Helmetless riders


Helmetless riders

Sick of fools yelling "where's your helmet"? Can't understand why a safe mode of transport like cycling has been singled out for mandatory helmet wearing? Want to ride with the breeze in your hair? This is your group.

Members: 145
Latest Activity: Jun 7

Discussion Forum

The Saturday Paper 9 July 2016

Started by Neil Alexander. Last reply by Common Old Garrwain Jul 11, 2016. 7 Replies

Radio National and Bicycle Helmets

Started by Alan Todd. Last reply by sydneyCommuter Jul 18, 2015. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

Comment by Neil Alexander on July 27, 2012 at 10:23am

Queensland. Beautiful one day. F@#$ing expensive the next.

Looks like the democratic option is the only way out then.

Just one question, Chief, what is the democratic option?

Comment by Dasher on July 27, 2012 at 10:25am

Argh! I'm frustrated on your behalf Paul! 

Comment by Paul Martin on July 27, 2012 at 10:56am

In Queensland we have a exemption most other states don't have: a letter from a medical officer exempting the use of a bicycle helmet for a 'medical condition' for a 'specified period'.

My father has one, as does my mother and a few of my friends, for the very simple reason that they would rather wear a broad brimmed hat (incompatible with a helmet under the law) as the risk of skin cancer is higher than that of a head injury. The GPs are quite in agreement with this.

It is a route I have not wanted to take as I want to be honest about my objection to the law. However as it is a dead end and the police want to escalate it to ridiculous levels I'm simply going to get a letter this afternoon from a colleague and I'll wear my hat without fear from now on. I'll still fight this law through other means though.

Comment by Paul Martin on July 27, 2012 at 11:28am

I've been discussing this with a friend (who prosecutes in Magistrates cases and also enjoys helmet choice!) and I've decided to go to court and represent myself. It won't change anything other than result in a fine much less than $2000 (hopefully $0) and a chance to at least get it on record. I'll report back.

Comment by KathrynW on July 27, 2012 at 11:34am

Oh my! That bites the big one Paul! What a waste of everyone's time and money. I'd love to know the actual *cost* of three police officers dealing with a recalcitrant lid-less cyclist. And the administration time and the court time, not to mention your time ... what a joke!

Sounds like you're at a bit of dead end in terms of practically pursuing it. I think the medical exemption is wise. I wish I had that option.

Comment by KathrynW on July 27, 2012 at 11:37am

OK, so not such a dead end then! Kudos to you Paul and good luck. 

Comment by Tony Arnold on July 27, 2012 at 6:06pm

I'm sorry to hear about your woes Paul.  It is a good thing they had you surrounded with 3 officers, otherwise you may have escaped!

In some sad news on our ski slopes, two people have died in the last few days, reminding us that there are other activities that are perhaps more in need of mandatory helmet laws than trundling to the shops on a bicycle. 

Comment by Paul Martin on July 27, 2012 at 8:58pm
Skiing should not be subjected to such a law either, particularly as the helmets are nothing more than bicycle helmets without vents. If they introduce a law at ski slopes I'll stop going...

I've been skiing since I was very small and apart from wearing a helmet for a few years as a child I've not worn a helmet. The helmets were more like motorcycle helmets back then, not bicycle helmets interestingly. They had very thick, hard shells (a sledgehammer wouldn't dent it) and thick, soft internal padding. Nothing like the rubbish they sell now which are bicycle helmets with fewer vents - rock hard polystyrene liners. The only thing they're good for is keeping your head warm, your earbuds in your ears and for mounting a camera on your head. I just use a beanie.

The last time I was in the USA skiing I saw some tremendously stupid risk taking behaviour by some snowboarders (its mostly snowboarders, dont know why) who all had these thin shelled helmets on. I asked them if they'd do the same manoeuvres without the helmet and they said, "No way!". Just goes to show that not only is risk compensation alive and well, but that some people are stupid.

I've skied through trees, down 50 degree mogul infested double black diamonds, through thick powder and never once put my head in danger...but I know my limitations and never push that boundary, always leaving wiggle room.

I cycle the same way.
Comment by Paul Martin on July 27, 2012 at 9:00pm
It also doesn't say if he died from head injuries... He may well have broken his neck, ruptured his aorta, lacerated his spleen/liver, suffered a tension pneumothorax.

In the world of injuries that can kill you, a head injury is only one of many on a long, long list...
Comment by Tony Arnold on July 27, 2012 at 9:15pm

I am not suggesting that there should be helmet laws for skiers, or that these deaths could have been prevented by wearing helmets.  What I am saying is that a lot of activities involve risk, so there is no reason to single out cycling as an "extreme sport", especially considering that many journeys are just "trundling to the shops".


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