Friday, April 9, 2010

The 'piety' of fundamental helmet believers

Revisiting the notion of piety and religious fervour, I was verbally accosted last week for being a menace to society and setting a bad example to my oral 'assailant's' grandchildren!

- How could my 'assailant' be expected to succeed in coercing his grandchildren to wear a helmet when they saw me cycle around town without one?

I mentioned to him that given that I had never even met his clearly delightful grandchildren I was somewhat surprised that I was more influential with them than he was. His winning riposte was 'wait till you have grandchildren!'

...ok! yes...and?...what was that supposed to mean?

Upon further reflection of this completely unnecessary incident, I am full of admiration for his discerning grandchildren!

...and on a more salutory note it's now official that not only are we the fattest nation in the world, but 'obesity is more deadly than smoking,' and is the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia

What more will it take to convince our politicians that their mandatory helmet gamble was a dismal failure and ought to de-commissioned?

Basically, in a nutshell:

* it didn't work;

* we're tubbier than we were in 1991 (birth year of helmet laws)

* our tubbiness is killing us off quicker than anything else

...and whilst some may argue this is 'correlation' rather than 'causation', there's plenty of evidence in the public domain to suggest the latter.


  1. You naughty person Sue, giving young people such an example of free thought. The next thing they know, they'll be thinking for themselves, and then where will it end? How are we going to coerce the population into doing as they are told if people like you keep being subversively free?

    I get this now and again as well. I ask why I'm being a bad example: Am I being a bad example for not following the trend, or for researching the facts and making my own mind up?

  2. I was once told off for being a bad role model, I'm teach science in secondary school (12 - 18 yr olds). I replied with some evidence and wasn't told off any more.

    Occasionally pupils will ask why I don't wear one but mostly they just like my Bromptons.

  3. When someone yells, "Where's your helmet!", at me, I've started yelling back, "Where are your manners?". They usually don't know what to say to that :)


    Dr Paul Martin
    Brisbane, Australia

  4. thank you all for your really useful suggestions on how to manage grumpy do-gooders and their 'good intentions' that so clearly 'pave the Road to Hell!'