Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FIT FOR PURPOSE ... not bicycle helmets

Dear NSW Fair Trading people,

In effect by forcing us to wear helmets, you, the NSW government take on the role of a dealer-supplier to the supplier.

Therefore according to the Fair Trading Blurb you (the government-dealer-supplier) must guarantee that helmets will be reasonably fit for any purpose that you (the government-dealer-supplier) told us the helmets would be fit for.

For example we buy a helmet which you (the government-dealer-supplier) says will be suitable for protecting our heads whilst cycling. A couple of weeks later we go for our first cycle wearing the new helmet only to crash and see our head crushed on the road.

We have the right to a remedy from you (the government-dealer-supplier).

Furthermore, we might want bicycle helmets to do specific job or to achieve a specific purpose, different from the normal use of purpose of these helmets.

For example we might tell you (the government-dealer-supplier) that we want a helmet capable of being worn on Melbourne's Hell Ride. You (the government-dealer-supplier) sell us helmets that you (the government-dealer-supplier) say will do that job. The helmet's normal purpose is to pop down to the shops for bread and milk but as we have told you (the government-dealer-supplier) we want to use the helmet to be worn on Melbourne's Hell Ride then the helmet must be able to do so.

Obviously this guarantee does not apply if you (the government-dealer-supplier) can show that:

$$$ we did not rely on your skill or judgment when buying the helmets (but we have too by law)
$$$ under the circumstances, it was unreasonable for the consumer to have relied on your skill or judgment (or lack of it but again we're entrapped by law)

So to recap, you (the government-dealer-supplier) guarantee that bicycle helmets will be reasonably fit for any purpose that you (the government-dealer-supplier) or us specify - basically that bicycle helmets will do the job of protecting us we were told they would do by you (the government-dealer-supplier).

Now for an uncomfortable observation:

... research shows that countries with cyclist-helmet laws have not only fewer cyclists but more cyclist deaths per capita.

(Note our cycling rate is so poor we do not even feature above)

It is not hard to deduce that bicycle helmets are not doing the job of protecting us as we were told by you (the government-dealer-supplier) that they would ...

... which means according to section 55 of the COMPETITION AND CONSUMER ACT 2010 - SCHEDULE 2 (The Australian Consumer Law) bicycle helmets are unfit for purpose, and families of cyclists who sustain head injuries or die whilst cycling wearing a bicycle helmet have it ensrhined in law by consumer guarantees that they can petition for a redress of a grievance.

Notwithstanding that the ACCC seem to be napping on this issue, at the very least your very own department ought to be sorting this mess out.

And for starters, you could REPEAL MANDATORY HELMET LAW NOW.


  1. On the other side of the Pacific Rim... A plainclothes Vancouver police officer punches a young man in the face for the horrible crime of not wearing a helmet and - allegedly - running a red light.

    1. I'm shocked - shocked to my very core by the completely unprovoked violence from that law enforcer - what a dickhead policeman. What is wrong with our legal systems in Canada and Australia? Riding a bicycle without a helmet ought not to be a crime - haven't those policemen got some real police work to do?