As far as I'm aware, the ABC was the first media outlet in Australia to raise this issue of cycling without helmets, if somewhat inadvertently; but this issue needs to be pursued - that is the debate on mandatory helmet laws.
If we hope to raise cycling numbers in a bid to spare the environment from our fossil-fuel dependent vehicles and their destructive legacy, we need to face why Australia, as a nation does not cycle. We have the perfect climate, we're outdoorsy (apparently) and yet we get fatter and fatter and we pollute more and more. Cycling is an important step to tackle this problem, and it should not remain in the domain of sports fanatics - anybody can do it and all you need is a bicycle - no lycra, no helmet, no weird looking gloves, maybe a couple of baskets front and back for shopping or picnic purposes or whatever, or then again no added extras at all - just a bicycle.
I loved 'Foreign Correpsondent' last week - it inspired me to keep on going with my quest to persuade governments (state and federal) to repeal these limiting, health and environment deficient laws - and I told them so in their 'guestbook' - however this helmet matter is a 'hot potato' and my remark has been 'moderated' into oblivion by the ABC moderator! - whoa scary stuff! - shame!!!
I just can't fathom why we're so blinkered as a community that we have accepted these helmet penalties for so long - the research is dodgy, and scant at best, but easily adoptable - why don't people see it for what it is? - adept marketing spin - in fact the Australian public at large have become "helmet soldiers" whether they cycle or not, and lecture me that I must, in the event of some personal cycling mishap entailing a cost on the community, pay for my own medical bills - yet should I raise the concept of comparable user-pay medical bills for obesity mishaps and attendant community costs, I am dismissed as ridiculous!!
...but on a more optimistic note, heaps of patrons at my 'local' last week who had seen 'foreign correspondent' told me they now realised what I was 'banging' on about; apparently it seemed to my fellow drinkers that the 'compulsory-helmet-equation' does explain why no-one cycles here, and everyone at the pub was keen to see more cycling happen!!!!!! especially if it meant more of the fairer sex on bicycles!...hmmmn