This add series was aired by a friend on TV in Brisbane recently. :-)
QLD recently had change of government the original nanny state party is gone so there is now a good chance that there could be a change to the helmet laws either to an NT style exemption or complete exemption for all adults.
It is remarkable that at time when we are about to be hit with a CO2 tax and with all the public concern over global warming and the huge burden on the health system of sedentary lifestyle diseases that the most efficient and healthy form of transport has been and is still being discouraged by helmet laws. As a result of this law the predominant type of riders remaining on our roads seem to be lycra wearing men on racers - this would tend to suggest that repealing this law would result in a huge increase in the number of other people riding especially women (the NT has the highest participation of women riders of any state - it is also the only region with a bicycle helmet exemption for adults ).
At the same time there is a lack of any statistical evidence of effacicy of helmet laws in fact their failure and large deterrent effect on cycling is both used as...
- so why are we still burdened with this counter productive nanny state law.
Even though 1500 people die in car accidents yearly car drivers are not forced to wear helmets, in fact the government takes our tax and gives it away to incompetent car companies who cant balance their books. !
The government's bias is clear, in your car it's air-conditioned comfort but ride a bike and you get will get fined if you refuse to wear a sweat box on your head even at low speed or offroad.
The Labor governments poor judgment and steadfast refusal to admit their bias is obvious - it is simply appalling that this law not only results in thousands of innocent people being fined every year, which is at best a waste of police time and resources. It also deters thousands more from cycling in favour of motor cars which are one of the primary sources of pollution including not just C02 but other toxins which can cause health problems for people living near roads. Motor vehicles are also responsible for the great majority of pedestrians killed each year and over 90% of cyclist fatalities.
Whether you personally prefer to wear a helmet or not please show your support for reform and support the right of others to choose for themselves.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
" no one looks particularly happy "
I expect they look no more or less happy than most people commuting to work do. At least parking will be cheap when they get there.
"... i'd rather talk about road safety. People ride bikes when streets are safe." is a really good point and it's one that a lot of people seem to miss.
Maybe when society doesn't put so much emphasis on women looking attractive all the time, as well as getting better infrastructure, we will get more women riding bikes.
I realise many people have trouble with mathematics so.
Have a link to the survey and an explanation of the 2.4 million.
Notice in the survey write-up PDF they carefully ignore this factor - not stating it said more about it than almost anything else.
Note in table 11 it is 15.7% while lack of shower change rooms and lack of time is similar. Also note most of the top reasons given are perceptual based on fear/danger this is promoted and created by helmet laws supporters as justification for helmet laws, they help to create and rely on these misconception's to justify the law and in doing so discourage millions from riding !
Some others can be solved with little effort i.e. borrow or buy a bicycle only ~$200 second hand. Some such as "to hilly" we can't really fix them at all anyway.
The helmet question stands out because it is a direct factor and can easily be changed by repealing the law it would not cost anything at all. !
Regards the Sheik website fine print, please read all of it !.
"I realise many people have trouble with mathematics so." - This applies to the people that write for helemtfreedom.org as well, going on the article you linked to. A number of the points they make are mathematical fallacies.
Having read the Heart Foundation survey (not the extremely anti-MHL cherry picking viewpoint put forward by the website you linked to) I noticed a couple of things. Wearing a helmet is 13th on the list and only 4 of those above it are not readily/easily fixable.
The extrapolation of the 15.7 percent to apply to the whole population is stretching the friendship a bit, children were not included in the survey so anyone under 18 needs to be excluded and there are other segments of the population that should be excluded such as those in high level aged care. As it was pointed out in the linked article the results in that table do not sum up to 100%. Each result can be anywhere between 0 and 100% so you can't add them up. Assuming the MHL's were repealed you can't assume that the 15.7% would start riding a bike. A reasonable percentage of them already have other excuses to not ride a bike (they had multiple reasons why they don't ride a bike) and then they say "The 2.4 million extrapolation is probably conservative" with absolutely no justification in sight
This quote out of the linked article is the best example of the bias they have
"We see that there are only really three things that can realistically be improved upon:
They totally ignore things that would be easier to fix than repealing the MHLs.
Like "don't own a bike", do what has been done in England and encourage bike ownership by discounts and tax rebates
and "don't feel confident enough" - run free "How to ride a bike" courses in local community venues similar to how literacy courses were run for people who couldn't read or write
and then they lump everything else under the heading of road conditions/safety which is incorrect for the reasons given above.
Everything, with one exception, on the list of reasons why people don't ride bikes in that article can be fixed, its just that people would not be prepared to take the actions required to fix the problem.
There are very few things that cost nothing and they do not include repealing a law.
As for the Sheik website - I did read all of the fine print and a number of other articles on their website.
OMFG , did these guys learn maths off the back of a wheeties box ?
Seriously failed logic there.
Just to highlight the failure a little.
The initial survey for approx 50% of 1000 people surveyed would like to ride a bike. Out of that 16% said MHL's were a deterrent.
The correct way to extrapolate that would be to determine the total population pool in the age range surveyed, say we can assume 18+ . There are 14 million people of the AEC roll, so lets use that as the base.
So we then calculate 14million X 50% who would like to cycle more X 16% who are put off by MHL's = approx 1.12 M
That's completely ignoring the rest of the flaws in surveying methodology.
I never thought of the AEC roll as a base point for the population used in this survey. Thanks for pointing it out.
You don't need to be on the AEC roll to ride a bike or even be over 18yo you know - what exactly are you trying to say ?
It seems to me that some people here are in denial that helmet law's discourage cycling and even though it's obvious the helmet laws are costly and counter productive.
What exactly do they expect to gain by keeping a law which is wasting the time of police and persecuting thousands of innocent people. ?
This is an open bike forum I and many others are out there fighting for cyclists rights to decide. It is sad but clear some here seem to think themselves in an exclusive clique with the intent of excluding other people from riding unless they believe that cycling can only be a dangerous sport.
We also have people complaining about lack of infrastructure, saying there are too many cars ( well apparently about new 2300 registrations per month ) and poor driver attitudes. Yet we still have people who support a law which discourages the very people who they complain about driving cars from riding a bike.
I was trying to find out the population basis for the Heart Foundation Survey mentioned above. It only surveyed Adults. An Adult, in law, is someone over 18. If you are over 18 you are required to be on the AEC Rolls so the AEC roll numbers are a pretty close indication of the Adult population. The only people that don't need to be on the roll are people who are incapable of making their own decision (these people are usually mentally or physically incapable of riding a bike) and people in prison,
As to your points about the helmet laws - the vast majority of Australian's accept these laws and in the survey above the minority of people indicated the helmets may have something to do with not riding a bike.
I don't see thousands of people being fined for not wearing a helmet, as only a minority of people infringing traffic laws are fined you are implying that there are many many thousands of people not wearing a helmet. This is just not true.
This is not quite an open bike forum as its is moderated. Accepting your point that you are allowed to fight for you right to decide I would say I don't want you to to fight for my right to decide as I have already made an informed decision. And I have just as much right as you to argue against your point of view and to try to convince people you are incorrect.
And again I don't accept your invalid arguments about the effects the helmet laws have on the numbers of people riding bikes. The number of people riding bikes in Australia is rising (as a percentage of the population even) and has been rising since not long after the MHL's were introduced and more bikes are sold in Australia than cars every year and that's been true fior a decade.
The majority of people in Australia accept the MHL's. Most bike riders aren't upset at having to wear a helmet and your argument about "right to choose" is an idiotic one that if accepted would lead to anarchy.
Its time you realized that your arguments are incorrect and won't be accepted by people who can think for themselves.
Speaking about denial, Cycling in Australia is dangerous
Ah, I think 'Wheeties' is spelt 'Wheaties'
Your both wrong it is "Weeties" see here
Lucky for you this is not a statistics examination. !
You missed the other 50% who have ridden in the past who are also put off by helmet laws !
Please check table 5 AND table 11, It seems you missed it the first time.
Even though the survey only did over 18's, under 18's are also put off by helmet laws to much the same degree.
And Australia's population is 22 million (some are to young to ride though I was riding a bike at ~5 or 6 years old so you could include 20 million easily).
Fix your errors and you will have it spot on at around 2.4 million.
Helmet freedom have a note about accuracy also.
"Given a sample of 1000, population of 20 million and 95% CI, the margin of error in the survey is +/- 3.1%. So the fully qualified claim is that 15.7% (+/- 3.1%) of Australians are put off cycling by helmet laws. That equates to between 1.8 and 3 million Australians."