Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are helmet guarantees 'traps' or 'instructions'?

The Question: does the State Government of New South Wales have a duty of care to individual citizens?

The Answer: No, unless there is a statutory directive, which the Road Rules 2008 certainly are. Therefore it would appear that the government owes us a duty of care to keep us informed of any instructional or warning defects relevant to helmets, and further that the standard of care rises with any risks attached to helmets.

So given the research to date I want to know (and ought to know):
* whether helmet guarantees & warnings are appropriate?
* whether they are adequate?
* whether they adequately advise of possible dangers attached?
* whether they are more 'traps' than instructions?
* whether adequate and independent research has been carried out?
* whether voters understand the nature of the risks of helmets?

...because according to many guarantees, helmets:
* must not be kept in extreme heat (rules out Australia!)
* must always be replaced after any impact
* must be replaced routinely anyway every 2-3 years
* must be fitted properly
* must fit properly
* must be done up properly
* must never be worn in playgrounds (potential strangulation risk)
* have sticking properties that can contribute to 'diffuse axonal injury'

So...temporary take-home message until we get this law changed; pop them in the fridge rather than the garage!

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