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Federal Panel Seeks Mandatory Helmet Laws

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Federal Panel Seeks Mandatory Helmet Laws

Old 11-08-19, 02:45 PM
  #51  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Be that as it may, the measure was basically an ambush in the meeting. Brought up by surprise, against the staff recommendations.

Objectively superficial because it looked at only one data point, flawed because it generalized from the one data point without consideration of the actual, documented effects of similar measures (the same mistake someone else just made in this thread).
Or, you know, the blog might just have totally mischaracterized the staff recommendations (the same "mistake" somebody else just documented in this thread).

If the case against legislative mandate is so strong, make it. The attack on the commissioners themselves is just stupid and beside the point. If you actually look at the recommendations as a whole, treating them this badly because you disagree with this one aspect is a pretty stupid thing to do politically as well as rhetorically.

Seriously, do people think they were bought off by Bell or something?
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Old 11-08-19, 02:57 PM
  #52  
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So just to be clear, people are slagging the members of a board who just recommended road diets, increased separated infrastructure for bikes, road redesign for multiple bicycle safety issues, redesigns of cars to improve safety for cyclists, and better testing regimes for bike lights because they're too focused on modifying the behaviors of cyclists?!

Great way to win friends and influence people.
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Old 11-08-19, 04:27 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Or, you know, the blog might just have totally mischaracterized the staff recommendations (the same "mistake" somebody else just documented in this thread).

If the case against legislative mandate is so strong, make it. The attack on the commissioners themselves is just stupid and beside the point. If you actually look at the recommendations as a whole, treating them this badly because you disagree with this one aspect is a pretty stupid thing to do politically as well as rhetorically.

Seriously, do people think they were bought off by Bell or something?
No I don't - and haven't - made any representations about their motivations. The commissioner who brought it up is reportedly an avid cyclist, who may passionately believe that everyone would be better off wearing a helmet. I only point out that the commission ignored their own agency's previous conclusions on this, substituting a "common sense" position based on faulty reasoning from a single data point. Which isn't that uncommon with the helmet issue. Just look at how often it happens here, and even in this thread!
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Old 11-08-19, 07:35 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I only point out that the commission ignored their own agency's previous conclusions on this, substituting a "common sense" position based on faulty reasoning from a single data point.
In other words:

"There was no quid pro quo! Read the transcript."

"There was no quid pro quo! Perfect phone call."

"There was no quid pro quo! WITCH HUNT!"

In fact:


Originally Posted by Ivan Cheung
I definitely think that, and I think the team definitely think that, bicycle helmet is extremely important and I think we laid out a pretty good case that the efficacy of helmet in protecting your heads is extremely high.

The difference between The Netherlands and the United States I think is the stage of where were are in terms of our infrastructure and also in terms of our bicycle and driver culture is significantly different.

So I think until the time that the United States bicycle infrastructure get to a point that it is considerably safer to navigate around the city or suburban area, I think we can not forget the importance of helmet use for all ages and all bicylists.
Speeling and transcription readout errors mine.

Everlasting gobstopper thread?

Chances that someone has read the report, read the slides, and listened to the presentation?

(That's rhetorical.)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 11-08-19 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 11-08-19, 08:54 PM
  #55  
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I always ride with a helmet, and since I think they do offer protection to a cyclists' head in the event of a crash, I think every cyclist should wear one.

However, the libertarian part of me absolutely hates the idea of laws mandating helmet use. People should be free to make their own (informed) decisions, and I hate this idea of the government constantly trying to save people from themselves. The only thing this law is going to do is make a bunch of legislators think they've done something good for people.
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Old 11-08-19, 10:15 PM
  #56  
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My helmet is for my headlamp and tail light. And when I get one, I'll be mounting a camera on it too.

And BTW, it did protect my head a few times. A few times I bumped my helmet against 1) a top bar of a fence when I was riding through the opening of a bike trail and 2) an edge of a no parking sign when I was locking my bike against the post.

So it did prevent some cuts and bumps.
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Old 11-09-19, 01:45 PM
  #57  
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Absolutely, MHL laws are MORONIC. Half the states don't even have MC laws for adults now. I went for a 2 month drive this year thru 8 provinces and 20 states. There were many bare heads alright. My new Volvo car has automatic collision avoidance and I seldom wore a seat belt anyway, so I didn't in 19 states and 4 provinces. LOL
WA state IS making a concerted effort to shove bikes off any divided highway. Bastards. Rural Ontario is the WORST place to ride a bike, by FAR. They are purposely putting gravel shoulders for a few miles at entrance points to make SURE cyclists know they are unwanted.

I never have and never will wear a helmet. Including my tours to Vietnam, China, AB, BC, WA, OR, ID and a bunch of city rides over the years. U suck Seattle. I have yet to hit my head in over a dozen tipover/ wipeouts on streets/ sidewalks. My heavyweight bike has had 2 slow broadside hits that didn't even knock me over. LOL

I don't doubt I'm of .5% helmetless on tour and 15 to 20% in cities.
I would say that helmet laws absolutely DO dampen bike use, especially in the Walmart crowd which IS the most common of bikes.
Half the most strident proponents of helmets NEVER ride a bike. Most of the rest are the clown peers at bike clubs pushing cycling is UNsafe and motorists are the WORST people on Earth. Total crock of malarky IMO.

Groupo CF rides OTOH ARE somewhat dangerous. The Natchez Trace is now signed compulsory SINGLE FILE btw.
I absolutely believe the safety in overall numbers theory.
3 foot laws are also making a positive difference, but overly cautious isn't always better either. From what I have seen, 99% of vehicles will give you all the extra space there is at the time.
No RT on red light now in too many places is absolutely STUPID and make it FAR LESS safe, IMO. Causing congestion for nothing. Same thing with newthink from Lefties >>> make lanes/ roads narrow and unsafe to slow cars down. STUPID idea.
Helmet headlights are also a POOR thought out idea, blinding or confusing others. IMO
PS>> I DO actually think that wearing a helmet can directly or indirectly make you a bit MORE likely to have an accident.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 11-09-19 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 11-09-19, 07:01 PM
  #58  
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I'll cast my vote firmly in the camp of individual helmet use is fine but oppose mandatory helmet laws (MHL).

MHL laws have several common uses:
  1. Motorist liability protection (most frequent). Any bicyclist without a helmet must be reckless, so motorists shouldn't be held liable if they injure them (head or other injury) or damage their bicycles
  2. Reasons for police to cite otherwise legal bicyclists. Seems to be most popular in Australia for cyclists in general; also used in the US for any bicyclists riding where they shouldn't: i.e. on public roads, with bonus points for bicyclists riding in minority neighborhoods (or wealthy areas)
  3. Generates revenue for helmet manufacturers, especially when they recommend replacing helmets that won't biodegrade or decay in landfills with new helmets.
I just don't see any of these as helpful to bicyclists; Item (2) is especially helpful in removing bicyclists from roads where motorists don't want them. (I'll also admit I think the whole "numbers drive safety" argument is reversing cause and effect. If cyclists's rights are respected by police and drivers, people will ride in the Netherlands or Japan. Conversely, requiring the use of poorly designed infrastructure won't increase safety or increase numbers.)

If the NTSA or other bodies were (a) interested in bicyclist safety or (b) thoughts helmets were useful

(a) They'd insist on traffic signals that respond to bicycles (getting better) or even penalizing sober motorists that hit bicyclists riding legally (getting worse) before recommending states require helmets
(b) Motorists suffer far more head injuries than bicyclists - from a public health perspective, it would be far more effective to require helmets for automobile drivers, not just motorcyclists.

I'm not convinced they'll take this seriously enough to withhold significant funds from states that don't impose MHL, but I can't see any states requiring MHL if the federal government does push for them.
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Old 11-09-19, 08:58 PM
  #59  
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The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/09/u...y-helmets.html covers the story, with opinions from both sides.

Last edited by Arthur Peabody; 11-09-19 at 09:01 PM. Reason: correct an error
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Old 11-11-19, 12:15 PM
  #60  
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Amen brother. Raleigh, NC has a couple of bike share options around town which are fairly popular and those using them seldom wear helmets.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:31 PM
  #61  
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To Many automobile drivers speeding.

Drivers today are exceeding the speed limits and displaying unsafe acts that is a threat to bikers.
I stopped riding my bike several years ago because of careless drivers.
Some drivers so close to you that their side mirrors brushed your shoulder, cutting in front of you and blowing their horns when they are next to you.
Then there are the hit and run drivers so what good is a helmet if your rear ended at 70 miles an hour?
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Old 11-11-19, 03:29 PM
  #62  
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I wear a helmet mostly because I can't get far from the front door without being assaulted by the helmet police. Re-hashing what's on this thread ten times a ride with angry self-righteous riders just ruins any ride. So I wear the helmet.

But it would be better if I could buy a helmet that fits. Or, rather, if I could get a helmet that fits under $200. If the straps need to be let out so far that the buckle slides off the end of strap on a regular basis the helmet is just too small.

It would be better if a simple all white helmet could be had under $200. Not all of us want screaming graphics on our heads.

Better still if the helmet was plausibly protection rather than a gesture. Wearing a beer cooler on my head does not impart confidence. My first non-hairnet helmet was a Monark, made in Los Angeles, and it was made of fiberglass. Also had a non-joke liner. And straps that were easy to clean and comfortable. And wearing that crash hat did not once get salt in my eyes. And I could wear a hat under it. Today if I want to go for a ride in the cold only the thinnest skull cap fits under the helmet and the straps dig into my throat.

That Monark was purchased in 1985. Nothing as good can be had today at any price. If you are going to force me to wear the helmet, and I do wear the helmet, could you at least make something half decent available?
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Old 11-11-19, 04:22 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
While I dont turn a wheel even on my trike with out my helmet, I totally dislike government dictating to people what to do.

Besides people that dont wear helmets make great organ donors.
My sentiments as well.
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Old 11-11-19, 06:05 PM
  #64  
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I'll admit to not reading the entire thread. Helmet-free riders are about 50% of the total here, and I live next to a recreational trail.

In any case, if mandatory helmet use comes here, I'll have a couple of nice bikes for sale cheap.
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Old 11-11-19, 07:41 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by foothillbilly View Post
I'll admit to not reading the entire thread. Helmet-free riders are about 50% of the total here, and I live next to a recreational trail.

In any case, if mandatory helmet use comes here, I'll have a couple of nice bikes for sale cheap.
Not sure what the single-bicycle collision rate is but single-car collisions are quite common.

All the stats related to bicycle head injuries are related to collisions with motor vehicles.

So these helmet laws are brought in because it's easier to put a helmet on somebody's head than getting every body to drive properly. Politics.
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Old 11-11-19, 10:23 PM
  #66  
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It's not likely any states will act based on this recommendation, so I wouldn't worry about it much.
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Old 11-12-19, 12:29 AM
  #67  
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I would add that if such laws are to be successful, bicycle helmets c/w detector beacon and hi-rez video camera to be free of charge from every auto dealership.
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Old 11-12-19, 01:35 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
I wear a helmet mostly because I can't get far from the front door without being assaulted by the helmet police. Re-hashing what's on this thread ten times a ride with angry self-righteous riders just ruins any ride. So I wear the helmet.

But it would be better if I could buy a helmet that fits. Or, rather, if I could get a helmet that fits under $200. If the straps need to be let out so far that the buckle slides off the end of strap on a regular basis the helmet is just too small.

It would be better if a simple all white helmet could be had under $200. Not all of us want screaming graphics on our heads.

Better still if the helmet was plausibly protection rather than a gesture. Wearing a beer cooler on my head does not impart confidence. My first non-hairnet helmet was a Monark, made in Los Angeles, and it was made of fiberglass. Also had a non-joke liner. And straps that were easy to clean and comfortable. And wearing that crash hat did not once get salt in my eyes. And I could wear a hat under it. Today if I want to go for a ride in the cold only the thinnest skull cap fits under the helmet and the straps dig into my throat.

That Monark was purchased in 1985. Nothing as good can be had today at any price. If you are going to force me to wear the helmet, and I do wear the helmet, could you at least make something half decent available?
I've read but forget where, that bicycle helmet standards are LOWER now than they were in the 1980s. What really surprised me is just how low bicycle helmet standards actually are. The bicycle helmet industry is far more concerned with sales that it is with actual bicyclists' head protection.

Cheers
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Old 11-12-19, 05:23 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I've read but forget where, that bicycle helmet standards are LOWER now than they were in the 1980s. What really surprised me is just how low bicycle helmet standards actually are. The bicycle helmet industry is far more concerned with sales that it is with actual bicyclists' head protection.

Cheers
Sorry, but that's completely backwards. The standards in the 1980s were very weak, and were replaced by the CPSC standards in the 1990s. Don't know what you read, but don't trust it if it claims nonsense like that. The Snell standards are voluntary, and a little more stringent than the CPSC standards.
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Old 11-12-19, 05:32 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
I wear a helmet mostly because I can't get far from the front door without being assaulted by the helmet police. Re-hashing what's on this thread ten times a ride with angry self-righteous riders just ruins any ride. So I wear the helmet.

But it would be better if I could buy a helmet that fits. Or, rather, if I could get a helmet that fits under $200. If the straps need to be let out so far that the buckle slides off the end of strap on a regular basis the helmet is just too small.

It would be better if a simple all white helmet could be had under $200. Not all of us want screaming graphics on our heads.

Better still if the helmet was plausibly protection rather than a gesture. Wearing a beer cooler on my head does not impart confidence. My first non-hairnet helmet was a Monark, made in Los Angeles, and it was made of fiberglass. Also had a non-joke liner. And straps that were easy to clean and comfortable. And wearing that crash hat did not once get salt in my eyes. And I could wear a hat under it. Today if I want to go for a ride in the cold only the thinnest skull cap fits under the helmet and the straps dig into my throat.

That Monark was purchased in 1985. Nothing as good can be had today at any price. If you are going to force me to wear the helmet, and I do wear the helmet, could you at least make something half decent available?
You want a hard lined helmet?! Are you kidding? The helmet has to dissipate the energy away from your head, foam does that better than denser materials.

Do a bit more shopping. My son has similar sizing problems to what you are describing, and I was able to find him a MIPs helmet for $60, and it was sans any annoying graphic design.
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Old 11-12-19, 07:29 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Arthur Peabody View Post
The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/09/u...y-helmets.html covers the story, with opinions from both sides.
Still just another anti-cycling piece from the NYT.

Originally Posted by AngeloDolce View Post
I'll cast my vote firmly in the camp of individual helmet use is fine but oppose mandatory helmet laws (MHL).
I'm still not decided on individual use. If you can't ride a bike without hurting your head, are you really ready to be among other cyclists and pedestrians without endangering them?

(I'll also admit I think the whole "numbers drive safety" argument is reversing cause and effect. If cyclists's rights are respected by police and drivers, people will ride in the Netherlands or Japan. Conversely, requiring the use of poorly designed infrastructure won't increase safety or increase numbers.)
I don't agree. It's much more easy as a driver to get surprised by a cyclist in countries with much less cycling than the Netherlands, despite them acting less surprising usually. If there are cyclists all the time it's much harder to overlook one than when it's all cars all the time.

Anyway, all this helmet promotion is just what a car manufacturer would do and some of them even do: You don't belong on the road unless you have passive safety because you will get run over. Not the passive safety of crumple zones and half a dozen airbags of coruse, but hey, it's your decision not to buy our car. It's quite embarassing cyclists go along with that and even actively spread that message.
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Old 11-12-19, 08:46 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You want a hard lined helmet?! Are you kidding? The helmet has to dissipate the energy away from your head, foam does that better than denser materials.

Do a bit more shopping. My son has similar sizing problems to what you are describing, and I was able to find him a MIPs helmet for $60, and it was sans any annoying graphic design.

Been buying helmets a long time now. First twenty years it was no problem getting a good fit. I do have a big head, it is not outside the normal size distribution. They ain't making 'em except for lowest common denominator. Or at high price.

Yes, I should shop. Nearby there are several LBS that even support inventory. I walk in, sales clerk does a wallet biopsy, they show me helmets at $200 and $300. If I won't pay that I can leave. If you want to sell me a $200 helmet you better have a good helmet and good service. Not on offer.

The next shopping alternative would be to go to mass marketers online with free return policy. Order twenty helmets and send back 19. Or 20. Am just not going to support that business model, burn all that plastic and cardboard and diesel, support horrid jobs in distribution centers and delivery trucks.

So I visit LBS where I have a forty and fifty year relationship with the proprietor and/or his father. People who know the business. They know what I want and they don't have it, can't get it. They tell me that story, I believe them. I buy second best and get a good price. One of the LBS I know in that way has high rent and high rent customers. He doesn't even bother with helmets below $100. He does have a bin of free helmets for those who wander in, need a helmet, weren't quite clear this was not a shop for them. I could use the free bin but I'd rather pay.

There's really no difference between the free bin helmets and the $200 helmets. It's packaging material. What's inside the box is no different than the box itself. They sell fear and they market pure marketing. Head protection you can't buy.

If soft helmets meant the structure of the helmet was absorbing energy that would be wholly a good thing. That doesn't happen. Bicycle helmets hit pavement and they shatter. They just come apart. Yes, I would rather have an outer shell that survived a crash. Helmet standards are very low because they don't need to be better to sell product. Keep selling fear and no need to sell head protection.
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Old 11-12-19, 08:52 AM
  #73  
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Oooo Goody! Another law on top of millions.

And, another opportunity to pad a cop's pension via ticketing and to raise dough for State coffers. Who knows, that cop might find something else on you too to put you away in a nice private, for-profit prison. Sharpen your pitchforks instead.
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Old 11-12-19, 10:02 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post

If soft helmets meant the structure of the helmet was absorbing energy that would be wholly a good thing. That doesn't happen. Bicycle helmets hit pavement and they shatter. They just come apart. Yes, I would rather have an outer shell that survived a crash. Helmet standards are very low because they don't need to be better to sell product. Keep selling fear and no need to sell head protection.
My adult son has a big head and bushy hair, so I'm really familiar with the sizing problem and it's a real one. I don't remember what we bought him, but I just asked him to see if he can give me the manufacturer and model. If he sends that to me, I'll post it so you can check it out.

As far as the shattering thing goes, yes, they shatter because they are dissipating the energy away from your head, just as the crumple zones in the car are dissipating the energy away from the passenger compartment. Bike helmets aren't designed to maximize their survival probabilities during a crash, they're designed to be sacrificed in order to increase the rider's chance of survival. Even if they appear intact after taking a blow, you should discard them as there may be microfractures that render them less effective.

I'm not in favor of their mandatory use, but let's stop telling lies, intentional or otherwise, about their effectiveness.

Oh, and one more thing--I agree totally that the cost is not correlated well with the effectiveness--the VA Tech safety rankings are instructive in that regard--note that one of the safest helmets is the $18 Schwinn Intercept:

https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicyc...t-ratings.html

Also note they recommend any four or five star helmet, so that's a lot to choose from.

I don't have a big head, so I have actually bought some pretty good helmets from Walmart. Trying to find one there for my son was a fool's errand, however, as their size range is especially limited.

Last edited by livedarklions; 11-12-19 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 11-12-19, 02:50 PM
  #75  
63rickert
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

As far as the shattering thing goes, yes, they shatter because they are dissipating the energy away from your head, just as the crumple zones in the car are dissipating the energy away from the passenger compartment. Bike helmets aren't designed to maximize their survival probabilities during a crash, they're designed to be sacrificed in order to increase the rider's chance of survival. Even if they appear intact after taking a blow, you should discard them as there may be microfractures that render them less effective.
Well, it seems we agree about at least a couple of things. Wonders shall never cease. If you would be so good as to refer me to the model of your son's helmet that would be appreciated. Sincerely.

Shattering is not a good way to dissipate energy. It has to dissipate some energy, probably not much, and then the helmet is done. No way to know if the lost energy was in a plane or a vector where it would have made any difference. Or to quantify it. Take an already failed helmet, or just a worn out helmet ready for disposal and give it a whap with a mallet. A whap that wouldn't kill you. Doesn't take much at all to split a helmet. Yes, any helmet is better than no helmet. This does not mean they do much. Does not mean there is any significant money spent on research or product development. If anyone in the business had any sort of evidence at all they'd made progress toward safer helmets they would be drawing your attention to it. And selling helmets. Instead what you see is gutter level marketing and endless bovine excrement.

Do you remember when spine protectors came out for motorcycles? Promptly there were racers getting up and walking away from 150mph crashes. No one denies any longer that safety gear works for motos. Simple low speed pratfalls still cause bad concussions for cyclists. The endlessly repeated non-sequitur "that helmet saved my life!!!" just demonstrates that no one has anything better than an assertion.

The motorcycles demonstrate something else too. No one is going to walk away from a 150mph fall if they just go splat. Letting go and seeing where the crash takes you means that motorcyclist is dead. The guys who walk away are working that fall, working to survive. Bike riders can do the same. Simply putting faith in protective gear is wrong. It's one step. On bikes probably the least important step. Wearing a helmet may do some good. Putting faith in a helmet will get you hurt.
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