11-08-11, 11:30 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf View Post
I wear one, as it gives me an extra place to mount a rear light.
Undisputed helmet benefits:
- keeps your head a bit warmer in cold temps
- excellent place to use reflective tape
- can use as a platform to mount a rear light
- can use as a platform to mount a headlight
- can use as a platform to mount a camera
- can use as a platform to mount a mirror
- accentuates desired style, i.e. part of accepted road, mtn, transport cycling costume
- may protect head from some forms of less than serious injury
- if equipped with a visor, some utility in keeping sun and precipitation from eyes

Although I'm assuming that the minute you connect something to your helmet, it may become less safe. As in more weight and protrusions which could certainly complicate or add to the seriousness of an accident involving head/helmet. And the more you add, the more this tendency might increase. Not to mention the total dork factor.

The other day, I rode at night, full dark, with a 250 lumen light on my helmet and it was pretty revelatory: being able to aim the spot beam at drivers meant I could flash them when they were using high beams, causing them to dip their lights. Also was able to flash drivers at intersections in an attempt to be visible enough that they would not pull out on me. Shoulder check also put a spot of light on the road next to me and drivers seemed to respond by giving me more room than usual. Not sure how easy it would be to wear a decent light on your head without a helmet.
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Old 11-08-11, 01:12 PM   #484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Undisputed helmet benefits:
to you maybe. To others some of these benefits can be anything but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
- keeps your head a bit warmer in cold temps
as someone who wore a helmet through more than few winters, the first winter after I doffed the lid was far more warm and comfy than I could have possibly remembered (from before I started to wear one. Wearing a nice touque is a way better way of being a bit warmer in the winter

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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
- excellent place to use reflective tape
A good mount to be sure, but what if that tape negates the protective qualities of the helmet?

The solvent in the adhesive can attack helmet shells and weaken them unless you are sure of the compatibility of shell and tape. The best tapes are not available in normal consumer channels, because they would be too expensive. The adhesives used by 3M for consumer-grade Scotchlite tape are apparently compatible with many helmet shells, but not necessarily all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
- can use as a platform to mount a rear light
- can use as a platform to mount a headlight
- can use as a platform to mount a camera
- can use as a platform to mount a mirror
I often thought the best use of my helmet was using it as a mount for lights, and I imagine using it for a camera or mirror would be a good use as well, BUT one has to be careful in the way they are mounted. They need proper breakaway systems or they can make an impact worse by driving the device through the helmet in an impact or causing the helmet to fail by splitting at the contact point


Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
- accentuates desired style, i.e. part of accepted road, mtn, transport cycling costume
style is a personal viewpoint. What looks good to someone, doesn't look good to someone else.
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Old 11-08-11, 01:18 PM   #485
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UK: Under-14 Mandatory Helmet Law fails

From road.cc:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road.cc
A Liberal Democrat MP has failed in her attempt to introduce a law that would have made it compulsory for children aged 13 years and below to wear helmets while cycling. The proposed legislation, officially the Cycles (Protective Headgear for Children) Bill 2010-11 will be shelved after it failed to receive a second reading last week.

Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and Poole North, had presented her bill to the House of Commons in July, but the planned legislation seemed doomed from the start since it contradicted government policy, as well as that of her own party, not to introduce helmet compulsion.
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Old 11-08-11, 01:59 PM   #486
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
to you maybe. To others some of these benefits can be anything but...
Which is better to mount reflective tape: helmet or your skin/hair? Maybe a reflective hat or headband? Can you think of non-helmet ways of dealing with this stuff you want on or around your head that would work as effectively? What about if you were combining a couple different things on your helmet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
as someone who wore a helmet through more than few winters, the first winter after I doffed the lid was far more warm and comfy than I could have possibly remembered (from before I started to wear one. Wearing a nice touque is a way better way of being a bit warmer in the winter
I wear a skullcap under my skate-style Giro Sector and am perfectly warm and toasty. Helmet acts as a nice wind-break. Fancy vented bike helmets would be of less utility this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
A good mount to be sure, but what if that tape negates the protective qualities of the helmet?
Well then I suppose it's up to the consumer to decide. I bet there's no studies out there checking on the effects of wearing reflective tape on your helmet vs. not wearing a helmet at all. I got non-consumer product, SOLAS grade reflective tape on my helmet, and so far, no damage that I can discern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I often thought the best use of my helmet was using it as a mount for lights, and I imagine using it for a camera or mirror would be a good use as well, BUT one has to be careful in the way they are mounted. They need proper breakaway systems or they can make an impact worse by driving the device through the helmet in an impact or causing the helmet to fail by splitting at the contact point
I believe I added a disclaimer in my description and modified these to "can use" rather than "excellent use" because of that. Certainly they could be a danger... if biking was inherently dangerous. Otherwise, styrofoam auxiliary equipment noggin mounting platform is an excellent perch for some safety accessories.

I.e. I'd rather not get hit in the first place, helped by reflective tape and a headlight on my helmet, than get in an accident which causes the protective capacity of my helmet to be tested because someone didn't see me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
style is a personal viewpoint. What looks good to someone, doesn't look good to someone else.
Certainly, but for many who adopt activity-specific gear, helmets are de rigueur costuming. And even consumers who think of helmets as "ugly" and "dorky" will submit to wearing one to be part of their cycling sub-species or local flock.

When I claim undisputed, I mean it. A regular mantra around here is that not getting in an accident is a lot more important regarding cycling safety, than wearing a helmet. Thing is, a helmet serving as a safety accessories mount can also do a lot for you to not get in an accident in the first place.
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Old 11-08-11, 02:16 PM   #487
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
funny thing about kid laws, they're about influencing parents as much as kids.

In Canada, kids under 13 can't be charged and teenagers stop riding bikes when they get close to driving age. Kid laws affect 13 and 14 year olds the most and give them something else to rebel against, or another reason to stop riding.

Kids also grow up thinking riding a bike is dangerous and prone to causing injury.

Bubble wrap society. No injury is small enough to fear.

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-08-11 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-08-11, 02:18 PM   #488
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... blah, blah, blah... stir it up, stir it up, stir it up...
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Old 11-08-11, 04:35 PM   #489
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Thing is, a helmet serving as a safety accessories mount can also do a lot for you to not get in an accident in the first place.
What??
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Old 11-09-11, 12:00 PM   #490
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Cycle helmets and Legal Fault (UK)

Found this interesting link from the Cycling Silk blog (a "silk" is a prestigious UK lawyer). It presents some information on the question (asked on this thread previously) about whether NOT wearing a helmet can lead to a court ruling against a motorist being liable for injuries s/he inflicts on you.

In brief: no.

Slightly longer: you can be at fault, but because helmets have never been shown to be effective in reducing motor injuries it doesn't make any difference. If the motorist (or counsel) could convince the court that your injuries would have been less with a helmet then you might face up to 15% reduction in your claim.

Same material covered here.
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Old 11-09-11, 12:13 PM   #491
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I'll have to look at this and ask a local lawyer about it.

I know in my province awards for head injuries have been reduced by 10 -20% if a cyclist was not wearing a helmet as required by law.

I'm not sure if this applies here or not.
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Old 11-10-11, 10:07 AM   #492
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as I thought, a witness can use this information in court.

A lot of this is basic stuff that has been gone over here time and again; the efficacy of bicycle helmets is a hotly disputed topic... risk is low... no correlation with rates of use and head injury... helmets are not expected to be effective in collisions with motor vehicles or above speeds at which they are tested
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Old 11-12-11, 08:04 AM   #493
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Awesomeness:

Bicycle Times magazine ran a helmets-bad article last issue. This issue is a helmets-good article.

One advertisement in three page article, Surly advertising their new bike, the...

...wait for it...

...Troll.

How droll. Someone at BT has a sense of humor...
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Old 11-12-11, 08:55 AM   #494
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Well well, I see the anti helmet trolls are still alive and well. They are still trying to talk people out of wearing a helmet. The question remains----to what end?????
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Old 11-12-11, 09:03 AM   #495
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Well well, I see the anti helmet trolls are still alive and well. They are still trying to talk people out of wearing a helmet. The question remains----to what end?????
Is informed choice a bad thing?
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Old 11-12-11, 03:22 PM   #496
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I'm no longer feeding this guy. He seems to chime in occasionally about 'anti-helmet trolls' for no real purpose, and apparently without actually reading the thread posts.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:03 AM   #497
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Let me restate my position. I DO NOT believe in passing mandantory helmet laws.

I believe in personal responsibility. I also believe in personal protection, and that means while cycling, it includes a helmet. Since there are several logical common sense reasons to wear a helmet, I do.

I still cant understand any reason why there is 20 pages on this forth thread by anti helmets trolls trying to talk people out of wearing a helmet. I personally dont care what people do, they should make their own decision on wearing helmet or not. Why do the anti helmet troll keep up their rant???
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Old 11-14-11, 09:41 AM   #498
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I'm no longer feeding this guy. He seems to chime in occasionally about 'anti-helmet trolls' for no real purpose, and apparently without actually reading the thread posts.
agreed.
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Old 11-14-11, 06:30 PM   #499
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I'll sign that pledge too.
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Old 11-14-11, 06:31 PM   #500
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I'm no longer feeding this guy. He seems to chime in occasionally about 'anti-helmet trolls' for no real purpose, and apparently without actually reading the thread posts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rando View Post
agreed.
I used to regularly read the last helmet thread, and I'm surprised that anyone still engages ryda in the helmet threads; he just says the exact same thing over and over, interspersed with the occasion insult. He has a belief and makes his one point, but then doesn't know how to argue his point logically when someone refutes it, gets frustrated, and resorts to name calling. And then gets butthurt when people call him a troll.

From the last thread, ryda in a nutshell:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
I might add that I am 72. That means that I have had a lifetime to learn and ponder what I think is logical. I have been a technician all my life, and tend to look at things by reasoned logic. In the case of bicycles, recumbents are far more logical than DF bikes. Simply put it is not logical to ride with any level of pain. In the case of helmets to me it only seems logical to wear a helmet while cycling. At my age I am free of worrying about "style" which is the thrust of this thread. The bottom line here is no one is going to do much to change the mind set of anyone. So I would suggest everyone quit taking their position so serious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
Another fact. When anyone posts a logical point that is hard to refute, the anti helmet types resort to personal attacks. As with any forum, I concider that I have won the point. Name calling and personal attacks are a sign post of a person that has no logical counter point.
Quote:
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Only in your minds are bike helmets not effective. Therefore your arguments are ineffective also!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
Btw-------you anti helmet guys will never convince anyone of us that wear helmets. And your up tight name calling just makes you look foolish. Uh maybe your spandex shorts are too tight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
BTW while I am riding in comfort on my bent, the super cyclist are damaging their brains with their tiny little DF seats. And yes Im suggesting they have their heads up their ---------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
Darwin??? My ancestors were Adam and Eve. People like chip and closet and other liberals claim their ancestors were apes. I can live with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
Could it be that almost all of the anti helmet trolls ride DF bikes. Maybe that saddle pressing on their brains is what causes their faulty thinking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
Simply put my brain is in my head. Unlike anti helmet trolls that must have their brains up their butt.

Gads its hard when you always have to 'slain em!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
The anti helmet trolls seem to love "studies". The name of this thread is helmets cramp my style. Anyway let me tell you of a recient study that suggests that men who wont wear helmets or uses other safety devices such as seat belts have small penises. They are trying really hard to prove to eveyone they are hairy chested macho men and make up for their---------
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydabent
Personal attacks on you make you the winner. People that resort to personal attacks are losers.
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