Saturday, March 5, 2016

Cycling Safety Cycling Safely "Helmet laws and lycra make bikes unhealthy for casual cyclists" The Australian March 5th 2016 “Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured” Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002) "Cyclists are much more likely to Die from Bicycle Alone Accidents/Bike Falls or from Riding from the footpath onto the Road or Crossing than Dooring" Pete Dowe. Bicycle Network Victoria blames unsafe cycling behaviour problem on the increase in cycling participation and inadequate cycling infrastructure Victoria's Cycling Strategy focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” may be Negligent and Comment by Pete Dowe



The University of NSW study presented to an injury prevention conference in Finland this week showed helmets reduced fatal head injuries by about 65 per cent.

"...before and after helmet laws, and we found there was no change in the number of people cycling," he said.



The dogma of the goal to increase cycling participation by 
“making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 
is that it dictates we must have unsafe cycling or people won’t cycle.
So for instance unsafe helmet-less cycling has been put forward by the 
Freestyle Cycling Campaign as a means of boosting participation.
If one finds the helmet requirement can be deemed too onerous,
one wonders which other cyclists’ responsibilities could not be deemed a prohibitive disincentive
to “making it easier for people to take up riding”? or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 
a set of Bike lights?
Fundamental road safety measures
such as risk reduction behaviour,
and the responsibility to show a duty of care to one’s own safety as well as to other road users
can also be deemed a disincentive to
“making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 
The Freestyle Cycling campaign also deems the requirement to wear a helmet a disincentive to cycling participation because it reminds people of the risks of death, truncation of life and serious injury.
Remaining ignorant as to the risks involved in cycling has therefore also been put forward as a 
means of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation”

Pete Dowe







-        Why then ought Government seek to “make it easier for people to take up riding” or focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” without

-       1) first providing citizens with an informed choice as to the risks involved and risk reduction behaviour,
-       2) without addressing cyclists’ behaviour modification
-       3) and without providing adequate cycling infrastructure?

Cycling is about safe exercise and safe low emission travel.

The health and fitness objective is undermined where the means of exercise is unsafe.

-        “Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”
-        Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002)
.
-        Therefore it matters very much how people take up riding.

The focus must be on cycling behaviour modification to ensure that cyclists are behaving in a safe and lawful manner, and not simply on encouraging more cyclists.

In fact Bicycle Network Victoria has blamed the unsafe cycling behaviour problem on the increase in cycling participation and inadequate cycling infrastructure.

Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said "The huge increase in riding is outstripping the provision of decent facilities by the State Government and councils".

“The crush is getting so bad in some places that riders are starting to get stroppy because there is just not enough space to ride safely.

“The popularity of the bike lanes has led to cycle rage, with faster riders infuriated at being unable to overtake slower cyclists, and some riders forced to swerve into traffic resulting in crashes and near-misses.”

Herald Sun Feb 23rd 2016
  
"The fact so many new riders were taking to the roads meant there were a big group of "newbie" cyclists who had yet to learn the best way to conduct themselves on the roads,”

"the fact infrastructure in Melbourne had not kept up with the huge increase in cycling numbers was a factor in tensions between cyclists and motorists."

Gary Brennan
Bicycle Network Victoria 

Herald Sun February 13, 2013
-           
-        Cyclists are much more likely to Die from Bicycle Alone Accidents/Bike Falls or from Riding from the footpath onto the Road or Crossing than Dooring
-        and more likely to be seriously injured by Bicycle Alone Accidents/Bike Falls and Riding from the Footpath onto the Road or Crossing than from Dooring.
-         
-        Dooring accounts for one cyclist fatality,
-         
-        in Victoria during the period June 30th 2004- June 30th 2013  
-         
-        and 306 serious injuries in Victoria during the period June 30th 2004- June 30th 2013 
-         
-        according to VicRoads CrashStats.
-        Whereas Nine cyclists were fatally injured
-        and 510 cyclists were seriously injured
-        riding from the footpath or driveway onto the road or a crossing DCA 147 and DCA 148
-        during the same period.
-         
-        From Jan 2006 – 31/12/2012 Vic Roads Crash Stats records that there have been
-        
Five cyclist fatalities in its calendar year summary 
-        
from bicycle alone accident, bike falls
-         
-        This also give pause for those of advancing years who believe cycling is healthy low-impact exercise.
-         
-         From Jan 2003 – 31/12/2012 Vic Roads Crash Stats also records
-         
-        325 serious injuries from bicycle alone accidents
-         -         

-        Why then ought Government seek to “make it easier for people to take up riding” or focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” without

-       1) first providing citizens with an informed choice as to the risks involved and risk reduction behaviour,
-       2) without addressing cyclists’ behaviour modification
-       3) and without providing adequate cycling infrastructure?

I argue that Government 
"has a duty of care to ensure that reasonable action is taken to minimise the risk of harm to anyone who is reasonably likely to be affected by the department's activities.”
I argue that Government
 “may be found to be negligent where a failure to take reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”
  
Pete Dowe
Road Safety Advocate



Helmet laws and lycra make bikes unhealthy for casual cyclists


Illustration: Sturt Krygsman.
It’s a personal, if not national, health tragedy that I grow heavier by the day while my bicycle rusts in the rafters of the garage. It’s a conservative bike, solid and upright, no drop handlebars demanding any belly-folding contortion, three gears, ideal for stately progress along the even highway of life.
Sometimes I lament the waste of this honest set of wheels. “Why don’t you ride it then, you fat pig?” friends ask. I don’t reply; I simply put on the helmet. Some people are suited to headgear — the Pope, cockies, rap stars — but not me. The finest panama just makes me look like Mr Potato Head on holiday.
“Thanks, we get it,” they wince, as I begin to undress. “No need to show us the Lycra.”
In reckless moments I dream of riding to the shops bareheaded, ready to offer my aesthetic defence, but at $319 per infringement it’s cheaper to take a limo.

Former South Australian senator Dame Nancy Buttfield and world-famous Australian endurance cyclist Sir Hubert Opperman during more libertarian times, in 1964.
Like most of my generation, I spent half my childhood on bikes, disappearing at dawn on summer days and returning by nightfall. I thought I’d spend my twilight years cycling too, but not if I look and feel like a dolt. So instead of a twinkly-eyed, sprightly old cove, I will become a bloated burden on the state.
“Ah but the head trauma,” the nanny statisticians say. Helmet advocates are quick to point to the slight fall in such injuries, but not so quick to tell us cyclist numbers have dropped by a third since the law’s introduction 25 years ago.
Nor do they quote studies from Holland, France, Germany, Britain — or the majority of the world’s countries which have no such laws and calculate that the overall health benefit of increased participation outweighs the impact of accidents. Examine that research and it’s hard not to echo the observation that what helmets protect you against in Australia is fines.
What we’re missing, as usual, is a sense of proportion. I’m an adult; let me make my own risk assessment. It might be wise to wear a helmet in the Tour de France, hurtling down the Col de Mort at 100km/h with the peloton on your tail; I don’t think the same danger threatens if you’re tootling around the park a little over walking pace.
When did the gentle pastime of cycling become an extreme sport? We’ve surrendered it to the three-abreast, not-quite-as-fast-as-a-car maniacs covered in logos of companies that don’t actually sponsor them.
But their ranks may thin now NSW legislators have changed the rules: carry photo ID, or pay $106 not to have the outline of a licence ruin your sexy curves and bulges; try and pretend you’re Cadel Evans when you’re obliged to have a bell on your bike like Noddy.
Strangely, however, common sense may be making its return in the most unlikely of places. Last month the uber-nanny ACT announced it is considering a relaxation of its helmet law. Why it’s enough to make me waddle down to Canberra. Almost.

No comments:

Post a Comment