Bicycle Australia org supports the right of everyone to ride a bicycle without fear of harassment and unfair penalties by the law.
Australia is almost the only country in the world in the world with mandatory bicycle helmet laws for adults.
Victoria and NSW continue to ban adults from riding on footpaths unless they are accompanying younger children. It should be legal as it is in all other states and territories.
In NSW it is illegal for adults to ride a bicycle without carrying a government approved photographic ID even though bike riders are the least likely to cause harm to anyone else - if you do not have a photographic drivers licence you must obtain a Photo ID which costs $50.
This helmet law in particular is an unjustified attack on the personal freedom and rights of many people (both bicycle users and potential users).
This law deters many people
from using a healthy, safe, energy efficient transport
which provides moderate exercise at a time when obesity, and inactivity disorders kill over 40000 people every year.
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Since it's inception over half a million people have been subjected to revenue raising fines and many more to other interventions or warnings, in some cases helmet laws have resulted in imprisonment or lead to other state sanctioned violence far out of proportion with the alleged crime.[ref 5] In many cases a person may not have a helmet available or may have a medical problem or other good reasons for not wearing one yet the law is harshly and blatantly applied almost without exception. The nearest national equivalent to it would be Iran's laws forcing women to constantly wear a hijab when in public.
This law does not make people any safer. The protection offered by a helmet is sufficient only for minor falls and people wishing to may well wear helmets without a mandatory helmet law.
Application of mandatory helmet law's has proven counter-productive to overall bicycle safety in many ways. People seem to ignorant of the fact a bike helmet's protect only part of their head from minor impacts, and even that is at the expense of increased risk of neck injury's, rotational whiplash causing internal brain injury and greater likelihood of hitting your head in the first place.
[ref 6] Statistically we do have high rates of helmet wearing so we should according to the law advocates be the safest country in the world for bicycle safety statistics show otherwise we are actually far worse off than many countries without such intrusive laws.
This Law is diverting attention and time from more other safety issues and denying people the use of common sense.
People are mislead to beleive they or others are safe because they are wearing a helmet, but this is not the case, [ref 7] and the road toll statistics show the falicy of such deception. [ref 8] These show absolutely no evidence of the safety benefit's the pro-helmet law lobbyists once used to claim of. !
Discouraging a healthy activity like riding a bicycle with intrusive laws leads to more inactivity diseases such as obesity, diabeties, suicide and heart disease which kill many thousands of people each year. Discouraging bike use leads to greater dependence on motor vehicles, More harmful pollution, greater dependence on oil, traffic congestion and causes more motor vehicle accidents.
Bureaucratic ineptitude or plain pigheaded idiocy means that a reassessment of the law has not been done even with nearly 20 years of data showing it is a failure compared to having no such law. Protests and community dissatisfaction at the loss of civil rights and discrimination this law causes continue and every year many more thousands of people are subjected to helmet fines. .
Yet there is hope, it did after all take the Labour and Liberal leaders 50 years before they apologized to the stolen generation of Aboriginals.
The internet is enabling people to fight back for their rights in the face of this intrusive government interference.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) AKA Liberal Democrats generally support repealing such laws and may eventually take the balance of power from the entrenched duopoly.
Government policy towards bicycle users is totally disrespectful, the persecution of bicycle users, cost to community health and loss of civil rights due to this discriminatory and short sighted law must end.
Australia claims to be a democracy however the ability of citizens to influence policy post election does not exist in any tangible form.
Election promises are regularly broken and without Citizen Initiated Referenda there is no means to hold politicians to account.
It would be more accurate to describe the Australian as being ruled by an elected dictatorship. !
The incumbent Liberal/Labor duopoly maintain their entrenched positions thanks to forced voting combined with advertising budgets of well over 30 million in recent elections, over 50 Million of this
money is taxpayer subsidized via Electoral Commission Funding.
Many Australians who would rather not vote are coerced into voting thru fines backed up by jail and or property confiscation.
Typically the only real objective apparent is that they can then give themselves a pay rise and justify it by cherry picking examples from industry and top it off with extraordinarily generous pensions. Instead of good government we get bureaucracy, fat-cats and name calling, whatever Labour or Liberal once represented it is long gone. And replaced with a system where political donations probably from helmet manufacturers sent to both parties are used to manipulate government policy no matter who wins. People who want real representation have had to turn to grass-roots parties like the LDP and others who better represent them.
With no mechanism in place to dispute controversial government decisions on any issue we are subjected to mandatory bicycle helmet laws even though the majority of people actually disagree with them.
Please support Parties like the LDP , CDP , ASP , One Nation, Greens, and Freedom party who support citizen initiated referendum.
Labor/Liberal have even recently sought to eliminate voter choice at elections and had the AEC (Australian Electoral Commission) increase the membership requirements for minor parties to register. If we have compulsory voting but if someone's choice is not represented on the voting forms then they should not be forced to vote. Register your descent by joining a minor political party to help them meet the new registration requirements. The Liberal Democratic Party, Australian Sex Party ,One Nation the Greens and others are not getting a fair go and need your support.!
1. Wikipedia . (n.d.). Bicycle helmet laws by country
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet_laws_by_country
2. Health Promotion Journal of Australia . (2011; 22: 178-83). The possible effect on frequency of cycling if mandatory bicycle helmet legislation was repealed in Sydney, Australia: a cross sectional survey
Retrieved from http://www.healthpromotion.org.au/journal/journal-downloads/article/1-hpja/426-the-possible-effect-on-frequency-of-cycling-if-mandatory-bicycle-helmet-legislation-was-repealed-in-sydney-australia-a-cross-sectional-survey
3. Wikipedia . (n.d.). Bicycle performance
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance
4. Australian Bureau of Statistics . (03/05/2011). 3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2009
Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/B6940E9BF2695EE1CA25788400127B0A?opendocument
5. C.Clarke . (13 May 2010). Assessment of Australia's Bicycle Helmet Laws
Retrieved from http://www.cla.asn.au/Article/081125BikesHelmetPolicy.pdf
Likely Similar or even greater numbers of warnings issued by police.
Many thousands of people including children were also conscripted by police into "re-education" sessions under threat of fines if they did not attend. Other practices used include police deflating cyclists tyres or forcing them to walk under police escort to their destination.
6. Martin Johnston . (11th April 2011). Study downgrades protective effect of cycle helmets
Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10718438
ABC:The Drum . (n.d.). On National Ride to Work Day, do you think bike helmets should be compulsory? No 51% Yes 49% 3928 votes counted
Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/polls/
Clay Lucas . (23 July 2010). Helmet law makes nonsense of bike hire scheme Poll: Should public-bike scheme users be excused from wearing helmets? Yes 71%, No 29% Total votes: 13890. Poll closed 25 Jul, 2010 Disclaimer: These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Retrieved from http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/helmet-law-makes-nonsense-of-bike-hire-scheme-20100722-10my2.html
7. Wikipedia . (n.d. ). Risk compensation
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_compensation
8. In Australia ~200 motorcyclists die wearing helmets annually !
Helmets are ineffective or in some cases actually caused fatal neck injury or internal rotational injury,
while providing far less protection than what people expect of them. This misconception of safety leaded to people taking risks when they should be more cautious. . Safer Roads . (n.d. ). Motorcycles
Retrieved from http://www.aaa.asn.au/saferroads/bikes.asp
9. AEC . (13 May 2010). 2007 federal election Funding Payments
Retrieved from http://www.aec.gov.au/elections/federal_elections/2007/election_funding_payment.htm
10. AEC . (29 October 2010). Final 2010 federal election payment to political parties and candidates
Retrieved from http://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/Media_releases/e2010/13-10.htm
And this is in addition to the millions they get in the form of "donations"
Wikipedia . (n.d.). Political donations in Australia
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_donations_in_Australia