Helmets - Brussels adds to the debate



J

JNugent

Guest
_ wrote:
> On Fri, 08 Feb 2008 22:36:05 +0000, JNugent wrote:
>
>> Simon Brooke wrote:
>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>
>>>> Shane Badham wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Andrew Price <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>>>> In a "Green Paper" published by the European Commission entitled
>>>>>> "Towards a new culture for urban mobility":
>>>>>> <http://ec.europa.eu/transport/clean/green_paper_urban_transport
>>>>>> /doc/2007_09_25_gp_urban_mobility_en.pdf>
>>>>>> one can read on page 18:
>>>>>> "Stakeholders have also suggested encouraging safe behaviour among
>>>>>> cyclists, for example by promoting the use of bicycle helmets across
>>>>>> Europe
>>>>>> or by encouraging research on more ergonomic design of
>>>>>> helmets."
>>>>> Now that bit I like! I have thought for some time the design of cycle
>>>>> helmets is flawed. They are designed specifically for going a over t
>>>>> over the handle-bars, no thought for side swipes, or being dragged down
>>>>> sideways by a vehicle passing too close to you!
>>>> Would it be feasible to wear a motor-cycle helmet whilst cycling? I note
>>>> that some workers wear them (or something closely resembling them)
>>>> whilst carrying what I assume are relatively large amounts of cash.
>>>> Would such a proper crash helmet give the better protection you would
>>>> prefer?
>>> When cycling fast you're radiating very considerable amounts of heat through
>>> your scalp. If the temperature of your brain increases by only a very small
>>> amount, you die.
>>>
>>> The answer, in simple terms, is 'don't be silly'.

>> That's a good answer - the best I've seen on the topic of crash helmets.
>>
>> There must be some sort of acceptable trade-off, though?

>
> Certainly there is.
>
> No helmet at all (which has no effect on the risk of head injury) is a
> perfectly acceptable trade-off.


If that's your view of an acceptable trade-off, then that's fine (whilst
helmets are not compulsory).

But recall: there was a time when you could ride a motorbike without a
helmet. There was a time when you didn't have to use seat-belts even if
they were fitted. Nothing stays the same for ever.
 
J

JNugent

Guest
Ekul Namsob wrote:
> JNugent <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> Ekul Namsob wrote:
>>
>>> JNugent <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>>>> Whatever they did, never fear, they did it off the highway.
>>> That's exactly where I'm suggesting that children play.

>> Where? On the highway, or off the highway?

>
> Off the highway.
>>>>> Where would you allow children to ride bicycles (for recreational or
>>>>> other purposes)? And how would you expect them to learn to ride
>>>>> bicycles? Please be practical in your reply.
>>>> You might as well ask where they can drive go-karts or fly hang-gliders,
>>>> because the answer is, I suggest, much the same in practical terms:
>>>> wherever it is safe and practical (for them and for others). There is
>>>> certainly no obligation (either in person or collectively) for citizens
>>>> to cater for just any old thing that anyone might wish to do.
>>> Playing on a residential street is far from being unsafe and
>>> impractical.

>> True. I remember it well.
>>
>>>> For some children, in certain family and economic circumstances, in some
>>>> locations, for any or all of those pastimes, the answer may well be (in
>>>> effect) "nowhere that happens to be practical or affordable". That's
>>>> life. We are all subject to constraints.
>>> It is, therefore, a relief to me that no policeman has ever chosen to
>>> prevent the children down my street from playing on the footway.

>> Why would he?

>
> Because they frequently ride bicycles on it.
>>>> BTW: What does "Pleease be practical in your reply" mean? I suspect it
>>>> means that you think that all your implicit assumptions, expectations
>>>> and desires should be treated as "givens" and that the answer should
>>>> therefore cater for them, no matter what other factors may exist.
>>> I mean that I expect an answer that does not assume that children can
>>> only play at a park, for example.

>> As long as the playing does not involve something illegal and/or
>> dangerous, such as discharging airguns, shooting arrows or crossbolts or
>> riding a bicycle along the footway, I agree. When I was a child, there
>> were lots of places in inner Liverpool for us to play: the street, waste
>> ground (of which there was then a lot), playgrounds, public parks, etc.

>
> How much of that do you think is regularly accessible to four and five
> year old children?


All of it was to me (but is a ver, ver, long time ago and I was ver,
ver, drunk).

> When I was a child, we played in the road.


Times change, and the road was never there primarily for that purpose in
the first place. I'm also dredging my memory for the last time I saw a
"Play Street" sign. I suppose the modern way round that is to block
streets and design new ones only as cul-de-sacs.
 
J

JNugent

Guest
John Clayton wrote:

> "JNugent" <[email protected]> wrote:


>> Absolutely.
>> It's about time it was an offence to drive a car, bus or lorry through a
>> red traffic light, along the footway, through a pedestrianised area,
>> across a pedestrian crossing without giving way to pedestrians, the wrong
>> way along a one-way street or without the lights required by law

> (whether the vehicle is being used at night or not).


> Should you be on here?
> You seem to be fairly anti-cyclist and provocative.


I am very much in favour of cycling. I have never said a word against it.

> Or do you simply "enjoy" getting in the way of a sensible discussion?


Questioning the illegal actions of some (OK, in sopme places, most)
cyclists is "getting in the way of a sensible discussion", is it?
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
JNugent wrote:

> _ wrote:
>> On Fri, 08 Feb 2008 22:36:05 +0000, JNugent wrote:
>>
>>> Simon Brooke wrote:
>>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Would it be feasible to wear a motor-cycle helmet whilst cycling? I
>>>>> note that some workers wear them (or something closely resembling
>>>>> them) whilst carrying what I assume are relatively large amounts of
>>>>> cash. Would such a proper crash helmet give the better protection you
>>>>> would prefer?
>>>> When cycling fast you're radiating very considerable amounts of heat
>>>> through your scalp. If the temperature of your brain increases by only
>>>> a very small amount, you die.
>>>>
>>>> The answer, in simple terms, is 'don't be silly'.
>>> That's a good answer - the best I've seen on the topic of crash helmets.
>>>
>>> There must be some sort of acceptable trade-off, though?

>>
>> Certainly there is.
>>
>> No helmet at all (which has no effect on the risk of head injury) is a
>> perfectly acceptable trade-off.

>
> If that's your view of an acceptable trade-off, then that's fine (whilst
> helmets are not compulsory).
>
> But recall: there was a time when you could ride a motorbike without a
> helmet. There was a time when you didn't have to use seat-belts even if
> they were fitted. Nothing stays the same for ever.


People wear seatbelts and helmets because the powers that be believe that
doing so will increase the safety or users. In the case of car seatbelts
and motorcycle helmets, both do increase the user's safety (but not the
safety of the road-using population as a whole). Bicycle helmets, however,
in an on-road context, do not increase anyone's safety.

There's no reason why people should be prevented from wearing lucky rabbits
feet and St Christopher medals if they want to, and similarly no reason
that they should be prevented from wearing bicycle helmets. But to
legislate to make any of St Christopher medals, lucky rabbits feet of cycle
helmets mandatory would be just foolishness and superstition.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
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B

burtthebike

Guest
"JNugent" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>_ wrote:
>> On Fri, 08 Feb 2008 22:36:05 +0000, JNugent wrote:
>>
>>> There must be some sort of acceptable trade-off, though?

>>
>> Certainly there is.
>>
>> No helmet at all (which has no effect on the risk of head injury) is a
>> perfectly acceptable trade-off.

>
> If that's your view of an acceptable trade-off, then that's fine (whilst
> helmets are not compulsory).
>
> But recall: there was a time when you could ride a motorbike without a
> helmet. There was a time when you didn't have to use seat-belts even if
> they were fitted. Nothing stays the same for ever.


You're absolutely right, there was a time when you could ride a motorcycle
without a helmet and drive a car without wearing a seatbelt, but
unfortunately, neither of the laws imposing such measures has improved road
safety. The story of both is depressingly familiar to those of us opposed
to a cycle helmet law: fantastic (literally fantastic) claims of efficacy,
speechs in parliament, lots of "road safety" organisations supporting, and
lots not forget the medical "profession", lots of advertising and
eventually a law. In neither case was the case made scientifically (just
like cycle helmets) only emotionally, and all the figures used were bogus
(just like cycle helmets). The only result of these laws was to marginalise
the most vulnerable, cyclists and pedestrians, and to increase their risk,
whilst reducing it for motorcyclists and drivers.

Some may call this civilisation, but I beg to differ.

BTW, one thing stays the same: change.