Monday, May 31, 2010

We are suffering from 'Stockholm Syndrome' aka 'Mandatory Helmet Laws'

Unquestionably cycling safety in Australia has become a 'marketplace of products' which has led to us being held captive by helmet manufacturers...

...and inexplicably, we seem to be countenancing an almost 'Stockholm Syndrome' quality to any mention of Mandatory Helmet Laws (MHLs), whilst simultaneously disregarding evidence exposing their deletorious effects on communities.

This continuation of a 'blind Freddy' approach to any debate on the topic is at our peril.

For nigh on twenty years we have witnessed an unwelcome departure from commonsense to the extent that virtually a generation of Australians has grown up minus bicycles & their accompanying 'every-day-ness'. Our complete obsession with MHLs has allowed an exploitative superficialality to inform our approach to cycling safety. Rational, informed discussions on the critical issue of MHLs have been impossible, & ridiculously, the commercial paradigm of the legislation has mesemerised our entire nation, whilst single handedly terminating utility cycling.

The threatened heavy handed approach to the implementation of the 'bike-share' programme in Melbourne is outrageous and flies in the face of civil liberties.

Why do we willingly accept these draconian regulations?

Why are we not shouting from the roof tops?

Why should we be forced to purchase products we neither want nor need?

Why should we let our governments protect the success of the helmet manufacturers' products at the expense of our autonomy to choose for ourselves how we manage our lives?

I refuse to! I am yet to hear from the Roads & Traffic Authority, but I am fast realising my journey to the United Nations may well become a reality after all!


  1. I hope that these "cheap helmets" are actually certified to some suitable impact protection standard, so that they are more than just a token.

    If so, will the availability of these high-quality but cheap helmets depress the prices of helmets available elsewhere? I'm still amazed at the prices of what are basically mass-produced polystyrene mouldings (there's no doubt big costs to set up tooling to make them, but the unit costs must be tiny!).

    If they aren't certified to safety standards, then what's the point?

  2. point whatsoever apart from the commercial reality, and of course australia's chronic addiction to rules and regs!!!!

    meaningless and pointless - whilst the true safety angle is left languishing in the cold!!!