(Photos: Dr Paul Martin)
Here we go again!! - it had to happen!
Dr Paul Martin, a specialist anaesthetist in Brisbane, has just been booked by the Queensland police for riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet, whilst on a quiet bike path doing 10km/h:
"The officer was reasonably polite but he did bang on a bit (as did his plain-clothes colleague on a bike) with a few anecdotes on the effectiveness of helmets. I did not lie, and said that I wasn't wearing a helmet because I didn't have it on me and that I don't wear it, and gave my reasons."
Predictably, the plain-clothes bike-officer then proceeded to regale Paul with endless anecdotes of bicycle calamaties suffered by him personally, and how he was mightily glad in retrospect that he'd been wearing a helmet on all those occasions! The 'sporty cop' also divulged to Paul that he had been careering down mountains when these 'incidences' occurred - what a surprise!!
Notwithstanding his own statement, the 'bike copper' then mentioned, somewhat helpfully, that if Paul did possess any evidence to support his 'anti-mandatory helmet law' stance perhaps he should consider contesting the infringement.
Without wasting a moment, Paul has instructed a law firm in Brisbane to represent him in the looming court matter. He clinically accepts that this traffic infringement might be "the most expensive $100 fine I'm ever to get", yet he hopes his case will further expand the legal argument in Australia against mandatory helmet laws.
Whatever the decision of the Local Court, Paul also intends to seek an exemption to wearing a helmet" based on my understanding of the ineffectiveness of bicycle helmets and my disagreement with the mandatory legislation."
Prima facie he concedes that "the odds are against me - but it is worth a go!"
Go, Paul! We know you'll 'step up to the plate', & 'play your own game' & 'give it your best shot!!!'
...meanwhile we also know that Australian governments will continue 'scoring own-goals' indefinitely until Mandatory Helmet Laws are repealed.