Another cyclist thread

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Saturday 25 November 2017 9.35am
There are proposals to make it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets.
I know that they are not going to protect someone from injury in a heavy collision and as I understand it, they are designed for an impact at 12mph maximum. To my mind though, if it offers an extra 5% protection then it's worth it.
Cyclist groups are against it because they feel that it will deter people from using bikes, I find that unbelievable, surely it's safety first.

Not sure if it will mean the end of Boris/Ken's bikes though, which would be a shame but as someone that works on building sites and seeing how health and safety mad it's gone (bloke got a rollicking for walking up the stairs and not holding the hand rail the other day), I don't see why helmets aren't compulsory.

Ducks
Saturday 25 November 2017 10.38am
Funnily enough someone at work gave me a hand on the shoulder yesterday and a serious "Pete, wear a helmet on that bike mate".

I wear a helmet sometimes but am completely against compelling people to.
This article gives a good summary of the arguments on both sides: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/21/bike-helmet-cyclists-safe-urban-warfare-wheels.
The stuff about 'offsetting behaviour' I find particularly compelling, as i've found myself doing more stupid things when wearing a helmet because of the false sense of security it bestows. My daughter also made a statement about it being ok to be hit by a car because she's wearing a helmet, which alarmed me.

Hard hats on building sites aren't required directly by law, I don't think. It's company policies, based on the Health & Safety at Work Act. I also work in an industry that's gone a bit bonkers for 'personal protective equipment'. But the firm are responsible for their workers' safety so have to keep their arses covered. Out in the wild we're still (just about) trusted to be responsible for ourselves and should be able to make our own decisions.

The other point I'd make is, why single out cyclists? Joggers should wear helmets too. And car drivers. Head trauma is serious in any context and cyclists aren't uniquely vulnerable to it, so why only force them?
Saturday 25 November 2017 11.10am
Great article Pete, it had me toing and froing. Not as cut and dry as I first thought.
There are so many reasons to doubt the value of wearing helmets that the deterrent (to cycle)argument, I think, is the biggest red herring of all.
I do still think that the fact that the helmets can reduce head trauma by at least 50% (I think I read that right), is rather compelling. It's definitely true to say that motorists need to change some attitudes to cyclists, like wise, the "risk compensation" attitudes of some helmet wearing cyclists could also be dealt with.

Hmm, interesting.
Saturday 25 November 2017 12.25pm
"Hard hats on building sites aren't required directly by law, I don't think."

But you won't have a job if you don't wear one.

You might want to give up on this one. Drivers in the 1970's used to maon about the idea of seatbelts but how many drivers complain now? Interesting that the Guardian article quoted chose to use highly selected research/ data.
Saturday 25 November 2017 12.51pm
At one time even motorcycle helmets were not requred, but that changed too. I see no reason why cyclists should not be made to wear helmets. I also think that where cycle lanes are provided, it should be compulsory to use them rather than the main road, otherwise, what's the point?
Saturday 25 November 2017 2.00pm
and then there are countries with almost no helmet use, and huge levels of use of bicycles by people as normal transport, as shown here here.
Saturday 25 November 2017 9.45pm
I was living in Italy when helmets were made compulsory for motorcyclists back in 1987.

No one liked having to be made to wear one, particularly women, since it ruined their hairdo (back then, big hair was in vogue, and a helmet totally flattened it).



As a compromise, mopeds (bikes with an engine capacity of 50cc or less) were exempt from this requirement mainly because most women used these machines instead of larger bikes (something to do with not needing a big machine to define their sexual prowess in the way many men do).

All of the arguments against having to wear a lid that I have read here, were also presented back then.

The main one was the 'false sense of security' that would somehow make bikers take more risks on the road.

The way I see it, in London there is a 30 or 20 mph speed limit, this is a velocity that pedal cyclists can easily achieve and even surpass, so it does seem unfair that motorcyclists travelling at this speed must wear a helmet, but cyclists do not.

If the current standard for pedal cycle helmets is not good enough, then it should be required that street legal motorcycle helmets be worn instead.
Saturday 25 November 2017 10.16pm
Working over Broadgate near construction being carried there was large sign on various parts of hoarding...No Hats...No Boots...No Job...Boris is right.
Saturday 25 November 2017 11.33pm
Jules, I am convinced that the current fashion among men of bald or cropped hair is a direct result of having to wear hard hats.

Plays havoc with my comb over.
Sunday 26 November 2017 10.13am
boris wrote:
"Hard hats on building sites aren't required directly by law, I don't think."
But you won't have a job if you don't wear one.

Depends where you work, what you're doing and who you work for. I was working on a CDM site last week and did not wear a hard hat.

boris wrote:
You might want to give up on this one. Drivers in the 1970's used to maon about the idea of seatbelts but how many drivers complain now? Interesting that the Guardian article quoted chose to use highly selected research/ data.

It's a Guardian article, they don't specialise in unbiased reporting.
For whatever reason, and rightly or wrongly, there's never been much political appetite to regulate bicycle use. I doubt that is about to change, so do not expect helmets to be made compulsory.

For all the parallels with motorbikes and car seatbelts, push bikes are just not controlled in the same way. I may be wrong but can't see it changing.
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