Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog

Social media turns on online bike shop after guest post blog

by John Stevenson   November 6, 2013  

wiggle_logo_white-01

Online cycling giant Wiggle got into a spot of bother yesterday when it emerged that the company had posted a blog supporting the mandatory wearing of helmets.

It all started with this message, subsequently deleted, from the @WiggleCulture Twitter account: “Should cycle helmets be compulsory? WE SAY YES! http://blog.wiggle.com/2013/08/05/cycle-helmets/

The blog entry - originally posted in August - backed Sir Bradley Wiggins’ support for mandatory helmet use. It was credited to Wiggle employee Tim Wiggins and was therefore interpreted as reflecting Wiggle policy.

Reaction from the cycling community on Twitter was swift and less than laudatory.

The GB Cycling Embassy tweeted: “Newsflash - company that sells lots of bike helmets thinks you should be forced to buy helmets.”

Guardian reporter and cycling columnist Peter Walker commented: “@wigglebikeshop argue for compulsory bike helmets. Not sure I'll want to shop with them again immediately “

Cycling blogger David Arditti added: “@wigglebikeshop A company that opposes freedom of choice & spreads misinformation on bike helmets loses my custom.”

Wiggle found itself accused of an ill-informed contribution to the helmet debate because of passages like this:

“With a surge in the amount of cyclists on the roads there is always the worry that there will also be an increase in the number of cyclist deaths and number of cyclists injured from road accidents: it is usually the use of a helmet that dictates who falls into each of those two categories.”

And this:

“In the early 90’s, Australia passed a law for compulsory helmets which saw cycling rates plummet, particularly in teenage girls who thought that helmets were not fashionable: in fact cycling rates in this group fell by around 90 per cent. But is this initial drop in cycling rates worth the risk to save hundreds of lives? I think so.”

Cycling blogger Stan F was one of many who attacked the content of the article, calling it: “Poor science, scaremongering and linked to a buy a helmet button.”

The blog was swiftly modified to indicate that it was a guest post from the Ryan Smith Foundation, which campaigns for mandatory helmet use. The company also added: “Wiggle’s stance on the helmet debate remains neutral.”

Tim Wiggins posted: “I did not write this article. It was just published on my account. It's not my personal view. Thanks.”

Wiggins also said he had deleted the original tweet from the @WiggleCulture account. “It was a miscommunication within our team and didn't reflect my own or Wiggle's view,” he said.

But while the blog is now correctly credited, not everyone is happy with the end result. Wiggle have been criticised for the buttons on that link to Wiggle’s helmet pages and @ShoestringCycle commented: “still not clear enough it's written by that charity”.

Others have commented that it’s odd for a cycling retailer to appear to back helmet mandation at all, as cycling has decreased in jurisdictions such as New Zealand and Australia that have made helmet use compulsory. Wiggle might sell more helmets, but their sales of everything else would therefore probably go down if helmets were mandatory in the UK.

220 user comments

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Thanks for the clarification. I did not mean to offend.

I see the problem of contradictory evidence as there being a conflict between whole population studies and case controlled studies.

The case controlled studies depend upon the groups being compared having the same characteristics, which they quite evidently don't. None helmet wearers tend towards being a different sort of cyclist to wearers. Attributing the whole of the difference in accident outcomes to the wearing or not of helmets is wrong. This is why the study method and figures can be used to show the evidently ridiculous conclusion that helmets protect against leg injuries.

But you must know this.

The whole population studies in the real life experiments in NZ or Oz seem to me to be much more reliable.

Why do you conclude that the two types of study are of equal validity?

Risk homeostasis seems to me to provide a feasible explanation of why helmets don't reduce the casualty rate in helmet madating countries.

That is why I asked about Adams.

posted by felixcat [204 posts]
8th November 2013 - 11:59

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stumps wrote:
Personally i cant believe people would give up cycling because the law is changed, they obviously are not keen cyclists and to insinuate that the countries overall health will fall is on a par with people saying a helmet will save your life.

If it becomes law you will still get thousands of people cycling without a lid because it would be nigh on impossible to regulate and to honest we, as Police due to govt cutbacks, dont have the man power to effectively regulate it.

Whether you can believe it or not, helmet laws do reduce cycling. Why this is so is speculation, but the figures given upthread show that the miles cycled in Oz and NZ reduced after the law.
In New South Wales 23000 cyclists were fined in two years. From 2000 to 2003, South Australian cyclists paid AUD500,000 in fines for not wearing helmets. The Australian police have no problem with catching helmetless cyclists.

posted by felixcat [204 posts]
8th November 2013 - 12:14

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Joeinpoole wrote:
700c wrote:
... Or when you come off unexpectedly. in a proportion of these accidents you will hit your head. And in a proportion of these head impacts the helmet will lessen the damage to your head.

What is wrong with you helmet-wearing types that makes you keep falling off your bikes? .

ha! Clearly you have stronger views than me on the subject. I advocate personal choice, but if wearing helmet makes me a 'type', then fair enough..

Anyway, the point I was making was that humans are fallible and error prone. Whether you drive a car or cycle, walk, whatever. It's my belief that a helmet affords some protection in the event of being hit on the head, whether an impact is caused by me or someone else. The level of risk posed by hazards that are out there must be assessed by each individual and of course people will come to different conclusions and that's fine.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
8th November 2013 - 13:01

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I know my helmet saved my skull so I'm going to carry on wearing one.

I've been in an accident where I was able to roll so taking the damage on my clothing and the skin of my back rather than my head and neck. If I'd have been wearing a helmet I may have suffered more head or neck injury, and may even have come away saying I was "saved" by my shattered helmet. Interestingly the small scratch to my head would have counted as a "head injury" in some of the statistics bandied around in helmet debates. (I did regularly practice Judo at the time, so was used to rolling safely if unexpectedly catapulted towards the ground. This may have helped in my case.)

Helmets are not rated to protect against the kind of collisions you'll get in a road traffic accident, or a fall at speed.

That said, I do wear a helmet. It's especially useful in this weather to keep my head warm and dry. It has a reflective "Night Vision" shower cap on it. I just don't worry if I'm not wearing it for some reason. I'd rather they not become law. Culture is having the desired effect anyway. Some people don't like them and it's better to have people cycling.

I think my biggest reason to avoid collision, as well as the inconvenience, would be damage to my limbs.

posted by m0rjc [35 posts]
8th November 2013 - 13:05

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@John Stevenson, thanks for you're considered and detailed reply, you raise interesting points

If the wearing of a helmet to protect against impact is undermined by altered behaviour of others which puts the wearer more at risk, then this is a separate issue which has to be tackled through education and enforcement. It is perverse situation where the cyclist feels forced to remove some physical protection because drivers are more likely to break the law when the cyclist is wearing it! But I do accept we live in the real world and everyone will evaluate risk differently.

logically a helmet must provide a measure of protection against impact, considering for a moment the physics, independent of external factors such as driver behaviour.

As I said, everyone must - and does -evaluate risks themselves. Personally I will not rely on a potential effect of 'lack-of-helmet' causing poor, or illegal driving around me. Because I see the helmet as protection against the unexpected, which you cannot otherwise legislate for.

Most drivers do not set out deliberately to hit you and certainly you wouldn't plan on falling off, but it's the unexpected that is likely to result in a head impact. In that situation, I'd rather be wearing some head protection. That is all..

posted by 700c [556 posts]
8th November 2013 - 13:26

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PS @John Stevenson I am not trying to change anybody's mind with a 'hand-waving appeal', I'm not sure why you thought I was -please do what you want. I know some people think helmet-wearers are diametrically opposed to non-helmet-wearers. We really aren't, I'm sure we all want the same thing -to be able to cycle safely on the road.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
8th November 2013 - 13:38

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stumps wrote:
Personally i cant believe people would give up cycling because the law is changed

We're not making this up, you know. In territories that have made helmet use compulsory, cycling has declined.

Quote:
they obviously are not keen cyclists

How does that matter? They've gone from using a mode of travel that's cheap and has very handy collateral health and fitness benefits, to, in all probability, one that doesn't.

Quote:
to insinuate that the countries overall health will fall is on a par with people saying a helmet will save your life.

What other effect could it have? You only need to compare the obesity rates between countries that have a lot of active travel and those that don't to see that sitting in cars is a good way to create a nation of lardbuckets, with all the attendant health problems.

Quote:
If it becomes law you will still get thousands of people cycling without a lid because it would be nigh on impossible to regulate and to honest we, as Police due to govt cutbacks, don't have the man power to effectively regulate it.

That's surely a very good reason not to make helmets mandatory, then. The last thing the police needs is another thing for the Daily Mail to complain about you not doing.

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posted by John Stevenson [975 posts]
8th November 2013 - 14:00

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700c wrote:
If the wearing of a helmet to protect against impact is undermined by altered behaviour of others which puts the wearer more at risk, then this is a separate issue which has to be tackled through education and enforcement.

We've seen countless education and enforcement campaigns intended to protect vulnerable road users over the last few years, yet the cyclist KSI rate continues to rise. There's a word for people who keep doing the same thing even though it has been shown over and again not to work.

And this passing closer issue is one that drivers are almost certainly not aware of. Risk compensation's a subconscious phenomenon, unless you believe that people really think, "I'm protected, I'll do something dangerous".

Quote:
logically a helmet must provide a measure of protection against impact, considering for a moment the physics

Sadly, logic is clobbered by evidence. For whatever reason, be it risk compensation by riders and drivers, or the actual protective value of helmets being vanishingly small, their use is failing to improve road safety.

Quote:
I am not trying to change anybody's mind with a 'hand-waving appeal', I'm not sure why you thought I was -please do what you want. I know some people think helmet-wearers are diametrically opposed to non-helmet-wearers. We really aren't, I'm sure we all want the same thing -to be able to cycle safely on the road.

Fair enough - I thought the idea of these discussions was to spread knowledge and change minds, but if you're just here for the finger exercise that's fine. Smile

But careful with your assumptions too. I just want to be able to ride safely - not necessarily on the same roads as motor vehicles - and for everyone else to be able to do so too, regardless of their age or confidence. We won't get that by encouraging people to wear helmets, it'll only come with Dutch/Danish style cycling infrastructure.

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posted by John Stevenson [975 posts]
8th November 2013 - 14:30

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Wearing a helmet shouldn't be a law, not because I'm against them, on the contrary I wear one EVERY time I ride a bike.
I just don't want it to be the final straw that makes Mrs Plodasalongtotheshops start using the car instead.

The decline in bike users in countries where helmet use is mandatory (and enforced) is well documented (and a bit tragic really given the health benefits of having a bit of fitness in your routine) and serves as a warning to those who want it made law.

The most tragic thing is not governments imposing it as a law, it's that humans shun wearing a safety item for vanity reasons and use it as an excuse for not riding a bike...

If you don't want to wear a helmet that's your own choice but I'll keep wearing mine and thanking it for the numerous time I'm convinced it has protected my head.

posted by sethpistol [29 posts]
8th November 2013 - 15:12

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stumps wrote:

I wear one, i look like a numpty, it does not make me feel any safer nor will it stop a runaway car if i try to stop it with my head nor does it make me think i can go even faster now i'm wearing me lid. What it does do though is IF i come off and bang my noggin on the road, street furniture etc it MIGHT stop me getting a concussion or a split head and thats enough for me to wear one.

That's exactly what I say about the bag of crisps sellotaped to my head! Some people think it makes me look silly, but I don't care.

And, exactly like a helmet it's not designed to stop me getting a concussion, and the manufacturers are clear to point this out. But it MIGHT stop me getting a concussion.

So I wear it. And I can't understand why other people do not. Fools.

And I get to have a snack at the end of the journey.

posted by Ush [379 posts]
8th November 2013 - 15:45

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700c wrote:

logically a helmet must provide a measure of protection against impact, considering for a moment the physics, independent of external factors such as driver behaviour.

Logically: a helmet provides a longer lever on the head and spinal column.

Empirically: no reduction in serious head injuries are recorded in helmet. wearing populations.

Empirically: helmet wearing populations have lower levels of cycling.

Empirically: pedestrians suffer roughly the same proportion of head injuries.

posted by Ush [379 posts]
8th November 2013 - 15:50

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I wear 1 now and it isnt the law. I will wear 1 if it becomes the law and I couldnt give a monkies either way. I wear my lid because I feel it adds some form of protection if I am unlucky enough to crash.

End of

posted by gareth2510 [134 posts]
8th November 2013 - 16:00

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I think there's more to be done by manufacturers and government to test helmets to higher standards and to require higher standards to be met in the first place. It's quite possible this could account for varying reports on their effectiveness.

The empirical facts quoted by @Ush, above, are only useful in the helmet debate if you can demonstrate cause and effect (comparing across different populations etc introduces a lot of variables), so conducting real life tests in identical conditions, some with helmets, some without, would do it, however that would be illegal, so perhaps crash test dummies would be a start...

Again, everyone is free to choose, but I'd rather not take a decision about wearing a helmet based on uncertainty of their level of protection - I would still say better safe than sorry, but that's just me

As for suggesting their action as a lever on the spine outweighs any benefit in reducing direct impact on the head - well I am surprised the manufacturers are still in business and have not been sued for millions! I don't think this is the reality, but again, we lack proper tests to prove this, don't we?

posted by 700c [556 posts]
8th November 2013 - 16:31

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@700C

Helmet manufacturers have never claimed that their helmets reduce serious head injuries. Never. In fact, if you read the label inside your new Snell-B90 tested helmet you'll probably see a statement to the contrary.

Good luck sueing anyone when there's basically no evidence that helmets do anything besides take money out of the pocket of the gullible. Has anyone been sued for selling homeopathic medicine in the UK?

Helmets: homeopathy for the head

posted by Ush [379 posts]
8th November 2013 - 17:49

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700c wrote:
I think there's more to be done by manufacturers and government to test helmets to higher standards and to require higher standards to be met in the first place. It's quite possible this could account for varying reports on their effectiveness.

Testing to and meeting higher standards would simply make helmets hot and heavy. It's been tried. The first British Standard for helmets had a penetration requirement that was impossible to meet without using a hard outer shell and small vents. BS helmets didn't sell very well, as a result.

If I were being snarky, I'd say that this is therefore a great idea, as less comfy, heavier helmets would help to make more people opposed to compulsion.

700c wrote:
I am surprised the manufacturers are still in business and have not been sued for millions!

If you look at helmet marketing materials, they're typically very careful not to actually make any claims about the product's effectiveness, but rather to list so many circumstances in which the helmet won't protect you that you really do start to wonder if they have any faith in their products at all.

From one of Bell's motorbike helmet manuals:

Quote:
Your Bell Star is designed to reduce or prevent certain injuries, and studies show you are better off in an accident if you are wearing a helmet than if you are not. Regardless, a motorcycle helmet cannot protect against all foreseeable impacts or injuries. For example, your helmet cannot protect against spinal injuries, neck injuries, or any portion of the body it does not cover. In addition, it may not protect against injuries to areas the helmet does cover. For example, your helmet is made of energy absorbing materials which may or may not crush depending upon the impact. Sometimes the force of the impact is such that there is no crush, and sometimes the force of the impact is such that the material crushes completely, in either case at least some of the force of the impact is transmitted to the head and brain, and permanent injury or death may result.

In addition, some head injuries are not caused by impacts. They are caused by other forces, like scrambling an egg just by shaking it. You do not have to destroy the shell to destroy the contents. Helmets cannot prevent this type of injury. Because of the wide variety of accident scenarios, it is impossible to tell when your helmet will or will not protect against injury or death.

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posted by John Stevenson [975 posts]
8th November 2013 - 17:58

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I'm happy to offer you a simple lesson in GCSE physics and then an even shorter lesson in probability. Whether you decide to wear a helmet or not will then up to you. Legislation will have no effect on these lessons at all - decide for yourself.

It's all about the chances of a helmet saving you from damage, which may be temporary, permanent or fatal compared to the identical scenario you encounter without a helmet.

If we removed the seatbelt legislation tomorrow, would you drive without wearing your seat belt?

MikeF

posted by msfergus [16 posts]
8th November 2013 - 19:56

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One of the consequences of criminalising a healthy activity is that it's advisable to wear a helmet to protect yourself in the subsequent Police chase.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9380972/Cop-not-guilty-of-assault-...

Quote:
A police officer who allegedly drove an unmarked police car into a cyclist who was not wearing a helmet has been found not guilty.

Julia Lyneen Reddish, 40, appeared in Hamilton District Court before Judge Rosemary Riddell yesterday, where she defended a charge of assault with a blunt instrument.

In summing up, Judge Riddell concluded she did not find that Reddish's vehicle was used as a weapon.

The charge related to an incident in April last year where Reddish was accused of using excess force to stop Francis Wayne Marks, after she nudged the back of his bicycle with the front bumper of her unmarked police car.

Marks had earlier fled from the constable after being confronted about riding his bicycle while not wearing a helmet.

posted by jestriding [9 posts]
8th November 2013 - 20:08

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msfergus wrote:
I'm happy to offer you a simple lesson in GCSE physics and then an even shorter lesson in probability. Whether you decide to wear a helmet or not will then up to you. Legislation will have no effect on these lessons at all - decide for yourself.

It's all about the chances of a helmet saving you from damage, which may be temporary, permanent or fatal compared to the identical scenario you encounter without a helmet.

If we removed the seatbelt legislation tomorrow, would you drive without wearing your seat belt?

My thoughts exactly regards the seatbelt ruling.
Back to the topic at hand though...
I find it curious at the amount of negativity towards helmets in the posts above...When out riding I very rarely see a cyclist NOT wearing a helmet these days, so clearly if it were to become law to wear a helmet we are already conforming. Well apart from the cyclists who are too cool for school

posted by gareth2510 [134 posts]
8th November 2013 - 20:43

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msfergus wrote:
I'm happy to offer you a simple lesson in GCSE physics and then an even shorter lesson in probability.

As Ben Goldacre is fond of saying, I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that. Perhaps you'd care to read and digest the couple of hundred posts above, before patronising those of us who've taken the time to attempt to understand what's actually going on with this issue.

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posted by John Stevenson [975 posts]
8th November 2013 - 23:03

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gareth2510 wrote:
I find it curious at the amount of negativity towards helmets in the posts above...When out riding I very rarely see a cyclist NOT wearing a helmet these days, so clearly if it were to become law to wear a helmet we are already conforming. Well apart from the cyclists who are too cool for school

You're confusing scepticism about the efficacy of a device with negativity toward the device itself.

I see plenty of unhelmeted cyclists on the streets of London and Cambridge, though I don't see what relevance your observation has that you see lots of people wearing helmets. A couple of years ago I saw plenty of people wearing holographic wristbands too. Doesn't mean they did anything.

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posted by John Stevenson [975 posts]
8th November 2013 - 23:06

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FML why are you lot arguing about the effectiveness of helmets, that is completely beside the f**king point. Angry

This is a debate about making helmets mandatory.

This not a debate about whether YOU should wear a helmet, this is a debate about making helmets compulsory for everybody.

I am not against helmets.
I am not against you wearing a helmet.
I am not against me voluntarily wearing a helmet.
I don't disagree that helmets might lessen your head injury if you have an accident.

I am against making helmet wearing compulsory.

Being against helmet compulsion does not equal being against helmets.

If you're arguing for mandatory helmet wearing among cyclists then you should also be arguing for mandatory helmet wearing by pedestrians - pedestrians have more head injuries than cyclists, if you believe that helmets reduce head injuries and wish to demand laws then try demanding that pedestrians wear helmets. No? Why not?

I don't give a crap if you, your mate or your relative had an accident and were wearing a helmet, it's irrelevant, what is relevant is that promoting helmets makes people think that cycling is very unsafe - it isn't. By doing this people are being put off of cycling - this does the population as a whole a massive disservice, the negative health effects due to non-cycling massively outweigh any benefits of helmets by over thirty to one.

Is there anyone here who supports helmet wearing law for cyclists but not pedestrians - why don't you support helmet law for pedestrians - they are suffering more head injuries than cyclists?

posted by kie7077 [435 posts]
9th November 2013 - 0:40

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My observation was due to the amount of riders I see riding with a helmet as opposed to those who dont points to my opinion that a law wouldnt change much. If you already use your bike to get to work etc and a law comes in saying you must wear a helmet, would you stop riding your bike and jump in a car? Some how I think probably not.

Your comment regards wristbands lets you and all of your observations down.

posted by gareth2510 [134 posts]
9th November 2013 - 8:26

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kie7077 wrote:
FML why are you lot arguing about the effectiveness of helmets, that is completely beside the f**king point. Angry

This is a debate about making helmets mandatory.

This not a debate about whether YOU should wear a helmet, this is a debate about making helmets compulsory for everybody.

I am not against helmets.
I am not against you wearing a helmet.
I am not against me voluntarily wearing a helmet.
I don't disagree that helmets might lessen your head injury if you have an accident.

I am against making helmet wearing compulsory.

Being against helmet compulsion does not equal being against helmets.

If you're arguing for mandatory helmet wearing among cyclists then you should also be arguing for mandatory helmet wearing by pedestrians - pedestrians have more head injuries than cyclists, if you believe that helmets reduce head injuries and wish to demand laws then try demanding that pedestrians wear helmets. No? Why not?

I don't give a crap if you, your mate or your relative had an accident and were wearing a helmet, it's irrelevant, what is relevant is that promoting helmets makes people think that cycling is very unsafe - it isn't. By doing this people are being put off of cycling - this does the population as a whole a massive disservice, the negative health effects due to non-cycling massively outweigh any benefits of helmets by over thirty to one.

Is there anyone here who supports helmet wearing law for cyclists but not pedestrians - why don't you support helmet law for pedestrians - they are suffering more head injuries than cyclists?

Rather than getting so angry on a forum get out there and do something about it then. Fight the cause you appear to believe in so strongly

posted by gareth2510 [134 posts]
9th November 2013 - 8:33

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Flippin ek the same old crap yet again I'm off to have a crap its going to be a lot more fun than trawling through the same old arguments and rants again, but before I go here's my 10 penneth aka rant.

Get used to the idea folks, seat belt are compulsory so are motor cycle helmets, eventually so will cycle helmets!

WHY because people seem to think its everybody else's fault when they have an accident ITS YOUR LIFE be responsible for it, assume every motorist is out to get you! That's how I ride my bike and my motorcycle and funnily enough I drive my car the same as well. Is it going to stop some dozy tit pulling out in front of you NO but if your ready then maybe you have a chance to slow, avoid or get off before impact and wearing a helmet might save your life. I agree when a 32 ton truck turns left over you even wearing a car probably isn't going to save your life

Large vehicles have blind spots remember it and live.

People make mistakes, cannot be bothered or are just crap at controlling there vehicle remember that and live.

Do I agree with compulsory helmet laws no, will it happen? Probably if people don't start to take responsibility for there actions and I mean vehicle drivers and cyclists, if not then the government will.

Rant over you can all wake up now and I'm off as I really need a crap Cool

posted by sodit [67 posts]
9th November 2013 - 11:27

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Makes more sense for car occupants and pedestrian to wear helmets, see chart:

http://road.cc/sites/default/files/imagecache/galleria_1200/images/News/...

posted by kie7077 [435 posts]
9th November 2013 - 11:36

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@John Stevenson - to respond to a couple of points you've made in reply to me -

The point about why helmet manufacturers haven't been sued - you omitted the context which was @Ush suggesting helmets act as a lever on the spine, and by implication this makes them more dangerous than not wearing one at all. Sorry, but I do not think this is true. If it was, manufacturers would have been sued for millions. And they haven't. I'm aware that manufacturers go to great lengths to put disclaimers on their helmets, but that's not the point here

The other point you made about my assumption being wrong - that all of us want to cycle safely on the road - (because you, in fact, want separate cycling infrastructure). Well, we are on ROAD CC. It's a forum about ROAD cycling with whom you are employed. Surely it is a safe assumption that you wasn't to cycle on the road and do it safely.

I think you've made some great points, and very well argued, but at times, you and other anti-helmet campaigners are coming across as obtuse. As for accusing me of 'just being here for the finger exercise', well, it's a forum. What else would you have me do? Am I to feel bad for expressing an opinion?

posted by 700c [556 posts]
9th November 2013 - 20:47

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gareth2510 wrote:
My observation was due to the amount of riders I see riding with a helmet as opposed to those who dont points to my opinion that a law wouldnt change much. If you already use your bike to get to work etc and a law comes in saying you must wear a helmet, would you stop riding your bike and jump in a car? Some how I think probably not.

Your comment regards wristbands lets you and all of your observations down.

Most of the people I see wearing helmets and hi viz seem to cycle in the gutter rather than take the road or hop up onto the foot path. I actually had another cyclist tell me off for using primary. Meanwhile he had been cycling on the yellow lines!!

Edit - should have made it clearer they will hop on to the footpath rather than take the road

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posted by giff77 [1040 posts]
9th November 2013 - 20:58

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gareth2510 wrote:
My observation was due to the amount of riders I see riding with a helmet as opposed to those who dont points to my opinion that a law wouldnt change much. If you already use your bike to get to work etc and a law comes in saying you must wear a helmet, would you stop riding your bike and jump in a car? Some how I think probably not.

Your comment regards wristbands lets you and all of your observations down.

You don't need to think. You need to look at places who already have done it. Large numbers of people did. Evidence over-rules what you *think*

posted by nuclear coffee [114 posts]
9th November 2013 - 20:59

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sodit wrote:
Flippin ek the same old crap yet again I'm off to have a crap its going to be a lot more fun than trawling through the same old arguments and rants again, but before I go here's my 10 penneth aka rant.

Get used to the idea folks, seat belt are compulsory so are motor cycle helmets, eventually so will cycle helmets!

WHY because people seem to think its everybody else's fault when they have an accident ITS YOUR LIFE be responsible for it, assume every motorist is out to get you! That's how I ride my bike and my motorcycle and funnily enough I drive my car the same as well. Is it going to stop some dozy tit pulling out in front of you NO but if your ready then maybe you have a chance to slow, avoid or get off before impact and wearing a helmet might save your life. I agree when a 32 ton truck turns left over you even wearing a car probably isn't going to save your life

Large vehicles have blind spots remember it and live.

People make mistakes, cannot be bothered or are just crap at controlling there vehicle remember that and live.

Do I agree with compulsory helmet laws no, will it happen? Probably if people don't start to take responsibility for there actions and I mean vehicle drivers and cyclists, if not then the government will.

Rant over you can all wake up now and I'm off as I really need a crap Cool

It sounds like you've already gotten rid of all of it. Fully admitting you can't be arsed to consider anyone else's opinion but vomiting your own on the screen anyway.

And can you please explain this laughable assumption that "everyone is out to get you?" If that were true, no helmet or roadcraft would help. So what's the point?

posted by nuclear coffee [114 posts]
9th November 2013 - 21:03

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TL;DR: Keen cyclists cycle anyway; we want to get EVERYONE cycling

Keen cyclists cycle whatever happens. Heck, if you legislated that cyclists have to wear full body armour, you'd still get people on the weekend trying to beat the strava record for going up box hill while wearing 25kg of medieval kit. Obviously, seeing as we're modern people, you have to imagine it spray painted in dayglo vomit green, and with a decorative reflective stickers.

This is about encouraging cycling FOR EVERYONE. Look at all those drivers (always drivers, hardly ever passengers) you pass in the queues in central London (or even relatively rural Hertfordshire - rush hour traffic here is atrocious). Look at the people waiting for a bus, or trying to cram onto an already overcrowded tube.

A huge proportion of them(*) could do their journey on a bike, and feel elated and get some exercise (not too much, mind, you don't *have* to get sweaty on a bike). When I get on my proper bike, I have the full gear - SCREAMING dayglo wear, BRIGHT lights, helmet, etc. But that's for serious journeys. When I potter around London on a Boris bike, I don't (although I usually have an extra - bright - light on my bag, just to make sure I can get a laugh in court when the driver says "I didn't see him").

Mandating helmets will do bugger all to improve cycling safety. Few cyclists die of head injuries (*) that could have been avoided by helmets. Mandating helmets will dramatically reduce utility cycling - not sporting cycling. It would basically kill cycle hire schemes. You have to get from A to B in London? The tube would take 40 minutes of discomfort, a Boris bike 20 minutes of pleasant exercise - but you forgot to strap a lid to your bag...

(*) looking at the stats, the majority of car journeys are incredibly short.

posted by kraut [27 posts]
9th December 2013 - 22:42

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