eLetters

60 e-Letters

published between 2006 and 2009

  • Cycling in New Zealand
    Peter J Morgan

    Dear Editor

    My wife and I spent a couple of months cycling in the South Island last year. Apart from some cycling-friendly towns (eg Nelson, Wanaka) it was in general a terrifying and oppressive experience. Even on relatively quiet roads, overtaking traffic would often scrape past us in spite of our obvious visibility and bulk (because of our loads) and relative instability. Following traffic unable to overtake w...

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  • Legislation against alcohol-imparied driving in Japan
    Shinji Nakahara

    Dear Editor

    Nagata et al. reported effectiveness of Japanese law against alcohol-impaired driving, which would serve as a useful reference to other countries.[1] However, for this paper to be really helpful to policy makers, the description of legislation should be accurate; and changes other than the road traffic law, which might have influenced the results, should also be described.

    The authors sta...

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  • Re: High-conspicuity aids and motorists' perception of cyclists' motion and distance
    Tom Trottier

    Dear Editor

    The original study considered fluorescent clothing which stands out with bright unusual colours. The background matters less, so long as it does not consist of other bright unusual colours. It would be interesting if the original data considered where the fluorescent cyclists had collisions. I expect that they were more at risk along commercial streets than residential ones because of the many commerc...

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  • High-conspicuity aids and motorists' perception of cyclists' motion and distance
    Tony H. Reinhardt-Rutland

    Dear Editor

    As Thornley et al [1] indicate, the use of high-conspicuity aids by cyclists must be beneficial: motorists can only avoid collision with the cyclist if they can detect the cyclist.

    Unfortunately, high-conspicuity aids are not likely to affect the visibility of the roadway environment around the cyclist, so motorists' perceptions of the cyclist's motion and distance will remain poor in condi...

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  • Worldwide helmet concerns
    Colin F Clarke

    Dear Editor

    The article by Macpherson et al[1] relies on surveys from 111 sites around East York (Toronto) and some questions remain about these surveys. Data from two reports provides confusing indications on the level of cycling. In 2001[2] figures were published for the hourly rate for several years and by comparison in 2003[3] counts for 8-years were provided based on 1 hour observation at each site. An hourly rate...

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  • Unmentionables
    tOM Trottier tOM Trottier

    Dear Editor

    The paper asserts that the dimunition of risk is due to the increase in cyclists. Could it be the other way round, that more cycle as it becomes less risky (due to unknown factors...)?

    The risk reduction is purely for cyclists/walkers. Would the population as a whole experience less risk if they all drove? In extremis, if all cycled, they would have no cars to collide with, while if none cycle...

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  • Timely reporting, concurrent comparisons and common sense
    Dr Dorothy L Robinson

    Dear Editor

    Changes in %HI unrelated to %HW
    Common sense tells us that if the reduction in head injuries were due to helmet laws, percent head injury (%HI) should decline in response to the increase in percent helmet wearing (%HW).

    Fig 1 shows this was not the case either in Ontario or British Columbia (BC), two provinces c...

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  • More on Robertson's paper
    Tony H. Reinhardt-Rutland

    Dear Editor

    I offer brief rejoinders to Robertson's critique of my comments:

    (a) Robertson may indeed have all the data available for the specified vehicles in his statistical analysis. Nonetheless, the theoretical underpinnings in any such statistical analysis assume an infinite population from which the real-world data are drawn.

    (b) I am not an adherent of the risk compensation hypothesis, wh...

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  • Author's response
    Leon S. Robertson

    Dear Editor

    Point A. The vehicles I studied are not a random sample but all of the specified vehicles in use (except pickups) during the period studied. Therefore, random sampling error does not apply. The paper clearly states, “The mix of vehicles in other countries and the ratios of pedestrians and bicyclists to motor vehicles would undoubtedly alter the percentages but it is unlikely that vehicles characteristic...

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  • Vehicle factors: engineering improvement does not necessarily deliver
    Tony H. Reinhardt-Rutland

    Dear Editor

    Robertson [1] has carried out correlational and regressional analyses of data concerning a number of vehicle factors and death rates of road users in the United States. Given the sometimes contentious issues that arise from such analyses, it behoves one to be cautious in what one concludes from this exercise. I list below three issues that are pertinent:

    (a) The degree of precision stated for...

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