Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Helmets for motorists!

I had a comment left below by Michael from "And so to Bike"

Michael made the film about Sue the woman who fought the helmet law in court.

Apparently Michael has a new film about the vexed issue of how to introduce a bike share scheme in a country that forces you to wear a helmet when you're riding a bike.

Personally I think the best solution is to exempt people from wearing helmets if they are riding a share bike but I have seen one possible solution that might satisfy everyone. the stash helmet.

(you need to scroll down a bit)

What I really don't understand is why motorists don't have to wear helmets. Have a look at this press release:


18 September 1998

Head injuries to car drivers and passengers could be reduced by as much as 25% if they wore light protective helmets or even padded headbands, according to a research report released today by the Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS).

The report presents findings from a two-year study on head and brain injuries among car occupants. It was jointly conducted by the NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit (University of Adelaide) and the Monash University Accident Research Centre.

The study found that bicycle-style helmets would be as effective as driver airbags in preventing head injuries, and would provide considerably greater head protection than many other in-vehicle options, such as improved interior padding, side-impact airbags or advanced seat-belt designs.

Professor Jack McLean, head of the Road Accident Research Unit, said that use of protective headwear could be a particularly valuable safety option for people with older cars, but even drivers with airbags would benefit significantly from the added protection.

While full helmets would provide the greatest safety benefits, Dr McLean's detailed study of head injuries found that specially designed headbands could offer an innovative and practical alternative.

The proposed headbands would apply padding to the front and sides of the head. where most impacts occur. They would be lighter, cooler and less bulky than a conventional helmet.

A FORS spokesperson emphasised that protective headwear was being put forward as a voluntary measure only. "Car occupants are already better protected than cyclists or motorcyclists. But this research shows that safety could be improved quite a lot by using simple, low cost head protection. We are publishing these results so that the community can make informed choices."

Head injuries to vehicle occupants account for almost half of all injury costs from passenger car crashes. Beside the costs in human suffering, this represents a monetary cost to the community of about $1.5 billion per year.

The research report will be given to Australian helmet designers and manufacturers.

Copies of the report, Prevention of Head Injuries to Car Occupants: An Investigation of Interior Padding Options (CR 160), are available from the Federal Office of Road Safety by phoning (02) 6274 7185.


Michael said...

Those car headbands look pretty good. I'd wear one if I was heading up the pacific Highway to Byron.

But like bike helmets, it should be a matter of choice for adults. You judge the situation and dress accordingly.

It will be interesting to see whether the commercial hunger for Bike Share, like this Bixi scheme for Melbourne, will bring out clearer thinking on helmets.

As cities around the world cash in on cleaner air, less congestion, and more tourist dollars, a lot of new stake holders are suddenly going to get very interested, and wonder why we alone have to wear helmets.

We are already big losers, In this video, my friend, Bruce and I, innocenty rode around Sydney's beauty spots on a lovely day, and guess what, we saw 6 other bikes in as many hours.

Id this had been a bike share city there would have been thousands of the safe sit-ups, spreading their rider's tourist dollars like gentle rain on the pasture of the city.

Here's the film we of our discovery. Biking up The Wrong Tree.


If the Vimeo of our ride takes forever to down load, the Youtube version of Biking Up the Wrong Tree, is on the Blog.


Don't miss the provocative suggestion of how we could to come from behind from worlds' worst bike practice, and leap ahead to both cycling fame and safety.

Since Sydney is so broken up by the harbor and the narrow roads, which allow no room for separated bike-ways, it is very hard to create an effective bike-way network into the city.

Well, the solution is in the air. We create elegant aerial bike highways high above the mess, serpentining into the city from the four points of the compass.

The clue to the workability of this idea is in the superb climb up to the Anzac bridge, and the bridge itself, writ long and thin.

Ringlets, like the up-down ramp, would cascade down from the aerial path at useful points, like spiraling curls from a proud head of hair.

it would cost a lot, but like our Opera House, would be such a stunning system for Sydney to own, that it would catapault us into world commuter cycling leadership, and that in a key field for the future, sustainable transport.

These aerial paths don't have to be clunky concrete but could be built with windmill pylon technology, such as one sees superbly in display in Denmark.

If you like the aerial bike-ways idea, please write and encourage us to produce an animated film as to how it would work

Mike Rubbo

Sydney Body Art Ride said...

Hi Mike,

That bike system for Sydney would be a dream come true for all of us. I'd like it if the aerial paths were clear tubes so you could have a bit of protection from the rain. It would look amazing. Sounds expensive though. The solution we have been campaigning for is to simply put a bike path along every railway line. You would get a huge network very cheaply and as railways are built with little or no gradient there'd be no hills to ride up!