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Do You Support Mandatory Helmet Laws in the ACT [With poll]

By howeph 10 May 2013 48

When you reflect on the following photo from Holland, what do you see?

Cyclists in Holland

What do you see in the photo?

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48 Responses to
Do You Support Mandatory Helmet Laws in the ACT [With poll]
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howeph 3:56 pm 14 May 13

RadioVK said :

In answer to your question, you could have asked if the people in the photo were exposing themselves to a greater risk of injury or death by failing to wear a helmet.

Yes I agree.

The middle option, for people such as yourself who think that it really is a good idea to always wear a helmet but don’t think that it should be illegal, should have been more measured. Maybe I should have had something like:

“People exposing themselves to a greater risk of injury or death by failing to wear a helmet, but it’s their life, their responsibility.”

But as you say, that option wasn’t the point of the exercise.

Spitfire3 3:36 pm 14 May 13

howeph said :

However clearly a number of people who wanted to answer ‘Yes’ did find it difficult. Why?

Simple. There wasn’t a “Yes” option.

RadioVK 3:27 pm 14 May 13

howeph said :

RadioVK said :

I think you just answered your own question by admitting that the questions were loaded…

I didn’t admit that the *questions* were loaded; only that the *answers* might be considered loaded.

Assuming that you meant “answers” above, what do you think the unbiased/non-loaded answers should have been to the same question?

If you did indeed mean “questions”, then again, please describe how my poll questions are biased.

Quite right, I did mean answers, rather than questions.

In answer to your question, you could have asked if the people in the photo were exposing themselves to a greater risk of injury or death by failing to wear a helmet.

Of course, this is largely irrelevant, as you have already admitted that this exercise was less about getting a meaningful answer to the question, and more about stimulating discussion. I can respect this, as you obviously have strong opinions on the matter, but you do risk coming across as someone with nothing but an axe to grind.

In any case, laws or no laws, you’ll never convince me that riding a bike without a helmet is a good idea, and I still think that anyone who would ride thier bike without a helmet is a bloody idiot.

I’m no fan of government over regulation or the nanny state, and I don’t actually care if the laws are abolished or not, as it won’t affect my decision on wearing a helmet, but sometimes the stupid need to be saved from themselves.

Dilandach 3:13 pm 14 May 13

howeph said :

RadioVK said :

I think you just answered your own question by admitting that the questions were loaded…

I didn’t admit that the *questions* were loaded; only that the *answers* might be considered loaded.

Assuming that you meant “answers” above, what do you think the unbiased/non-loaded answers should have been to the same question?

If you did indeed mean “questions”, then again, please describe how my poll questions are biased.

You clearly have no idea if you didn’t think they were loaded. You create a poll from a neutral standpoint without injecting your own bias, emotion or sarcasm into it.

A simple poll with the question “Do you agree with ACT helmet laws” with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Instead we got a poll with a picture attached with the first option being the one you wanted and any other option being the insinuation that anyone supporting the laws is pedantic, over exaggerating the danger posed by head injuries and should be in near hysterics over seeing people (in another country no less) riding around with no helmets.

howeph 2:57 pm 14 May 13

RadioVK said :

I think you just answered your own question by admitting that the questions were loaded…

I didn’t admit that the *questions* were loaded; only that the *answers* might be considered loaded.

Assuming that you meant “answers” above, what do you think the unbiased/non-loaded answers should have been to the same question?

If you did indeed mean “questions”, then again, please describe how my poll questions are biased.

RadioVK 2:09 pm 14 May 13

RadioVK said :

I find it funny that the OP was bleating about bias on one of the other threads regarding research into bike related injury that didn’t support their point of view, and then serves up this load of tripe as a “poll”…

Please describe how my poll is biased. I agree that the answers, in the sense that they use emotive language, could be considered as being “loaded”. Even so in order for behaviour to be made illegal, surely it must be thought to be sufficiently bad and demonstrably against the social good. E.g. for behaviour to be made illegal then it should fit the definition of “irrational” or “reckless”.

I think you just answered your own question by admitting that the questions were loaded…

howeph 1:45 pm 14 May 13

Well it looks like my little “poll” has run its course, so I’ll wrap it up.

First, thanks to all the Rioters who took part and to RiotACT for hosting it.

Whilst I do find the result of the poll very interesting, as you all guessed, my motivation for posting the poll was not to gauge the current community *opinion* on mandatory helmet laws, but rather to encourage those who support the law to reflect a little about the basis for their support.

Spitfire3 said :

Your heading is misleading. Before I opened this article, the heading made me think the poll would be “Do you support mandatory helmet laws in the ACT? Yes or no”. That would have been fair enough, and may have even given us a decent view of the cross section of opinion here.

Instead, I find the poll is more along the lines of “Why do you hate freedom and kill puppies!!?!!1”

Yes the heading is misleading, deliberately so, and I make no apology for it.

I wanted people to have already made up their mind, Yes or No, with respect to the laws before seeing the actual poll. People who had decided to answer ‘No’ had no difficulty, judging by the comments, in answering the actual poll question.

However clearly a number of people who wanted to answer ‘Yes’ did find it difficult. Why?

Postalgeek said :

Jezuz, talk about leading questions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

Absolutely brilliant! I love that show. But I disagree. Whilst I might have provided loaded answers, I did not ask leading questions, quite the opposite.

Leading questions step an individual along to get them to give the desired answer. Whereas I asked two questions:

* Do You Support Mandatory Helmet Laws in the ACT?

* When you reflect on the following photo from Holland, what do you see?

For those who support mandatory helmet laws, the questions are intended to be “leading” in opposite directions. The whole point was to highlight a possible contradiction in their opinion on helmet laws and their emotional reaction to the photo.

From Wikipedia on Cognitive dissonance:

“In modern psychology, cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel “disequilibrium”: frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.”

johnboy said :

It’s not loading. It’s the socratic method.

Yes, exactly. Thanks Johnboy I hadn’t made the connection.

RadioVK said :

I find it funny that the OP was bleating about bias on one of the other threads regarding research into bike related injury that didn’t support their point of view, and then serves up this load of tripe as a “poll”…

Please describe how my poll is biased. I agree that the answers, in the sense that they use emotive language, could be considered as being “loaded”. Even so in order for behaviour to be made illegal, surely it must be thought to be sufficiently bad and demonstrably against the social good. E.g. for behaviour to be made illegal then it should fit the definition of “irrational” or “reckless”.

M0les said :

Where’s the option for “I’m looking at a push-poll with leading multiple choices”?

It depends on your definition of a “push poll”. If your definition is:

“A push poll is an interactive marketing technique … in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.” [Edited extract form Wikipedia]

Then yes, guilty as charged.

If however you mean the sot of push polling, sometimes used in political campaigns by unscrupulous parties to spread propaganda and rumour mongering, masquerading as a poll; then I reject that entirely.

Which nicely brings me on to:

Ghettosmurf87 said :

Are you a politician howeph?

No I am not. Nor am I a member of any political party. I disagree with them all more or less equally.

Thanks again.

Cycling is safe.

KB1971 8:11 am 12 May 13

c_c™ said :

KB1971 said :

c_c™ said :

KB1971 said :

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all
??

D – Yes, wearing a seatbelt (seatbelt is to car occupant, what helmet is to bike rider)

So, driving a car at 100km/h is no risk?

Putting aside that your perception of the world appears to be completely black and white.

Of course not, and nor will wearing a helmet completely mitigate the risk of injury.
Point is with everything you list, there’s ways to reduce the risk via reasonable methods.
You make sure you don’t smoke, you drink and eat unhealthy foods in moderation and wear a seatbelt.

Helmet massively decreases chance of head injury.

I’m curious, would you drive a car without a seatbelt? More to the point if you have kids, would you let them ride without a seatbelt?

Oh, I am not disagreeing with you on the merits of the safety of helmets and seat belts. I still have a lump on my head where I cracked my head on the ground crashing my bike in the mid 80’s pre helmets.

Its the inference that cyclists should pay for their own health care that I am disagreeing with but I do see you are differentiating that with not wearing a helmet because of the increased risk.

I have said what I was going to say about that in the above post.

The RA post vetting system can make these conversations a bit higgledy piggledy at times.

c_c™ 10:06 pm 11 May 13

KB1971 said :

c_c™ said :

KB1971 said :

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all
??

D – Yes, wearing a seatbelt (seatbelt is to car occupant, what helmet is to bike rider)

So, driving a car at 100km/h is no risk?

Putting aside that your perception of the world appears to be completely black and white.

Of course not, and nor will wearing a helmet completely mitigate the risk of injury.
Point is with everything you list, there’s ways to reduce the risk via reasonable methods.
You make sure you don’t smoke, you drink and eat unhealthy foods in moderation and wear a seatbelt.

Helmet massively decreases chance of head injury.

I’m curious, would you drive a car without a seatbelt? More to the point if you have kids, would you let them ride without a seatbelt?

KB1971 9:37 pm 11 May 13

c_c™ said :

KB1971 said :

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all
??

D – Yes, wearing a seatbelt (seatbelt is to car occupant, what helmet is to bike rider)

So, driving a car at 100km/h is no risk?

Special G 6:59 pm 11 May 13

I see a bunch of overweight people riding bikes without helmets in another country with significant cycling infrastructure.

This other country is very flat and well suited to cycling.

KB1971 1:57 pm 11 May 13

Dilandach said :

KB1971 said :

c_c™ said :

Loaded question for sure.

To the individual posing it, let me ask, when you get knocked off your bike and your head gets smacked on the road, will you elect not to accept government health care and disability benefits that sap the taxpayer’s pocket for your stupidity?

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all

??

I’m sure no one will notice you just ignored the question. Seems to be par for the course.

& you are never wrong?

You may have noticed, the conversation is not finished and there is more to add from both sides BUT public health care is there for everybody, whether they be stupid or not, risk taker or not. Just because a rescue of a hand full of people a year makes the news does not make it a massive drain on society and the health system, obesity, alcoholism, drug abuse ect have far greater affect.

There have been a few people suggest that anyone who rides a bike should not be able to access public health because of the “risks” involved.

I am pretty sure that there has not been much thought put into the suggestion me thinks.

For the record, I and my family use a helmet every time we ride and would not be without it. The fact that the laws are compulsory or not doesn’t affect me nor am I against it.

Also, just to show you how selfish I am as a cyclist, I have private health and TPI for me/my bike to protect other people if I cause an accident (anywhere in the world in fact) 😉

c_c™ 1:26 pm 11 May 13

KB1971 said :

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all
??

D – Yes, wearing a seatbelt (seatbelt is to car occupant, what helmet is to bike rider)

DrKoresh 12:47 pm 11 May 13

Dilandach said :

KB1971 said :

c_c™ said :

Loaded question for sure.

To the individual posing it, let me ask, when you get knocked off your bike and your head gets smacked on the road, will you elect not to accept government health care and disability benefits that sap the taxpayer’s pocket for your stupidity?

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all

??

I’m sure no one will notice you just ignored the question. Seems to be par for the course.

I’ll answer C_C’s question; No, I wouldn’t elect not to use government health care or disability benefits. if you don’t like it, come and stop me.

Dilandach 8:02 am 11 May 13

KB1971 said :

c_c™ said :

Loaded question for sure.

To the individual posing it, let me ask, when you get knocked off your bike and your head gets smacked on the road, will you elect not to accept government health care and disability benefits that sap the taxpayer’s pocket for your stupidity?

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all

??

I’m sure no one will notice you just ignored the question. Seems to be par for the course.

BimboGeek 11:20 pm 10 May 13

You guys know that internet polls are pointless right? They can only ever be a bit of fun because they are too easy to corrupt. John, Joel and OP are having some fun. Calm the f#%$ down.

KB1971 8:32 pm 10 May 13

c_c™ said :

Loaded question for sure.

To the individual posing it, let me ask, when you get knocked off your bike and your head gets smacked on the road, will you elect not to accept government health care and disability benefits that sap the taxpayer’s pocket for your stupidity?

Do you:
A) Smoke
B) drink
C) eat fatty foods
D) drive a car
E) Have a life that has no risks of injury at all

??

54-11 4:31 pm 10 May 13

johnboy said :

We work with the tools to hand

True, true…

M0les 4:04 pm 10 May 13

Where’s the option for “I’m looking at a push-poll with leading multiple choices”?

thebrownstreak69 2:48 pm 10 May 13

Wahhh – the rules are the rules.

(Except when we don’t like them)

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