It's your responsibility. When does it become the fault of others when you ride without a helmet, and you're in an accident?

Today I saw 2 bicycle riders. I wore a helmet and was generally riding on the footpath, but riding through lights on a red pedestrian signal and almost hit by a car turning left. She kept going like nothing happened.

Then later on my drive home another rider without a helmet. Riding on the road.

I mean really. If either of then were injured due to a car hitting them. Whose fault is it and who should pay for their stupidity and medical expenses. TAC.

There is currently a push by the riders association that riding without a helmet is an option. WTF. Put a dam helmet on. Being hit by a car is going to hurt. There's also currently this thing in Vic where motorised bike riders are riding in the bike lane. I don't think this is safe either. Especially when there are uber bikers, and he's checking his phone as to where hes meant to be going, and not looking at the road ahead. OMG

It's not that hard. Even if you stumble off your bike yourself and hit the pavement it could be serious without a helmet on.

What do you all think?

Comments

    • +82 votes

      If you get into an accident and suffer head injuries, you put pressure on emergency services and possible disability support for the rest of your life, all because of something that can easily have been prevented.

      • +2 votes

        What about the health difficulties of not exercising?

      • +1 vote

        If you cause an accident (metro, peak hour), and you do it in a heavy SUV with a pedestrian destroying bullbar - should you be punished more than if you did it in a Holden Barina. Your choice of vehicle would in this case increase the amount of damage, put greater pressure on emergency services and possibly disability services.

      •  

        An inactive lifestyle also puts pressure on health services through obesity and related illnesses. The helmet laws led to a significant dorp in cycling and so contributed to a reduction in general health.

        While helmets definitely save lives and healthcare resources, it's not at all clear cut that the net effect of mandatory helmets does the same.

        • +1 vote

          The helmet laws led to a significant dorp in cycling

          "Significant"?? Source?

          What direct relation does mandatory helmet laws have to obesity rates?

          Is this the latest propaganda Kool Aid pro-cyclists have been drinking?

          To put it simply, because it has been covered ad-nauseam in this thread… Obesity is a lifestyle choice, helmet laws are an excuse. The obesity rate did not increase with any significance with the introduction of mandatory helmet laws. Sure, "some" people gave up and sure "some" people may take up some cycling if they didn’t have to wear a helmet, but it is hardly a contributing factor to obesity rates. There are plenty of other "non-helmet" related activities that obese people can do, but we still have obese people, ergo, mandatory helmet laws =/= obesity.

          • +2 votes

            @pegaxs: I'm not making excuses for anyone, I'm saying that if you actually want to save money and load on the public health system, as well as improving overall public health, then you need to actually look at what does that.

            Sure, having a crap lifestyle is a choice and the helmet law may be an excuse for that. So what? You're still having to pay for their healthcare via the public health system.

            Wikipedia[1] notes that "[a]n analysis of Australian census data before and after the introduction of helmet laws in some states, showed that in states which had helmet laws, the amount of cycling to work had reduced by about one third" (more data at the original article[2]).

            That's a significant "dorp" by any measure, and it's a drop that may be costing us more than we're saving through fewer accidents.

            As I mentioned elsewhere, the benefits of mandatory helmet laws are easily measured, and the costs are hard to measure. This leads us to overweight the benefits and disregard the costs but it doesn't make them go away.

            •  

              @ely: Removing mandatory helmet laws would not reduce obesity. People keep posting references to cycling and being healthier. This is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the mantra that repealing the current helmet laws would solve obesity (or at least curb is spiralling rate), and thus in turn, save tax payer money. This doesn’t stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.

              The crap lifestyle choices for a majority of obese people would still exist. Removing the helmet law would be the same as removing just the pies from the fridge. They would just eat something else, (ie: find another excuse). This is evidenced by the fact that there are a plethora of other activities that obese people can do to lose weight if they wanted to, where they don't have to wear a helmet. Hell, with some of them, they don’t even have to leave their house, but they still choose not to. Removing the helmet law is removing the excuse, not the cause. Removing the pies, not the want to eat them…

              And you are cherry picking data. Is that dorp still relevant today, and if so, how is it measured? Where/when was the study undertaken, who did it involve, how many people did it involve. Were there any other factors, such as cheaper cars, more public transport, change of work locations. Does it take into account what they opted for as alternative transport? I’m not sure if there were 1 million cyclists, 333,000 of them just gave up riding because of helmet laws alone. (More likely they asked 600 people and 200 said they gave up) And of that 1/3, how many of them went on to become obese? all? some? none?

              Instead of repealing the helmet laws (ie: take the pies away) what we need is a system that rewards people for not taking the car. (ie: a bonus for pies you don't eat.) A system that rewards users for taking up cycling, such as a reduced car registration if they did less than XXkm per year in their car and opted for healthier/cleaner/better solutions, this type of incentive may work. Removing the excuse, but not the reason will never work.

              •  

                @pegaxs:

                What is in dispute is the mantra that repealing the current helmet laws would solve obesity (or at least curb is spiralling rate)

                Someone claimed that it would solve it? That's crazy talk.

                Curb its (should I pointlessly quote your typos as you do my one?) spiralling rate? Well that's different; if it helps one person, then it's curbed it a tiny bit, and I don't think anyone disagrees that it has some impact the question is only how much and whether that's more or less than the the costs associated with cycling related injuries. If you have a read over the full article ncbi.nlm.nih.gov article then you'll see that even the assumption that the ban has had much meaningful impact on cycling injuries is questionable, so it doesn't necessarily take much in the way of health benefits to overcome that.

                They would just eat something else, (ie: find another excuse). This is evidenced by the fact that there are a plethora of other activities that obese people can do to lose weight if they wanted to, where they don't have to wear a helmet.

                Sounds like you didn't read the link; these are people that were cycling that then cycled less (or not at all), so your hypothetical couch potato is really beside the point. The issue is not people that were not exercising and are still not, it's those that were and now are not. If the helmet law stopped me cycling, then it has stopped someone cycling whether some couch potato was cycling beforehand or not (I'm still cycling, but I'd wear a helmet most of the time anyway).

                You seem to have trouble grasping this concept, so I'll try to demonstrate in a hypothetical scenario with one couch potato and one cyclist that's deterred by helmets. The following table shows the number of people cycling in each scenario.

                Optional Helments Mandatory Helmets
                Couch Potato 0 0
                Cyclist 1 0
                Total 1 0

                Nobody is trying to argue that the couch potato has somehow given up the activity that they were otherwise going to do (although this is your strawman). However it's entirely possible that the total amount of cycling has decreased because those that were cycling have cycled less. Honestly, this is so obvious that it's hard to believe your strawman is really a good faith misunderstanding.

                And you are cherry picking data. Is that dorp still relevant today, and if so, how is it measured?

                No, you're ignoring data. I don't know how relevant it is today, but I don't assume it's irrelevant. It clearly was relevant and, lacking data or reasoning to suggest otherwise, it seems reasonable to assume it still is.

                You also didn't read the article or you'd have a better idea about how the data was collected.

                Instead of repealing the helmet laws (ie: take the pies away) what we need is a system that rewards people for not taking the car.

                Those are good ideas and I'd certainly be open to them.

                • -1 vote

                  @ely: There is no "strawman" here, I am asking about comments made here that "mandatory helmet laws increase obesity". I am not comparing it to anything else or making wild accusations or going off topic. I am asking about the relevance of mandatory helmet laws and its affect on obesity. If anything, this is the strawman in this whole topic. This idea that pollution, greenhouse gasses, carbon emission, obesity, hospital admissions, road safety, taxes etc., etc. can all be fixed, solved, cured, reduced significantly by simply repealing a law put in place to minimise deaths and severe brain trauma, that is the real strawman here. I am just calling that notion absolute bullshit. The numbers and typical attitude of today’s culture just doesn’t add up to achieve these results

                  All I have asked for is verifiable data, hard data, relevant and up to date data to be presented so I can have my mind changed. You don’t get it. I want it to be that easy but I know it is not that simple.

                  The common rhetoric sprouted by the pro-cycling lobby (NB: I am a cyclist as well, just not militant.) is that helmet laws are the flood gates holding back all these great advances, when it just simply doesn't add up. From what I have read, and there is very very little information on it, is that, even if the helmet laws were repealed, there would only be a minor uptake in any cycling that would make a widespread difference. Repealing this law would not suddenly halt, or at least stunt the rampant obesity rate, it may make a tiny, little, insignificant blip, but not to the extent I am being force fed by the pro-cycling group.

                  From most of my reading of all the links posted here today and from all the comments that this forum has presented to me, the "average" non/low mileage rider would ride "more often" if the laws were repealed (what is "more often" though??). What they also seem to be on a consensus about is, that all they want to do is ride around the local park or down to the shops. At no time have I read that "a lot" of people would take up riding and use that as their main source of transport, nor would they utilise it as a way to improve or maintain health. The overwhelming consensus is that people just want to be able to ride to the cafe or the local park or to the local shop. Not really enough to offset carbon emission or obesity by any significant amount. It's about getting there quicker than walking, not about saving the planet or trimming their waistline.

                  While I agree that repealing the law would help a very few isolated out laying statistics, a majority of current cyclists said they would still wear their helmet anyway. Repealing the law in this case would be pointless, as most users would continue at the status quo, and the only net benefit that would be gained, would be by a very slim margin of outlying "maybe" cases. Out of the "maybe" pile, only a small fraction of these would be obese people, so, it's a fraction of a fraction that is to be gained, not significant change.

                  So, at the end of the day, it would change very little with a change to the laws. A majority of current riders would continue to ride with a helmet. Those that want to ride more are not talking about replacing their main mode of transport or using it as training regime, non-riders expressed that they just want to ride down at/to the local park or shop and obese people, who would benefit the most, have other issues that cannot be solved by not making them wear helmets. So the knock on effect of any of these sub groups to fixing the environment, saving hospital admission, getting obese people fit en-masse is 1/10th of (fropanity) all.

                  And please, quoting studies from the USA or from 1993 at the height of the helmet law backlash, is hardly relevant to today's situation here in Australia. It's like reading all these quotes, references and comparisons for the Netherlands, some magical, unicorn utopia that has a culture based around small distances, great infrastructure, commuting on bikes and general politeness. Almost the opposite to Australia. For the record, they are a country that has no helmet laws and the recent statistics I read was that deaths from bicycle related incidents exceeded that of motor vehicle related deaths. Guess they aren't polluting the environment, getting fat or taking up hospital space if they are dead, right?

                  For the record, I don’t give a rats ringbit about helmet laws, I always wear a helmet, what other people do with their heads I don’t care about, but I do care if someone tries to justify their position with regurgitated, made up, illogical bullshit. And saying that repealing current helmet laws would fix this and cure that or saying "I don’t need it, I'll never crash" is right up there with the "anti-vaxx" communities views.

                  Nice table by the way, with a statistical group of "2". Seems legit. Doesn't make sense, but it's nice.

                  •  

                    @pegaxs:

                    If anything, this is the strawman in this whole topic. This idea that pollution, greenhouse gasses, carbon emission, obesity, hospital admissions, road safety, taxes etc., etc. can all be fixed, solved, cured, reduced significantly by simply repealing a law put in place to minimise deaths and severe brain trauma, that is the real strawman here. I am just calling that notion absolute bullshit.

                    You're right, that is another strawman that you are presenting. It is absolute bullshit, but it's not an argument that's being seriously put forward by anyone except people like yourself that want to attack it.

                    You mention "a law put in place to minimise deaths and severe brain trauma" but the intent of a law is not the point; the effects are, and that's what needs to be assessed (as in the linked study). There was, at that point in time at least, little reason to think that it was achieving its goals, even leaving aside the reduction in public health caused by a drop in cycling.

                    I am asking about comments made here that "mandatory helmet laws increase obesity".

                    And this is incontrovertibly so. That it does is inarguable (if it contributed to even one person becoming obese then it has increased obesity), the question is by how much. The strawman that you were attacking was that joe couch potato is using the helmet laws as an excuse to not be more healthy. This makes as much sense as me claiming that the helmet laws are useless, because they have not reduced the risk of joe couch potato suffering cycling related head trauma.

                    Nice table by the way, with a statistical group of "2". Seems legit. Doesn't make sense, but it's nice.

                    Damn, I made it as simple as possible and you still didn't get it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I think you might be a lost cause.

                    Just to be clear, I'm not (necessarily) in favour of a repeal of the law. I think it's clear, and important to recognise, that it's not an unmitigated good (and not all bad either). Unfortunately there are many, like yourself, that seem to want to pretend that the valid criticisms don't exist instead of arguing that the good outweighs the bad - something that would likely be a much more convincing argument.

                    I do find it very interesting that here on OzBargain, where there's such a significant socially conservative/right wing block, that there's such a strong support for something that's very clearly a nanny state style of law. I suspect that much of the knee jerk support for laws that impinge on cyclists is less about the ostensible reason and more about a dislike for the perceived type of people that ride.

                    • -1 vote

                      @ely: Did you just learn what "strawman" is? Throwing out "strawman" every time you read something you don’t like or don’t agree with is a logical fallacy in itself. But have fun with your new found toy.

                      Please, read the rest of this forum. It is a notion that other people are saying that repealing helmet laws would bring back great swathes of new riders and push up engagment from low frequency riding groups and this would have the above mentioned knock on effects. I'm not saying it, other members are saying it. It's not my strawman. It's yours. I'm just questioning the validity of these outrageous claims.

                      I’m not going to bother to enter into it any more. It is off topic to what OP is asking and you are so fixated that you are right, that you are not even open to the idea that you could be wrong or ill informed. So, why bother trying to tell a stone it's a stone if it really thinks it's a rock?

                      InB4: Ha! you have nothing! I knew it!… No, quite the opposite. What I don’t have is time for people who make up/cherry pick statistics, quote incorrect/irrelevant studies or make wild claims that doing something small here, will have huge impacts there.

                      It is not my place to prove to you. I am asking the question of you. If your claim is so strong, just prove it. Show me the evidence. But to date, no one can. I have shown with logic how it isn't possible to achieve the utopia people are suggesting. Not saying it wont happen, it just wont be as big as what people are making it out to be. So far, all I have been shown is irrelevant studies and pro-cycling propaganda. I'm just asking, please, show me the evidence that you use to back up your claims. What is your source. Where did you read about it? I want to read it. I want to be convinced. Cycling is healthy, I agree. Cycling is good for the environment, I agree. Cycling is good for congestion, I agree. Repealing the helmet law will fix all of this… Sorry, cant agree, as simple maths and social studies will debunk that.

                      And yeah, I guess, technically, you are right. If the introduction of helmet laws made just one person fat, just one, then that is an increase. If you want a strawman, that is your example right there. (Kind of like a survey table with a subject population of 2.)

                      And unfortunately, I too thought I made it simple enough to understand that the correlation between repealing helmet laws and a substantial reduction on obesity (or congestion, or pollution, or head injuries, or mental health, or whatever) was nothing more than bullshit made up by militant, pro-cycling lobby groups and if that notion goes over your head, then it seems it's been a waste of time. I’m not asking you to convert to this side of the debate, I’m merely asking, either take off the rose coloured glasses, or at least tell me where you bought them.

                      And this this guy gets it…

                      • -1 vote

                        @pegaxs:

                        Did you just learn what "strawman" is? Throwing out "strawman" every time you read something you don’t like or don’t agree with is a logical fallacy in itself. But have fun with your new found toy.

                        I can tell from you response that you're a quite confused about what a strawman is, so I can see why you wouldn't realise that you're doing it, or why the things you're calling strawmen aren't.

                        It is a notion that other people are saying that repealing helmet laws would bring back great swathes of new riders and push up engagment from low frequency riding groups and this would have the above mentioned knock on effects. I'm not saying it, other members are saying it.

                        But that's not what you were claiming; that's not a strawman, that's an accurate depiction of what people are claiming. What you're claiming is that people claim that repealing helmet laws wills solve obesity. Spot the difference?

                        I'm not saying it, other members are saying it. It's not my strawman. It's yours.

                        You really don't have a clue what that means, do you? Please look it up.

                        I have shown with logic how it isn't possible to achieve the utopia people are suggesting.

                        The utopia is the strawman. Yes, you've successfully debunked a claim that is not being made. While that probably helps your ego, it in no way helps the discussion.

                        So far, all I have been shown is irrelevant studies and pro-cycling propaganda. I'm just asking, please, show me the evidence that you use to back up your claims.

                        You were shown evidence that helmet laws impacted cycling rates, and that the positive effects were overstated.

                        Cycling is healthy, I agree. Cycling is good for the environment, I agree. Cycling is good for congestion, I agree. Repealing the helmet law will fix all of this… Sorry, cant agree, as simple maths and social studies will debunk that.

                        Again, the strawman that "repealing the helmet law will fix all of this". I'm not claiming that, and I'm not providing evidence for it.

                        And yeah, I guess, technically, you are right. If the introduction of helmet laws made just one person fat, just one, then that is an increase. If you want a strawman, that is your example right there.

                        Again, you clearly have no understanding of what a strawman is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

                        But I'm glad that, on reflection, you did understand the table and the point. While we appear to disagree about the amount of impact that cycling has on general public health, we can at least agree that there's some impact.

                        (Kind of like a survey table with a subject population of 2.)

                        It's… it's not a survey. Do you think I went out and surveyed two people? Did I present that as a survey in some way? It's to illustrate the previous point and, in spite of your apparent confusion regarding the survey aspect, you do seem to have eventually understood.

                        And unfortunately, I too thought I made it simple enough to understand that the correlation between repealing helmet laws and a substantial reduction on obesity (or congestion, or pollution, or head injuries, or mental health, or whatever) was nothing more than bullshit made up by militant, pro-cycling lobby groups

                        Again, strawman. I'm not arguing that there will be a substantial reduction in obesity/congestion/pollution/head injuries/mental health/whatever if the helmet laws were repealed. That's not required to justify the repeal. The benchmark is not a substantial reduction in any of these things, it's just that the cost/benefit of no helmet laws outweigh the cost/benefit of helmet laws. That's a much, much lower benchmark than the one you try to set up in your strawman.

                        I'll reiterate from my last comment - "Just to be clear, I'm not (necessarily) in favour of a repeal of the law. I think it's clear, and important to recognise, that it's not an unmitigated good (and not all bad either).". I do not think it's conclusive either way.

                        the correlation … was nothing more than bullshit … and if that notion goes over your head, then it seems it's been a waste of time.

                        I get what you're saying, but (again, strawman), it's an attack on an argument that I'm not making and so it's irrelevant.

                        While your hilarious misunderstanding of what a strawman actually is does make your commenting inadvertently entertaining, it also makes it difficult for us to have a productive discussion. Please read and consider whether you're really trying to engage with what I'm saying or whether you'd rather just misrepresent it and then attack those misrepresentations - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

                        •  

                          @ely: Two notions you don’t seem to be able to get. The strawman here is you screaming strawman because you just found a new word that you mistakenly think kills any debate. The second is, I am asking a question. Where/What is the evidence that supports your initial claim that that helmet laws contributed to obesity and a reduction in general health? And what evidence do you have that supports that removing mandatory helmet laws would fix either of these issues?

                          This is why your comments are bullshit. Cycling rates that people quote that dropped significantly are from figures taken just after the MHL were introduced (Around 1993). Most of the people that stopped were school children (actually, their parents stopped them riding. Most bought a helmet for their children and sent them back to riding). Recent studies suggest that since this time, cycling rates have increased back to around what they were 28 years ago. There is also a suggestion that cycling rates have been falling since 2011. The major reason given for this fall is not helmet laws (as they are already in force), but lack of infrastructure, dangers about riding and lifestyle choices (my hair is more important than my safety).

                          In a report submitted to the senate with regards to helmet laws, it was noted that the biggest burden on the medical system, welfare system, family and support systems was brain trauma. While there is a cure of obesity, there is no cure for brain damage. The biggest burden on the health system is not "obesity", as people who are overweight and/or obese can still function and have a chance to change. People with brain damage are damaged for life and take a massive toll on the community in the way of health problems, staffing times and costs associated with constant care.

                          I dispute though that the people in society who are at risk of becoming obese are not riding bicycles because of compulsory bicycle helmet laws. - Dr Christian Kenfield, Chairman of the Victorian Trauma Committee of the RACS

                          While I agree that MHL have caused some people to ride less, but making the leap from MHL cause drains on health services and is a contributor to obesity is utter bullshit. There has been an increase in riding since the laws were introduced back to levels equivalent to that of the pre-MHL period. There has also been a decline in the last few years, and this is cited to dangers and lack of infrastructure and has absolutely nothing to do with MHL.

                          So, again, I say, repealing MHL will NOT fix obesity rates, heath rates, pollution, congestion or anything else, as the uptake will be minimal at best. There is no overwhelming evidence that obese people will take up riding. There is no overwhelming evidence that the MHL stops any significant amount of people from riding. But what there is evidence of is that dangers, infrastructure and lifestyle choices ARE the driving factor behind peoples choice to ride.

                          And if you spend a little less time attacking me (ErRrR StRaWmAn!), and a little more time reading (non-pro-cycling militant websites), you would understand all of this. I'm talking about your comment here. Your inference that MHL led to increased obesity and decreased general health and that a repeal to the MHL would fix this. This is not a strawman, this is what you said. I’m not making this up, I'm just taking what you said and asking you to explain your stance.

                          Here is a new one you can look up and add to your newly found "logical fallacy" book. "Ad Hominem" Stop attacking me and try proving your initial claim. Attacking me doesn’t make me wrong. It just makes you unable to prove your point.

                          Anyway, enough of your "strawman" autistic screeching. If your best counter debate is to scream "logical fallacy" and not actually address anything, then definitely I'm out. This is way off topic as it is and wailing "strawman" to cover for your lack of being able to back up your comments is way off topic.

        • +1 vote

          | The helmet laws led to a significant dorp in cycling and so contributed to a reduction in general health.

          While this is often cited, none of the advocacy groups actually explains the statistics.

          This is a great article about the change in cycling - https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2012/02/26/do-mandat...

          Unfortunately MSM continuously repeats the "massive drop in cycling" crap and doesn't do any actual journalism, perpetuating the myth that otherwise rational and self preserving adults will forgo cycling simply because they have to have something on their head for a short period that will save their life in an incident when an ice addict hits them with a car.

          Summary - Teenagers reduced cycling when the law came in because they were more concerned about their hair than their head.
          Over time cycling has actually increased and fatal injuries have decreased.

          The current advocates of removing helmet laws are still very short sighted and more concerned about their hair than public health and safety.

      •  

        Why do the freedom loving haters of the nanny state never mention that? I'd be happy for anybody to ride bikes and motor cycles without helmets, if there was an enforceable contract that they signed first so that not one cent of taxpayer money could be spent on any brain injuries resulting, for the rest of their life.

        •  

          Just let everyone do as they wish, but apon that you take the responsibilities of your own actions and don't burden others. If I trip over a crack in the footpath. I just say to myself. You idiot watch where your going and not your phone. Others go what's the number for Blackburn and Blackburn, so I can sue the MF. Get real. Take care of yourself.

      •  

        Far more pedestrians and motorists die from head injuries than cyclists. Helmets for everyone!

    • +41 votes

      I'm fine with that if you forgo your helmet in lieu of also receiving no medical assistance in the event you mash your melon into the pavement. No Medicare, no third party insurance, no ambulance ride, just you and your smashed melon, working it out together…

      • +1 vote

        I don't think that's how it works. That's why I'm asking. Who pays for these accidents? The drivers insurance company? They shouldn't if its the riders fault and then they also don't have a helmet.

        • +4 votes

          :Who pays for these accidents?:

          I do as a taxpayer if a public hospital sorts it out.?

          yes?

          no?

        • +1 vote

          At fault or not, medicare will cover lifesaving emergency treatment. Which is why I feel uneasy about the repeal of helmet laws. I don't want to pony up because you didn't like to wear a helmet.

          • +1 vote

            @Zenyatta: I don't want to pony up because you don't do any exercise and end up morbidly obese, but one of the downsides of a public health system is that you have to pay for the poor lifestyle decisions (or bad luck of the draw genetics, or whatever) of others.

            People should wear helmets (I do). Mandatory helmet laws do have negative health consequences as well as positive ones and it's not clear that the pros outweigh the cons. The pros are much easier to measure though, so… we have what we have.

          •  

            @Zenyatta: I am pro you desire to ban horse riding/racing as well.

        • -4 votes

          Riders health insurance if private. But generally, it's the drivers fault not the cyclists

      • +23 votes

        All this 'If you don't do this, we will take away that' starts a slippery slope to a lot of life exclusions.

        • If you don't wear a seat belt, ambulances shouldn't treat your injuries.
        • If you don't have smoke alarms, the fire department shouldn't have to pull you out of the fire.
        • If you smoke, you should receive any medical care funded by Medicare.
        •  

          Someone has to pay. We all have to make choices. All these 3 incidences, and someone not putting a helmet on can prevent serious injury or financial loss. Why do I have to pay for someone's incompetence and lack of their own care. That is the issue. Do you not put seatbelts on your kids in the car. WTF.

          I'm not saying the emergency workers shouldn't help. Just how dam hard is it to ambide by the law in the helmet laws. Its for your safety. That's why its there.

          • +11 votes

            @Dedbny:

            Why do I have to pay for someone's incompetence

            Stop running people over with your giant SUV, and you won't!
            I know its fun, but geez there are other hobbies you can get.

            • -1 vote

              @outlander: Its the cyclist that isn't concentrating and then realises there a big black SUV coming in front of them. I know who will win. I also have a feeling the one with the helmet may be better off then the one without it.

              • -5 votes

                @Dedbny: So a cyclist is riding at a safe speed in the bicycle lane, when you come roaring down the road 20km/h, driving your big ass black SUV, running over the cyclist because your distracted playing with your phone. And then you want the cyclist to pay for medical bills, because they weren't wearing a helmet so obviously every accident is their fault.

                How does that make any sense, at all..?

                • +10 votes

                  @outlander: You are purposely conflating two different issues.

                  In this scenario, the cyclist isn't at fault, the driver is wholly at fault. The driver will be dealt with.

                  As for the cyclist, the compensation they receive shouldn't place an increased burden to everyone else because they neglected to wear a helmet. The driver is no longer relevant to this discussion.

          • -7 votes

            @Dedbny: I smell right wing conversion.

            Welcome.

          • +2 votes

            @Dedbny: That is why cyclists get fines for not having a helmet.

          • +2 votes

            @Dedbny: Because we live in a society. If you don't want to pay for other peoples injuries, why should you benefit from other peoples work?

          •  

            @Dedbny: I ride the Melbourne Bike Share and a lot of people nick the helmets. I've confronted some of them who, perhaps not surprisingly, turn out to be brutes. It's unlikely you'll ever convince Australians to dismantle the NDIS and Medicare but, living in Victoria, you can make a difference by returning nicked helmets to the bike share. They have a sticker on them. Returning them will make the world a better place and increase the number of cyclists on the road wearing helmets.

        • -7 votes

          Seems like the root problem is free healthcare and disability pensions. Remove those and let people do as they will.

        • +4 votes

          Having consequences for actions isn’t a “slippery slope.” It’s a slippery slope that we are taking AWAY consequences and passing them on to others. I’m very at peace with all your dot-point suggestions.

          • +1 vote

            @haemolysis: Which of your vices would you like us to strip your healthcare away for? Most people aren't monks, living pristine little lives. It is an extremely slippery slope. Either cover everyone, or don't. Don't pick and choose or you'll find the bean counters choosing to exclude you.

            • -1 vote

              @polk: I think the important distinction to be made is that these are all things society has already agreed are irresponsible and you have the choice to follow them or not.

              • Choosing to not wear a seat belt
              • Choosing to not have a smoke alarm
              • Choosing to smoke

              These all seem fine to me - I would only be concerned if we started to include things that sometimes don't involve an element of choice (obesity where health conditions can play a factor etc.)

              If we pick and choose and find the bean counters choosing to exclude us based on a choice we are making, I don't see a problem. We can always choose to follow what society has agreed is the way to go and reap the benefits.

        • +1 vote

          I'd agree with all of those.

          You play by our rules, and we'll be there to help when you need it.
          If you don't play by the rules, you're on your own.

        • +8 votes

          Let's not ignore the leading cause of death in Australia - coronary heart disease.

          It's far-far more life threatening to be obese than it is to be a cyclist without a helmet.

      • +1 vote

        "just you and your smashed melon, working it out together…"

        Hilarious - had me in stitches!

  • +6 votes

    When does it become your own responsibility and not others?

    I know this may be needless pedantry, but I think the framing of a discussion is important, and it should really begin with "It's your responsibility" with the question then being - "When did it become anyone else's responsibility and why?"

    • +24 votes

      What about smoking, alcohol, and sugar? Should those not be discretionary as well due to the pressure they put on the health system. Far more people die from bad health due to those three. When you have public healthcare available you just have to accept that people will make bad choices and the tax payers will end up footing the bill. The solution isn't to stop giving them free healthcare, it's to educate them in what is best for themselves.

      I cycle to work everyday and I would always wear a helmet, no matter the law because I will always be better off in an accident if I wear one. But there are certain circumstances were it would probably be more beneficial to society to remove barriers from people cycling. Heaps of European countries don't require helmets, but they also have better cycling infrastructure than Australia.

      • +3 votes

        For smoking and alcohol there are huge taxes that try to recover the extra medical expenses. The equivalent for helmet riding would be you can ride without a helmet but you have to pay $500 a year 'no helmet' tax to recover the extra medical expenses caused by your actions.

        • +2 votes

          Dave's on the money - there are countries that have brought in similar "sugar" taxes and I wouldn't be against it if Australia chose to follow suit….

        • +2 votes

          Convenient you ignored the sugar part, which doesn't make your point about taxes.

          Anyway my point is that we as a country have already decided that we will foot the bill no matter how much you contributed to your medical issues. We certainly don't tax every single thing that contributes to medical issues and there are many high-risk behaviours that are not specifically taxed to recoup medical costs.

        • +1 vote

          Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia.

          The government should consider taxing an extra 1% per BMI above the healthy range. Could save tens of thousands of lives.

        • +1 vote

          Riding without a helmet is fined each time you are caught

          Rule 256 (1)
          Rider not wear bicycle helmet/fitted/fastened
          $337

        • +1 vote

          I highly doubt it costs $500 a year per cyclist in medical costs.

          smoking sticks deliver a handsome windfall to the Gov, even after health.

          I think we should ban horse riding.

  •  

    Who pays for pill popping teens at festervals that o/d? These people should pay for the fees incurred

    If someone doesn’t wear a helmet they should be charged for the hospital fees, or have it garnished from their wage.

    • +1 vote

      Yeah, but I don't think that's what happens.

      • +6 votes

        Of course, you drive pissed and smash into a pole and require 200k of surgery, at the tax payers cost

        No one takes responsibility in this country. Some twat walked into a glass door and broke her nose and sued the owner, people trip over cause they are on their iPhone, always someone else’s fault, I’ve seen people request to get on a plane, after the doors are shut, and arcing up when they are rejected. Always some one else fault, for people being late at airports.

  • +20 votes

    "While there has been a 46.5 per cent reduction in cyclist deaths — 88 in 1982-89 compared to 47 in 1993-2000 — Bicycle Network argued this corresponded with a 35.3 per cent fall in road fatalities during the same period.

    Bike SA chief executive Christian Haag told ABC Radio Adelaide's Breakfast program that Australia experienced a 30 per cent reduction in cycling participation rates after helmet laws were introduced.

    "The most interesting figure from the BN survey is that there are 30 per cent of respondents who articulated they would ride their bicycle if mandatory helmet laws were removed," he said."

    so… about a 30% drop in fatalities when helmet laws came in basically because there was about a 30% drop in bikers.

    i am one of the 30% that WOULD get bike if there were no helmet laws.

    in most other countries its optional now. they did the all the tests and all the trials and found that its bu"*#!it

    we were the first to introduce this nanny state law to the world, and now we will be the last ones to get rid of it.. yay us..

    • -7 votes

      Ok. Forget the stats. If a car hits you and it was your fault who should pay for your rehab? That's all I ask. You take the responsibility for your own stupidity as it is known that helmets can save your nog in an accident.

        • +5 votes

          lol. i bet u would be up for mandatory full body armour plate bike suits or mandatory foam ring hula hoops around the bikes. cos you if u had those… maybe it would be MORE preventable..
          push bike helmets do almost nothing. thats why its being talked about.
          riding a bike around the roads is extremely dangerous. its in everyones best interests to not do it at all.

          • +5 votes

            @ego22: According to this statistician:-

            "We collected data from 40 different studies using data from over 64,000 injured cyclists," he said.

            "We found that helmet use was associated with about a 50 per cent reduction in head injuries of any severity, about a 70 per cent reduction in serious head injuries and those are usually skull fractures and inter-cranial injury or bleeding in the brain."

            I'm a cyclist and I wouldn't cycle without a helmet.

            • +5 votes

              @trex: Those statistics are compelling. but safety with respect to cycling has a far greater correlation to the number of people cycling.

              More people cycling = greater awareness
              Greater awareness = less accidents (remember 85% of accidents between vehicles and bikes, the vehicle is at fault)
              Less accidents = less chance of you suffering an injury.

              Personally i'm happy to wear a helmet. But the research also shows that greater participation and the safety benefits would outweigh the additional risks of not wearing a helmet. This is why Bicycle Network has reversed their previously strong support of helmet laws.

              Finally. RE: who should pay for rehab. Plenty of drivers get in accidents (both at fault and not) and are not wearing seatbelts. They get covered by TAC. What makes them any more eligable than cyclists without helmets?

            • +1 vote

              @trex: i cycle 3-4x/week

              if i am riding to work in the city, i'd wear a helmet

              if i'm at a park with my 4 year old learning to ride - i wouldn't bother wearing a helmet and i don't think i should get a fine for not wearing one.

              • +1 vote

                @netpenthe: I get you, the law probably needs to be amended and not abolished.

                In WA it is "Bicycle riders travelling on WA roads and paths must wear an approved helmet with the retention straps fastened at all times". So sounds like riding in the park (off the path) might not need any helmet.

                I've got 2 young boys of my own, I wear my helmet even when I go riding with them just to set a good example. I would like them to think that I'm not the "do as I say and not as I do" type.

      • +11 votes

        u lost me at "forget the stats"..

        but if u bought a 20k car with a 4 star safety rating cos its "cool"
        when all the other 20k cars have a 5 star safety rating. and u get in an accident thats your fault. who should pay for your rehab?
        your take the responsibility for your own stupidity.

          • +3 votes

            @Quantumcat: The 4 or 5 star safety rating isn't the point but if you want a better example, the Ford Mustang got an ANCAP safety rating of 2. That will make a difference in an accident. The point ego22 is making is that we can make the same argument for every choice made that has some level of inherent risk.

            Where is the line drawn?

            Someone who gets injured hiking, rockclimbing, playing sports. People on bikes are obviously worse off than those in cars when involved in an accident - regardless of a helmet. Should we just not cover those who choose to ride bicycles at all? Maybe we should all just shut ourselves indoors, anyone choosing to go outside, let alone drive a car - is on their own.

            • +1 vote

              @ILikeBargenz: not trying to take either side, but if we're using car safety rating as analogy, then shouldn't we ban the sale of any car with safety rating below 3?
              Or maybe even anything below 5 should be banned?

              • +2 votes

                @Bargain80: Why stop there then? Why not just shoehorn everyone into living life a particular way and eliminate all choice from peoples lives.

                What we perceive to be acceptable risk is completely arbitrary. We don't see threads about wanting people in Mustangs to be excluded from health cover - but when it comes to not wearing a bicycle helmet, they should be excluded?

                You're either for public health care - or you're not. Saying people should be excluded because they don't live life according to your arbitrary standards is a bit hypocritical, because none of us live perfect lives.

      • +1 vote

        If a car hits you and it was your fault who should pay for your rehab? That's all I ask

        Immigrants.

      • +2 votes

        Taxpayers are footing the bill for diseases relating to smoking and drinking. I can’t imagine we can be selective about an accident that occurs when someone isn’t wearing a helmet.

        Also, we’re paying if someone say breaks their knee while cycling, even if they weren’t wearing knee pads.

      • +4 votes

        Maybe it should be compulsory to wear helmets all the time, from the moment you wake up… In case you trip down the stairs or a plane falls out the sky.

        Statistics are important.

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