Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stopped by the Police ...

I got stopped by the Police on my way to work this morning ... really, I was!

... and all apparently because I wasn't wearing a helmet?

The Officers did hand me some useful information about bike-security --- and it was good to see them being so visible on their bikes etc. --- but I'm not at all convinced that stopping people who are not breaking any law is the best way to sell a message??

13 comments:

AMW said...

You have to be kidding ? The police have obvously got too much time on their hands, either that or they were anti tram police :)

Andrew said...

AMW

Given events in Dublin today:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0916/luas.html

- you may just be right :-(

Andrew

AMW said...

Thanks for the link, I shouldn't say this but i can see that happening at the junction where the Southbridge meets the East end of princess street.

A lot of the traffic coming of the bridges skip the lights and what a disaster it would be if one of the councils prized bendy buses got mangled, wee shame :-(

asmith9983 said...

If you suffer a head injury due to not wearing a cycle helmet, the consultants will find it very difficult to determine if you are brain damaged as that is your normal ignorant Labour thinking.

Andrew said...

asmith9983

Many thanks for that considered contribution ...

Andrew

Downfader said...

I find it shocking that they thought it important to lecture you on helmets. I presume they've read up on the SNELL and ANSI testing methods...?

No helmet company will say even the slightest if its any good against a motorvehicle for an obvious reason. They were never designed for that.

The whole UK has become so anti cycling and silly about health and safety. (spured me to create this:
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/cyclehelmettest/ though people seem to blindly sign the "helmets NOW" types of petition)

Keep on riding, Andrew!

Andrew said...

Downfader

Thanks for the comment - and encouragement - I'll keep cycling, don't worry!

My main worry about the whole helmet issue is the creeping assumption that ALL cyclists SHOULD wear one - same type of atmosphere in Austrailia eventually led to compulsion with disastrous consequences for the uptake of cycling and all the wider health dis-benefits that have gone with it.

That said, I've signed your petition :-)

Andrew

Downfader said...

Ahh cool, thanks for signing!

:-)

I've tried to do a little research on helmets this past year and it was shocking what you find out about Australia.

Andrew said...

Lots of information here:

http://cyclehelmets.org/

Richard Keatinge said...

What a shame to have the police waste time harassing cyclists and peddling an intervention that has failed. Mass helmet use in Australia stopped a lot of people cycling and did nothing for head injury rates, see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=16565131 (Robinson's work uses the best scientific methods, all available control groups and so on.)

Helmet propaganda relies on overemphasizing the very small dangers of cycling and seldom seems to emphasize its large benefits. For anyone old enough to be a senior councillor it's far too dangerous not to cycle - regular cycling, Danish style, not too far, not too fast, nearly halves the death rate, see http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/160/11/1621. Taking up moderate exercise is about as beneficial as giving up smoking.

Bicycling is good for health, but bike helmets don't seem to be. Could the police more usefully spend time enforcing the Highway Code?

Andrew said...

Richard

Many thanks for the comment, and the links - I agree entirely with the point your making.

Andrew

P.S. This 'senior Councillor' cycles 4-miles a day, and I do try not to go too fast ;-)

mj_wardlaw said...

Andrew, you may be interested to read a risk assessment of cycling that I published about 7 years ago. It demonstrates that the risk in cycling is very similar to walking or driving - begging the question why the Police were not advising the pedestrians about helmets on the basis of the (far greater number of) pedestrian deaths in Edinburgh. See:
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2014.pdf
It really irritates me that officialdom remains so ignorant about cycling. It would be a great help if the council issued some kind of reaction against well intentioned but ill-informed safety campaigns by the police. Some years ago I had to pull up the Edinburgh police over a ludicrously badly researched safety campaign. See
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4619700.stm.

Good biking!

Andrew said...

Malcolm

Many thanks for the comment, and links ... much appreciated.

... I am minded to pursue all of this a bit further, so that information (and some of the info. in earlier comments and e-mails) could all be very helpful.

Thanks again.

Andrew