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Old 05-24-05, 04:20 PM   #1
randya
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NZ Safety Nazis try to stop sales of Choppers and LowRiders

Voluntary recall of retro bikes requested

THURSDAY , 19 MAY 2005

The Commerce Commission is requesting the voluntary recall of potentially unsafe "retro" style bicycles.

It is currently investigating two retailers for allegedly selling bicycles which contravene safety standards, and is writing to bicycle importers and distributors nationwide requesting the voluntary recall.

The bicycles are sold under a variety of names including, "retro", "chopper", "cruiser", and "lowrider" and the commission believed a large number had been sold recently.

The commission had found bicycles which breached safety standards in one or more ways, including no front brakes, handlebars too wide, no reflectors and frame lengths which cause stability problems, director of fair trading Deborah Battell said.

"Any one of these defects could compromise rider safety or affect handling, especially in an emergency," she said.

"Retailers and wholesalers have an absolute responsibility to ensure that any bicycle sold meets the safety standard.

"Consumers who suspect their bicycle does not meet the safety standard should immediately take the bicycle back to their retailer. Some breaches are easily fixed, but in other cases, a refund may be necessary."

The commission had met with the Bicycle Industry Association which has undertaken to reinforce with its members the necessity for compliance with compulsory safety standards, Ms Battell said.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3285717a11,00.html
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Old 05-24-05, 05:21 PM   #2
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Some of the choppers I have seen are cool looking but they don't look safe as far as steering goes. I've never ridden so maybe they are deceptively unwieldy looking, but I can't imagine having handling skills appropriate for tight turns or some traffic conditions... that said... those bikes look like they are designed for cruising at about 8 mph and at that speed I think you'd have all the handling you'd need so I don't see the problem.
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Old 05-24-05, 06:14 PM   #3
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As long as people buying them know they handle a little differently than a regular bike and to ride accordingly, then there shouldn't be a problem. This type of over-legislation is crap-tastic!

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Old 05-24-05, 08:17 PM   #4
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Those legislators don't know their a$$ from a hole in the ground. I have a 3-speed beach cruiser, a single-speed low-rider, a 7-speed chopper and a 3-speed stretch cruiser and chances are I am a safer rider than 95% of the others, even with my wide handlebars. Heck, I haven't had even a minor crash in 25 years! Most of my bikes are too slow to have a serious accident anyway. And they're all so low I can put both feet flat on the ground in a split second. And ALL of my bikes are fully equipped with lights, horns and reflectors. Half the fun is finding just the right accessories for our cool bikes. Read some of the other forums and you'll read all about the guys on the fast bikes having accidents, not the guys on cruisers, choppers and lowriders. I say take those legislators for a ride and let 'em see they are full of donkey donuts.
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Old 05-24-05, 11:28 PM   #5
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In socialist countries like New Zealand the government provides things such as free healthcare. If I was a taxpayer in NZ I would be quite keen for the govt. to minimise the burden of healthcare costs.

Does your govt. allow you buy unsafe vehicles of any description?
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Old 05-25-05, 12:05 AM   #6
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In a socialist country like Sweden, we are still free to do what we want. I suppose what I'm saying is that you shouldn't bring in politics in the equation. If any government would want to reduce healthcare costs, there are a gazillion things (including sports) which are already vastly more dangerous than riding a chopper. And... in the end, no matter what political system you have - you always end up with paying for other peoples mistakes and bad fortunes, be they war, bike crashes or company fraud.
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Old 05-25-05, 12:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
In socialist countries like New Zealand the government provides things such as free healthcare. If I was a taxpayer in NZ I would be quite keen for the govt. to minimise the burden of healthcare costs.

Does your govt. allow you buy unsafe vehicles of any description?
In the USA, you put the CPSC reflectors on, and yer good to go!!!

If you don't know how to ride it, or are unwilling to accept the risks and responsibilities, then you shouldn't be doin' it!
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Old 05-25-05, 12:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Trasselkalle
In a socialist country like Sweden, we are still free to do what we want. I suppose what I'm saying is that you shouldn't bring in politics in the equation. If any government would want to reduce healthcare costs, there are a gazillion things (including sports) which are already vastly more dangerous than riding a chopper. And... in the end, no matter what political system you have - you always end up with paying for other peoples mistakes and bad fortunes, be they war, bike crashes or company fraud.
True, and very pragmatic.
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Old 05-25-05, 12:16 AM   #9
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It's not an issue of politics. These bikes are obviously contravening some existing regulations are therefore illegal. Safety rules are a fact of life. Governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens (to a point at least.)

Additionally in New Zealand you cannot litigate against people or entities as a result of accidents no matter how they were caused.
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Old 05-25-05, 04:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
In socialist countries like New Zealand the government provides things such as free healthcare. If I was a taxpayer in NZ I would be quite keen for the govt. to minimise the burden of healthcare costs.

Does your govt. allow you buy unsafe vehicles of any description?
People think healthcare in Oz is free. If only they udnerstood how it really works. As far as NZ, I love it there. Can't blame them for trying to keep it one of the safest places in the world, even if they get a bit misguided.
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Old 05-25-05, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
It's not an issue of politics. These bikes are obviously contravening some existing regulations are therefore illegal. Safety rules are a fact of life. Governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens (to a point at least.)

Additionally in New Zealand you cannot litigate against people or entities as a result of accidents no matter how they were caused.
Ok, but if it is not an issue of politics, why not just skip the part about "In socialist countries like..."? After all, the government type does not bring with it a hard set of laws like "Though shalt not have a mean looking chopper to cruise the streets with because they are more dangerous than a downhill mountainbike is to ride down one of our super steep mountains". Additionally, political statements have a tendency to bring with it some nasty angry replies that have nothing to do with bikes.

To reply to the initial post - as much as it would suck from my point of view, I have no problems with choppers being banned in NZ if they indeed violate existing laws. Every country has its drawbacks.
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Old 05-25-05, 07:14 AM   #12
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It's not actually a socialist country - it has a 'mixed' economy (as do most countries), but it is closer to being a socialist country than the US, hence my description.

Government type does have an impact on the laws in creates. New Zealand, in this case, could be termed a 'nanny' state. However, if you wish to talk politics this isn't the appropriate forum.
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Old 05-25-05, 07:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
In socialist countries like New Zealand the government provides things such as free healthcare. If I was a taxpayer in NZ I would be quite keen for the govt. to minimise the burden of healthcare costs.

Does your govt. allow you buy unsafe vehicles of any description?
With few, if any, enforced regulations regarding bicycles either here in Canada (essentially a socialist nation) or the US, I'd venture to say that the government would be hard pressed to prove any bicycle, regardless of style, as being inherently unsafe. I'll put my alt bikes up against anything on the road when it comes to safety and equipment. I would more than meet any legal inspection. It is possibly libelous to suggest that choppers, cruisers, lowriders (most of which are cared for with greater affection and attention than regular bikes) are unsafe and a threat.
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Old 05-25-05, 07:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trasselkalle
In a socialist country like Sweden, we are still free to do what we want. I suppose what I'm saying is that you shouldn't bring in politics in the equation. If any government would want to reduce healthcare costs, there are a gazillion things (including sports) which are already vastly more dangerous than riding a chopper. And... in the end, no matter what political system you have - you always end up with paying for other peoples mistakes and bad fortunes, be they war, bike crashes or company fraud.
NZ would do better to ban cars, citing them as unsafe. We can prove how much they kill, after all: accidents, pollution, etc. How many people have died while bike riding when cars weren't involved?
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Old 05-25-05, 07:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac
With few, if any, enforced regulations regarding bicycles either here in Canada (essentially a socialist nation) or the US, I'd venture to say that the government would be hard pressed to prove any bicycle, regardless of style, as being inherently unsafe. I'll put my alt bikes up against anything on the road when it comes to safety and equipment. I would more than meet any legal inspection. It is possibly libelous to suggest that choppers, cruisers, lowriders (most of which are cared for with greater affection and attention than regular bikes) are unsafe and a threat.

Hard to attend to a bicycle if you can't buy it in the first place.

What are the legal requirements to use a bike on the road in Canada?
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Old 05-25-05, 07:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac
NZ would do better to ban cars, citing them as unsafe. We can prove how much they kill, after all: accidents, pollution, etc. How many people have died while bike riding when cars weren't involved?

Presumably the legislation in NZ is mostly aimed at kids bikes.
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Old 05-25-05, 07:48 AM   #17
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Hard to attend to a bicycle if you can't buy it in the first place.

What are the legal requirements to use a bike on the road in Canada?
When it comes to safety, as opposed to where one can operate a bicycle, a biccycle must be equipped with front and rear lights, reflectors and a horn. I have never heard of a cyclist ever being required to have a front brake or being cited for handlebars that are too wide or forks too long. I doubt any cop could tell if the gearing or brakes were operating properly anyway. And while cyclists have been involved in accidents that were their fault, in everything I read it was because they were riding recklessly or unsafely, not because their equipment failed or could not be handled in an emergency situation.
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Old 05-25-05, 07:51 AM   #18
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Presumably the legislation in NZ is mostly aimed at kids bikes.
If that's the case, I still don't see how choppers, etc are any less safe than all the other type of bikes I see them falling off of. After all, kids aren't trying to jump ramps with a lowrider or chopper...at least not many are.
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Old 05-26-05, 01:21 AM   #19
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They are still on sale ,I think the main concern is how some of them have been assembled by the retailers & the poor quality copies that pop up in some stores , dangerious brakes , steering ect.There has been prosicutions in the past against dept. stores that have assembled & sold bikes that were unsafe through poor assembaly.
We have an accident insurance scheme (ACC) that covers every person in the country, its funded by our taxes , a levy on our road vech.reg. fee & a levy on employers for every person they employ , the more dangerous the occupation ,the more they pay. ACC pays for our treatment ,medication & 80% of lost wages & insome cases monetary compensation.
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Old 05-26-05, 01:45 AM   #20
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Explains why all the Kiwis I met were so happy-go-lucky.
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Old 06-03-05, 01:51 AM   #21
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update: sorry about the crapy copy
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Old 06-03-05, 08:04 AM   #22
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Before you apply the label "Nazi" to any person you disagree with (a practice begun by Rush Limbaugh "the thinking man's thinker") read up on the REAL Nazi's. The Nazi's of the Hitler era murdered millions of children, and launched wars that resulted in the death of over 100 million children from violence, hunger and disease.

Comparing Hitler's Nazi's to people working to make bikes safer for children is outrageously insulting and astoundingly ignorant. Take a few hours to examine children's bikes at Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Many of those bikes will be purchased by adults who have no training and experience on safely assembling a bike. The US government has some (rather weak) regulations that are intended to "guarantee" that a bike leaves the store in a condition that is safe for children.

In the "real" world, the bikes sold at Wal-Mart for children include many that have brakes that do not work when the rims are wet, handlebars that bend under stress, "stylish" features that will impale a child's body during a "crash", and many other hazards to children's health.

Government agencies seeking to make bikes safer, especially bikes sold for use by small children, need the help of experienced cyclists. Those of us who ride every day can look at a bike, and see its weaknesses and its dangerous features more quickly than an engineer who never rides a bike. And, we know how kids ride bikes in the "real world, where "curbs" are not barriers, but are "ramps" where nine year old boys launch their bikes into the street.

The government should hire my nine year old nephew as a "safety consultant". His Giant Modem BMX bike has taken more abuse than any five of my road bikes combined. But, Giant is a responsible corporation. After all of the pounding that Modem has taken, its frame and wheels are as straight and true as on the day the bike left the store. And, my nephew has never had more than a few scrapes and bruises when he has crashed his bike. (Luckily, he loves wearing a helmet that covers his entire head).

A fifty dollar Wal-Mart bike? A Wal-Crap bike would have lasted maybe two days under the same riding conditions. And, when its handlebar broke, or the frame snapped, or the brakes failed, or a rim collapsed, my nephew would likely have been on his way to a hospital.

Two friends of mine are doctors who work in emergency rooms with injured children. When they see a young boy come in with a broken arm, or broken nose, or similar injuries, they know the cause: a Wal-Crap bike has failed again. Instead of attacking folks who are pushing for safer bikes for children, we ought to be encouraging them, and sharing with them our experience and expertise.
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Old 06-03-05, 02:37 PM   #23
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Sorry I wasn't PC enough for you when I composed the title...

If govenrment agencies were serious about bike safety, (1) they would have come up with a better lighting standard than the CPSC reflector standard, which isn't legal for night riding in any of the 50 states, as far as I am aware, and (2) none of the bikes you describe would ever be for sale in a WalMart in the first place. That's a lot different than banning certain styles of bikes simply because they are different from the 'standard' bike design (whatever that is...).
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Old 06-05-05, 05:05 AM   #24
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'
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Originally Posted by randya
Sorry I wasn't PC enough for you when I composed the title...

If govenrment agencies were serious about bike safety, (1) they would have come up with a better lighting standard than the CPSC reflector standard, which isn't legal for night riding in any of the 50 states, as far as I am aware, and (2) none of the bikes you describe would ever be for sale in a WalMart in the first place. That's a lot different than banning certain styles of bikes simply because they are different from the 'standard' bike design (whatever that is...).
Love the 'Drive with Hitler' poster,going to print that out for the notice board at work.
Here in NZ ,if you ride a bike after dark you have to have a red light at the back & a light at the front(not red), the law has just been revised to allow LED,s flashing or steady.Some of the bikes in question are being sold with a front brake ,if you take it off after purchase then its your decision but the shop has fullfilled it's obligation & sold a safe bike.
PS: not wearing a helmet is against the law here too :$40 fine
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Old 06-05-05, 11:36 AM   #25
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A little more freedom taken away.
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