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Bike helmet laws

September 24th, 2012

This article by fellow-MAMIL Michael O’Reilly makes an argument I’d been meaning to post. Whatever the merits of bike helmet laws in general, the costs clearly outweigh them in relation to bike-share schemes like CityCycle in Brisbane.

We clearly need a category of exemptions that lets people hire a slow bike for touring around our cities. Having done that, I’d extend it to anyone willing to take the trouble to apply for exemption, while maintaining the helmet rule as the default. I certainly wouldn’t seek an exemption – I like my head the way it is – but I can imagine there are people who would make the choice, and it’s not so obvious that their judgement should be over-ridden.

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  1. BilB
    September 29th, 2012 at 13:45 | #1

    For goodness sake Hal 9000

    “Rear vision mirrors in cars do not prevent rear-end collisions.”

    Please turn the ego off and the brain on.

    Every lane changing situation is a rear end collision potential situation, and we all use the mirrors to avoid these many times per journey. Not only that we use our mirrors subconsciously via our periferal vision, similarly to how aour hearing alerts us to screech of brakes from the vehicle that we did not notice.

    Here is a little vision awareness test that everyone should do periodically to test there situation retention time.

    Next time you are walking along the footpath take a good look ahead to map the obstacles, then shut your eyes and keep walking with eyes shut at the same speed. See how many paces you travel before your brain pushes the caution button and either sortens your paces or reduces your cadence, or before you discover that you have veered off course and walk into a wall of parked car. Now when a person is sitting in a car this automatic caution device is disabled and yet they have an ever growing set of distraction in their cockpit as the car speeds along managed by their cruise control.

    But you are arguing that these people will never hit you as you share the road with them, of if they do there was nothing you could do to prevent it, and further you think that a helmet will protect you from injury?????

    Crap IMO.

  2. BilB
    October 1st, 2012 at 22:56 | #2

    Here is a helmet that makes a little more sense

    http://www.gizmag.com/torch-t1-bicycle-helmet-pre-order/24178/

  3. Hal9000
    October 4th, 2012 at 15:15 | #3

    @BilB
    For goodness sake, as you say BilB, pull your head in. Your ‘little vision awareness test’ is about what is in front of you. Re-reading my contributions, I can’t find any recommending restricting cyclists’ forward vision.

    A cyclist riding along a road is restricted to the left side of the left lane. That’s it. Further left and you hit the kerb and/or a parked vehicle or poles. So, equipped with a rear vision mirror, you see a car approaching from behind. Cars approach from behind all the time. Potentially, one might hit you, but that hasn’t happened to me in 40 years of riding, so it’s unlikely. But if one of the hundreds of cars approaching from behind and passing was to swerve to hit you, what on earth can you do about it? There is, as I have said, nowhere to go.

    I have also been equivocal about helmets. Wearing one saved my life, once. I wouldn’t be without one, but I concede that others might not share this view, and I also believe it’s safer for everyone for there to be as many cyclists as possible.

    Your general line appears to be that allowance should be made for car drivers to drive negligently and aggressively, and that restrictions should instead be placed on cyclists, lest car drivers suffer remorse from killing and maiming. And if a cyclist should dare to exercise her rightsd to use a public road, then they are just begging to be killed or maimed by a negilgent or aggressive driver. I call, to use your word, crap on that.

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