I’ve been delving into pre-helmet law New Zealand the last few days. I was hoping to find out more about the debates and discussions going on around the time the helmet law was being mooted. In the meantime, and a little tangentially, these two old stories caught my eye:
New Zealand, Evening Post, 10 September 1924
Further particulars of an accident in Grey Street, last Friday morning, when Albert Edward Hollway, a married man, 46 years of age, was knocked down by a bicycle and received injuries from which he died, were investigated by the Coroner (Mr. W. G. Kiddell, S.M.) today. …
“When I got nearer him he moved forward and got in front of the bicycle. He never looked my way at all.” The Coroner: “Did you call out?”—”I think I did. I was whistling all the way down the road very loudly.” Witness added that deceased was about four yards away when he firat saw him. The Coroner: “He didn’t see you at all?”—”No! The front, wheel’ of the bicycle struck his rightieg.” The Coroner: “Did you strike him a, hard blow?”—”No!” …
Considering the rate the boy was travelling, and the rate the man was walking, one would never have expected an accident to happen. The boy must have struck deceased on the leg in a particular way which threw him off his balance. In agreat majority of cases the bicycle would simply have struck the man and he never would have been knocked down. The verdict was that deceased died from a fractured skull, received through being knocked down in Grey Street by a bicycle.
New Zealand, Evening Post, 29 April 1937
An elderly man, while adjusting the chain of his bicycle on a lonely road near Holstebro, Denmark, got his beard entangled in the crank and was unable to free himself. Another cyclist met him crawling back wards, dragging his bicycle, and together they carried the bicycle until they met a man with a sharp knife, who severed the beard.