eLetters

81 e-Letters

published between 2003 and 2006

  • Raise Teen Driving Age
    Chairat Noppakovat

    Dear Editor,

    My name is Master Sergeant Chairat Noppakovat and I am stationed at the Madigan Army Medical Center located at Fort Lewis, Washington. I am in the United States Army and have served proudly for nearly 22 years. The reason I am writing this letter is to share with you the story of my son. His name is Apichai Kevin Noppakovat. He was just 18 years old and passed away on 14 August 2006. He had just g...

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  • Re: Timely release of information is important.
    Barry Pless

    Malcom Wardlaw asks if a serious head injury rate of 1 per 7,000 capita per year is great enough to warrant enforced use of protective headgear. My view is that there is no magic number; even 1 per 70,000 would be too many if the injury had serious sequelae, as undoubtedly many do. I am certain most sensible parents and most pediatricians who treat these children would agree. The opinions of the City of Toronto Police S...

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  • Reply to Hagel and Rowe
    Avery Burdett

    Dear Editor

    Hagel and Rowe reject(1) my criticisms(2) of their study of the impact of a child bicycle helmet law in Alberta, Canada(3). However they appear to have missed the point.

    The first issue raised in my letter concerning reduced cycling as a result of Alberta's helmet law, Hagel and Rowe say there could have been confounders which would discount the drawing of a conclusion from the smaller propo...

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  • Timely release of information is important.
    Malcolm J Wardlaw

    Dear Editor

    Macperson et al. present valuable findings [1] on rates of helmet use by Toronto children of different income groups; and how these rates varied across a period in which a helmet law was passed. The wearing rates rise to a peak after the law of 1995, followed by a decline back to roughly pre-law levels by 1999. This profile occurred because the law was not enforced. The City of Toronto Police Service c...

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  • Evaluate all effects, including cycle use and injury rates, before recommending helmet laws
    Dr Dorothy L Robinson

    Dear Editor

    According to good public policy, all laws with potentially detrimental effects (such as reduced cycling and reduced safety in numbers) should be evaluated. Far from being selective, my review examined every jurisdiction with a large increase in helmet wearing (more than 40 percentage points within a year). If helmet laws were beneficial, there should have been an obvious response. Yet there was no c...

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  • TV's portrayal of driver distraction: Legitimising bad practice
    Tony H Reinhardt-Rutland

    McEvoy et al (2006) provide empirical evidence to support the case that distractions for the driver are an important feature of road crashes. There should be nothing too surprising in this; after all, many authorities recognise that an enforcible code of behaviour must be applied to public-service drivers; bus passengers are not likely to feel at ease with a driver whose attention deviates from the task in hand.

    ...

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  • Re: Alberta helmet article - logic problem and missing data . Authors reply.
    Brent Hagel

    Dear Editor,

    In response to our article, Burdett makes two main criticisms. The first relates to the issue of level of cycling activity in the community post-legislation. The second relates to our interpretation of the evidence for child cyclist helmet wearing when accompanying adults are helmeted compared with non-helmeted children. We consider these points separately.

    On the issue of the level of cycl...

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  • Alberta helmet article - logic problem and missing data
    Avery Burdett

    Dear Editor,

    In their report on bicycle helmet use[1], Hagel et al recommend that Alberta's child helmet law be extended to include adults. They base this on (a) an increase in the rate of helmet use among the age group affected (under 18 years of age) from two years before the introduction of helmet legislation in 2002 to two years after, and (b) children being observed riding at higher rates of helmet use when accompa...

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  • Important questions: effect on head injuries and cycle use?
    Dr Dorothy L Robinson

    Dear Editor,

    There is considerable debate about enforced helmet laws. Surveys in Australia counted several thousand cyclists before and after legislation, at the same sites, observation times and time of year. Percent helmet wearing (%HW) increased mainly because non-helmeted cyclists were discouraged from cycling – reductions in numbers counted were 2 to 15 times greater than the increases in numbers wearing helme...

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  • Studies of cyclist fatalities contradict the claims of Cummings et al.
    Dr Dorothy L Robinson

    Dear Editor,

    Cummings et al. assume that bike helmets prevent 65% of deaths.[1] Yet a study of cyclist crashes in Brisbane concluded that helmets would prevent very few fatalities. All deaths were caused by bike/motor vehicle collisions. For 13 of the 14 non-helmeted cyclists who died, there was no indication that a helmet would have made any difference. The authors were very concerned about brain da...

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