05 August 2009

A Walking Helmet is a Good Helmet

Bike helmets for Pedestrians
At long last logic prevails. A new campaign has hit the streets of Denmark, thanks to the visionaries at The Danish Road Safety Council [Sikker Trafik] and Trygfonden [an insurance company].

Intense promotion of walking helmets for pedestrians has begun. This logic has been sorely missed. These two organisations have happily promoted bike helmets but pedestrians suffer just as many head injuries, if not more.
Bike Helmets for Pedestrians
This Danish campaign poster reads:

"A walking helmet is a good helmet"
"Traffic safety isn't just for cyclists. The pedestrians of Denmark actually have a higher risk of head injury. The Danish Road Safety Council recommends walking helmets for pedestrians and other good folk in high risk groups."

The slogan is catchy in Danish since it kind of rhymes. All in all it's a brilliant project. Let's save some lives.

The new walking helmets will be available in the Danish Cyclists Union's [Dansk cyklist forbund] shop. Although, as the Danish Cyclists' Union, the Road Safety Council and Trygfonden have been quick to point out:

"A bike helmet is a fine substitute for walking helmets, so there's no need to take it off when you get off your bike. Keep it on throughout the day for maximum safety."

Indeed, they have a point when they add: "We have almost one million daily cyclists in Denmark but we have 5.3 million pedestrians. It's a group that daily navigates the danger zone and we wish to make them aware of their potentially lethal actions."

Trygfonden, a fund run by a Danish insurance company, is proud to be involved. As they state on their website:

We Support Projects Based on Knowledge
All the projects we support are based on documented knowledge in the specific areas that the project is aimed at. This knowledge can be documented in, for example, analysis, scientific research and statistics.


And with regards to pedestrian head injuries, the statistics and science are clear cut. Well done, Trygfonden. I sincerly hope that they keep this momentum and start the promotion of motorist helmets, too. Their logo could be proudly be emblazoned on this fine product.

But for now, these pedestrian helmets are an excellent start. Logical, scientific and much needed. Just look at all these godless heathens who spite the safety gods in Copenhagen.

Now we just need to defeat this crazy anti-car intiative.

55 comments:

velomane.org said...

A joke?

danlatorre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danlatorre said...

I can't wait for fellow Americans to catch the safety fever. Protect walkers from horrible imminent injury! (Or be proactive and just make streets safer... until then buy a helmet! Every two years!)

Kim said...

Why don't they just tell us to stay at home rapped up in cotton wool, that way we would all be safe ;-)

LOL

Anonymous said...

http://www.thudguard.com/

The trick is to start them young so that when they get older they are not only comfortable with the helmet, but may even feel naked and vulnerable without one, perhaps even refusing to walk at all without the proper safety equipment.

And it's all very silly really, fetishistically treating a symptom rather than the disease. The simple and obvious solution to falling injuries is to ban . . . legs.

Martin said...

Yer shittin us, right Mike?
It's a montage, surely... courtesy of cph-ize et al....

peterjohnchen said...

Here's a great article from the BMJ that takes a spin at walking helmets: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/321/7276/1582.pdf

Martin said...

From
www.sikkertrafik.dk/ba050029 :

Der er god grund til at bruge hjelm, idet undersøgelser viser, at hovedskader kan reduceres med ca. 60% ved uheld.

Well, that's what THEY'RE saying!

Lycka till, Micke!

Martin said...

PS Love love the graphics - the helmeted baby etc. Briliant!

Bob said...

Ridiculing positions you disagree with is fun when you're preaching to the choir (that is, when you're reinforcing behavior or belief), but it's virtually useless as persuasion.

Your site is, I suspect, visited by folks with a variety of positions on the "helmet issue". If you truly want to change behavior or belief, why not try something positive?

Mikael said...

martin: they have chosen one study out of maybe 70 and they hold it up as the Truth. I prefer a more balanced approach.

Bob, I agree with you. Fortunately here at Copenhagenize.com we spend a lot of time highlighting positive ways to promote cycling so we can allow ourselves some fun now and then.

administrador said...

"Safe Sex" means "Sex with helmet" isn't it?

Erik Sandblom said...

Bob: It's my experience that for a real change in behavior or belief, it's up to people to research the facts for themselves. Teachers and bloggers can explain and inspire, but in the end it's up to you to do the research yourself. The ECF's brochure is a good starting point in my opinion.

Bob said...

Erik, my point has less to do with the questionable benefit of bicycle helmets and more to do with the questionable benefit of ridiculing points of view that vary from one's own.

And as corollary, we need not belittle others--as the straw man argument does--to promote ourselves.

Mikael said...

sounds like we'd censoring humour, satire and irony.

Anonymous said...

If an examination of the benefits of a behavior that includes a recommendation and an expression of a preference is censorship, then you have a very broad definition of censorship. I'm not a government telling you how to run your blog--that's the purest example of censorship. I'm a patron of YOUR site, stating a preference.

Mikael, are you with YOUR comment censoring mine? By your apparent definition, yes, as your comment inhibits my expression. In my view, this is discussion, not censorship. Neither your criticism nor mine are true censorship, until you, as webmaster, delete mine.

Anonymous said...

Oops! That anonymous comment (possibly above this one) is me again--Bob.

Mikael said...

my comment should have read "sounds like we'd be censoring humour, satire and irony"... which it what it sounds like to me.

one man's ridiculing is another man's satire. if what you call ridiculing were restricted, Jon Stewart would be out of job.

i admit that humour is relative, but that doesn't stop it being humour, just because some people don't find it amusing.

and i'm not censoring anything, Bob, i'm discussing with you. :-)

mr.complaint said...

and seat belts on bar stools

nathan_h said...

This walking helmet may seem 'ridiculous', but you won't be laughing from the pedestrian brain trauma ward, now will you? Walk Safe, everybody!

Mikael said...

and you're stupid enough to walk around without one, don't expect me to pay ONE SINGLE DIME for you while you're a vegetable sponging off the system!

spiderleggreen said...

This has got to be a hoax! If not, they may have gone a little far for their own good. They can now easily be ridiculed, because most people are going to see wearing a helmet while walking as the stupidest thing ever(Right up there with car helmets). Their left flank has gotten too far into idiotic territory, so crank up the ridicule! Chase them back past bike helmets to "please wear orange". Make them a national joke.

W. K. Lis said...

Should be required headgear, if your blood alcohol level is above .08. Otherwise, they may fall and hit their head.

Also, if walking and texting at the same time.

Eric Britton said...

Oh safe helmet, let me count the ways.

Thou are with me for ever cycling. Praise the Lord.

And now for walking. Hallelujah

And of course for sex. Amen.

Oh one without a name. What is left?

spiderleggreen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spiderleggreen said...

Ridicule the ridiculous! You're doing them a favor by pointing out their errors in thinking. These people are shooting at the wrong bullseye.

Wouldn't the most effective way to make pedistrian's safer, be to reduce the ability of cars to harm pedistrian's? They are a walkers greatest danger. Putting helmets on people is surrendering to dominance of cars on our roads. In the end it won't really make them safer. One reason being, they'll still be choking on the fumes... until they don a gas mask!

Green Idea Factory said...

Hi. I am not sure why the crew at Copenhagenize doctored the bus shelter advert (www.jcdecaux.dk/Forvirring) or why some haters think that it does not in fact exist:

On Monday my Uncle Wotan and Cousin Freya took AirDansk from NYC to Copenhagen. The flight had a short stop in Amsterdam.

During the safety lecture thing at the beginning of the flight, they showed the video version of this ad.

Some of the Dutch passengers on the plane complained about having to sit through the video because they were getting off in Amsterdam and also remarked that they were proud that their transport ministry does not promote helmets for cycling, walking, talking, sleeping etc.

This is all TRUE.

Anonymous said...

If this is not a joke, I’m afraid it is too late for the folks who came up with this winner of an idea to get any ‘benefit’ from it… for surely, they must already have head trauma and brain damage.

Anonymous said...

CruiserTwelve says: wear a helmet so when I shoot you in the head you have a chance to live!

M167A1 said...

Yes you are safer wearing your kevlar underpants but at some point you must draw the line between a sensible precaution and something that is more trouble than it is worth.

Besides there are more pressing fears to consider such as sunburn, spider bites and forgetting to wear pants.

ye god what sissys!

Meppin said...

So is this how dangerous the streets of Denmark are?
So dangerous you have to wear a helmet?

I've never been to Denmark myself(Or out of my country let alone the state),I think pedestrians would need a lot more than just a helmet... maybe full body armor...or underground pedestrian tunnel systems, with hand rails.

Tricia said...

Lower the speed limit of cars and bicycles to 3 mph (or 5 km per hour).

We'll all be safer.

Anonymous said...

Helmets don't prevent scraped knees from tripping. Obviously, we need full body armor.

Anonymous said...

The Danish government: Quickly breeding a nation of cold, soggy, but hard-headed pussies.

Jersey Jeff said...

Hey, shouldn't there be seatbelts on that bus stop bench?

Anonymous said...

I am very offended by this initiative. My daughter was born with hip problems, and had to wear a harness for the first year of her life. Because of this harness, she was constantly on her back and developed a flat spot on the back of her head. After her hips healed enough to remove the harness, we had to put a helmet on her that would provide space at the back of her head to allow the flat spot to heal correctly.

I feel this is a campaign designed to humiliate her and others like her who need to wear a helmet for developmental reasons. How dare you insult her buy forcing regular citizens to look as ridiculous as she did with the helmet on.

Anonymous said...

We also need a 'hey I'm going to make some coffee' helmet, a bathtub life preserver, and home theater safety glasses. The world is a dangerous place, and it has to be stopped- before it kills somebody.

Jonny said...

Bed Helmet! In case you fall out while sleeping. Brilliant!

Jens said...

In Japan it doesn't stop with walking helmets. You can get helmets for your dog when you are talking him (or her) for a walk!? Or, even worse, on a ride on your Bullit Bike!

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/baico/m-0162/
http://www.rakuten.co.jp/route30/553411/554471/
http://dog.adele.jp/userphotos/dog_sunglasses_helmet/user01.htm

Tinker said...

If we just take a bike helmet along and strap it to the rear rack wouldn't that be sufficient?

Of course, we need to have EVERYONE use wheelchairs, and there are no racks on wheelchairs. We may wish to reconsider...

Just when I found sub-$20 Helmets, too.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of people wearing walking helmets in the USA.. We call them retards.

Bob said...

tsk...

Nigel said...

While this item is satire, reality is actually worse.

Someone has already mentioned the Thudguard, which seems pretty extreme, but one municipality in Japan outdid that some years ago.

In the 1995 International Conference on Injury Prevention and Control a paper was presented on a Japanese experiment. Having already banned children from cycling to school they allowed schools to require kids walking to school to wear helmets. Apparently around 50% of the schools did so!

The result? No benefit of wearing helmets was determined, just the same result as for bicycle helmet compulsion.

I wonder though what message this idiocy sent to the kids? That the world is hyper-dangerous? That adults right to drive how they like is more important than kids right to walk unmolested? I'd say it is pretty certain that the experiment caused harm.

Of course, the disciples of the Helmet Church present at the conference did not find fault with the experiment; and today some of those disciples are preaching their religion in Denmark... Beware!

The Jim Dandy said...

Bubble wrap... yes, need more bubble wrap...

Anonymous said...

f-n ridiculous if this is true...
what next...

good lord, when is going to stop (if this is true)... more and more and more and more rules for those of us that are not the true threat.

Someone building an empire out of all these f-n rules.

Is that what universities are teaching now a days... more rules ... build your empire!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the bike laws in Portland OR though...

http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/bikelaw.htm

here:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/814.html

they have a " Failure to use bicycle seat; penalty"

wtf!!!!

I guess someone really wants everyone azz down or something.
I thought Portland was suppose to be "bike" friendly. More like - make more rules to run us off the road friendly....

empires. Gotta love them.
Society is full of shepp.

john said...

I'm sorry for the people of Denmark if this is for real. You have a government which is being dictated by insurance companies. Instead of spending money doing studies showing that pedestrian helmets will save lives, why not hire a few extra traffic police to watch for reckless drivers and speeders. And I am very pro-bicycle, but truth is, many cyclists need to pay a bit more attention to cars and pedestrians while riding, so they need to be reminded to ride safer. The point is, the money being spent to educate pedestrians would be better spent educating those operating vehicles and the people need to remind the government that they represent the people and not the insurance companies.

tony said...

They will probably be about as useless as cycle helmets if the Japanese experience is anything to go by:
http://www.vehicularcyclist.com/jpeds.html

On the other hand they will be in good company with the Vietnamese http://www.wear-a-helmet.com/
which is supported by non other than that world famous helmet expert, Miss Vietnam 2006-7.

Anonymous said...

Wow... just wow.

I really hope this is a joke.

No officers, don't tell people to "watch where they're going" or support some sort of situational awareness while out on the streets with two ton, moving vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Hah! Amazingly funny!

Next they'll be trying to make us wear seatbelts in cars or helmets on motorcycles! Totally ridiculous!

(yes, sarcasm can work both ways)

Mikael said...

quality sarcasm works both ways.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what people who have too much time on there hands can come up with. The scary part of this is that people who think they know what is best for the rest of us will eventually get governments to pass legislation making this type of insanity law.

kfg said...

"You have a government which is being dictated by insurance companies."

See the last scene of the movie "12 Monkeys."

Gonzo said...

What about armours?

Anonymous said...

My elderly father collapsed due to a heart condition and survived due to his defibrillating pacemaker. Unfortunately he suffered significant brain injury when his head impacted the floor. This led to major operations, weeks in hospital and months of rehabilitation. His quality of life has been greatly reduced. HAD HE BEEN LESS VAIN HE WOULD HAVE WORN THE HELMET WE HAD BOUGHT FOR HIM AND PERHAPS REDUCED HIS HEAD INJURY. This really is a serious issue.