BBC Breakfast: Should helmets for cyclists be made compulsory

Home Forum Bike Forum BBC Breakfast: Should helmets for cyclists be made compulsory

Viewing 40 posts - 161 through 200 (of 226 total)
  • BBC Breakfast: Should helmets for cyclists be made compulsory
  • Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    that you broke your collarbone and the marks on your helmet actually suggest your shoulder took the impact not as well as your head.

    FTFY

    Absolutely no amount of evidence or arguing would make me happy about reliving my crash without a helmet. Call me stubborn and unreasonable but I seriously question whether I would have even woken from that ditch were it not for my helmet.

    Few years back i crashed, ended up in A&E having a brillo pad clean to my face, no marks at all on helmet i was wearing at the time???

    All that tells me is that you – much like me and many of us on here – have fallen off your bike and banged your face rather than your head. I banged my knee the other day but it has no relevance to wearing helmets.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    Even better if it has a dummy child in it

    What has the child’s intelligence got to do with it? 🙂

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    But then again, I was aiming to make progress at 20mph or more

    Possibly another UK thing?

    My experience of Holland and Germany (4 and 10 years respectively), is that the riding is in normal clothes, no need for shower after arriving at school, work, or the shops. Impression I get from UK commuting is that it’s a race or sport as well. In town, possibly faster than the traffic, and out of town, trying to keep up with traffic.

    As for pinch points. In holland the bikes would have a clear path straight thru. Pedestrians have to make a concious desicion to cross the bike path and the road separately. UK pinch points are just f***ed up and wrong (probably due to the excess of cars needing to be parked in the street).

    Peyote
    Member

    And what makes cyclists be seen as different? The funny clothes and the plastic hats, for one.

    Car culture, we’ve been sold a dream for the last fifty years that cars and personal mobility will give us ultimate freedom. That dream is being recognised as a nightmare by all the folk in traffic jams day-in day-out. They need someone to blame, a suitable “out group” that won’t bite back. Cue the funny looking people who don’t have to wait in the same queues as the “normals” and get to enjoy cheap, reliable, healthy transport for free (compared to cars anyway).

    It’s an age old issue with human group behaviour, same as racism, sexism, ageism, but on a slightly smaller scale and a slightly shorter timescale.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Possibly another UK thing?

    I dunno, I did see lycraed up roadies in Germany, MOST of them were on the cyclepaths out in the countryside, but the few properly quick people I saw were on the roads, despite the cyclepaths by the roadside.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Absolutely no amount of evidence or arguing would make me happy about reliving my crash without a helmet. Call me stubborn and unreasonable but I seriously question whether I would have even woken from that ditch were in not for my helmet.

    Thankfully, you get to choose whether or not to wear a helmet, so you can choose to wear one.

    Out of interest, what were you doing prior to ending up on the ditch?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    That and I see cyclists cowering in the gutter,

    where road planners put them, primary position is also a scary place to be remember; even for fit, experienced, confident cyclists

    putting themselves into stupid positions on the road and getting themselves into trouble

    sometime their own doing for sure, but sometimes those pesky road planners again.

    Cars might be at fault but thats not normally a consolation.

    I think when car drivers are at fault adequately punishing them might be an incentive for others not to do the same – or indeed the same driver to kill another cyclist. That would be some consolation.

    bencooper
    Member

    Car culture, we’ve been sold a dream for the last fifty years that cars and personal mobility will give us ultimate freedom.

    That too.

    And sometimes cyclists are our own worst enemies – the head down, the glasses, often the facemask makes serious cyclists look, well, serious. Not friendly.

    Plus there’s a bit of driver envy because blokes know their GFs are ogling the fit men in lycra.

    Cyclists should be like pedestrians, but on bicycles.

    jamiea
    Member

    Every time I see a normal person, in normal clothes, riding a bicycle it makes me feel a lot happier.

    That is indeed another issue that molgrips touched upon. The vast majority of commuters I see (myself included) are lycra clad and giving it some, I see it as better than spending time in a gym and use it was a workout. Drivers in town are used to elderly women pootling along and are often surprised when you approach a junction at over 5 mph!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    That is indeed another issue that molgrips touched upon. The vast majority of commuters I see (myself included) are lycra clad and giving it some, I see it as better than spending time in a gym and use it was a workout. Drivers in town are used to elderly women pootling along and are often surprised when you approach a junction at over 5 mph!

    The vast majority are fast, but drivers are used to seeing old dears riding slowly?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    what were you doing prior to ending up on the ditch?

    Not sure if you know the area around Leek, but there’s a road that drops off the moors called Easings Lane. Whichever way you ride it, it involves a downhill into a bend that rises uphill immediately. Unfortunately the bend is a bit of a catchment area for gravel that’s washed down the road. I knew all this so was actually riding quite steadily, braking well before the corner. When I hit the corner – and the gravel – I had a double blow out and couldn’t recover control and was swiftly slapped onto the asphalt.

    Forensic analysis of the tyres post-crash uncovered small pieces of glass embedded in tyres and tubes. Maybe a better bike-handler than me would have saved it, but I put it down to bad luck. Sadly, nearly a year on, I’m still a very nervous descender.

    jamiea
    Member

    The vast majority are fast, but drivers are used to seeing old dears riding slowly?

    For clarity my commute goes through the town centre abound with old dears with the majority on a tarmacked bridleway where the lycra clad SCRers are to be found.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    jamiea
    Member

    Cyclists should be like pedestrians, but on bicycles.

    Then go the gym after work for a spin session? 😆

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    bencooper
    Member

    Forensic analysis of the tyres

    CSI Bikeshop would be a brilliant show…

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Sadly, nearly a year on, I’m still a very nervous descender.

    Ouch.

    My worst crash was after a loose canti brake went trough the tyre sidewall on a road descent stopping the front wheel immediately. I still get occasional flashbacks and it was 20-odd years ago :/

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Sounds bad Mike.

    I love riding my road bike, I really do, but I just have a constant sense of “what if” these days. There are a lot of hills where I live; falling off on one of them at 40+ mph doesn’t bear thinking about…but I do!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    The vast majority of commuters I see (myself included) are lycra clad and giving it some

    I’d say it’s about 50/50 lycra+shades+helmet vs casual+no helmet on my commute.

    I think being traffic-free makes a BIG difference to the demographic of people using the path and the manner in which they use it.

    craigxxl
    Member

    The good evidence, Dr Ian Walker, that you keep talking about making drivers far less aggressive around non helmeted cyclist. It was an 8.5cm/3.5″ difference that isn’t a great difference. I don’t argue with his findings but the interpretation seems over to over emphasised. If 8.5cm makes you feel safe then you’re deluded. It would have been much better to have had a control within his research as it would shown 2 sets of data for a rider with a helmet and another without on the same roads and time. This may have got better results than 15% of them not being by chance.
    Some of the findings such as time of day analysis showing that drivers passed closer during rush hours can’t be argued with. A recent trip to London showed drivers and cyclist as bad as each other fighting for any space, weaving between any vehicle to gain a few inches at their risk to their own safety and others. Later in the day it much more civilised. The only cycling accident I saw whilst there involved no cars just another cyclist as they tangled bars whilst chatting before crashing into the kerb. Since they both got up and continued to ride I assume only their pride was injured.
    Some argued on here that riders with helmets take more risk but again Dr Ian Walker has stated that they are more risk averse, so which is it?

    Some interesting facts and figures on cycle crash come from ROSPA which amazingly doesn’t say that the car is always at fault and head injuries don’t happen regardless of the comments on this forum.

    An interesting article taking on board both sides of the argument was in The Telegraph.

    I’ll not comment any further on here other than to say it’s your head, your choice. Do what you feel is best and hope whichever way you decide that you never find yourself in a situation that you are proved right or wrong

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    But it is more risky on roads than dedicated cycle paths, increase the number of those and I’d have thought it would become much more normal and the compulsion to wear a helmet would diminish.

    AFAIK, cycling on the road isn’t any more risky than walking on the pavement.

    Denmark and Holland had very high levels of cycling well before they invested in comprehensive segregated paths.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    The good evidence, Dr Ian Walker, that you keep talking about making drivers far less aggressive around non helmeted cyclist. It was an 8.5cm/3.5″ difference that isn’t a great difference. … If 8.5cm makes you feel safe then you’re deluded.

    8.5cm can be pretty significant when cars are already pretty close to clipping your bars.

    But that research isn’t really about the empirical change (IMHO). It’s about clearly demonstrating the change in attitude. Providing measurable evidence of risk compensation.

    If they pass more closely then what other things do they do?
    e.g. Do they tailgate more? Do they pull in earlier? Are they less likely to give way? Less patient? More aggressive? etc

    It would have been much better to have had a control within his research as it would shown 2 sets of data for a rider with a helmet and another without on the same roads and time.

    No it wouldn’t. Then the rider themselves could have been an influencing factor. (riding style, gender, height, weight, build, skin colour, etc)

    Instead he did the riding himself, with and without a helmet, on the same roads at the same times of day.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Denmark and Holland had very high levels of cycling well before they invested in comprehensive segregated paths.

    Pretty sure that’s not true.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Car culture, we’ve been sold a dream for the last fifty years that cars and personal mobility will give us ultimate freedom. That dream is being recognised as a nightmare by all the folk in traffic jams day-in day-out. They need someone to blame, a suitable “out group” that won’t bite back. Cue the funny looking people who don’t have to wait in the same queues as the “normals” and get to enjoy cheap, reliable, healthy transport for free (compared to cars anyway).

    It’s an age old issue with human group behaviour, same as racism, sexism, ageism, but on a slightly smaller scale and a slightly shorter timescale.

    +1000000

    Our culture in the UK has shifted over time to where we are now, lots of cars, lots of speeding, plenty of traffic laws many frequently ignored and police not really able to fully enforce them on a meaningful scale…

    Apparently the penalty for phone use behind the wheel (My own Pet hate) was increased a couple of weeks ago, and the police were given “New Powers” (Magical I’m sure) to enforce these rules with on the spot fines… Wow!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23713732

    Of course this was bundled up with measures to get “Lane Hoggers” and “Tailgaters” the kind of motorway-man crap that animates the readers of certain papers…

    What was missing of course was any improved means of detection for these offences, especially phone use. this little nugget tells you all you need to know:

    “…Officer numbers are at an all-time low, the number of traffic officers alone has reduced from 7,000 to approximately 3,500….

    So being caught on the Phone when driving will cost you an extra £40 in fines, but you’re half as likely to get caught doing it as when the law was passed?
    clearly a compelling package of deterrents, hence I’ve seen no reduction in the number of dicks using their phone while driving… (anecdotal of course).

    That’s a pretty basic rule intended to actually prevent accidents, which isn’t really enforced at present and directly reduces my safety as a cyclist on the road.
    Once I believe they can apply that one in any meaningful sense, then perhaps I’d consider the value of helmet compulsion, but TBH both measures although well intended have no practical use IMO as the Rozzers will struggle to apply them.

    IMO the Safety of cyclists is not the main driver, keeping the majority (in cars) happy is…
    Helmet compulsion would not be about making cyclists safer it would be about making Drivers feel more secure when they get a “bit close”.

    If drivers are happier with cyclists forced into wearing EPS hats then that’s probably what we’ll get in the end. Of course once that’s brought in the campaigning for bicycle VED, compulsory Hi-Viz, MOTs and all the rest of it will just increase, thin end of the wedge innit…

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Craig I’ve heard criticisms of Dr Walkers study aswell, thing is if the choice is a driver giving me unsafe amount of passing room or or unsafe +8.5cm I’d still prefer the latter.

    Some interesting facts and figures on cycle crash come from ROSPA which amazingly doesn’t say that the car is always at fault

    don’t think anyone said that.

    I’ll not comment any further on here other than to say it’s your head, your choice

    The only people trying to deprive anyone of choice are the compulsionists.

    Stilltortoise, ouch nasty, I hate descending on the road bike, when you lose it, it’s gone, on mtb when it goes squirrelly your average mtber has atleast a chance to recover. I get images of crashes everytime I hit a 30mph+ descent, usually imagining my forks snapping, *shudder*

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    > Denmark and Holland had very high levels of cycling well before they invested in comprehensive segregated paths.

    Pretty sure that’s not true.

    Seems to be a bit of both. Cycling was popular (as it was here), then fell out of favour in boom times when everyone got cars (as it did here), then a big campaign led to fundamental changes in they way they design their roads (which didn’t happen here!).

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o[/video]

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Does anyone really complain about life jackets when doing water sports?

    No, but they don’t all wear lifejackets either.

    In our 3rd full year of the lifejacket campaign people that say they wear their lifejacket all the time has risen from 41% to 49%. Wearing a lifejacket was at number six in the safety priority list of the boat owners surveyed.

    Sea Safety

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    D0NK – Member – Quote
    Craig I’ve heard criticisms of Dr Walkers study aswell, thing is if the choice is a driver giving me unsafe amount of passing room or or unsafe +8.5cm I’d still prefer the latter.

    Unsafe + 8.5 cm is still very likely to be unsafe. That is about the width of my hand, not that many drivers can maneuver within 8.5cm. It’s suggesting that drivers who see cyclists and see they are wearing helmets move closer to them by a very small amount.
    I’ll take the helmet and ride in the lane properly.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Pretty sure that’s not true.

    It is absolutely true. In Copenhagen, mass construction of segregated facilities did not start until the mid 1980s. Cycling modal share had been increasing significantly for 10 years prior to this.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Unsafe + 8.5 cm is still very likely to be unsafe.

    But 8.5 cm less turns a 7.5cm pass into a hit. Dr Walker was indeed wearing a helmet both times he was hit while carrying out his research.

    http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/articles/archive/overtaking110906.html

    In any case the point is that his research proves that drivers alter behaviour around helmeted cyclists. Closer overtakes will not be the only change.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I’ll take the helmet and ride in the lane properly.

    I said I’d prefer the letter didn’t say I’d ditch the helmet for it, I was discussing 8.5cm in the grander scheme of things 🙂

    As it happens when I used to take the eldest the short journey to nursery in a bike seat he had a helmet I didn’t, I figured every little helps, so I did make that trade then.

    bails 🙂 not looked a WOTM for a while cheers.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Unsafe + 8.5 cm is still very likely to be unsafe. That is about the width of my hand, not that many drivers can maneuver within 8.5cm.

    Don’t forget that was the average difference over a couple of thousand overtakes. The outliers may be more significant!
    Two of them gave him “less than zero cm”.

    But as irc (and I) said, that isn’t really the point of the research.

    It does help explain why non-cycling drivers are so keen for cyclists to be forced to wear helmets though!

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    It is absolutely true. In Copenhagen, mass construction of segregated facilities did not start until the mid 1980s. Cycling modal share had been increasing significantly for 10 years prior to this.

    As I understand it, the increased cycling was due to the reduction of cars as a result of the oil crisis. One day a week was car free, so it could be argued that everything was segregated infrastructure at times.

    This graph suggests that the real upswing happened from 1990 onwards?

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    This graph suggests that the real upswing happened from 1990 onwards?

    The graph shows that cycling doubled from 1975-1985, which is before mass construction of segregated facilities. The “car free” day you refer to was a Sunday so I’m not sure it would’ve made a huge difference, considering there would be no commuter traffic.

    I’m not suggesting that facilities haven’t helped growth since, but I think to suggest they’re the reason is false.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The graph shows that cycling doubled from 1975-1985, which is before mass construction of segregated facilities.

    So, what was the cause in that time?

    jonnyblease
    Member

    I commute roughly 7 miles each way through a busy central London everyday. I enjoy my commute but not sure I feel entirely safe on the roads, having said that the cycle lanes in London are often used by pedestrians or are littered with gravel/glass which isn’t kind on 23C tyres, I much prefer to use the roads.

    View on helmets being compulsory? Keep with the laissez faire approach, they’ll only hurt themselves. It would put a real dent in Boris’s Barclays bike scheme if helmets were compulsory…

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    The graph shows that cycling doubled from 1975-1985, which is before mass construction of segregated facilities.

    In the Cycling Netherlands video above it mentions the 1973 oil crisis and the founding (in 1973) of the “Stop Kindermoord” movement as being the turning point with the introduction of car-free days and a public push towards safety and independence from oil.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    So, what was the cause in that time?

    The birth of the Danish environmental movement, resulting from the oil crisis pushing up fuel prices, led to much better urban planning, including removal of cars from city centre squares & spaces, pedestrianisation and no more urban motorways.

    Having said all of that, I don’t think modal share ever dropped much below 10%, which is better than most western cities.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    In the Cycling Netherlands video above it mentions the 1973 oil crisis and the founding (in 1973) of the “Stop Kindermoord” movement as being the turning point with the introduction of car-free days and a public push towards safety and independence from oil.

    Sounds pretty similar. I’m not too familiar with the Netherlands, but I do know that Denmark is a much smaller and more homogenous country than we are, with a strong national identity. The positive aspect of this is that there can be a collective will to make something happen in a way not really possible in the UK.

    Klunk
    Member

    I was wondering on my ride today whether helmet wearing compulsion would impact on bike theft ? Chav lads don’t like wearing helmets, so would they be disinclined to steal for themselves ? also It might be more noticeable to the Police who the bike thief’s are. Has anyone done research on this in Australia ?

    jonba
    Member

    Last time this was debated someone made a comment about being put in a cage with a lion. Making cyclists wear helmets is like giving the guy in a cage a stick to protect himself when really you’d be more help doing something about the Lion!.

    I find risk, statistics and peoples perception and behaviour absolutely fascinating. This debate is a classic example of many of the way we perceive danger and protect ourselves from it.

Viewing 40 posts - 161 through 200 (of 226 total)

The topic ‘BBC Breakfast: Should helmets for cyclists be made compulsory’ is closed to new replies.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top