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Calling all cyclists - Grin with cat attached
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Calling all cyclists Nov. 17th, 2003 11:24 am
The helmet brigade's at it again; there's another pro-compulsion EDM out there that aims to outlaw cycling without a helmet. The EDM is 1783 and is already attracting signatures; a list of signing MPs is at:
http://www.cyclenetwork.org.uk/latest/doc/edm1783.txt

For reasons why this is such a bad idea, see:
http://www.ukcycling.net/news/index.php?story=608
http://www.ukcycling.net/pages/?page=helmets

You can locate your MP via your postcode and contact them at:
http://www.faxyourmp.com/

No doubt some of you will pop up with a "but helmets are a good idea" line; I won't stop you, but you're *very* unlikely to come up with any decisive fact that I've not seen in 9 years of researching the subject.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: achanchinou
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 03:56 am (Link)
If I'm cycling, I tend to wear one of the dorky style helmets that cover the scalp. The motorbike helmets are just downright dangerous with their blocking of the hearing and vision. I don't know just how many disadvantages regular bicycle helmets have but I actually had my head saved by one, so I'm not to averse to wearing them myself.
From: achanchinou
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 03:57 am (Link)
Although, I do believe it a bad idea to make anything a law, so there's that. :)
From: jadine
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 04:16 am (Link)
I'm strongly opposed to helmet laws- although we have them here in my part of the States- but I think helmet use is a good idea on an individual basis.

However, I have questions about some of the concepts cited there. How are pedestrians at the same level of risk as cyclists? Pedestrians are usually on the pavement, whereas cyclists are on the road with automobiles. Or is this different in the UK?

Are motorists actually so dumb as to provide less space and tolerance to cyclists wearing high-vis clothing and helmets?

How do cyclists have less exposure to pollution than motorists, as the second article claims? When I'm driving in traffic, I set my car to recycle air inside the cabin rather than drawing in outside air heavy with exhaust. When I'm biking, I can't do that. Or is this another cultural thing? - since the article describes the cyclist as having "his head above the cars", which is certainly not the case here, with the prevalance of idiots in SUVs.
From: wechsler
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 04:39 am (Link)
How are pedestrians at the same level of risk as cyclists?
The actual reasons fall outside my area of knowledge, but statistically this is the case. However one reason may be that pedestrians have to cross the flow of motor traffic more often.

Pedestrians are usually on the pavement, whereas cyclists are on the road with automobiles
Same here, legally, but the issue is confused by the insistence of some agencies on signing cyclists to use the pavement.

How do cyclists have less exposure to pollution than motorists
Their heads are significantly higher than car exhaust pipes, while car air intakes (aircon still being far from standard over here) are generally at the same level as, and very close to, the exhaust of the car in front.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: wechsler
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 08:22 am (Link)
Ooops, missed that one, but the answer's true enough. Sometimes it's deliberate, sometimes it's subconcious Risk Compensation.

Although I'm going to assume that the time someone tried to tear my head off from the back seat of a moving car for wearing one was a one-off.
From: ghoti
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 08:46 am (Link)
Isdn't the point not that 'wearing helmets is always bad' so much as that for some people it is suboptimal, and therefore we should be allowed to choose for ourselves?
From: wechsler
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 08:57 am (Link)
wearing helmets is always bad
I'm fairly sure I've never said that...
From: ghoti
Date: November 17th, 2003 - 09:12 am (Link)
Damn, I'm bad at communicating.

You've never said anything like that in my hearing, no. I was more thinking of the people who take the reasons not to wear helmets and assume that this should apply to every cyclist.
I don't think that sounds like you, and I didn't mean to imply that iut did.