Monday, August 8, 2016

Dear Duncan ... here we go again

Court case looming!
Dear Mr Gay,

Not long now until my next appearance to defend 'rider not wearing a bicycle helmet whilst riding a bicycle.'

I want to tidy up a few ends.

On the last few occasions when I have appeared to defend my cycling behaviour of using a bicycle without simultaneously using a helmet, my traffic record has been incorrect.

As you know, bicycle helmet crime is not actually a traffic matter that appears on a traffic record yet inexplicably my traffic record states that I was booked and then went to court for not wearing a motor-bike helmet. This is incorrect and I have mentioned this issue of personal concern in the public curial domain on numerous occasions. In fact I have even put it out there that perhaps this error was deliberately confected in order some sort of helmet crime could be recorded on my traffic record.

So how to fix my traffic record.

Australian Bicycle Confusion

I have asked the police, I have asked the courts, I have even asked the Roads and Maritime Services at their offices in Marrickville; all to no avail - so now I am turning to you given that you are the main chap at the helm of our state-funded-automobile-aqua-portfolio.

Please can you correct my traffic record and yes I would like an apology for personal angst inflicted upon me every time I have to persuade courts that the listing of me riding a motor-bike without a helmet is plain wrong - why, I don't even have a motor-bike licence, never have, never will, so if I had been riding a motor-bike without a helmet no doubt there would have been accompanying penalties and prosecutions for riding a motor-bike in an unlicenced manner.

More Australian Bicycle Confusion
Anyway, in anticipation of the corrected traffic record and your apology, thank you ...

... so now let's move on to other things that really ought to persuade you to erase regulation 256 from the NSW Road Rules.

At the risk of being repetitive, let me once again reiterate that the weight of scientific evidence does not support bicycle helmet regulation.

Unfortunately for me, Australia appears to have a penchant for sham studies and so we observe the incessant academic churn emanating from the University of New South Wales with their fake facts purporting to prove the case for the necessity of bicycle helmet law.

Australian academics are on their own with their conclusive, highly subjective, self-identifying findings often so eagerly endorsed by 'earnest Pollyannas' who all too often conflate public health with safety and subsequently crime and punishment - not overly helpful.

Dutch bicycle know-how
We need a new guard of experts who are not perpetually immobilised by the spectre of the first death on their watch after bicycle helmet regime change.

If I can remind you of a passage from a letter your department sent to me in support of helmet law, you told me that 66% of cyclists killed in Australia were wearing bicycle helmets. Conversely your letter infers that 33% of cyclists killed in Australia are not wearing helmets which using bureaucratic binary thinking could mean your department is unwittingly making the case that cycling without helmets is considerably safer.

I think we can agree that the nocebo effect of bicycle helmet law has created low expectations of the benefits of using bicycles and as a result has exacted a significant adverse health effect upon our population. The nocebo effect has taken the nation hostage, and Australians are now paralysed with fear with regards to everyday notions of using bicycles.

With leadership and revocation of helmet law underpinned by education and information, the negative effects could be reversed and national anxiety about using bicycles could be eliminated ... along with blame which is all too often meted out to injured or dead cyclists.

More Dutch bicycle know -how
Let's face it, bicycle helmet law has been a major component of Big Oil's public relations campaign in a bid to remove vulnerable road users from roads. It has never been about safety, and the majority of the world has spotted this cyclical PR exercise for what it is.

Doctors outside of Australia have not been co-opted as witless mouth pieces for Big Oil and, along with more believable bicycle advocacy organisations, have successfully managed to keep damaging bicycle helmet laws and bicycle helmet promotion at bay.

Please re-consider your position, and repeal regulation 256.

And before I close, may I ask again why there is a distinction between paying passengers and non-paying passengers on pedicabs with regards to the law and the wearing of bicycle helmets.

Why is it safer to be a paying passenger?

Why are paying passengers not compelled to wear bicycle helmets?

Why is it more dangerous to be a non-paying passenger?

Why are non-paying passengers compelled to wear bicycle helmets?

Thank you for giving me your time and consideration. I await your response to my concerns eagerly.

Kind regards,
Sue Abbott
Hunter Valley NSW

(copy of post sent to Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight via his ministerial webpage)

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