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Wear a helmet or face a £50 fine, Jersey's youngsters told...

Cyclists in Jersey aged under 14 will now be forced to wear helmets or risk a £50 fine, after the law was changed by politicians.

The country has long lobbied for tighter laws but previous attempts to make helmets mandatory for all riders have failed.

The change in the law was brought by transport minister Deputy Kevin Lewis and voted through by States Members.

Deputy Lewis said it was unlikely that fines would be enforced but told the BBC: "It is my wish and desire that once young people get into the habit of wearing a cycle helmet for a number of years, they would wish not to take them off later on."

The proposition was first mooted in 2010 by Deputy Andrew Green MBE, Minister for Housing.

Deputy Green, whose nine year old son received a brain injury when he was knocked off his bike said: “I am delighted that this vital piece of legislation has been passed and I congratulate my fellow Members in the Assembly for taking this bold but necessary decision.”

In 2010, politicians on the island rejected by a solitary vote a proposal to make it compulsory for all cyclists, including adults, to wear a helmet, although they approved by a margin of two to one similar measures for children aged under 18.

The move was welcomed by the brain injury association, Headway Preston & Chorley.

Liz Bamber, Headway Development Officer told the Lancashire Evening Post: “Being a keen cyclist... I am staggered by the number of people still not wearing helmets.

“It is hoped that the UK will follow Jersey’s example very soon.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

64 comments

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martib [64 posts] 2 years ago
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Deputy Green, whose nine year old son received a brain injury when he was knocked off his bike said: “

Ah the classic victim blaming, rather than tackle the cause because Politicians are too spineless to do take the more difficult options  102

"Liz Bamber, Headway Development Officer told the Lancashire Evening Post: “Being a keen cyclist... I am staggered by the number of people still not wearing helmets.

“It is hoped that the UK will follow Jersey’s example very soon.”" - When you have ensured that every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets. As an adult I can make my own decisions thank you.

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Joeinpoole [444 posts] 2 years ago
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Ridiculous namby-pamby nonsense. Why don't they actually examine the evidence before passing such laws?

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 2 years ago
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"Fines won't be enforced"

Another piece of legislation that will just gather dust then. Children under 10 can't commit a criminal offence. How are they going to enforce it?

One has to ask the question, if Deputy Lewis is so keen on helmets, why didn't he make sure his son wore one then?

Total bonkers legislation brought in by politicians who probably last rode a bike 40 years ago. God help us all.

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Wrongfoot [35 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm nether pro or anti helmet wearing (I like the option either way but mostly wear a helmet when riding) and I'd make a kid wear a helmet because low speed crashes not involving vehicles are common for kids, but generally I'm very much anti compulsion.

Not sure that a vehicle vs child impact has much to do with helmets when you consider how a tonne of metal and a plastic and a polystyrene box on top of a fragile child square up.

Stick a helmet law in and you can depend that the courts will use it to defend negligent drivers if they sideswipe a cyclist not wearing one and that's ridiculous. I guarantee at some point this will be used in mitgation/defence when a child under 14 is hit by a car in Jersey regardless of fault.  40

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graham_f [196 posts] 2 years ago
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List of places I want to take my kids on holiday:
....
.....
Jersey
....
...

Well done!

Edit: that's meant to have Jersey crossed out but can't get the formatting to work on my phone. Rather spoils the effect, but you get what I mean!

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Argos74 [416 posts] 2 years ago
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Wrongfoot wrote:

Stick a helmet law in and you can depend that the courts will use it to defend negligent drivers if they sideswipe a cyclist not wearing one and that's ridiculous. I guarantee at some point this will be used in mitgation/defence when a child under 14 is hit by a car in Jersey regardless of fault.  40

+ lots. Am instinctively pro choice - I wear one when bombing around off road/MTB courses, not for road/utility riding/commuting.

Also on balance, supportive of kids wearing them - they tend to be less skilled and come off their bikes more often, even without the [cough] help of cars. A little bit anti as well - they reduce uptake of cycling amongst the young. With a large proportion of kids coming out of school obese, we want to encourage more physical activity, not less. Not sure I would have been cycling now if I hadn't been doing my paper round on my Grifter and kicking up sparks with my BMX pedals on the way to school.

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truffy [653 posts] 2 years ago
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martib wrote:

When you have ensured that every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets. As an adult I can make my own decisions thank you.

It's a pity that posts cannot be down-voted, because I would surely down-vote this, and others that solely aim at 'ignorant drivers' as being the cause of cyclists' problems.

I don't disagree that there are a lot of ignorant drivers (and cyclists) out there.

But two cases from my own (direct and indirect) experience might highlight why cyclists need to look out for themselves, irrespective of 'ignorant drivers'!

CASE 1
A friend and I were cycling around the NL/DE border around 15 years ago. We remarked on the few locals who red with helmets. My friend and I were both wearing helmets. At one point my friend went across road-level tramlines at an angle, his wheel lodged and he fell off, hitting his head on the ground.

No drivers were involved in this incident!

Anyway, we got him to the local hospital. The doctor examined him and asked him if he was wearing a helmet. When he replied that he and been, the doctor replied that he thought that was the case...and that they get a lot of head injury cases among cyclists!

CASE 2
A well-respected scientist (i.e. not 'that stupid') was cycling with his sons. They were wearing helmets, but he was not (immmm!). One of his sons was in front and wobbled into his father's path, sending his father into a ditch. Broken head, death

And his son has to live with that for the rests of his life!

MORAL
Shit can (and probably will) happen. If you don't look out for yourself, no one else will. And if they're your kids, you have to look out for them.

My children ALWAYS wear helmets. And I do too, as much to set an example. What kind of parent would not want to do all they can to protect their children while they have fun?

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truffy [653 posts] 2 years ago
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truffy wrote:
martib wrote:

When you have ensured that every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets. As an adult I can make my own decisions thank you.

It's a pity that posts cannot be down-voted, because I would surely down-vote this, and others that solely aim at 'ignorant drivers' as being the cause of cyclists' problems.

I don't disagree that there are a lot of ignorant drivers (and cyclists) out there.

But two cases from my own (direct and indirect) experience might highlight why cyclists need to look out for themselves, irrespective of 'ignorant drivers'!

CASE 1
A friend and I were cycling around the NL/DE border around 15 years ago. We remarked on the few locals who red with helmets. My friend and I were both wearing helmets. At one point my friend went across road-level tramlines at an angle, his wheel lodged and he fell off, hitting his head on the ground.

No drivers were involved in this incident!

Anyway, we got him to the local hospital. The doctor examined him and asked him if he was wearing a helmet. When he replied that he and been, the doctor replied that he thought that was the case...and that they get a lot of head injury cases among cyclists!

CASE 2
A well-respected scientist (i.e. not 'that stupid') was cycling with his sons. They were wearing helmets, but he was not (immmm!). One of his sons was in front and wobbled into his father's path, sending his father into a ditch. Broken head, death

And his son has to live with that for the rests of his life!

MORAL
Shit can (and probably will) happen. If you don't look out for yourself, no one else will. And if they're your kids, you have to look out for them.

My children ALWAYS wear helmets. And I do too, as much to set an example. What kind of parent would not want to do all they can to protect their children while they have fun?

And anyone who really thinks that "when...every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets" is a bloody idiot!

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Anecdotal evidence winning over scientific evidence
Well done Jersey you backward, inbred, tax avoider shelterers you.

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Wrongfoot [35 posts] 2 years ago
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CASE 1, CASE 2, etc. MORAL. Most humans haven't the first clue about science and stats and look for narrative based upon individual cases. Doctors and surgeons included.

The effect of helmets on death rates (NB. Death rates not minor injury scratch rates involving stitches) as claimed by various medical professionals, vanishes when looked at on a population level. Unlike cancer and smoking etc. Conclusion. They are wrong about the death stuff and are basing their opinion upon personal experience and gut feeling not evidence based science. Like most humans do.

There's lies and damn statistics, but those statistics are still better than human confirmation bias. I don't want to be made to wear a helmet to save my life when it won't. I might choose to wear a helmet to help prevent minor injury and avoid a trip to A&E. There's a difference.

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rggfddne [217 posts] 2 years ago
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truffy wrote:
martib wrote:

When you have ensured that every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets. As an adult I can make my own decisions thank you.

It's a pity that posts cannot be down-voted, because I would surely down-vote this, and others that solely aim at 'ignorant drivers' as being the cause of cyclists' problems.

I don't disagree that there are a lot of ignorant drivers (and cyclists) out there.

But two cases from my own (direct and indirect) experience might highlight why cyclists need to look out for themselves, irrespective of 'ignorant drivers'!

CASE 1
A friend and I were cycling around the NL/DE border around 15 years ago. We remarked on the few locals who red with helmets. My friend and I were both wearing helmets. At one point my friend went across road-level tramlines at an angle, his wheel lodged and he fell off, hitting his head on the ground.

No drivers were involved in this incident!

Anyway, we got him to the local hospital. The doctor examined him and asked him if he was wearing a helmet. When he replied that he and been, the doctor replied that he thought that was the case...and that they get a lot of head injury cases among cyclists!

CASE 2
A well-respected scientist (i.e. not 'that stupid') was cycling with his sons. They were wearing helmets, but he was not (immmm!). One of his sons was in front and wobbled into his father's path, sending his father into a ditch. Broken head, death

And his son has to live with that for the rests of his life!

MORAL
Shit can (and probably will) happen. If you don't look out for yourself, no one else will. And if they're your kids, you have to look out for them.

My children ALWAYS wear helmets. And I do too, as much to set an example. What kind of parent would not want to do all they can to protect their children while they have fun?

I call bullshit. *Which* well-respected scientist? They are all traceable by virtue of being published authors.

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vbvb [620 posts] 2 years ago
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"The country has long lobbied for tighter laws", says the article.

Can this be true? I thought they had their own laws. Who did they lobby?

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vbvb [620 posts] 2 years ago
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39% of deaths in Jersey in 2012 were caused by circulatory or respiratory diseases.

I suppose people are pretty inactive over there if it's too dangerous to cycle without the helmets.

http://www.gov.je/Government/Pages/StatesReports.aspx?ReportID=1060

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oldstrath [692 posts] 2 years ago
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truffy wrote:
truffy wrote:
martib wrote:

When you have ensured that every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets. As an adult I can make my own decisions thank you.

It's a pity that posts cannot be down-voted, because I would surely down-vote this, and others that solely aim at 'ignorant drivers' as being the cause of cyclists' problems.

I don't disagree that there are a lot of ignorant drivers (and cyclists) out there.

But two cases from my own (direct and indirect) experience might highlight why cyclists need to look out for themselves, irrespective of 'ignorant drivers'!

CASE 1
A friend and I were cycling around the NL/DE border around 15 years ago. We remarked on the few locals who red with helmets. My friend and I were both wearing helmets. At one point my friend went across road-level tramlines at an angle, his wheel lodged and he fell off, hitting his head on the ground.

No drivers were involved in this incident!

Anyway, we got him to the local hospital. The doctor examined him and asked him if he was wearing a helmet. When he replied that he and been, the doctor replied that he thought that was the case...and that they get a lot of head injury cases among cyclists!

CASE 2
A well-respected scientist (i.e. not 'that stupid') was cycling with his sons. They were wearing helmets, but he was not (immmm!). One of his sons was in front and wobbled into his father's path, sending his father into a ditch. Broken head, death

And his son has to live with that for the rests of his life!

MORAL
Shit can (and probably will) happen. If you don't look out for yourself, no one else will. And if they're your kids, you have to look out for them.

My children ALWAYS wear helmets. And I do too, as much to set an example. What kind of parent would not want to do all they can to protect their children while they have fun?

And anyone who really thinks that "when...every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets" is a bloody idiot!

Your two stories make you want to wear a helmet. Fine, wear one and make your kids wear one. But do you really think they are adequate evidence for a law compelling everyone else to wear one?

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bikebot [2149 posts] 2 years ago
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I suggests the cyclists of Jersey organise a petition calling on all politicians to wear helmets whilst in office, especially for any TV appearance on photo opportunity.

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aslongasicycle [385 posts] 2 years ago
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*kids of Jersey continue to play Xbox and get fat and stressed...more future adults of Jersey die of sedentary diseases*

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JeevesBath [180 posts] 2 years ago
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martib wrote:

Deputy Green, whose nine year old son received a brain injury when he was knocked off his bike said: “

Ah the classic victim blaming, rather than tackle the cause because Politicians are too spineless to do take the more difficult options  102

Yes, I'm sure that he blamed his own son for being run over....
A tad insensitive thing to suggest don't you think?

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Wrongfoot [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah, hardly victim blaming. More likely Deputy Green want's to do "something" "anything" to make some sense of the tragedy. It's not surprising he wouldn't be objective, it is surprising and depressing that a whole island went along with a flawed premise.

PS. I agree that CASE 2 is clearly rubbish, a story like that with such tragedy and pathos would have made the nationals and/or be quoted with a proper source and named victim by the pro-compulsion campaign till everyone was sick of it. The classic urban myth phrases give it away for what it is, hearsay repeating a fiction. Prove me wrong...

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JeevesBath [180 posts] 2 years ago
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martib wrote:

Ah the classic victim blaming, rather than tackle the cause because Politicians are too spineless to do take the more difficult options  102
....When you have ensured that every driver in the UK, is driving as per the Highway Code, then we won't need to wear helmets. As an adult I can make my own decisions thank you.

Not trying to be argumentative, how would you propose that every driver be made to follow the Highway Code at all times?
Just to point out that having punishment for crimes doesn't always seem to work - just look at the number of murders, thefts etc that still happen despite there being laws in place to deal with these things and the number of people in prison who have broken them.
Everyone on here, myself included, is good at saying "someone should do something.." without actually knowing what should be done.
If you have an answer that doesn't involve turning the country into a Police state (more than it is already) or rebuilding the entire road network, then perhaps you should share it with us and run for Parliament yourself - I'm sure that everyone here would vote for you if you have a sensible/workable solution.

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antonio [1134 posts] 2 years ago
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And on and on it goes, (helmet debate what if's) at 76 and a near lifetime of riding my bike helmetless, racing (track excepted) and leisure, I must be the equivalent of Dickens's artful dodger.

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truffy [653 posts] 2 years ago
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nuclear coffee wrote:

I call bullshit. *Which* well-respected scientist? They are all traceable by virtue of being published authors.

You doubt my word?

Wrongfoot wrote:

PS. I agree that CASE 2 is clearly rubbish, a story like that with such tragedy and pathos would have made the nationals and/or be quoted with a proper source and named victim by the pro-compulsion campaign till everyone was sick of it. The classic urban myth phrases give it away for what it is, hearsay repeating a fiction. Prove me wrong...

Consider yourself proven wrong:
http://www.scienceinthebox.com/tff/
(it happened in Belgium, so it may not have appeared in the grotty rag you read)

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dodgy [203 posts] 2 years ago
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Unusual to see a helmet evangelist getting shouty and opinionated, even a dollop of trying to pull heart strings.

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KiwiMike [1239 posts] 2 years ago
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truffy wrote:

My children ALWAYS wear helmets. And I do too, as much to set an example. What kind of parent would not want to do all they can to protect their children while they have fun?

This kind.

We want our kids to grow up with a healthy regard for risk and consequences. As such we let them climb things that could kill them if they fell (i.e. anything over about three meters), swim beyond their depth (i.e. deeper than 1.2m), and specifically ride their bikes fast enough that the energy dissipation design limits of any approved cycle helmet would be greatly exceeded.

Having been such grossly irresponsible parents the last 13 years, the only time one of our kids required hospitalisation and a general anaesthetic was for a hand injury sustained walking along a completely flat footpath in a cul-de-sac.

Please do keep your patronising, condescending passive-aggressive 'I'm a better parent than thou' BS for your own circle-jerk of hyper-safety-conscious helicopter parents.

The rest of us love our kids just as much as you do, we just don't buy into the same level of 'safety' hysteria.

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sean1 [177 posts] 2 years ago
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The biggest causes of head injury in Under 14s are ;

i. accidents in the home
ii. accidents in playgrounds
iii. motor vehicle accidents (as passenger)

Cycling is only a very small percentage.

Funny how uninformed politicians always round on cycling for their doing a good deed for the community bit.

Lets have mandatory helmets in the home, it makes total sense.

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Paul J [908 posts] 2 years ago
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What bull truffy. You're probably making this stuff up. Who was this scientist? Give us a link to the news coverage of this tragic story. As for your story about your "friend", there of course will be no way for anyone else to validate it, conveniently.

Even if your stories aren't fiction, why do your two sketchy anecdotes beat the *vast* amounts of data that say:

* The safest countries for cycling do so without helmet use

* The highest helmet use countries have worse cycling safety.

Now, there's many entangled reasons for this, but two things are unquestionably true:

1. Helmets most definitely are not a pre-requisite for safe cycling.

2. Even assuming that high helmet use tends to indicate the environment is more dangerous, helmets clearly do NOT fix the problem of cycling safety not being as good as the best countries!

To disagree with these things is to disagree with widely observed reality.

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Wolfshade [197 posts] 2 years ago
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Once again, anecdote triumphs over evidence.

New Zealand passed manadtory cycling laws what happened:
KSI rates increased
Cycling rates decreased

The only difference was the law. Hmm, so what does it tell us, well obviously they are safer, well no because the KSI rate has increased and the participation rates have decreased meaning those fewer cyclists that last are suffering more KSIs.

It is simple. But, ho-hum we are stuck in our post-scientific society where everyone and his dog think that they are entitled to have an equally weighted opinion.

It's wrong, certainly you can have your opinion, but it should be worth nought when compared with evidence.

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JeevesBath [180 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:
truffy wrote:

My children ALWAYS wear helmets. And I do too, as much to set an example. What kind of parent would not want to do all they can to protect their children while they have fun?

This kind.

We want our kids to grow up with a healthy regard for risk and consequences. As such we let them climb things that could kill them if they fell (i.e. anything over about three meters), swim beyond their depth (i.e. deeper than 1.2m), and specifically ride their bikes fast enough that the energy dissipation design limits of any approved cycle helmet would be greatly exceeded.

Having been such grossly irresponsible parents the last 13 years, the only time one of our kids required hospitalisation and a general anaesthetic was for a hand injury sustained walking along a completely flat footpath in a cul-de-sac.

Please do keep your patronising, condescending passive-aggressive 'I'm a better parent than thou' BS for your own circle-jerk of hyper-safety-conscious helicopter parents.

The rest of us love our kids just as much as you do, we just don't buy into the same level of 'safety' hysteria.

Hmm, when my 9 year old son lead climbs the walls at our climbing centre, I insist on making him use a rope in case he falls. I never realised I was being so over-protective. Next time I'll just send him up there with a "you fall, you die" - that'll motivate him!
Sarcasm aside, there's a balance between managing risk and being irresponsible. I'm sure that you are responsible parents, as am I, but we all apply different -and subjective - criteria to risk. Some Americans think it's fine for twelve year olds to play with firearms. Am I hyper-safety-conscious for not thinking that's a good thing?
We know that there's a risk from cycling. A 'safety hysteria' parent wouldn't permit them to do it. Allowing them to do it but mitigating some of the risk through the use of a helmet is simply precautionary.
Having said all that, I don't agree helmets should be mandatory even though personally I almost always wear one.

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gavben [52 posts] 2 years ago
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This may or may not be the case referred to in the earlier post (urban myth investigation not my speciality). Google pops up a reference (in french) which rather indicates that the cause of the accident was poorly-secured netting from a construction site (the company failed to remedy after multiple reports)
http://www.forum-auto.com/les-clubs/section7/sujet326953.htm
Surely claiming "And his son has to live with that for the rests of his life!" sets a new low for victim-blaming.

Given the man himself was described as "a passionate champion for the use of science-based risk assessment in environmental decision-making", the fund set up in his memory doesn't appear to be lobbying for any kind of compulsory helmet laws.

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KiwiMike [1239 posts] 2 years ago
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JeevesBath wrote:

Hmm, when my 9 year old son lead climbs the walls at our climbing centre, I insist on making him use a rope in case he falls. I never realised I was being so over-protective. Next time I'll just send him up there with a "you fall, you die" - that'll motivate him!

Sarcasm aside,

...glad you added that JeevesBath. Of course you understand the difference between an extreme sporting activity requiring significant skill, strength and equipment where improvement is predicated on pushing limits ('falling off') as opposed to, say, climbing an apple tree or playfort.

That said, I'm sure Truffly has called NSPCC on yo' ass - we've all seen the first 5 minutes of Cliffhanger, that so-called 'climbing equipment' isn't worth a pile of old rope.

Or maybe it is  1

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Paul J [908 posts] 2 years ago
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Ah, I missed Truffy's link to the scientist. That link doesn't report on what happened though. Did Truffy know the scientist perhaps?

Anyway, again, just because 1 cyclist dies of a head injury from a bicycle accident still is not evidence that helmets are the answer.

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