Friday, November 20, 2009

"Particular size headforms and disbenefits"

In my very lowly opinion, the interpretation of regulation 256 of the Road Rules 2008 made pursuant to section 72A of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 clearly does not accord with Australia's obligation under the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Part III, Article 7. The current interpretation adopted by state governments fails to consider the premise which prevails that 'every statute is to be so interpreted and applied as far as its language admits as to be not inconsistent with the comity of nations or with the established rules of international law' (Jumbunna Coal Mines v Victoria Coal Mines (1908) 6 CLR 309 per O'Connor J at 363.

Yet despite the fact that at common law there is a rule of statutory interpretation that the courts will presume that Parliament does not intend to abrogate or curtail fundamental rights and freedoms (Coco v The Queen (1994) 179 CLR 427, 436ff (Mason CJ, Brennan, Gaudron and McHugh JJ), I am still required by law to wear a helmet whilst riding a bicycle when the evidence is so contradictory as to their actual benefits or potential dangers. I am an unwilling participant in a medical experiment, and even the Roads and Traffic Authority, in a memorandum dated 20/6/2008, has acknowledged that 'there is the possibility that some helmets, in combination with particular size headforms, may have a small disbenefit with regards to rotational acceleration.'

- come on, guys, give me a break! - let me choose for myself.


  1. Hi Sue,

    You might be interested to know that the "Road Rules 2008" legislation has never actually been appropriately enacted by Parliament, and therefore the entire thing is actually not legally enforecable. Of course, you are going to be up for a challenge getting a Local Magistrate to admit that one. The main reason is the amount of fines revenue at stake (mostly for parking and speeding).

  2. thank you - i am interested! I shall look in to it

  3. Good Luck, Sue. I keep my visitors abreast of your battle at:

    Avery Burdett
    Ottawa, Ontario

  4. Paul (and Sue), because the Road Rules are in the form of a Regulation, they do not need to go through both houses of Parliament to be enacted. It can effectively be done by Cabinet. They will have been gazetted. That is sufficient for their enforceability. A similar argument was raised in SA in Police v Williams [2006] SASC 98.

    Good luck anyway Sue.

  5. thanks, edward! it'll be interesting to read the case for the info on that angle