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Bike helmets would remain compulsory under Libs

By Charlotte Harper - 8 October 2016 10

bike-helmets

Bicycle helmets would remain mandatory under a Canberra Liberals government as part of a 10-year vision for the future of bike-riding in the Territory that would largely be funded through existing government resources and programs.

ACT Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury announced earlier this year that the ACT Government would engage an expert consultant to investigate and assess the potential benefits and situational risks of allowing people to ride a bicycle without a helmet in slower traffic areas such as parks, town centres, shared zones and university precincts.

Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe provided details of his party’s plan on cycling to the RiotACT exclusively this morning, and said it had a focus on improved connectedness, safety and a better experience for cyclists. A key goal was “no deaths on our network”.

Building on the previously announced pledge for dedicated cycle paths in the median of Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway and Flemington Road, the policy list features the promotion of electric bikes, updated cycling maps in innovative formats and improved fit-outs to accommodate taking bicycles on board buses.

Mr Coe said the Liberals wanted more than 10 per cent of commuters to regard cycling as their mode of choice, and to assist Canberrans to make this choice, his party vision included segregated/separate cycle paths on major arterial roads, the completion of missing links in the network, such as Kuringa Drive, and better lighting on the network.

Competition and recreation also feature in the plan, with a comprehensive cycling tourism strategy and regular world class cycling and mountain bike races in the mix.

Measures to improve safety in addition to the retention of the mandatory helmet rule would include support for technology solutions to help friends and family track vulnerable cyclists, better education for existing and potential cyclists and other road users and comprehensive street sweeping and removal of chip seal on cycle paths.

The Liberals would also look to expand the city’s cycle share scheme in consultation with the National Capital Authority and national institutions. The scheme is currently operated by Spinway Canberra with stations at six central hotels and the Southern Cross Yacht Club in Yarralumla.

“The Canberra Liberals support all forms of cycling, be it for commuting, competition or recreation,” Mr Coe said.

ACT Labor’s previously announced policy on cycling includes a $4.5 million bikeway loop linking UC and the CIT with Belconnen Town centre, more bike racks in Braddon and a push to grow Canberra’s cycling tourism economy in coordination with Visit Canberra. Labor has also pledged to spend $2.7 million on general footpath upgrades.

The Greens promises related to cycling include a $60 million commitment to upgrade walking and cycling infrastructure across the city over four years and $1.1m over four years to establish a better-resourced Active Travel Office headed by a walking and cycling coordinator in a bid particularly to encourage more women and children to travel by bike.

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10 Responses to
Bike helmets would remain compulsory under Libs
1
David Pollard 7:32 pm
08 Oct 16
#

Disclaimer: I’m an Independent Candidate for Yerrabi

The Greens responded to new evidence that allowing cyclists to not wear helmets in low speed, low risk environments increases rates of cycling without increasing rates of injury. Their response was to investigate and seek outside, expert advice on the matter.

Regardless of what you think of this particular policy, this is an evidence based approach to policy development.

Did the Liberals say they will build policy by ignoring new evidence, or that they already have?

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2
burtthebike 9:05 pm
08 Oct 16
#

“The Canberra Liberals support all forms of cycling, be it for commuting, competition or recreation,” Mr Coe said.” Except that they don’t. If they did support cycling, they would look at the evidence and immediately remove this law, which has not reduced risk to cyclists and has had massive negative consequences of health, obesity, pollution and congestion. There is a reason that only one other country has a cycle helmet law, because they did look at the evidence. But I suppose it’s asking a bit much for a politician to make decisions based on facts.

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3
Maya123 10:19 am
09 Oct 16
#

burtthebike said :

burtthebike said :

burtthebike said :

“The Canberra Liberals support all forms of cycling, be it for commuting, competition or recreation,” Mr Coe said.” Except that they don’t. If they did support cycling, they would look at the evidence and immediately remove this law, which has not reduced risk to cyclists and has had massive negative consequences of health, obesity, pollution and congestion. There is a reason that only one other country has a cycle helmet law, because they did look at the evidence. But I suppose it’s asking a bit much for a politician to make decisions based on facts.

burtthebike said :

burtthebike said :

burtthebike said :

“The Canberra Liberals support all forms of cycling, be it for commuting, competition or recreation,” Mr Coe said.” Except that they don’t. If they did support cycling, they would look at the evidence and immediately remove this law, which has not reduced risk to cyclists and has had massive negative consequences of health, obesity, pollution and congestion. There is a reason that only one other country has a cycle helmet law, because they did look at the evidence. But I suppose it’s asking a bit much for a politician to make decisions based on facts.

burtthebike said :

burtthebike said :

burtthebike said :

“The Canberra Liberals support all forms of cycling, be it for commuting, competition or recreation,” Mr Coe said.” Except that they don’t. If they did support cycling, they would look at the evidence and immediately remove this law, which has not reduced risk to cyclists and has had massive negative consequences of health, obesity, pollution and congestion. There is a reason that only one other country has a cycle helmet law, because they did look at the evidence. But I suppose it’s asking a bit much for a politician to make decisions based on facts.

You mean evidence like this.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598379/
“It is however, important to go beyond laboratory tests and understand whether helmets reduce injuries in the event of a crash in real?life; hence the review by Thompson et al.1 This review included five well conducted case?control studies and found that helmets provide a 63–88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Helmets were found to provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles (69%) and crashes from all other causes (68%). Furthermore, injuries to the upper and mid facial areas were found to be reduced by 65%, although helmets did not prevent lower facial injuries. The review authors concluded that bicycle helmets are an effective means of preventing head injury.”

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4
rommeldog56 2:48 pm
09 Oct 16
#

burtthebike said :

“The Canberra Liberals support all forms of cycling, be it for commuting, competition or recreation,” Mr Coe said.” Except that they don’t. If they did support cycling, they would look at the evidence and immediately remove this law, which has not reduced risk to cyclists and has had massive negative consequences of health, obesity, pollution and congestion. There is a reason that only one other country has a cycle helmet law, because they did look at the evidence. But I suppose it’s asking a bit much for a politician to make decisions based on facts.

here is some recent news on keeping cyclists “safe” : The largest review yet of bike helmet use by 64,000 injured cyclists worldwide has found helmets reduce the chances of a serious head injury by nearly 70 per cent. See this article here :

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/bike-helmet-review-throws-cold-water-on-sceptics-theyll-likely-save-your-life-20160914-grg5mo.html

If an objective is to keep cyclists ‘safe” on streets and on bike paths, keeping the mandatory wearing of helmets by all cyclists everywhere is a good start.

Your claim that the mandatory wearing of bike helmets “which has not reduced risk to cyclists and has had massive negative consequences of health, obesity, pollution and congestion”, is clearly rubbish. Even Pedal Power supports the mandatory wearing of bike helmets.

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5
burtthebike 9:09 am
10 Oct 16
#

Maya123 said “You mean evidence like this. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598379/ “It is however, important to go beyond laboratory tests and understand whether helmets reduce injuries in the event of a crash in real life; hence the review by Thompson et al.1 This review included five well conducted case control studies and found that helmets provide a 63–88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Helmets were found to provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles (69%) and crashes from all other causes (68%). Furthermore, injuries to the upper and mid facial areas were found to be reduced by 65%, although helmets did not prevent lower facial injuries. The review authors concluded that bicycle helmets are an effective means of preventing head injury.”

Maya, if you had bothered to look at any of the research about cycle helmets, you would have found that Thompson, Rivara and Thompson are the biggest promoters of helmets in the world. Their studies and conclusions are pseudo-science which has been peer reviewed and shown to be nonsense. You might like to check the facts instead http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1068.html

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6
burtthebike 9:17 am
10 Oct 16
#

@romeldog56

Thanks for bringing up this research, as it displays all the hallmarks of the helmet promoting obsessives. It wasn’t original research, it was a meta-study, or a compilation of other studies. The thing about meta-studies, is that if you choose your original studies carefully, and ignore the studies which don’t show what you want, you will always get the right answer. This meta-study started with the conclusion that helmets work and set out to prove it. The studies it used were small scale, short term and used questionable methods, and just because you gather together the results from lots of unreliable research, that doesn’t somehow make it reliable: it isn’t. All the long term, large scale, reliable research shows at best no benefit and at worst, an increase in risk. If you choose to believe the former rather than the latter, then you don’t believe in science, you prefer faith rather than facts.

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7
Maya123 11:10 am
10 Oct 16
#

burtthebike said :

@romeldog56

Thanks for bringing up this research, as it displays all the hallmarks of the helmet promoting obsessives. It wasn’t original research, it was a meta-study, or a compilation of other studies. The thing about meta-studies, is that if you choose your original studies carefully, and ignore the studies which don’t show what you want, you will always get the right answer. This meta-study started with the conclusion that helmets work and set out to prove it. The studies it used were small scale, short term and used questionable methods, and just because you gather together the results from lots of unreliable research, that doesn’t somehow make it reliable: it isn’t. All the long term, large scale, reliable research shows at best no benefit and at worst, an increase in risk. If you choose to believe the former rather than the latter, then you don’t believe in science, you prefer faith rather than facts.

romeldog56 said, “if you choose your original studies carefully, and ignore the studies which don’t show what you want, you will always get the right answer.” “prefer faith rather than facts”
I can see that from your comments, that’s how you think. But please, show the studies that support you. You haven’t yet.
Myself, when I went over the handles of my bike and my head hit the ground, I was very pleased I was wearing a helmet. No concussion, and where my helmet was no bruising, but I had some nasty bruising elsewhere, where I wasn’t protected by a helmet. I have no wish to do this experiment again.

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8
rommeldog56 12:26 pm
10 Oct 16
#

burtthebike said :

Thanks for bringing up this research, as it displays all the hallmarks of the helmet promoting obsessives. All the long term, large scale, reliable research shows at best no benefit and at worst, an increase in risk. If you choose to believe the former rather than the latter, then you don’t believe in science, you prefer faith rather than facts.

Prefer to “believe in faith” ? Thats what u do if u choose not to wear a helmet ! You had better go talk to your mates in pedal power then ’cause they support the wearing of helmets by cyclists.

On 2nd thoughts, don’t bother because there will just be no convincing some people anyway. Good luck in the future.

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9
burtthebike 5:33 pm
10 Oct 16
#

@romeldog56
“But please, show the studies that support you.” Here’s a few:

http://www.badscience.net/2013/12/bicycle-helmets-and-the-law-a-perfect-teaching-case-for-epidemiology/
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1146.html

All of them more reliable, and proven so on peer review, than the pseudo-scientific studies showing massive benefits.

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10
burtthebike 5:42 pm
10 Oct 16
#

@romeldog56

“Prefer to “believe in faith” ? Thats what u do if u choose not to wear a helmet ! You had better go talk to your mates in pedal power then ’cause they support the wearing of helmets by cyclists.

On 2nd thoughts, don’t bother because there will just be no convincing some people anyway. Good luck in the future.”

Thank you for your good wishes, and may I likewise wish you a long and happy life.

My position isn’t a matter of faith. I was one of the first people where I live to wear a helmet, so I did believe that they were beneficial, but then a friend suggested that I look at the evidence, so I did. I’ve never worn one since.

There are two kinds of opinion about cycle helmets: those who have looked at the evidence, and those who refuse to look at it.

My MSc dissertation was on cycle helmets, and for that I had to read massive amounts of research, and none of it convinced me that cycle helmets are beneficial, especially when the unintended consequences are so negative and huge. Regular cyclists live two years longer on average, and suffer less from all forms of illness. The BMA said that the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by 20:1, but some studies put it as high as 80:1. The only proven effect of cycle helmet laws is to discourage cycling, and those people who give it up suffer ill health as a result.

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