This add series was aired by a friend on TV in Brisbane recently. :-)
QLD recently had change of government the original nanny state party is gone so there is now a good chance that there could be a change to the helmet laws either to an NT style exemption or complete exemption for all adults.
It is remarkable that at time when we are about to be hit with a CO2 tax and with all the public concern over global warming and the huge burden on the health system of sedentary lifestyle diseases that the most efficient and healthy form of transport has been and is still being discouraged by helmet laws. As a result of this law the predominant type of riders remaining on our roads seem to be lycra wearing men on racers - this would tend to suggest that repealing this law would result in a huge increase in the number of other people riding especially women (the NT has the highest participation of women riders of any state - it is also the only region with a bicycle helmet exemption for adults ).
At the same time there is a lack of any statistical evidence of effacicy of helmet laws in fact their failure and large deterrent effect on cycling is both used as...
- so why are we still burdened with this counter productive nanny state law.
Even though 1500 people die in car accidents yearly car drivers are not forced to wear helmets, in fact the government takes our tax and gives it away to incompetent car companies who cant balance their books. !
The government's bias is clear, in your car it's air-conditioned comfort but ride a bike and you get will get fined if you refuse to wear a sweat box on your head even at low speed or offroad.
The Labor governments poor judgment and steadfast refusal to admit their bias is obvious - it is simply appalling that this law not only results in thousands of innocent people being fined every year, which is at best a waste of police time and resources. It also deters thousands more from cycling in favour of motor cars which are one of the primary sources of pollution including not just C02 but other toxins which can cause health problems for people living near roads. Motor vehicles are also responsible for the great majority of pedestrians killed each year and over 90% of cyclist fatalities.
Whether you personally prefer to wear a helmet or not please show your support for reform and support the right of others to choose for themselves.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
From an economic point of view excessive risk taking does have victims.
base jumping could be seen as a " victimless" crime.
However who pays for the hospital treatment if a base jumper is injured?
Who pays for the welfare if the person becomes disabled and unable to support themselves?
Society though the taxation system pays.
I think it is a long bow to draw that helmet laws cause heart disease or other chronic medical conditions.
Riding a bike without a helmet is not excessive risk taking.
In fact given the minor risk involved in cycling and benefits to cardiovascular health and the environment compared to driving it is positively healthy. The benefits of riding vastly outweigh the minor risks whether you wear a helmet or not.
What is excessive risk would depend on the analysis.
Intuition suggests that the cost of treating one person with a permanent disability from brain damage would buy a lot of helmets.
If people want to get exercise without wearing a helmet there are lots of ways to do this.
How many extra people would cycle regularly if there were no helmet laws I have no idea.
Are there any credible and relevant statistics on this?
No there aren't
Overall, it seems that the debate here is not primarily about MHL; rather, it is a debate about the tension between individual "freedoms" and "rights", and community responsibility and membership. We do not exist on our own, but we are part of a society, and, because we are unavoidably part of a society, we have responsibilities to that society, just as the whole of society has responsibilities towards each of us.
If a law within our society does not command me to do something that is, from a moral perspective, wrong, then, no matter how irksome I find that law, I have a moral duty to comply for the sake of peace and good ordering of society, and I do wrong if I do not comply. Do I stuff up? On occasions, yes. If, however, a law commands me to do wrong, then I am obliged to disobey, and accept the consequences prescribed by law. Do I stuff up sometimes even in this area of moral behaviour? Sadly, yes.
Don't forget that it's not just you have to wear a helmet. It's you have to wear an AUS approved helmet since helmets from the rest of the world don't protect you here.
You are correct this particular issue can also be viewed in the broader context as a civil rights issue.
I can offer the following information from the civil liberties australia website it is fully referenced and details many of the arguments and illustrates the damage to health and civil rights caused by mandatory helmet laws.
But if the law is having a negative effect on society - say contributing to obesity and pushing people into driving cars for short trips, then don't we have some sort of duty to try and change the law?
Naturally, if the law is not morally suspect, we should abide by it, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't question it.
I don't really care what the law on helmets is - I'll wear one because it makes sense to protect my head.
At some stage I will probably fall off my bike and when that does happen, I'd rather be wearing a helmet.
It's your choice and obviously many people would choose to wear a helmet irrespective of the law. Repealing helmet laws and wearing a bike helmet as you note these are 2 separate issues.
In countries without any helmet laws some people wear helmets. In Australia and NZ the only countries with mandatory all ages bicycle helmet laws (except for the NT ) the actual usage of bike helmets is far from 100% ( from my observations in some places it's well under 50%).
Only a thick head would choose not to wear a bike helmut. But then perhaps thick heads dont need the added protection safety concious cyclists need. On a more serious note, the arguments against bike helmets are rediculous. This is even highlighted in the you tube ad where a child in the background has a helmet on and the mother in the foreground has a gardening hat. This is totally irresponsible and poor role modelling and judgement.