Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: When "common sense" isn't

426 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 18 Newer→ Last

  • BenWilson, in reply to BlairMacca,

    But all of these pale in comparision to your head cracking on the ground right?

    Ask yourself the same question, but replace "ground" with "dashboard" or "windscreen"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yup. At night, flashing lights. During the day, it’s mostly about how you behave. Ride big like you are actually a vehicle.

    I'm quite happy to let the big vehicles go through in some places -- I have no problem with slowing or stopping if I think it will be safer. But more often it's important to get out in the middle of the lane and be visible if it means the driver sees you sooner.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18815 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    But all of these pale in comparision to your head cracking on the ground right?

    I'm not going to rehash the arguments here, but for the rational arguments against helmet compulsion, http://helmetfreedom.org/ is a good place to start. Personally, I always ride with one (even in countries where this is not a legal requirement), but I can't really get too fussed about people riding bareheaded around "safe" routes such as the Wellington waterfront.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to BenWilson,

    Same answer though, surely its better than not having anything at all?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to JackElder,

    I thought helmets were only required on public roads?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I love this new site for Wellington cyclists. Especially the emphasis the videos seem to put on safe cycling.

    http://www.bikeeverywhere.co.nz/

    Road safety awareness in NZ does seem pretty poor, I see that as a driver, motorcyclist and cyclist. But for the latter two would always go hi-vis on the road. And vehicles should consider using lights much more often, especially if in grey/blue cars.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Common sense is neither.

    Have any coroners bright ideas on how death can be abolished been successfully implemented? It seems to me that coroners should go back to their main judicial function of determining whether a death involves potential culpability and leave policy to the political/professional arena.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to BenWilson,

    Except that we have a number of safety factors in cars, like mandatory seatbelts and the like, which, amongst other things, reduce the likelihood of someone’s head impacting the dashboard or windscreen.

    Probably more importantly, however, is that just because one mode of transport can be considered unsafe, that doesn’t tell us anything about whether we should take precautions with respect to some other mode of transport.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 408 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That would be highly impractical.

    and

    dressing like a Christmas tree. It’s times like these I really, really get close to defaulting to driving

    Really? I am in no way arguing for compulsory hi-vis gear but I do find this kind of resistance to the very idea of wearing it surprising. It really isn't that inconvenient. Again, as someone who was probably saved from some serious injuries by a helmet a few years ago, taking what are actually not very onerous precautions is - dare I say it - just common-sense.

    Edit: The second comment quoted above is not Russell's.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm quite happy to let the big vehicles go through in some places

    Totally, it's judgment calls all the time. Going through a pinch point, I might even stop if a bus or truck is next to me. But coming up Gt North Rd from Waterview toward Avondale, where the cycleway ends (halfway up, FFS!), I'll take the road, and generally give myself a meter from the kerb. If a vehicle can't safely pass me in a lane, then I want them to actually go the near-zero effort of indicating a partial lane change as they pass me, and moving across a bit into the other lane. If you leave it so that they think they might be able to squeeze past, they will very often do exactly that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BlairMacca,

    Same answer though, surely its better than not having anything at all?

    Surely. So do you wear a helmet in every car you get into?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    I also like Hilleke's response to the coroner's report:

    It is victim blaming in the worst sense – when the victim actually has done everything right and the driver and infrastructure are clearly to blame. It’s like blaming a child for being bitten by a rogue dog. You can force all children to be wrapped in bubble wrap (or kevlar?) every time they’re outside, but doesn’t it make more sense to tackle irresponsible dog owners?

    From the Cycling in Wellington blog (disclaimer: I occasionally post there).

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder, in reply to BlairMacca,

    I thought helmets were only required on public roads?

    Er... I thought you were saying that you couldn't see why someone wouldn't wear one? I was just saying that under some circumstances, I think it's safe enough that it's not a big deal if people "free head" it.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to HORansome,

    Except that we have a number of safety factors in cars, like mandatory seatbelts and the like, which, amongst other things, reduce the likelihood of someone’s head impacting the dashboard or windscreen.

    Countered, of course, by the fact that the car can and usually does travel a lot faster than a bike. Lots of people die from head injuries in cars which they might not have sustained had they been wearing helmets. In particular, a seatbelt doesn't do much to prevent your head colliding with the side windows, or the roof, or flying objects.

    Probably more importantly, however, is that just because one mode of transport can be considered unsafe, that doesn’t tell us anything about whether we should take precautions with respect to some other mode of transport.

    I think it's still informative about what level of risk balanced against cost and inconvenience we consider normal, which goes to what level of risk is acceptable. Otherwise you have no real way of drawing a safety line, and obviously the safest thing to do with a bike is not get on it in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen, in reply to BenWilson,

    And walking across the road, skateboarding, having a bath, going up the ladder cleaning the gutters?

    Following that line of thought, the wearing of seatbelts on buses should be compulsory but instead, I'm allowed to not just sit down without strapping myself in, but stand up with other passengers while going down the motorway. (Freely admit that I'd actually like to be strapped in on some bus trips...)

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to JackElder,

    You can force all children to be wrapped in bubble wrap (or kevlar?) every time they’re outside

    Again, this seems to imply that velcroing a vest on before taking off is grossly impractical, complex, and time-consuming. I just checked: it takes me about 8 seconds to put my vest on, including fishing it out of my bag.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to John Armstrong,

    I just checked: it takes me about 8 seconds to put my vest on, including fishing it out of my bag.

    Video or it didn't happen.

    ETA: Most of the time when I'm cycling, I don't carry a bag.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Maybe headbelts should be compulsory for car drivers?

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I understand while helmets are good for individual cyclists who do crash, collectively they affect vehicle driver behaviour in a way that increases crashes. Changes perceived risk.

    Not an intuitive or 'common-sense' connection, nor widely known. I don't have any links to the evidence base and hopefully someone else can explain better.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16605 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Juha Saarinen,

    the wearing of seatbelts on buses should be compulsory

    yes

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16605 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    I saw someone the other day wearing a helmet in a car. I assumed they were an exceedingly bad driver, either expecting to crash frequently or indeed planning a deliberate collision.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to BenWilson,

    Video or it didn't happen.

    I can do it in 6 if I hurry!

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Sacha,

    I understand while helmets are good for individual cyclists who do crash, collectively they affect vehicle driver behaviour in a way that increases crashes.

    I would be interested to look at the evidence for that.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder, in reply to John Armstrong,

    Again, this seems to imply that velcroing a vest on before taking off is grossly impractical, complex, and time-consuming.

    It's something else to carry everywhere. It's another layer of clothing on a baking hot day. If legally required, it becomes something else you HAVE to remember every time you get on the bike, or else you can't go anywhere (legally). It's of diminished use if you wear a backpack as well. It's a minor pain.

    Of course, all of these criticisms apply to, say, carrying a lock - which takes longer to use and is bloody heavy to boot. But it's another niggling little thing that people might not want to bother with, and which most other countries don't seem to worry too much about.

    Actually, that's something that hasn't come up in this conversation yet: are there any other countries/territories that currently require high-vis clothing for cyclists? Anyone know?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    OK, this is all getting complicated. Why don't we make it compulsory for drivers not to hit cyclists? That's actually the problem, isn't it? Cyclists don't throw themselves under the wheels of cars and trucks.

    And yet hitting cyclists is already against the law. Why is everyone angry with cyclists for getting injured and killed?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3438 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 18 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.