Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oz police book Oz woman without Oz helmet on Oz bicycle

(Rose red highway patrol car, snow white bike, Scone)

Lights, camera, action!!!

Lights, camera, in-car tape recorder!!!

Lights, camera, siren!!!!

Very quiet sunny day in Scone today so what's a policeman to do?

"We did but see her cycling by ... BOOK her!"

And so the rather Australian saga of booking people using bicycles to buy raspberries and blueberries when they're not wearing helmets starts all over again.

I had actually waited for their car to go past before I crossed the road, and as they did it did half cross my mind that they might to a u-turn at the roundabout and come back for me.

However so engrossed was I in my 'Infinite Monkey Cage' podcast...

... I got quite a surprise when I realised the siren and lights coming up beside were ... well, for me!

So I hopped off my bike, took out my ear-phones, asked the policeman to wait a minute while I turned off Professor Brian Cox, and then tuned in for the 'Do you know it's against the law to ride a bicycle without a helmet?' spiel.

And so I proceeded to educate the young law enforcer why the law was flawed, and that the benefit claims of helmets and helmet law were dubious, and that scientists across the globe were in dispute on this matter and that therefore it had been highly irresponsible of our politicians to make helmet wearing compulsory on the flimsy advice they had received.

I delved into it a little further for him saying there were no laws to stop us overeating or overdrinking or oversmoking which was a good thing, and that people really ought to be able to run their own lives if they didn't cause harm to others.

I mentioned that I felt I was imperilled by the government and that self-defence was provided to me under section 418 of the NSW Crimes Act. I lost him here a little bit and he wanted to know if I was 'self-defending' myself from him, to which I replied a categorical no, that it was the government's daft law that had put me at risk, not him.

He asked me why I thought such a regulation had been put in place if not for a good sensible reason and I told him that it was the result of good marketing and hysterical doctors - he was very surprised by the 'hysterical doctors' bit.

I also mentioned that when I was booked in Adelaide last year the police ended up not proceeding with the prosecution of me to which he commented that they were probably too busy, to which I added 'doing real police work,' immediately seguing into why I though it was such a shame that regulation 256 wasted his time as well given that they clearly had better things to do than book a middle-aged lady on a bicycle cycling on her way home from the shops listening to a science show podcast.

I can't really remember what else we chatted about but by now he was well and truly leaning on the bonnet of his car whilst his partner-in-police-work, still sitting in the patrol car, was probably wondering what the hell we were talking about for so long.

Anyway with my licence in hand he got back in the car and goodness knows what came up after they punched all my details into the in-car computerised data-bank gizmo but it was clearly cause for much mirth.

Finally he reappeared with my penalty notice (and licence), and we bade our farewells and parted company with me saying as per usual:

'See you in court.'

(cross posted on Scone blog)


  1. Here we (you!) go again, Sue. With you in spirit.

  2. Hi Sue, have being reading about you on & off for a fair few years and with much more interest since I'd love to move out to QLD to be with someone I met. I've being a non helmet wearing cyclist all my life despite the pressures & downright lies spouted about them here in blighty. Just wondered if you could get some sort of crowdfunding so that you could take the Australian government to task or at the very least help with any fines..I'd certainly throw in a few quid.
    Hope you get some form of result.

  3. Cripes, they are trying to enact such a law ... in California. Another nice sunny place where people can ride all year (though a siesta would be a good idea in early afternoon)...