Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I can paddle my own canoe, thank you!

Next month I will make my submissions in the District Court of New South Wales when I appeal the criminal conviction I received in the Local Court for riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet.

I still believe that helmets are dangerous, and that the 'evil' of me riding a bicycle without a helmet was not disproportionate to the 'evil' that I believe could happen to me if, in the unlikely event I fell off my bicycle, I was wearing one.

A plethora of bicycle helmet research is available in the public domain which clearly points to an increased risk of diffuse axonal injury as a result of the acceleration of the rotation of the brain. Rotation of the brain increases the risk of sustaining a severe type of brain injury that can cause dementia or death, and various studies have suggested that the sticking properties of helmets actually exacerbate the acceleration whilst interfering with the natural compressible properties of the scalp.

Over the last couple of decades, many academics and experts, both from Australia and internationally, have contributed extensive research to the 'bank' of knowledge:

Bill Curnow, retired policy maker and scientist, Canberra, Australia
Dr Ian Walker, traffic psychologist and academic, University of Bath, UK
Dorothy Robinson, statistician and academic, University of Armidale, Australia
Malcolm Wardlaw, business analyst, Edinburgh, Scotland
Colin Clarke, traffic engineer, York, UK
Chris Gillham, journalist and convenor of, Perth, Australia
Mikael Colville-Anderssen, journalist and convenor of, Copenhagen, Denmark

Their excellent peer reviewed journal articles, studies and websites have provided a necessary counter to the commercial dimension that has dictated the fiercely contested debate on mandatory helmet laws. In fact much of their work remains the last word on the subject. Notwithstanding their rigorous academic endeavours, our government resolutely refuses to entertain the notion that helmets ARE NOT and CANNOT EVER be the first and last words on bicycle safety.

I truly and reasonably believe that by wearing a helmet I would modify my anatomy inappropriately for protection purposes, and therefore I truly and reasonably believe that it is necessary to cycle without a helmet...

...and further, I truly and reasonably beleive that it is necessary for me to cycle for my survival and the planet's survival and I truly and reasonably hope that I may be able to convince the court of this honest and reasonable defence of necessity.

The stakes are so high, and I am not prepared to gamble my children's future away any longer so I am compelled to continue riding my bicycle without a helmet, and will do so indefinitely.

Surely this is a true defence of necessity?

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