BBC Breakfast: Should helmets for cyclists be made compulsory

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  • BBC Breakfast: Should helmets for cyclists be made compulsory
  • Premier Icon D0NK
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    and drivers staring at the speedo for fear of getting a ticket

    well the sheer quantity of smidsys show there’s plenty of drivers can’t actually see where they are going anyway so if they’re only doing 20 when they aren’t looking that’ll still be an improvement.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
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    andytherocketeer – Member

    and drivers staring at the speedo for fear of getting a ticket

    i’m not very good at driving, sticking to speed limits is not hard.

    Premier Icon D0NK
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    Merely an observation that interested me

    aye I was just joking, I own some more pads but very rarely use them, one rule I have tho if you take your pads in the car to the start of a ride don’t leave them there, make sure you put them on or sod’s law states you will crash.

    jamiea
    Member

    I for one am glad I always wear a helmet, being sideswiped passing a junction and landing head-first in the middle of the road could have resulted in far more than a broken leg. Funnily enough the father-in-law popped out and bought a helmet soon after the incident.

    What gets my goat is kids (see what I did there 😆 ) hanging them off the handlebars- even worse- parents putting lids on their little darlings and not bothering themselves, what message is that sending?!?

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
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    3 month ban for using a hand held mobile. 3 month ban for speeding.

    3 month ban for mobile phone driving without due care is easily punishable with a ban.
    Why does speeding on an empty motorway impact cyclists or others?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
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    one rule I have tho if you take your pads in the car to the start of a ride don’t leave them there, make sure you put them on or sods law states you will crash.

    I think I’ll adopt that rule 🙂

    Dickyboy
    Member

    even worse- parents putting lids on their little darlings and not bothering themselves, what message is that sending

    that people have choices in their lives & the risk assessment of adults pootling along with their kids is that the adults are much less likely to fall off & bump their heads whilst out riding bikes perhaps*

    * alternative conclusions are available

    Premier Icon miketually
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    What gets my goat is kids (see what I did there ) hanging them off the handlebars- even worse- parents putting lids on their little darlings and not bothering themselves, what message is that sending?!?

    The message that children are less steady on two wheels than adults? I made my kids wear nappies when small, but didn’t myself. I also don’t allow them to drink alcohol.

    Or are you worried that they’re sending the message that cycling is dangerous, when it really isn’t? Because that’s probably a valid worry.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    [quoteI think ratherbeintobago tried to make a bullet point list[/quote]

    Sorry 😳

    jamiea
    Member

    So they don’t want the little darlings to have a little bump to the head when going for a pottle on the footpath. Would they be happy for them to be knocked over and potentially suffer head injury as teenagers because they looked at mum and dad not wearing a lid so did the same?

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    even worse- parents putting lids on their little darlings and not bothering themselves, what message is that sending

    Tricky one that.

    Kids have much softer heads (skull not fused yet), and are way more likely to manage to hurt themselves while doing 5mph along a completely flat traffic-free path.

    But explaining that to a grumpy 3 year old is tricky.

    One of the main reasons I recently got a helmet, after not bothering with one for ages, was to avoid the “but you don’t wear one daddy” discussion. 😀

    jamiea
    Member

    cycling is dangerous, when it really isn’t

    see above. 99% of the time cycling is safe- it just takes one old duffer not looking for you to be spread on the tarmac and be on crutches for 5 months. I’m glad didn’t have to recover from major head trauma as well.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Would they be happy for them to be knocked over and potentially suffer head injury as teenagers because they looked at mum and dad not wearing a lid so did the same?

    Emotive as always. 😕

    Would you be happy for your teenagers to break their neck because you never wore a neck brace?

    Or not be seen by a car because you never wore a fluoro high-viz vest and helmet cover?

    Dunno about you, but when I was a teenager (about 25 years ago) no one wore helmets.

    to avoid the “but you don’t wear one daddy” discussion

    The same with lifejackets in boats, IMHO.

    I want Little Miss CFH to grow up thinking it’s just normal to wear a helmet on a bike or skis. Not to compel her to wear one, or to legislate for that, but more to just make it a perfectly normal thing to do.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    (previous page is fixed now by the way)

    Premier Icon ransos
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    So they don’t want the little darlings to have a little bump to the head when going for a pottle on the footpath.

    Very sensible. Little kids are prone to falling over, their skulls are soft, and they will be travelling at the sorts of speeds helmets are effective at. They’re also not old enough to make their own risk assessment.

    Would they be happy for them to be knocked over and potentially suffer head injury as teenagers because they looked at mum and dad not wearing a lid so did the same?

    And what if mum and dad aren’t wearing back protectors? What sort of example is that setting?

    mrmo
    Member

    see above. 99% of the time cycling is safe- it just takes one old duffer not looking for you to be spread on the tarmac and be on crutches for 5 months. I’m glad didn’t have to recover from major head trauma as well.

    problem is that you don’t know that the helmet did anything, you can guess it did but you don’t know. People have been falling out of trees for milenia and the human race is still around. Heads are stronger than you think.

    In your case, should the “old duffer” have been driving? what punishment did he receive, what re-education, retesting, etc etc. If you take the recent case where a driver killed a second cyclist, if he had been banned after the first death there would not have been a second death. How many drivers squeeze by at pedestrian refuges? What would make cycling safer banning drivers form attempting stupid manouvres or making them where a helmet?

    I, like most people, would rather not be hit in the first place than worry about whether i have a broken arm, jaw, skull etc, after being hit and whether i should have been wearing a neck brace, helmet, pressure suit, etc to reduce the injuries.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    see above. 99% of the time cycling is safe- it just takes one old duffer not looking for you to be spread on the tarmac and be on crutches for 5 months. I’m glad didn’t have to recover from major head trauma as well.

    Much like walking, then.

    jamiea
    Member

    Dunno about you, but when I was a teenager (about 25 years ago) no one wore helmets.

    I’m young enough to remember these being peddled at school!

    jamiea
    Member

    Much like walking, then.

    Not quite, no. You don’t tend to share the same space as traffic traveling upto 60/70mph.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon ransos
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    Not quite, no. You don’t tend to share the same space as traffic traveling upto 60/70mph.

    Because cars never mount the pavement? And pedestrians never cross the road?

    jamiea
    Member

    Instead of legislating for the compulsory wearing of helmets, I wonder if a more gentle tack would work- would supplying a helmet with every new bike, by law, encourage more people to use them?

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Dickyboy
    Member

    Would they be happy for them to be knocked over and potentially suffer head injury as teenagers because they looked at mum and dad not wearing a lid so did the same?

    I spent a lot of time & effort making sure that my kids were properly trained & they did a lot of cycling with me before I let them ride their bikes around on their own*, at no time did I insist that they wore helmets – my choice & no emotive judgement statements necessary thanks.

    * as all teenage boys they still did effing stupid stuff that could have killed or seriously wounded them

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I want Little Miss CFH to grow up thinking it’s just normal to wear a helmet on a bike or skis. Not to compel her to wear one, or to legislate for that, but more to just make it a perfectly normal thing to do.

    Good idea. That’s the approach we take.

    Most sports don’t have this kind of hangups about safety equippment. Only cycling and rock climbing seem to do it. Does anyone really complain about life jackets when doing water sports?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Not quite, no. You don’t tend to share the same space as traffic traveling upto 60/70mph.

    And yet the risk of death per mile is roughly the same for walking as it is for cycling.

    (With a large proportion of deaths caused by cars on the pavement!)

    creedy
    Member

    Not quite anicdotal, however im sure i read a report from NZ that said that there was no drop in the loss of life regards cycling with complusary helmets. However they could not say what % had been saved from brain damage as a result due to it being so hard to quantify.
    As previously pointed out generally if you get hit over a certain speed its gonna cause damage to all parts of the body.
    I personally have had an off on the road and my helmet saved me from a nasty head injury. Also had many off road spills where the helmet has taken the brunt.
    Off road i’m taking measures to protect myself from myself. On road i’m taking measures to protect me from others.
    My kids think its great wearing helmets as its part of the gear Daddy wears!
    I dont buy the making helmets complusary will reduce cycling numbers either.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    I want Little Miss CFH to grow up thinking it’s just normal to wear a helmet on a bike or skis.

    I think this is a good plan. If they’ve only ever worn a helmet then in theory they shouldn’t suffer from the same risk compensation that we do.

    (Of course they still face risk compensation by drivers etc but there isn’t much you can do about that)

    jamiea
    Member

    Because cars never mount the pavement? And pedestrians never cross the road?

    Of course cars mount the pavement sometimes near pedestrians, just very rarely. And of course you cross the road, but it’s not that same as riding for miles and miles in exactly the same space as as cars! The point is you’ve far more exposure to idiots in cars on a bike in the road than pedestrians.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    grum
    Member

    Most sports don’t have this kind of hangups about safety equippment. Only cycling and rock climbing seem to do it. Does anyone really complain about life jackets when doing water sports?

    We’re not really talking about ‘sports’ cycling in general though are we. We want cycling to be part of everyday life surely – occasional sports participation isn’t the same thing.

    I was watching one of those ‘fail’ compilations with some friends the other day – they showed various people doing all sorts of stupid stuff, but it was only when they were on bikes and not wearing helmets that they would get called ‘idiots’.

    Jumping off a building with no helmet = fine. Jumping off a building on a bike with no helmet = idiot.

    Makes no sense whatsoever but that’s how we’ve been conditioned to think.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
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    If they’ve only ever worn a helmet then in theory they shouldn’t suffer from the same risk compensation that we do.

    (Of course they still face risk compensation by drivers etc but there isn’t much you can do about that)
    2 good points, not all of us go in for risk compensation though. Just prefer to protect the brain if something bad happens.

    The other point which seems to be based on the fact that drivers aim for cyclists with helmets on despite not seeing cyclists most of the time.

    Dickyboy
    Member

    We’re not really talking about ‘sports’ cycling in general though are we. We want cycling to be part of everyday life – occasional sports participation isn’t the same thing.

    +1 exactly & I don’t want to have to put a helmet on & carry it round the shop when I cycle down to the local co op

    bencooper
    Member

    I wonder if a more gentle tack would work- would supplying a helmet with every new bike, by law, encourage more people to use them?

    Do the same with cars, and I’ll agree completely.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    Of course cars mount the pavement sometimes near pedestrians, just very rarely. And of course you cross the road, but it’s not that same as riding for miles and miles in exactly the same space as as cars! The point is you’ve far more exposure to idiots in cars on a bike in the road than pedestrians.

    The risk to pedestrians is about the same as the risk to cyclists. So yes, it is the same.

    mrmo
    Member

    Most sports don’t have this kind of hangups about safety equippment

    Is cycling a sport though?

    If your racing, training etc then i agree it is a sport, and as most governing bodies expect you to use helmets in competition it makes sense in training.

    But

    Is riding to the shops sport? If it is, then is walking a sport afterall there are walk races. Is driving a sport, look how much car racing appears on TV and those rally cars and touring cars look very much like the cars you and i drive everyday? So it must be a dangerous activity???

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    I dont buy the making helmets complusary will reduce cycling numbers either.

    Look at the experience in Australia:

    “I believe we’d be better off without it [compulsory helmet laws]”

    “I think we should trial repealing the legislation to see what happens if we don’t have to wear helmets all the time, and I don’t think you’ll get the massive increases in adverse events that people fear”

    “We saw a drop in ridership when the legislation was introduced of about 30 per cent and this actually makes it less safe for the rest of the cyclists, because there’s this safety in numbers phenomenon.”

    Associate Professor Dr Chris Rissel, School of Public Health at Sydney University

    Premier Icon ransos
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    We’re not really talking about ‘sports’ cycling in general though are we. We want cycling to be part of everyday life surely – occasional sports participation isn’t the same thing.

    Which is what they do in Denmark and Holland… cycling is just the default mode of transport.

    jamiea
    Member

    In your case, should the “old duffer” have been driving? what punishment did he receive

    £150 fine and 3 points IIRC and as an aside I only found out by reading the local paper, nothing from the police after I gave my statement!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Peyote
    Member

    (snip) not all of us go in for risk compensation though. Just prefer to protect the brain if something bad happens..

    Is that not the risk compensation that you don’t go in for?

    Is riding to the shops sport?

    I grew up taking a boat to the shops, instead of a car/bike/walk. I know that as a kid, I saw my parents not wearing lifejackets for that same journey, and just assumed that they were obviously something that onlychildren wore. Hence, when I got a little older, I wanted to not wear one when I was blatting the Dory across to the shops. Pretty much the same as Graham’s point earlier, “Why don’t you wear one, Daddy?”.

    Always worn one for sailing, though. Never any desire not to!

    jamiea
    Member

    The risk to pedestrians is about the same as the risk to cyclists.

    I wonder how many of those pedestrians are kids running out into traffic, rather than cycling safely on a cycle lane to and from school 😉

    Cheers,
    Jamie

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