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B401 - Compulsory Cycle Helmet Bill watch

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    I really do not like this. While I do agree that people who don't wear cycle helmets while riding on the roads are taking a stupid risk, I don't believe it is the governments responsibility to penalise them for taking such a risk. By all means encourage people to wear helmets, but don't make it an offence not to.
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Firstly can you please split up each point

    A child that is 13 is an adult under Judaism and I (due to how I was raised) would gladly leave the decision to the child on whether they should wear a helmet or not.
    In which case you leave the question of when a child is legally an adult not to the rule of law but, instead, to the arbitrary judgement of whatever religious belief their parents happen to adopt? This is not fixed and stable; indeed, in theory there need not be an age of maturity, so the need to distinguish between mature and immature agents collapses.

    How is it going to make the child uncomfortable to reach their 'ends'?
    Well, if a child is brain-damaged because they weren't wearing a helmet when they unfortunately became involved in an accident, I'd say that it qualifies as being heavily disruptive in allowing a child to meet their ends once they mature (!)

    1. Are you seriously suggesting that one cannot be a parent unless the are biologically related?
    No, that was not the purpose of what I was saying. I was merely saying that you're leaving the control of a child in the hands of some completely arbitrary person;usually, I should add, only connected through genetics, which seems like a completely irrelevant factor (i.e. why does that mean that they have an entitlement over the child's agency?)

    2. How were you raised? did you not have a parent or guardian raise you? surely whoever raised you have a baring of how you turned out today?
    And I guess this is MY point: that since one's parents have a huge impact on the development of a child, then surely it makes sense that what a parent can and can't do ought to be regulated by the rule of law. I can't, for instance, deny my child from receiving an education. Independent of my wishes as an irresponsible parent, it is surely right and proper that, when the child lacks self-ownership due to its immaturity, the limits of what you can decide on behalf of the child (e.g. when it comes to welfare) ought to be stated clearly in law.

    If they don't want their child to go to school that is fine with me, school isn't the only way to get qualifications.
    And what if the child, once matured, truly regrets their irresponsible parent's decision that left them at such a severe disadvantage in the job market? I'm not saying that it necessarily follows that he is disadvantaged in this particular case, but I'm exploring the general principle. If a child is going to be disadvantaged or different in any way, I'd rather that the child made the decision for themselves (once matured) rather than leave the huge decisions about the child's future in the hands of some random person (random insofar as they have no justifiable entitlement over the child, unless you'd argue that parenthood gives you rights over a child, which I've argued has some very dodgy implications).

    The same can be said of the state getting involved in citizens private lives.
    We're talking about a marginal case here - that of children. I didn't open our discussion into the wider topic of paternalism for every mature citizen. I was just exploring your comments with respect to children. You're talking about the parent having full control over the decisions of a child; I'm talking about limiting the decisions that the parent is entitled to make.

    Don't give the child self-ownership? once a child is 13 they can do as they please as far as I am concerned. Why not? the parent has more right to raising the child than the state, I'd refuse to let the state tell me how to raise my child.
    Well yes, but I'm not talking about matured citizens. As for the part in bold, this is the precise claim that I'm tackling. On what grounds does the parent have any right to coerce a child? A parent might force a child to go to school. A parent might force a child from going to school. Why aren't you committed to a certain constitution, as a safe-guard, which dictates what is right and proper for maintaining a child's health until such time that they're able to make their own decisions?

    ---

    For what it's worth, I think that there are VERY plausible arguments in favour of paternalism in general, not just for children. This stems from the argument for marginal cases, which acts as a wedge to break down the coherence of the libertarian attitude towards self-ownership:

    Would we stop a mentally handicapped person from jumping off a cliff when he articulates his desire to fly? A precise end has been articulated - he wants to fly - however jumping off the cliff will not allow him to achieve his ends. Therefore, he chooses an irrational means. Therefore, this concept of "rationality" plays a central role in forming our intuitions over when intervention and coercion is legitimate, since we'd surely intervene to prevent a mentally handicapped person (who wishes to fly, not die) from jumping off a cliff. Perhaps libertarians would bite the bullet and not accept this intuition, but nevertheless I'd suggest that the majority of moral agents feel this intuition. So when a person's freely chosen means and ultimate ends are not aligned (and hence where irrationality exists), there are arguably cases where our intuitions would suggest that intervention is justified.

    edit: No doubt an unpopular argument on this forum; Johann Gottlieb Fichte used this conservative sort of argument in order to justify state coercion in the field of education, using education to eradicate irrationality: "you will later recognise the reasons for what I am doing now", and that is sufficient substitute for consent... or so he would argue. (Though Isaiah Berlin criticises this view in Chapter V, The Temple of Sarastro, in his seminal work 'Two Concepts of Liberty', blah blah blah).
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    (Original post by Melancholy)
    For what it's worth, I think that there are VERY plausible arguments in favour of paternalism in general, not just for children. This stems from the argument for marginal cases, which acts as a wedge to break down the coherence of the libertarian attitude towards self-ownership:

    Would we stop a mentally handicapped person from jumping off a cliff when he articulates his desire to fly? A precise end has been articulated - he wants to fly - however jumping off the cliff will not allow him to achieve his ends. Therefore, he chooses an irrational means. Therefore, this concept of "rationality" plays a central role in forming our intuitions over when intervention and coercion is legitimate, since we'd surely intervene to prevent a mentally handicapped person (who wishes to fly, not die) from jumping off a cliff. Perhaps libertarians would bite the bullet and not accept this intuition, but nevertheless I'd suggest that the majority of moral agents feel this intuition. So when a person's freely chosen means and ultimate ends are not aligned (and hence where irrationality exists), there are arguably cases where our intuitions would suggest that intervention is justified.

    edit: No doubt an unpopular argument on this forum; Fichte uses this conservative sort of argument in order to justify state coercion in the field of education, using education to eradicate irrationality: "you will later recognise the reasons for what I am doing now", and that is sufficient substitute for consent... or so he would argue.
    The only way to extend your argument from the insane person to the sane cyclist would be to claim that choosing not to wear a helmet is an act of insanity. No comment is needed on such an attempt.

    It's worth noting, also, that were one to accept the notion of paternalism for adults based on the supposed irrationality of people one would have to also accept that paternalism fails for the same reason - the patrons are also irrational.

    Assuming you don't want to claim that the patrons, alone among humans, are rational you would have to argue (I think) that their position as impartial bystanders allows them greater rationality. This is tenuous at best. But even if given still destroys your position for then as soon as someone who is in the same position of impartiality can declare it rational not to wear a helmet the patrons lose their claim to be the sole guardians of rationality.

    One of the strongest arguments, I think, for Libertarianism is precisely this lack of rationality. The patrons (politicians in the general case) are no more rational and never (or very rarely) in a better position to make decisions than the actors themselves.
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    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    Worst....logic....ever.
    The head is one of the most if not it is the mist sensitive part of the body. A blow to your head could give you concussion or crush it like a piece of fruit.
    Saying "I could hurt the rest of my body so why wear a helmet" is just terrible logic. We should be encouraging people to be safe and sensible and wear a helmet not dismiss it as something the "over protective left" would say.
    exactly, you said it yourself. Encouraging not forcing.
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    The only way to extend your argument from the insane person to the sane cyclist would be to claim that choosing not to wear a helmet is an act of insanity. No comment is needed on such an attempt.
    My argument was general; I didn't seek to plug in specific examples. But certainly, if there is a death, there is not really an alignment of "means" and "ends". Of course, the greater the unnecessary risk, the greater that specific form of paternalism cannot be ruled out, so in certain cases you're committed to paternalism.


    It's worth noting, also, that were one to accept the notion of paternalism for adults based on the supposed irrationality of people one would have to also accept that paternalism fails for the same reason - the patrons are also irrational.

    Assuming you don't want to claim that the patrons, alone among humans, are rational you would have to argue (I think) that their position as impartial bystanders allows them greater rationality. This is tenuous at best. But even if given still destroys your position for then as soon as someone who is in the same position of impartiality can declare it rational not to wear a helmet the patrons lose their claim to be the sole guardians of rationality.

    One of the strongest arguments, I think, for Libertarianism is precisely this lack of rationality. The patrons (politicians in the general case) are no more rational and never (or very rarely) in a better position to make decisions than the actors themselves.
    This response is often made, but it is an empirical claim, not an a priori one that can sneak into the backdoor of an argument. And it is an empirical claim which doesn't favour the Libertarian.

    If we assume that people do not wish to die - a very reasonable assumption, I hope you allow this premise - then all we need to do, in assessing whether the agent or the State is more rational in their choice of means, is to assess whether the State's law actually prevents deaths at no other expense (e.g. in the case of helmets, their is very little expense in terms of sacrificing time or money, but most people achieve their ends of (a) not dying and (b) cycling). Irrational people exist, and yes, the State can, empirically demonstably, choose more rational means. So if you appeal to the "rationality" argument (you may, of course, deny its weight by biting the bullet and not accepting the intuition felt in the case of the mentally handicapped man), then I think you have to accept that paternalism is justifiable in many cases.

    Heck, even Mill was prepared to say that you may forcibly prevent a man from crossing a bridge if there is not time to warn him that it is about to collapse, for I know, or am justified in assuming, that he cannot wish to fall into the water. That is a form of coercion used to promote a paternalist agenda. You may not share Mill's intuition. Or, indeed, you can do what Hayek does and accept that, in many cases, there is a huge knowledge problem with respect to the State knowing people's ends and knowing all the means available in order to achieve people's "true" ends; but what the Libertarian can't really do, if they accept my argument, is deny the use of paternalism on deontological grounds, and must accept paternalism in these sort of clear cases where, empirically, the State can be shown to help the situation at little expense.

    (Also, RE: the impartial bystander, I think the State does have a wider amount of resources and expertise than the average irresponsible parent - again, this is an empirical claim. Note that I've also defined 'rationality' in a concrete way in the argument, such that it can be empirically investigated whether the State is rational. Rationality exists when a person's means can be reasonably expected to satisfy their ends. In cases where it does not, there is room for State-intervention, unless you deny one of my premises/intuitions).

    edit: Furthermore, I just find it interesting that consent no longer plays a central role - it's all about finding means through which to satisfy one's ultimate ends, which has little to do with the value of 'liberty' for its own sake ... odd for a libertarian stance.
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    (Original post by jesusandtequila)
    Dear God no.

    It's an individuals choice and problem if they choose to wear a helmet or not. If they choose not to, they face the consequences, because they have taken that decision. This is typical nanny stating.
    You're presumably unfamiliar with legislation relating to riding motorcycles I take it?
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    (Original post by viffer)
    You're presumably unfamiliar with legislation relating to riding motorcycles I take it?
    I think J&T would probably like to remove that legislation.
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    (Original post by Melancholy)
    My argument was general; I didn't seek to plug in specific examples. But certainly, if there is a death, there is not really an alignment of "means" and "ends". Of course, the greater the unnecessary risk, the greater that specific form of paternalism cannot be ruled out, so in certain cases you're committed to paternalism.



    This response is often made, but it is an empirical claim, not an a priori one that can sneak into the backdoor of an argument. And it is an empirical claim which doesn't favour the Libertarian.

    If we assume that people do not wish to die - a very reasonable assumption, I hope you allow this premise - then all we need to do, in assessing whether the agent or the State is more rational in their choice of means, is to assess whether the State's law actually prevents deaths at no other expense (e.g. in the case of helmets, their is very little expense in terms of sacrificing time or money, but most people achieve their ends of (a) not dying and (b) cycling). Irrational people exist, and yes, the State can, empirically demonstably, choose more rational means. So if you appeal to the "rationality" argument (you may, of course, deny its weight by biting the bullet and not accepting the intuition felt in the case of the mentally handicapped man), then I think you have to accept that paternalism is justifiable in many cases.

    Heck, even Mill was prepared to say that you may forcibly prevent a man from crossing a bridge if there is not time to warn him that it is about to collapse, for I know, or am justified in assuming, that he cannot wish to fall into the water. That is a form of coercion used to promote a paternalist agenda. You may not share Mill's intuition. Or, indeed, you can do what Hayek does and accept that, in many cases, there is a huge knowledge problem with respect to the State knowing people's ends and knowing all the means available in order to achieve people's "true" ends; but what the Libertarian can't really do, if they accept my argument, is deny the use of paternalism on deontological grounds, and must accept paternalism in these sort of clear cases where, empirically, the State can be shown to help the situation at little expense.

    (Also, RE: the impartial bystander, I think the State does have a wider amount of resources and expertise than the average irresponsible parent - again, this is an empirical claim. Note that I've also defined 'rationality' in a concrete way in the argument, such that it can be empirically investigated whether the State is rational. Rationality exists when a person's means can be reasonably expected to satisfy their ends. In cases where it does not, there is room for State-intervention, unless you deny one of my premises/intuitions).
    If you seek to remain conservative then your argument is entirely unremarkable and uncontroversial. I do not think any Libertarian would argue that there are no circumstances where a person might be acting in an insane manner and not be allowed to act that way for his own sake. Your citation of Mills confirms that the basic manner is uncontroversial among Libertarians.

    The problem is not in the principle but in its application. In order to apply it you must show that the circumstance where you seek its application matches the principle - namely that the agent whose actions you wish to forcibly prevent is indeed insane.

    Even your first assumption that you took to be so solid is not so. Why should we assume that all people do not wish to die? We all know that this is not actually true. There are, unfortunately, plenty of people who rationally conclude that death is their best option.

    So yes, your principle is true - we may intervene to prevent insane people acting insanely. But this doesn't help you really to counter the Libertarian's arguments against State intervention.

    Like I said before (or think I said), you cannot apply the principle to the cyclist without claiming that cyclists riding without helmets are insane. Are you going to make such a claim? (and if you seek only to discuss generalities then may I suggest that this thread is not the place for that discussion.)
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    (Original post by cambo211)
    I think J&T would probably like to remove that legislation.

    Not a hope in Hell's chance.

    Not that I'd expect to find Jesus and tequila down there of course. Tequila perhaps but .....
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    Mr Speaker, although I agree with this bill my right honourable friend has forwarded there is on issue I wish to raise. If a parent were to act in taking reasonable precautions in getting the child a helmet and telling them to wear it what is to stop the child not wearing it on the road if they are on there own? as the age of legal responsibility is 10 in England is it the child that would be held responsible if they were found on their own? Also I agree with the honourable member that members of certain religions should be exempt due to their religious head wear
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Oh jesus, here come the over protective left... what do cycle helmets protect anyway? you fall you're still at risk of breaking your legs, back, neck and depending on helmet you could bust your ear and face up (I have cut my ear pretty badly and busted my nose even when wearing a helmet).

    I am abstaining.
    This, if people want to take the extra risk let them.
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    (Original post by Melancholy)
    In which case you leave the question of when a child is legally an adult not to the rule of law but, instead, to the arbitrary judgement of whatever religious belief their parents happen to adopt? This is not fixed and stable; indeed, in theory there need not be an age of maturity, so the need to distinguish between mature and immature agents collapses.
    No I leave it to my religion not someone else's, the others are not the true way.

    Well, if a child is brain-damaged because they weren't wearing a helmet when they unfortunately became involved in an accident, I'd say that it qualifies as being heavily disruptive in allowing a child to meet their ends once they mature (!)
    They can still meet ends, just because you have brain damage should not stop you from achieving your dreams.

    No, that was not the purpose of what I was saying. I was merely saying that you're leaving the control of a child in the hands of some completely arbitrary person;usually, I should add, only connected through genetics, which seems like a completely irrelevant factor (i.e. why does that mean that they have an entitlement over the child's agency?)
    The child's parents know what is best based on how the child has been raised not the government in some monotone blanket non-raisement of the child.

    And I guess this is MY point: that since one's parents have a huge impact on the development of a child, then surely it makes sense that what a parent can and can't do ought to be regulated by the rule of law. I can't, for instance, deny my child from receiving an education. Independent of my wishes as an irresponsible parent, it is surely right and proper that, when the child lacks self-ownership due to its immaturity, the limits of what you can decide on behalf of the child (e.g. when it comes to welfare) ought to be stated clearly in law.
    I do not believe that parents should be regulated at all, we would all turn out like robots then if everyone is regulated to raise their child a certain way, it is wrong!

    And what if the child, once matured, truly regrets their irresponsible parent's decision that left them at such a severe disadvantage in the job market? I'm not saying that it necessarily follows that he is disadvantaged in this particular case, but I'm exploring the general principle. If a child is going to be disadvantaged or different in any way, I'd rather that the child made the decision for themselves (once matured) rather than leave the huge decisions about the child's future in the hands of some random person (random insofar as they have no justifiable entitlement over the child, unless you'd argue that parenthood gives you rights over a child, which I've argued has some very dodgy implications).
    They can do courses to get the require GCSEs within one year and the same for A-Levels (two year total) if they wish to get an education because they did not go to school for whatever reason... the same applies to people that need re-educating because they studied something useless.

    We're talking about a marginal case here - that of children. I didn't open our discussion into the wider topic of paternalism for every mature citizen. I was just exploring your comments with respect to children. You're talking about the parent having full control over the decisions of a child; I'm talking about limiting the decisions that the parent is entitled to make.
    Limiting the decisions by government intervention... it is wrong end of.

    Well yes, but I'm not talking about matured citizens. As for the part in bold, this is the precise claim that I'm tackling. On what grounds does the parent have any right to coerce a child? A parent might force a child to go to school. A parent might force a child from going to school. Why aren't you committed to a certain constitution, as a safe-guard, which dictates what is right and proper for maintaining a child's health until such time that they're able to make their own decisions?
    I know we are talking about children but the state is not their parent, their parents are their parents and therefore can tell them what they can and can't do.

    Would we stop a mentally handicapped person from jumping off a cliff when he articulates his desire to fly?
    Yes, yes I would. There are differences from children and those that are unfortunately mentally handicapped (I don't like to say this as they can be incredible smart in other ways that surpass us other folk).

    Mentally handicapped in general are worse than children when it comes to decisions however I would never leave any of these unfortunate beings in the care of the state, I have seen state care and I hate it (private is no better in this case either really).
    All in bold.
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    (Original post by viffer)
    You're presumably unfamiliar with legislation relating to riding motorcycles I take it?
    I'm familiar with lots of legislation - it doesn't mean I agree with it.
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    First off I'll start by saying that I was the one who first proposed this bill, and it was built and improved upon by other members of the party. I should've posted more in this thread, but I'll try to answer some of your questions now.

    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Absolutely not.

    Heath and safety already interferes too much with the lives of individuals, we don't need more of it.

    It is the parent's responsibility to ensure the safety of the child, the government may encourage safety, but I do not believe it the role of government to enforce it.
    (Original post by jesusandtequila)
    Dear God no.

    It's an individuals choice and problem if they choose to wear a helmet or not. If they choose not to, they face the consequences, because they have taken that decision. This is typical nanny stating.
    (Original post by The Patriot)
    I don't think I could support this. Whether or not someone chooses to wear a helmet is up to them. Stupid IMO if you don't, but stupidity isn't illegal and shouldn't be. Seems like an over-protective nanny policy to me.
    All of you are raising the point that the government shouldn't be a "nanny state" in regards to this bill, so I'll answer you all together.

    Do you think that the current laws enforcing motorcyclists to wear helmets and people in cars to wear seatbelts is wrong? It's the same principle, enforcing something to help with personal safety.

    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    I generally support this. Out of interest, though, why are vouchers only being given to children under 16 when everyone under 18 is affected by this law?
    I'm not sure, this is certainly a good point. We'll have a look at it.

    (Original post by Moleman1996)
    I think that whilst bicycle helmets should be encouraged, this is just another example of the left interfereing in peoples lives, and trying to control every aspect of it. It should be your decision, in situations where you are on a main road for example, it is sensible to wear a helmet, but on a low speed cycle round the local park I highly doubt im going to injure my head, and have more chance of drowning if I fall in the lake.

    Oh and where does the government propose that we find the money for these vouchers, and do they have any idea how much it would cost?
    The part in bold is isn't necessarily the case. Someone could easily fall off and hit their head on a raised curb or a rock, and with the head being a particularly sensitive area of the body, it has the potential to cause serious injury, even at low speeds, and the wearing of a helmet would help protect against this.


    (Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
    I have no interest in MHoC any more, but I'm pretending this is a thread in UK Politics.

    Firstly: bicycle helmets are compulsory in Australia. Bicycle accidents have increased.
    Secondly: We should be encouraging people to ride bicycles, not being patronising, interfering *******s.
    Thirdly: We have no money to dish out vouchers.
    Fourthly: Define "helmet". Top Gear made their own helmets for Vietnam. Is that okay?
    Fifth: What about Sikhs?
    Finally: It's nannying, molly-coddling *******s.
    Accidents in Australia may have increased, but do you have any statistics for this? Also, is there any statistics on the severity of the bicycle accidents, particularly those concerning the her?

    We should be encouraging people to ride bicycles as safely as possible.

    £10 towards a helmet for every child who chooses to take them isn't much, and helps promote healthy living in riding a bicycle and reduce the effect of emissions on climate change if it encourages more people to ride bicycles.

    A suitable helmet has been defined in the Bill, as one which complies with the current UK and EU standard of BS EN 1078:1997.

    This is a reasonable point, and shall be looked at.

    Would you say the same about seatbelts and motorcycle helmets?

    (Original post by toronto353)
    A few questions for the new Government on this issue. First of all, if the voucher system and then the fine comes into force at the same time, then don't you risk fining people who are applying for vouchers etc. and therefore have a legitimate excuse for their child not to be wearing a helmet? Does the Government believe that £10 is enough to buy a good quality helmet? Is 2 months enough time to implement an advertising campaign to make cyclists aware of changes to the law? Does this Bill include those who don't wear helmets for religion? Finally, taking all those questions aside, is it right that the Government really should engage in nanny state legislation when people may choose not to wear helmets for a variety of reasons? The swiftness of this Bill does not mean that it is a good quality one.
    You've raised a good point on the timing of the voucher system and the fine, which will be looked at.

    £10 is enough to buy a helmet which complies with the current safety regulations (helmets here start at £10) but the value of the vouchers could certainly go up if needed. The £10 could also act as a subsidy towards a helmet, so if somebody wanted to buy a more expensive helmet then they could with £10 off the price. This is always open to review though.

    The timing of when this Bill comes into effect was just chosen as being the start of the year for convenience and wasn't really thought through properly, so it can certainly be changed.

    It is a good point about religion so this will be reviewed.

    Do you feel the "nanny state" interferes too much in having motorcyclists wear helmets, or making people in cars wearing seatbelts? Both of which are similar examples of what you'd call the "nanny state" interfering too much.
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    (Original post by jesusandtequila)
    I'm familiar with lots of legislation - it doesn't mean I agree with it.
    I'm sure you don't, as do very many motorcyclists. However, the precedent has most probably been set and I therefore think it's only a matter of time before cycle helmets are made compulsory too. There is also some similarity with seat belts in cars too imo.

    I am a biker for the record. And fwiw, I wouldn't dream of riding without a helmet even if I could and always wear protective gear.
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    (Original post by davidmarsh01)
    First off I'll start by saying that I was the one who first proposed this bill, and it was built and improved upon by other members of the party. I should've posted more in this thread, but I'll try to answer some of your questions now.







    All of you are raising the point that the government shouldn't be a "nanny state" in regards to this bill, so I'll answer you all together.

    Do you think that the current laws enforcing motorcyclists to wear helmets and people in cars to wear seatbelts is wrong? It's the same principle, enforcing something to help with personal safety.



    I'm not sure, this is certainly a good point. We'll have a look at it.



    The part in bold is isn't necessarily the case. Someone could easily fall off and hit their head on a raised curb or a rock, and with the head being a particularly sensitive area of the body, it has the potential to cause serious injury, even at low speeds, and the wearing of a helmet would help protect against this.




    Accidents in Australia may have increased, but do you have any statistics for this? Also, is there any statistics on the severity of the bicycle accidents, particularly those concerning the her?

    We should be encouraging people to ride bicycles as safely as possible.

    £10 towards a helmet for every child who chooses to take them isn't much, and helps promote healthy living in riding a bicycle and reduce the effect of emissions on climate change if it encourages more people to ride bicycles.

    A suitable helmet has been defined in the Bill, as one which complies with the current UK and EU standard of BS EN 1078:1997.

    This is a reasonable point, and shall be looked at.

    Would you say the same about seatbelts and motorcycle helmets?



    You've raised a good point on the timing of the voucher system and the fine, which will be looked at.

    £10 is enough to buy a helmet which complies with the current safety regulations (helmets here start at £10) but the value of the vouchers could certainly go up if needed. The £10 could also act as a subsidy towards a helmet, so if somebody wanted to buy a more expensive helmet then they could with £10 off the price. This is always open to review though.

    The timing of when this Bill comes into effect was just chosen as being the start of the year for convenience and wasn't really thought through properly, so it can certainly be changed.

    It is a good point about religion so this will be reviewed.

    Do you feel the "nanny state" interferes too much in having motorcyclists wear helmets, or making people in cars wearing seatbelts? Both of which are similar examples of what you'd call the "nanny state" interfering too much.
    the situation remains that it should be my choice. It's my own fault if I don't take it, and for people who own helmets, who have been killed when they have forgotten to take them, it would have made no difference anyway. More cycle tracks would be more effective, and you are more than twice as likely to die if you are hit by a car, than if you fall off.
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    (Original post by davidmarsh01)


    ...All of you are raising the point that the government shouldn't be a "nanny state" in regards to this bill, so I'll answer you all together.

    Do you think that the current laws enforcing motorcyclists to wear helmets and people in cars to wear seatbelts is wrong? It's the same principle, enforcing something to help with personal safety...
    Seatbelts in cars are partially required by law because they can cause significant damage to OTHERS in the vehicle if somebody is not wearing one, which is reason enough to require them imho. A bicycle poses no such problem.

    The issue regarding motorcyclists comes down to something else entirely, namely, a motorcyclist without a helmet traveling at speed will most likely die or be gravely injured, somebody on a bicycle has that risk dramatically reduced.
    But to be honest, I'm indifferent regarding motorcycles, I will wear a helmet out of reasons of mere practicality, if any. Having wind traveling at 70 mph hit your bare face is hardly comfortable. Bicycles have no such problem.
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    (Original post by davidmarsh01)
    You've raised a good point on the timing of the voucher system and the fine, which will be looked at.

    £10 is enough to buy a helmet which complies with the current safety regulations (helmets here start at £10) but the value of the vouchers could certainly go up if needed. The £10 could also act as a subsidy towards a helmet, so if somebody wanted to buy a more expensive helmet then they could with £10 off the price. This is always open to review though.

    The timing of when this Bill comes into effect was just chosen as being the start of the year for convenience and wasn't really thought through properly, so it can certainly be changed.

    It is a good point about religion so this will be reviewed.

    Do you feel the "nanny state" interferes too much in having motorcyclists wear helmets, or making people in cars wearing seatbelts? Both of which are similar examples of what you'd call the "nanny state" interfering too much.
    But higher quality helmets cost more. You're effectively bringing in this piece of legislation then not giving people enough help to buy what they perceive as a good enough helmet. If, let's say, the helmet they want costs £60, it would be cheaper to pay the fine. Also, another question based on this. Adults are also affected by this change, why are they not helped as well?

    With regards to the nanny state issue, Sikhs don't have to wear motorcycle helmets so you're point isn't really valid there. With regards to seat belts, it's still someone's choice if they choose to wear a seat belt or not. On public buses, one does not wear a seat belt. The state is just nannying people and not giving them a degree of choice. The state should leave these matters up to the individual and not make it a criminal offence not to do X or Y which are relatively minor issues when compared to other areas needing legislation.
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    (Original post by davidmarsh01)
    All of you are raising the point that the government shouldn't be a "nanny state" in regards to this bill, so I'll answer you all together.

    Do you think that the current laws enforcing motorcyclists to wear helmets and people in cars to wear seatbelts is wrong? It's the same principle, enforcing something to help with personal safety.
    Yes, I do think both of those laws are wrong. The Peltzman effect shows that often these have little to no impact on safety, and indeed Sam Peltzman found that the major impact of seat belt legislation was more pedestrian deaths - since they did not have the compensating factor of a lower chance of death to compensate for the increased number of accidents. He speaks illustratively here, and there's more on the hazard of moral hazard in general here. (This is the original paper).

    For those that claim that people drive as safely as possible, imagine how much more careful would be if they had a spike in the steering wheel pointed straight at the heart, and no seatbelt. You'd be ****ing careful, and I'd imagine the number of accidents would drop dramatically. A similar effect can be seen in 4WD drivers.

    Still, the principle remains, if people wish to take risks with their own life, then I see it as their choice. People choose to cycle without a helmet now (hell I do), why? The inconvenience of a helmet is a cost I value higher than the small increased risk if I had a certain type of accident where it may save my life. Likewise, wearing a bulletproof vest might reduce my chances of death (say if there was a madman on a shooting spree) - but we don't go round in bulletproof vests all the time. We all take risks all the time, and I believe that should be a personal choice.

    Furthermore, this really hasn't considered the impact on cycling popularity by enforcing helmet wearing - if indeed the legislation is enforced and followed (as it isn't in California). It serves to make it unfashionable and uncool among a lot of the youth and will turn a generation off cycling, which I think would be a massive shame.

    So no, I think it's a huge unnecessary intrusion into personal liberty for no safety benefit, and thus an awful Bill. I think arguing over technicalities of the cost of a helmet completely miss the point, that this is merely another false case of 'the State knows best', and thus I repeat my initial statement, dear God NO.
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    (Original post by viffer)
    I'm sure you don't, as do very many motorcyclists. However, the precedent has most probably been set and I therefore think it's only a matter of time before cycle helmets are made compulsory too. There is also some similarity with seat belts in cars too imo.
    Perhaps it is inevitable, but it doesn't mean it's right and that I shan't speak out against it.

    I am a biker for the record. And fwiw, I wouldn't dream of riding without a helmet even if I could and always wear protective gear.
    For the record, I wouldn't ride a motorbike without protective gear either - but it's a decision best taken at the personal level.

    For a more detailed answer, see my latest post in response to davidmarsh01.
 
 
 
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