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juliusbeezer : helmetwars   38

Government response to its “Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) Safety Review”. | Road Danger Reduction Forum
High visibility and helmets: Very disappointing. It does say:”… we believe wearing helmets, and also high-vis clothing, should remain a matter of individual choice rather than imposing additional regulations which would be difficult to enforce”.(8.11), but note that the reason for this is NOT – as we think it should be – an evidence-based approach based on the lack of evidence of benefits of hi-viz and helmets. There is still an assumption that these are basically good interventions, with no evidence referenced at all for hi-viz, and poor evidence for helmets being quoted. Despite the lack of good evidence, the Government is still saying: “we will continue to encourage cyclists, especially children, to wear helmets to protect them…” .
road_safety  uk  helmetwars 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
PsyArXiv Preprints | Bicycle helmet wearing is associated with closer overtaking by drivers: A response to Olivier and Walter, 2013
There is a body of research on how driver behaviour might change in response to bicyclists’ appearance. In 2007, Walker published a study suggesting motorists drove closer on average when passing a bicyclist if the rider wore a helmet, potentially increasing the risk of a collision. Olivier and Walter re-analysed the same data in 2013 and claimed helmet wearing was not associated with close vehicle passing. Here we show how Olivier and Walter’s analysis addressed a subtly, but importantly, different question than Walker’s. Their conclusion was based on omitting information about variability in driver behaviour and instead dividing overtakes into two binary categories of ‘close’ and ‘not close’; we demonstrate that they did not justify or address the implications of this choice, did not have sufficient statistical power for their approach, and moreover show that slightly adjusting their definition of ‘close’ would reverse their conclusions. We then present a new analysis of the original dataset, measuring directly the extent to which drivers changed their behaviour in response to helmet wearing. This analysis confirms that drivers did, overall, get closer when the rider wore a helmet.
helmetwars  psychology  driving  cycling 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Emotional reactions to cycle helmet use - ScienceDirect
It has been suggested that the safety benefits of bicycle helmets are limited by risk compensation. The current article tests if previous helmet use influences the response to helmets as a safety intervention. This was investigated in a field experiment where pace and psychophysiological load were measured. We found that after having removed their helmets, routine helmet users cycled more slowly and demonstrated increased psychophysiological load. However, for non-users there was no significant change in either cycling behaviour or psychophysiological load. We discuss the implications of these results for a hypothesis of risk compensation in response to helmet use. We also show that heart rate variability is a promising measure of psychophysiological load in real-world cycling, at least in situations where there is limited physical demand.
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Commentary: Why I stopped wearing a bike helmet | CyclingTips
There is a war unfolding and likely escalating in every American city (and in many other countries, too) as communities struggle to decide what our streets will look like in the future. So many projects that aim to provide safer infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians face fierce opposition from people who would prefer to maintain the status quo — to maintain the primacy of cars.

The loudest voices in that latter group have a consistent tactic to try to marginalize the pleas of cyclists, and helmets have sadly become part of that conversation. In 2018, riding without a helmet has become the corporeal equivalent of rolling through a stop sign — a symbol that you don’t deserve respect or a seat at the table. Few of these people care about your safety or even the public-health costs of bike crashes — they simply want to thrust responsibility on cyclists rather than give us a safe place on the road, or they want to use the helmet issue to discredit us.
cycling  helmetwars 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Les « débiles sociaux » –
Le même sénateur qui voulait imposer le casque aux cyclistes en 2016 est aujourd’hui contre la limitation de vitesse à 80 km/heure sur les routes. Hervé Maurey, sénateur centriste de l’Eure et président de la commission de l’aménagement du territoire et du développement durable du Sénat, montre ainsi toute la flexibilité de ses conceptions en matière de sécurité routière. Quand il s’agit des vélos, il faut imposer des mesures contraignantes comme le casque obligatoire, quand il s’agit des automobilistes, imposer le 80 km/heure sur les routes serait « une mesure attentatoire aux libertés« …
france  politics  road_safety  helmetwars 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
China: a return to the “kingdom of bicycles”? | The BMJ
Hu and Yin discuss the major health and environmental benefits of cycling for transport, but then advocate helmet laws, which have resulted in substantial reductions in cycling, e.g. a 48% drop in numbers of teenage cyclists counted in Melbourne a year after the introduction of the helmet law[16].

The recommendation for helmet legislation seems to be misguided. The most likely outcome is that fewer people will cycle than without the law, leading to lost health and environmental benefits, together with increased injury rates from risk compensation and reduced safety in numbers.
cycling  helmetwars  china  politics 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
The effects of New Zealand’s cycle helmet law: The evidence and what it means. | Road Danger Reduction Forum
The graph shown indicates that the mandatory cycle helmet law is associated both with a decline in cycling, and an increase in cyclist casualty rates. The evidence points to this occurring because
helmetlaw  helmetwars  newZealand 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
The effects of New Zealand’s cycle helmet law | Road Danger Reduction Forum
Below is a graph by Chris Gilham looking at cycling (those of all ages over 5) in New Zealand. Look at levels of cycling and the cyclist injury rate following the introduction of the mandatory cycle helmet law. More to come on the analysis of this graph in the next post.
helmetwars  helmetlaw  newZealand 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
All those helmets posts in one place | At War With The Motorist
Last year I went into some detail about why existing research into the efficacy and safety of helmets for cycling does not come close to the standard of evidence that is normally required and which we would usually demand for a medical intervention (which is what they are). Basically an application to helmets of all those things that Ben Goldacre bangs on about. But I never added an easy to link to contents page when it was complete. So here it is.
helmetwars  cycling 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
How did the BMA get bicycle helmets so wrong? | At War With The Motorist
Which is why British doctors should be embarrassed that the British Medical Association currently lobbies for helmets to be compulsory when riding a bicycle. Imagine if a pharmaceutical company developed a drug which, if administered before receiving a specific kind of traumatic injury, makes that injury easier to treat. Imagine doctors and medical scientists lobbying for it to be compulsory for everybody to take this drug daily, without anybody ever having checked for side-effects.

How has this situation arisen? The policy decision has largely been made on the insistence of A&E consultants and trauma surgeons. Consider the anonymous quotations that are scattered through the BMA’s cycling pages:
helmetwars  medicine  cycling 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Government review considers forcing cyclists to wear hi-vis and helmets · Cycling Weekly · Disqus
>I really don't understand the aversion to them.

The aversion arises from the scentific evidence: the human skull is fairly well-adapted to surviving low speed impacts. There is little evidence that a helmet is much use in the collisions with motor vehicles that are the real source of danger to cyclists. There is however good evidence that making cycle helmets obligatory reduces the uptake of cycling. As the beneficial effect of cycling on the reduction in cardiovascular risk and obesity outweighs the risks of trauma by an order of magnitude
reducing cycling (by harassing cyclists) will actually diminish the public health.
By all means wear one yourself if you want to. Just don't imagine that legislating to make everyone dress just like you leads anywhere good.
The helmet issue is a good means of distracting everyone from the real sources of road danger, however, so the road lobby like to keep it bubbling along.
cycling  helmetwars  DC  comment  attention  agnotology 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Brexiteer MP Peter Bone resurrects his cycle helmet compulsion bill | Bicycle Business | BikeBiz
In 2007, Peter Bone, the Tory MP for Wellingborough, and then Secretary of the All-Party Road Traffic Group, introduced a 10 minute rule bill on cycle helmet compulsion for children. The bill failed to win support. However, the MP – one of the leading proponents of Brexit – has returned to one of his pet causes and he has introduced a new bill, which would "require children under 16 to wear a safety helmet when riding a bicycle on a public highway; and for connected purposes."

This private member's bill is expected to have its second reading debate on 1st March. It's unlikely to reach the statute books
helmetwars  helmetlaw  dccomment 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cyclist knocked down by van settles High Court action for €3m
In the High Court on Tuesday, his counsel, Michael Byrne SC, told the judge that liability in the case was conceded.

The settlement also took into account Mr Doroscan was not wearing a cycle helmet, counsel said.

While a helmet was not legally required, that issue had to be taken in to account in the assessment of the case and would account for about 20 per cent contributory negligence on the part of Mr Doroscan.
crash_report  helmetlaw  helmetwars  ireland  law 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cyclist’s brain injury award cut by €750k because he wore no helmet - Sticky Bottle
A cyclist who suffered a brain injury when he was hit by a Dublin van driver has been awarded €3 million.

However, the court was told that the injured man was deemed to have contributed 20 per cent of the negligence to the collision.

That percentage was reflected in the settlement he received, meaning the full sum he would have been awarded was €3.75 million.

The court heard while helmets were not a legal requirement for cyclists in Ireland, the absence of one could still be factored into the calculation of liability and damages in such cases.
crash_report  helmetwars  helmetlaw  dccomment  ireland  law 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Congrès de la Fub : une nouvelle époque pour l’action associative – Isabelle et le vélo
Emmanuel Barbe a voulu être prudent. Il ne s’attend pas à ce que la verbalisation pleuve sur les enfants qui cycleraient sans casque, mais il espère que le casque se diffuse dans toute la société.2 Il s’est dit impressionné par l’engagement des élus, ici à Nantes, et a même dit que tout cela serait bien capable de lui redonner envie d’aller à vélo.
Plusieurs chantiers s’ouvrent à lui, nous dit-il. D’abord la redéfinition des trottoirs, en lien avec l’éclatement des « nouveaux modes de déplacement personnel »3, mais il ne croit guère que cela servirait concrètement à quoi que ce soit car, là non plus, il ne voit pas comment on pourrait faire respecter la règle.
helmetwars  france  road_safety 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
The big bike helmet debate: 'You don’t make it safe by forcing cyclists to dress for urban warfare' | Life and style | The Guardian
In 2013 the tireless Ian Walker carried out a more extensive version of his helmet study. It also measured how closely drivers passed a bike when overtaking, but this time – using a volunteer colleague rather than himself – there were seven different outfits. Four made the rider look like a cyclist of varying experience and dedication, ranging from full Lycra to more everyday clothes, including one involving a hi-vis jacket. Three other outfits were based around bright yellow waistcoats bearing written messages. One read, “Novice cyclist: please pass slowly”; another said, “Polite: please slow down” – “polite” is sometimes used by UK cyclists and horse riders in the hope drivers might mistake it for “police” – and finally one read, “Police: camera cyclist”.

This brought data for just under 5,700 overtakes, more or less evenly split between the seven outfits. None of the outfits made an appreciable difference to driver behaviour, apart from the one saying “police”. For the six others, the average passing distance was between about 114cm and 118cm. For “police” it went above 122cm. Similarly, the proportion of drivers who went very near the bike was noticeably lower for the “police” vest. In contrast, the tabard saying “polite” saw the nearest average overtaking distance and almost twice as many potentially dangerous passes as “police”.

The lessons seem clear and worrying. For one thing, no matter which outfit was worn, a small percentage of drivers still overtook dangerously near, at a distance of 50cm or less. More than this, it seemed drivers were perfectly able to distinguish between different types of rider, and to read and absorb any message displayed. But rather than adjusting their driving to the perceived experience of the cyclist, it was only when faced with a threat to their own welfare – a police rider filming their actions – that many allowed a cyclist more space on the road. Most alarming still, some seemed to treat the mild attempt at deception of “polite” as a reason to almost punish the cyclist.
helmetwars  road_safety 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Mandatory bicycle helmet laws in Australia: is it time for a change?  | Croakey
we graphed comparative state-level Australian Bureau of Statistics census data on rates of commuter cycling from 1976-2011. The graph shows a steady increase in rates of cycling to work in WA, followed by a steep decline upon introduction of MHL which has never recovered.
helmetwars  australia 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bosnia becomes first country to repeal a cycle helmet law | Bicycle Business | BikeBiz
Bosnia and Herzegovina has become the first country in the world to repeal an all-ages cycle helmet compulsion law. The campaign to repeal the law was started six years ago by the Centre for Environment group.

"Citizens can now choose whether or not they want to wear a safety helmet," said the Centre for Environment's Tihomir Dakic.

Anti-compulsion campaigners say that mandatory cycle helmet laws undermine efforts to increase cycling by making riding a bike seem more dangerous than it is, then putting the blame on cyclists if a crash does occur.
helmetwars  bosnia 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Nude cyclists 'pedal for safety' in X-rated bike ride that caused outrage down under - Mirror Online
Now here's something you don't see everyday - hundreds of naked bikers taking to the streets of Sydney, Australia to make a fuss about cycling safety.

The bizarre sight certainly captured attention but rather than promoting their cause they instead caused uproar.

The appearance of hundreds of cyclists wearing absolutely nothing in the summer sun sparked a firestorm of fury on the Byron Bay Facebook page.

And it's all down to the fact that the cyclists had no helmets on.
cycling  helmetwars  spectacle  funny 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
CR 193: The development of a protective headband for car occupants (2000)
In 1997 McLean et al. (1997) demonstrated that energy absorbing headwear for car occupants might be effective in reducing the numbers of head injuries sustained by car occupants. The estimated benefits were greater than the estimated benefits of padding of the upper interior of vehicles to the requirements of the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 201. This report investigates the suitability of selected materials for head protection, in the form of a headband that could be worn by car occupants.
driving  safety  helmetwars 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer - Bicycle Culture by Design: Australian Helmet Science - For Motorists
A chap at Road Safety Policy, Department of Infrastructure & Transport in Australia was kind enough to send a link to the Australian Government website wherein the study is presented.

I don't think cyclists should be bullied with helmet promotion and threatened with legislation when there exists a very real and present danger to car occupants. I think that the car lobby as well as the general population should be presented with more data and facts about the dangers of driving.
driving  safety  helmetwars 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
10 arguments contre l’obligation du port du casque à vélo | L'interconnexion n'est plus assurée
[Mise à jour, décembre 2016. Le casque sera obligatoire à vélo pour les enfants de moins de 12 ans à partir du 1er janvier 2017. Les arguments développés ci-dessous contre cette obligation (et non contre le port du casque, ce n’est pas la même chose) demeurent valables.]

Faut-il obliger les personnes se déplaçant à vélo à porter un casque ? C’est le souhait du sénateur Hervé Maurey (UDI, Eure), qui a déposé une proposition de loi en ce sens en février 2016. Depuis, la controverse alimente les gazettes, les radios et les conversations, et le sénateur lui-même confie qu’il ne s’attendait pas à cette soudaine heure de gloire. Le débat n’est pas nouveau et il a, d’une certaine manière, déjà été tranché plusieurs fois. Voici 10 arguments contre l’obligation de porter un casque à vélo.
cycling  france  law  helmetwars 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Helmets helmets helmets | Forum |
The validity of any systematic review depends on the assiduousness with which the authors identify the existing published research. I'm not happy with this article for several reasons:

1) it was published in a paywalled venue, excluding the general public, and also many interested professionals should their institution not subscribe to the journal. Good science is open science. Hiding your results from public scrutiny, in this day and age, is simply not acceptable. Happily there is

2) Even once the article is obtained, the methods section lacks a clear description of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, which can only be obtained by requesting the study protocol from the first author. As the flowchart in figure 1 (results) makes clear, their initial search yielded 2393 "records"; the exclusion of duplicates took this to 1215 records (fair enough), BUT then the records are "screened" excluding 1124 records to yield 91 articles that were actually analysed at full-text level and THEN another 48 excluded ("with reasons") to yield the 40 studies that were actually included in the final analysis.

This screening process is NOT published. As, obviously, the choice of which data to analyse are crucial to the eventual results obtained, I am not a happy reader at this point.

3) Perhaps less important, but both authors declare that they are affiliated to a department of maths and statistics. I'm quite old-fashioned, but I like to see at least one medical degree among the authors when they presume to declare expertise on categorising the character and severity of injuries--in other words to have some clue about how the data were actually generated in the first place. This is particularly important when like is being compared with quite like, but not exactly. The specialist actually qualified to do this is a public health physician or medical epidemiologist. Now it may be argued that as this article has passed muster in the peer review process of the International Journal of Epidemiology, then it is OK, but given the opacity of the methods, I think reasonable doubt opens up.

4) Finally, the authors are Australian, and seem to have a vested interest in promoting the lamentable compulsion policy there. In their discussion they say that "the results of this review do not support arguments against helmet legislation from an injury prevention perspective." But we're not just interested in injury prevention: we're interested in overall health, and a decline in cycling participation is very clearly a decline in overall public health.

So I have serious doubts about the validity of their message.
dccomment  helmetwars  cycling 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Study: The Latest Evidence That Bike Helmet Laws Don't Help Rider Safety - CityLab
The point is not that helmets do nothing or that you shouldn’t wear them. If you fall off your bike and hit your head, it’s obviously much better to have a helmet on. At a personal level, if that’s what it takes to get you riding, by all means, helmet up. But at the local government level, it’s time to recognize that other safety measures have far greater public health benefits—in particular, well-designed infrastructure that separates riders from general traffic.

[my comment: Helmet laws were always a victim-blaming distraction from the real issue of bad driving and disrespect for cyclists, so research results that discredit helmet compulsion as an effective public health measure are hardly surprising. Looks like it's time to jump ship and demand "better infrastructure," while ignoring, of course, the real problem: too many motor vehicles, negligently driven.
Vancouver? Illegal to even cycle two abreast there, I read. Mustn't delay the motorist for even a moment, must we? I do understand that as a major oil producing country, each new cyclist is bad news for your economy. Best put the cyclists off the road on to some annoying narrow cycle lanes with plenty of stop lines and long waits at tricky junctions. If you can ensure the cycle track surfacing is inferior, whilst banning cyclists from using the nice smooth direct road alongside, so much the better. Make sure you include plenty of car parking alongside so they'll get doored now and again. Do route cyclists up on to the sidewalk from time to time: it's an effective way of making cyclists more generally disliked by pedestrians, further diverting attention from the real problem.
Yes, more cycle infrastructure is certainly the answer: for committed Fordists.]
cycling  helmetwars  canada  dccomment  pqpc 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Wearing a helmet makes cyclists take more risks, study indicates - Cycling Weekly
Psychologists at the University of Bath have now shown that people take more risks when they wear a helmet. Studies of injury data suggested this before but, for the first time, it’s been demonstrated in the lab.
cycling  road_safety  helmetwars 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Bicycling injury hospitalisation rates in Canadian jurisdictions: analyses examining associations with helmet legislation and mode share -- Teschke et al. 5 (11) -- BMJ Open
The fact that we did not find an effect of helmet legislation for injuries to any body region is not surprising, since most injuries were not head injuries. Even studies of helmet use have not found an effect for serious injuries to any body region.48 After a crash, injuries to the torso, extremities and neck cannot be mitigated by a helmet, and injuries to these body regions were incurred in 87% of the hospitalisations in this study. The lack of a protective effect of legislation on brain and head injury rates is more unexpected. Helmet legislation in Canada has resulted in higher helmet use, so this cannot explain the results.
cycling  road_safety  dccomment  helmetwars  canada  bmj 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
(22) Faut-il porter un casque à vélo ? - Libération
Dans les compétitions cyclistes organisées par l’Union cycliste internationale, la question ne se pose pas : le casque est obligatoire.
cycling  helmetwars  français  jbcomment 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Radars supplémentaires, drones, contrôle technique : ce qui va changer sur les routes - Libération
Les «usagers vulnérables», c’est-à-dire les piétons et les cyclistes, font également l’objet de nouvelles mesures. «Les enfants de moins de 12 ans seront quant à eux obligés de porter un casque quand ils font du vélo», a annoncé Manuel Valls vendredi matin.
jbcomment  cycling  road_safety  helmetwars  français 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
The effects of New Zealand’s cycle helmet law: The evidence and what it means. | Road Danger Reduction Forum
Road safety theory and politics

Ultimately the debate about cycle helmets is of great importance because it draws attention to major issues of safety on the road. Risk compensation suggests that iconic “road safety “initiatives and ideology have... transferred risk from the most dangerous to others to thtose least dangerous to others and most vulnerable, as with seat belts, more crashworthy cars and highway environments more forgiving to careless driving
road_safety  helmetwars  cycling 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
Pour en finir avec le casque vélo
t pourtant, il se trouve que pour sauver des vies, il serait infiniment préférable d’imposer le port du casque aux automobilistes plutôt qu’aux cyclistes! Il est maintenant admis que si les automobilistes portaient un casque, on pourrait sauver des centaines de vies par an, soit beaucoup plus que les cyclistes morts lors de leurs déplacements urbains. Pourquoi les constructeurs de voitures, les associations d’automobilistes ou les députés ne militent-ils pas pour le port du casque en voiture? J’ai ma petite idée, mais je vous laisse tirer vos propres conclusions…
helmetwars  français  cycling 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
Why it makes sense to bike without a helmet — Howie Chong : Howie Chong
why is it socially acceptable for pedestrians and drivers to go about bare-headed? Why has cycling been singled out as an activity in need of head protection?
helmetwars  cycling 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
Bicycle-related head injuries plummet
Responses to this article

Avery Burdett
Helmet believers believe what they want to believe CMAJ published online July 9, 2003
Full Text
Malcolm J. Wardlaw
The Need for Controls in Reported Observation CMAJ published online June 27, 2003
Full Text
Douglas J Carnall
Scant data on denominator flaws report CMAJ published online June 27, 2003
dccomment  helmetwars  medicine 
june 2014 by juliusbeezer
Cycle helmets | CTC
CTC is opposed to both cycle helmet laws and to helmet promotion campaigns, as these are almost certainly detrimental to public health.
cycling  helmetwars 
november 2013 by juliusbeezer
Motoring needs role models | At War With The Motorist
reopened the debate on whether flame-retardant motoring overalls should be compulsory.
helmetwars  funny 
august 2013 by juliusbeezer
CR 193: The development of a protective headband for car occupants (2000)
These tests demonstrate that a headband for car occupants could significantly reduce the severity of certain head impacts in a crash.
june 2013 by juliusbeezer
Misguided doctors or marketing agents? | CRAG
Well-argued piece says helmet manufacturers are behind helmet wars (not car culture, interestingly). Lots of good links.
cycling  politics  helmetwars 
july 2012 by juliusbeezer

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