my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet

my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet
...is informed

Friday, December 31, 2010

'Sydney-Morning-Herald-Unpublished-Me'

(Sensible Christmas Day clobber - big hat, esky & sunnies!)


As an 'activist' I really don't expect to have my letters published in the Sydney Morning Herald anymore, namely because I have been 'reliably informed' that they don't print campaigners (they print politicians though - how does that work??!!)

Notwithstanding that's the truly great bit about having a blog - you can publish yourself!!! So the letter below is 'pure-smh-unpublished-me' in reply to yesterday's article:

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The fierce academic debate that continues to rage over bicycle helmet laws (‘Authors admit errors in study on bike helmets and head injuries’, 30/12/2010) only serves to highlight the flawed and contradictory nature of this highly questionable legislation.

Prima facie, the evidence pertaining to helmets is conflicting.

Given that most other countries across the globe openly acknowledge mandatory helmet laws raise issues of civil liberties and consequently leave the decision ‘to helmet or not’ to their individual citizens, it is ridiculous that we are still legally compelled to wear one in Australia.

Moreover the ‘bicycle-helmet-I-did-not-wear’ which resulted in a criminal conviction for me in September 2009, will be illegal to sell from next year anyway - now deemed unsafe which is what I argued in the first place.

It is time that Regulation 256 of the NSW Road Rules 2008 was revoked. Unquestionably the ‘helmet decision’ should be relinquished to the realm of choice.


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Predictably though, the SMH published today an affirming rant (see John Roache's letter) to bolster the omnipresent, ignorant and uninformed 'smoke & mirrors' argument that continues to prevail in the Australian community.

Putting 'laziness' aside and looking at the facts, how is it difficult to internalise that helmet laws are misleading, deceptive, unsubstantiated and the biggest 'safety-wash' ever? - sigh!

Anyway, here we are at the end of 2010 and whilst it would be easy to despair just a little at the glacial progress we seem to be making, we have raised the profile of helmets & laws & most importantly choice, and we have got everybody chatting - well done, us!!!!

So, what are my plans & resolutions for next year?...well, after much thought, I've pared it right down to this 'teensey-weeney-weeney' one...

"Exposing the 'safety-wash' of helmet laws once and for all by whatever means it takes" - and maybe, just maybe, the new provisions in the 'soon-to-be-renamed' Trade Practices Act might help - fingers crossed!!!!

HAPPPPPPP-ppppyyy New Year, everyone! - and here's to our 'wished-for-freedom' in 2011!!

3 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to you and yours too Sue!

    Quite why the powers-that-be think that cycling is dangerous specifically to peoples' heads, or why they have so much faith in the all-protecting powers of polystyrene hats that are scientifically tested to minimal impact protection standards, I don't know. The danger to cyclists comes almost entirely from motor vehicles, and cycle helmets are provably not capable of protecting against collisions with motor vehicles!

    The whole "helmet" (actually "polystyrene hat") scandal will be exposed for what it is at some point. Keep up the good work!

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  2. I'm hopeful that in 2011 all this 'difference of opinion' on bicycle helmet efficacy and 'lack of evidence that mandatory helmet laws have done any measurable good' (sorry, anecdotes don't count) will mean that the law will be repealed.

    Remember folks, repealing the helmet law (which curiously doesn't apply to car occupants or pedestrians... or rollerbladers/scooters/skateboards...) will mean that you can still wear your helmet if you CHOOSE.

    That is all.

    Happy New Year!

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  3. ...yes the 'polystyrene hat' scandal and mandatory helmet laws are a complete joke, & I will continue to 'conscientiously object' incessantly!!!

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