For those who have not seen this on FB


The following points are intended to assist people who may want to make submissions to the Senate Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts.

The State Governments were very quick to pass Mandatory Helmet Legislation when it was a pre-requisite for obtaining Federal Government Road funding.

It is astonishing that the negative effects of helmet legislation were never evaluated after implementation. It is even more astonishing that no Government has ever conceded that there were any negative consequences to these laws.

The following is a list of unintended consequences of MHL. You can include as many of these as you like in your submissions.

- Reduction in cycling with a resulting decline in public health
- Increased risk of accident per cyclist
- Loss of civil liberty
- Decrease in safety because there were fewer cyclists - the 'safety
in numbers effect'
- Loss of enjoyment of cycling because of discomfort, 
inconvenience, overheating, perspiration, ruined hairstyles
- Increased risk taking among helmet wearing populations
- Reduction in care taken by drivers around helmeted cyclists
- Failure of the Melbourne and Brisbane Bikeshare programs
Sydney Bikeshare unable to start
- Helmets create a dangerous image of cycling which puts people
off riding
- Police resources diverted to punishing cyclists
- The real safety issues for cyclists were sidelined as 'helmets'
became the only solution
- Decreased demand for safe cycling infrastructure 
- Cost of helmets
- Loss of autonomy and independence in children and teenagers,
may include a decline in youth mental and physical health
- Increase in congestion, pollution, greenhouse gas and loss of 
urban amenity

Submissions close 24 August 2015

Submission deadline Inquiry term of reference

5 October 2015

Bicycle helmet laws (term d)

Please contact the committee secretariat on (02) 6277 3025 if you have any questions about this inquiry.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Standing Committees on Economics
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

I would add, building a whole generation of drivers who, due to the perceived danger of cycling, have not ridden on the roads and do not know how to drive around bike riders safely or have the empathy as they cannot see people who ride as fellow human beings.

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Replies to This Discussion

I think they are only having the one hearing on bike helmets, which is the day in Melbourne on the 16th. So they are not going to invite many people to present to them.  You would have been selected because of the range and quality of your submission.  I don't know if the Senate can assist you in travelling down, but otherwise, I think they have teleconferencing facilities.  After all the work you have done honing your arguments against some pretty obstinate opposition, I think you would be an absolute must to present to the enquiry.

So I'm back in, it seems.

The session is 2pm - 2.40, and apparently I will 'appear alongside one other witness as a means of generating discussion'. I wonder how many and who will be there?

I'm hoping to fly down for the hearing. Mrs Dan is being very supportive, considering it's a day out of our family holiday!

If the early election goes ahead, it will mean that Parliament will be dissolved prior to the original date the findings of the inquiry were to be released. The dissolution essentially renders the inquiry void, if no findings have been released.

I understand that Chris Gillham has been in contact with Senator Leyonhjelm's office, and they are going to rush out as many of the findings as possible prior to that date.

Not everything will be in there, but apparently the helmet findings and recommendations are all ready, and should be tabled in parliament on 18th April - so early enough for them to get some debate time and perhaps some media coverage.

Hopefully there will be a strong recommendation to scrap MHL. Whilst it won't be binding on the states, and will probably be ignored, it's another piece of ammunition.


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