Monday, October 26, 2009

"For the term of your natural life"

We have some deeply mystifying laws in Australia and one of the more dense ones relates to bicycle helmets. As a result I am now a convicted criminal, my first conviction ever, after being pulled over by an unmarked highway patrol car earlier this year and issued with an infringement notice for not wearing a helmet whilst riding a bicycle.

In a bid for the right to be able to manage my life for myself, and therefore be able to choose to ride a bicycle without a helmet, I went through the court process knowing that the odds were always against me. We are not fortunate enough to have any human rights provisions in Australia either constitutionally or statutorily so my extremely narrow recourse to the courts had to be articulated with the defence of necessity.

... and so my matter was heard in the Local Court on Monday 28th September 2009, and as to be expected I was found guilty as charged, although there was a chance I may not have been convicted if I had promised to "behave" for 3 months, and wear a helmet whenever I cycled - I would not have been able to do that so I refused the opportunity.

I have lodged an appeal in the District Court...and oh! I think I am planning to defend myself - I can't afford another $3,000!!...and because of my beliefs and my committement to the environment, my four children, and the planet, I shall continue with utility cycling in an unhelmeted fashion.

Verdict to date: I am a convicted criminal for life for riding a bicycle without a helmet - what a country!

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