Bicycle Network: "Riders, wear your helmet. And BNSW, you suck"

Bicycle Network's draws battle lines and sets out "policy for hire" shingle:

NSW road rules


Uproar over police blitz

1 July 2015. A police action aimed at improving bike and pedestrian safety in the Sydney CBD and surrounding areas has turned sour after bike riders claimed they were being unfairly targeted.

Operation Pedro involved officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol, along with Surry Hills, Sydney City, Redfern, Leichhardt, Newtown, and Harbourside Local Area Commands.

Running for just one day, more than 664 infringement notices were issued to bike riders, pedestrians and motorists.

Police claimed their focus would be on non-compliance by cyclists for helmet use, negligent or aggressive riding and disregard for road rules. They wanted to deter poor behaviour, they said.

But for cyclists, the major aggressor in their world is currently the NSW government, as it rips up agreements on bikeway developments, disregards undertakings and commitments, and behaves with obvious contempt towards the right of those who chose healthy, active travel.

Sydney riders are justly feeling set-upon as the State government blunders blindly ahead with plans to remove key bike infrastructure while it backtracks on plans for new lanes in other parts of the city.

During the operation:

  • 202 traffic infringement notices issued to motorists, with nine charges being laid
  • 11 pedestrians were issued infringement notices, with 34 cautions/warnings
  • 72 cyclists were caught disobeying traffic control lights
  • 54 cyclists were riding on the footpath
  • 57 cyclists were issued infringements for other offences
  • 234 cyclists were not wearing a helmet

The figure on helmet infringements is alarming, and police are fully justified to be concerned at this level of non-compliance.

In a perfect world no bike rider would fall off their bike and there’d be no need for helmets. Unfortunately, our world is a long way from perfect. A 2013 study in NSW shows that helmet wearing significantly reduced the risk of moderate, serious and severe head injury by up to 74%. So wearing a helmet sounds like a no brainer.

Yes, we know there are some groups that disagree, but we just love bike riders too much to recommend they don’t protect their valuable heads.

Helmets are a proven injury prevention tool in Australia and Bicycle Network actively supports efforts around the nation to normalise helmet use, and backs police in their use of warnings and infringement notices.

So why is compliance so bad in Sydney?

One reason could be that beleaguered cycling organisation, Bicycle NSW, has been wishy-washy on helmet policy. In 2013 Bicycle NSW moved to get the helmet rules watered down:

  • "Bicycle NSW recommends that a review is held to determine the net benefit of the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules. If no significant benefit is found, Bicycle NSW recommends that the law is revoked if not entirely, then at least for adult bicycle users.
  • Bicycle NSW recommends that riders using bikeshare bicycles be exempt from the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules.”

Bicycle Network rejects this approach and is determined to see bike rider trauma reduced in NSW and we strongly encourage all bike riders to comply with helmet rules.

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so many helmet infringements, where are all those head injuries?

I got notified of this by an email titled "In the Loop: Bottom of the class for bike spending; Uproar over police blitz; Chicken run plucked"/ I'm not a member of BN, but think they must have my email from a Big Ride I did in 2008! There was no unsubscribe option. Should BN be reported for spamming? They are getting much to pushy.

What email account do you use? If you use hotmail (outlook) account, open BN email and move your pointer to actions to open up the options and click on unsubscribe.

Don`t know of other email accounts unless you can see the options to do it.

Their email sent to my yahoo account has no unsubscribe, so I marked it as spam.

Yep, I went back through my emails and found I was subscribed when I signed up to Ride2Work day many moons ago. Those initial emails did contain an Unsubscribe link but their latest emails do not.

I just sent them the following:


Please unsubscribe me from this list.

Also, you should be aware that your current email communications are in breach of the Spam Act as they don't contain a visible and functional unsubscribe facility:


Anyone who has done a bike count would be on this list.
So we are into turf wars now.....Guessing BN is not doing so well in NSW as the budgets predicted.
Would be good for BNSW to now take this up as a challenge and do a membership drive into Victoria.

Maybe time for  BNSW to start talking to the councils in NSW that do BN bike counts and voice disapproval. Maybe they (BNSW) could take over the counting as NSW bugs are aligned to BNSW not BN. I will be writing to Warringah Council and suggest the local bug now boycott BN and the BUG even count bikes at a reduced rate and bill council directly.


!^*&@# off back to Melbourne BNV, we don't like your kind around here.

Seriously - unbelievable. I doubt the 74% figure. For decades the US government used a similar number of 85% but a few years ago they were forced to retract the claim after a challenge under their Data Quality Act. 

Its a huge stretch to claim that helmet compliance is down due to BNSW having an open-minded policy. The real reasons non-compliance is high around Surrey Hills is because hipsters don't care for them and other inner city types are educated about the problems of MHL and helmet efficacy. Better to focus on riding defensively than worry about a helmet. 

It does seem like a brazen power play by BNV. I guess they might be competing for state funding and can see what side the bread is buttered on. Makes me dislike them even more. I hope BNSW step up and take the challenge head on. International best practice in transport policy abhors helmet laws and even helmet promotion. The UK won't have them. California won't have them. The OECD recommends against them. Australia, the writing is on the wall. 

By the way the numbers don't really add up, especially assuming that some cyclists would have been cautioned and not ticketed. 

!^*&@# off back to Melbourne BNV, we don't like your kind around here.

I completely agree with this attitude.  Except for the fact that I'm in Melbourne, and many of us don't want their kind around here either!  Please, please, NSW stand up against BNV!

It does seem like a brazen power play by BNV

Trust me, BN has no interest in working with anyone else and will continue to undermine other groups. And as a Melbourne resident I don't take offense at your comment; I'd be just as angry too!

What % of the annual transportation death toll is due to bicycles riding on the footpath or riding when using the pedestrian crossing?


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