Friday, August 26, 2016

Please, New South Wales, think again

Image: Amsterdamized, 'Own the lane'

Our crazy helmet law knows no bound ... read the following letter posted on my facebook timeline:
Hi Sue - I need help :-(
I'm planning this charity bike trip from Brisbane to Adelaide in aid of "Cervical Spine Facet Syndrome" - a disabilty I have that clinically prevents me from wearing a bicycle helmet, or anything else restrictive around my neck.
I've recently completed a tour of New Zealand and easily got a helmet exemption from the NZTA. And it seems that I can get exemptions for all Australian states except NSW. I've written to them twice and explained what I want to do, however they tell me that there are no helmet exemptions!
I feel that I am being discriminated against because of my disability!
The ironic thing is, that NSW would be preventing me from raising money for research into this disability, because I personally have this disability - this is totally unfair and ridiculous!
If anyone can help by giving me the names of people I could contact in NSW then this would be most helpful.... politicians, media, etc,..
My struggle to do this charity ride could also be instrumental in showing how ridiculous your MHL is, too. It could benefit two sides.
Yours sincerely
ANDREW JOHN GANNER
So let's have a little look at the New South Wales version of our 'crazy helmet law.'

Under the provisions of Regulation 256 (1) the rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider's head, unless the rider is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of this jurisdiction.

So perhaps Andrew may be exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under section 49B provisions of the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 where it could be argued that:
(1) the NSW government discriminates against Andrew on the ground of Cervical Spine Facet Syndrome if the NSW government:
(a) on the ground of Andrew's Cervical Spine Facet Syndrome treats Andrew less favourably than in the same circumstances, or in circumstances which are not materially different, the NSW government treats or would treat a person who does not have that Cervical Spine Facet Syndrome, or
(b) requires Andrew to comply with a requirement or condition (biycle helmet regulation) with which a substantially higher proportion of persons who do not have that Cervical Spine Facet Syndrome, comply or are able to comply, being a requirement which is not reasonable having regard to the circumstances of the case and with which Andrew does not or is not able to comply.
 Andrew's quest to coordinate and conduct his proposed charity ride is to be applauded, and I am appalled that my state of New South Wales is ignorantly refusing to remove barriers to facilitate his worthy event - it beggars belief and grossly discriminates against Andrew.

Accordingly I think Andrew should pursue this issue with the following:
So to Andrew, heartfelt best wishes and good luck from me, and to the NSW Powers that be ... for heaven's sake, get with the programme!

2 comments:

  1. Oh Gawd, ma chérie, a very dubious "safety study" from Oz in the Guardian. I wrote a few comments but very swiftly became sick of the victim-blaming crap.
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/22/bicycle-helmets-reduce-risk-of-serious-head-injury-by-nearly-70-study-finds?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=191464&subid=16558339&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

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