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Made round to go around — 3 Comments

  1. All the young ‘uns on here won’t remember this, but I remember asking myself a similar question many, many years ago when we were instructed – “for our own good” and, of course, to “save the NHS £xxx per year” (can’t remember the quoted figure now) – to use seatbelts in our cars, whether we wanted to or not, and under the threat of a big fine if we didn’t.  It was, of course, several decades ago now, but I distinctly remember that although these big figures were thrown about with gay abandon in the run-up to the legislation (to garner “public support”), once it was safely enshrined in law I saw no headlines screaming with joy at all the wonderful facilities which NHS patients could now enjoy, thanks to all those hundreds of thousands of pounds which the service was now, supposedly, “saving.”  There was little improvement in either facilities or care; the NHS remained, mysteriously, still chronically short of cash; people still faced hours-long waits in A&E; waiting lists remained stubbornly long; and doctors and nurses still harped on endlessly about how stressed and overworked and under-valued they were.  Even back then, the NHS, it seemed, was always “in crisis” and “at breaking point” and “overloaded,” just like it is now, despite the fact that the new whizzy seatbelt laws had been promised to give us an NHS simply awash with cash (well, not quite, but certainly with a good deal more money at their disposal).  Even I am too young to remember it, but I’ll bet there were people before me who asked the same question about the crash-helmet laws passed some years earlier, and using the same justifications, no doubt.

    • I seem to recollect reading somewhere that crash helmets are only effective in slow speed impacts, and that at anything over 30 mph, although they may protect the skull, they offer no protection from the G-forces that the brain is subjected to, which tends to result in severe disability (like Michael Schumacher who is now not much more than a vegetable after his skiing accident, despite the helmet). I would hazard a guess that crash helmets have considerably increased the costs to the NHS of motorcyclist’s accidents, as people who would otherwise have died instantly now require a lifetime of expensive care.

      • Your recollection is correct. I can vouch for it being a long time Harley rider who experienced those years where mandatory helmets (known as “brain  buckets” in the US to us riders) were being debated on a state per state basis. So from experience with motorcycle helmets at least, helmets are effective at 30 mph or less since most motorcycle accidents happen below 30 mph. Above 30 mph you might as well not wear anything if you hit something head on. Anyway, it was a damn nuisance when riding from one state to another having to carry a helmet just in case one state had mandatory helmet laws and another didn’t

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