Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘risk’ Category

Because riding in 100+ degree desert heat with a helmet is so comfortable:

Assembly Bill 187, which was introduced on the Assembly Floor on Monday, would require that anyone 17 years old or younger to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, scooter, roller skates or something similar. The bill is sponsored by Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, D-Henderson, and is co-sponsored by four Assembly Democrats from Las Vegas: Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod, Bea Duran, Ozzie Fumo and Connie Munk.

One of the things that differentiates children from adults is that children don’t have the ability to make these decisions for themselves. So I want to make sure that they’re safe,” Spiegel added.

Apparently, Spiegel does not believe parents have the ability to make decisions for their kids either.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

In all seriousness, this is a real problem with faregates. They can cause injury, especially to young kids who may not know when to proceed through gate. My son’s first visit to BART ended badly when a faregate smashed him in the head.

Read Full Post »

Traffic fatalities are going up in the US, while they keep going down in Japan:

The number of traffic deaths nationwide in 2018 fell by 162, or 4.4 percent, from the previous year to 3,532, hitting the lowest level since data became available in 1948, the National Police Agency said Friday.

The decrease reflected police efforts to step up traffic safety education programs and crack down on traffic offenses, the agency said.

On per-capita basis, Japan traffic deaths in 2018 was 2.79 per 100,000 population. By comparison, it is around 11.40 in the US (as of 2017). If the US were to achieve the same level of road safety as Japan, 28,000 lives would be saved per year.

 

Read Full Post »

Apparently, the Santa Monica PD has eliminated all crime and car crashes in their city — because what could possibly be less important than this:

smpd

Segways are legal, but not e-scooters…

Screenshot_2018-07-22 Santa Monica Police on Twitter

Read Full Post »

Electric scooter-sharing is revolutionizing transport in California cities. But riding e-scooters without helmets is also illegal. California vehicle code (CVC 21235) requires all operators of motorized scooters to wear helmets. This will inevitably lead to selective police harassment:

Since Lime — formerly known as LimeBike — brought its fleet of 250 electric scooters to South Lake Tahoe earlier this month, the machines have been a controversial topic of conversation — much like the green bikes when they first arrived on South Shore last summer.

From a law enforcement standpoint, though, the arrival of the e-scooters has been complicated. “It’s both a public safety concern and a compliance with the law concern,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Brian Uhler.

Take a quick drive down U.S. 50 in South Lake Tahoe, and it’s not difficult to see almost every single one of those rules being broken. “The simple reality is that most people who come to visit Tahoe are not traveling with their bicycle helmet. At any given time there are probably 100 people riding around town without a helmet or two people on the scooter,” said Uhler. “I have limited police resources to address this. We will enforce violations that are egregious, but we can’t cite them all.”

California’s mandatory helmet law was passed over a decade ago, long before the advent of scooter-sharing. The law was passed with no debate, and without any data showing motorized scooters were causing head injuries. Mandatory helmet laws helped kill off early bike-share experiments, so it is imperative to remove this provision in the vehicle code.

 

 

Read Full Post »

A NY Times editorial jumps on the distracted-pedestrian bandwagon. It argues in favor of laws recently passed in Honolulu and Montclair outlawing the use of mobile devices by pedestrians at intersections.

In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever that distracted walking is a problem. Enforcing such a law would do nothing for pedestrian safety. Rather, it would be a pretext for police harassment of pedestrians.

The Times argues such laws are needed to enforce a “social contract” that everyone is responsible for their safety and regard for others. But there is no such social contract. Distracted pedestrian laws only apply to….pedestrians. Drivers are still free to use their mobile devices as they blast through intersections. Some car manufacturers, such as Tesla, even incorporate giant touchscreens in the dashboard.

The hysteria over distracted walking originates with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), which speaks for state highway departments. State highway engineers have spent decades building a very dangerous transportation system. But rather than acknowledge professional blunders, the GHSA blames the victim. Pedestrians, you see, are getting killed because they are drunk and using cell phones.  For 2018, the GHSA annual report adds a new bogeyman — marijuana legalization:

Analyzing data for the first half of 2017, the Governors Highway Safety Association found a notable increase in pedestrian deaths in states that had legalized marijuana. Elsewhere, the death toll declined. It is too early for firm conclusions, but you can’t rule out that judgments are flawed when drivers and pedestrians go around stoned.

There were seven states that had legalized marijuana between 2012 and 2016 (Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington). While those states did see large increases last year in pedestrian fatalities, other factors (increasing VMT in particular) appears to be the culprit, not legalization. Except for Nevada, the legalization states still have lower overall pedestrian fatality rates compared to the national average. And interestingly, there is considerable debate within the medical community on what impact (if any) cannabis has on driver impairment.

Read Full Post »

According to Australian mainstream media, Bicycle Network is that country’s one and only group for representing the interests of cyclists. This is the organization which, for the past 30 years, promoted mandatory helmet laws. With friends like that who needs enemies?

But now, I guess in an attempt to stay relevant, Bicycle Network has been conducting a highly publicized survey on the issue of mandatory helmet laws. The good news is that the survey result showed agreement on repealing Australia’s mandatory helmet laws. However, a substantial number of respondents (40%) want to retain the law for children.

This survey result is typical, especially when the bicycle gearheads discuss helmet laws on the internets. Children, it is argued, need to be protected because they are more vulnerable to traumatic head injury. Like everything else involving helmets, that argument is based on superstition instead of hard data.

Children are actually not all that vulnerable to head injury. In fact, if there is one age group extremely vulnerable to traumatic head injury it isn’t children but the elderly. Rates of head-injury deaths in the US were highest for those aged 75 and older. Similar results are seen in Europe. From a safety standpoint, it is ludicrous to single out the age group least at risk:

heads2

TBI-associated death (Eurostat)

Now to be clear, this data is for all TBI-related fatalities, not just ones involving a bicycle. The point here is to show that children do not have some biological issue that requires special head protection.

And of course, we already know that mandatory youth helmet laws is ineffective by looking at places that implemented such laws, including California and parts of Canada. Oh, and Australia.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »