Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Minister & the Bicycle Helmet Exemption

So after months and months of waiting, I finally got a reply from the Minister for Roads. (Well! a reply of sorts - my local member actually received it! - perhaps the venerable Minister Borger does not communicate directly with lesser mortals such as me, a NSW voter - fair enough; I have the memory of an elephant and can't wait for next March!)

Anyway, in answer to my question as to whether I could have an exemption from donning a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle, his answer was & is a categorical NO - why am I not surprised?

But his letter is a 'toothless tiger' and has very little in the way of anything meaningful to say. None of the issues raised in my application were addressed, and in fact were adroitly side-stepped. Moreover, one of his many lame statements...

"...a recent study by the University of New South Wales in 2009, investigated the effectiveness of al bicycle helmet ro reduce angular head acceleration and subsequent brain injury crashes"

...highlights the government's resolute determination to remain ignorant and uninformed!

- yes! so what if a study has been done?
- what did the study find?
- why did he not specify what the study's findings were?
- & how are the study's findings (if any) analogous to my application for exemption?

What to say? - except 'thank whoever-we-all-thank' for Professor Chris Rissel and his timely revelations on the subject - because of him our mainstream media have finally come on board & not a moment too soon! pour moi, maitenant, I'm drafting submissions for the NSW Ombudsman - pronto!!


  1. You might be able to write to a federal green MP soon :D

    Paul Martin
    Brisbane, Australia

  2. Brilliant!! - at last the environment is going to have to be factored in - 2 major parties are no longer going to be able to conveniently ignore taking action - Go the Greens!!!

    Quite an amazing election really - but surely no-one can be surprised - it was on the cards!!

  3. On a more depressing note, the 7pm project had a group of pro bike registration advocates discussing the benefits of ,you guessed it, bike registration. They were all there.A lawyer from Maurice Blackburne, DJ and tosser Price plus more. Could this be the final nail in the coffin for Australian cycling, the cycling joke of the world? I wish I shared your optimisim ~ian ,Melb

  4. So if we have mandatory bike registration then motorists are saying that:
    - we can use their roads and take up a whole lane
    - we can use their parking spaces (ie. 1 bike per space)
    - I could go on...

    Registration would have to be in proportion to the damage that vehicle does (to roads/environment), so by my calculations, the annual registration for a bicycle would be in the order of about 20c.

    The bulk of the 'car registration' cost is in fact CTP insurance and the money raised from the actual registration wouldn't even scratch the surface of the cost to build and maintain roads - that all comes out of general revenue - into which I pay a LOT OF INCOME TAX.

    I don't think these fools have thought through what it would really mean. It will never happen.

    Paul Martin
    Brisbane, Australia