Cycling in Melbourne Australia
The indefatigable Sue Abbott is bringing the protest ride Punk Commute to Central Melbourne.
Sue is well known for her tireless efforts to persuade the Government of New South Wales to repeal the Mandatory Helmet Legislation.
Sue has had two victories in the Courts after challenging Penalty Notices for riding without a helmet. She has never been successfully convicted of this offence despite twenty years of cycling 'sans' helmet.
The Punk Commute ran earlier this year in Sydney and resulted in a meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Ports.
The Melbourne Punk Commute is an opportunity for all cyclists who believe in freedom of choice for cycling headwear, to ride together and call for the repeal of the Mandatory Helmet Laws.
The ride is taking place on Saturday, 30 July at 12.30. Details of the ride are still being finalised but can be viewed on Sue's blogspot :
Sorry Chris, I don't understand this comment. Could you enlighten me ?
what is the reason for not wanting to wear a helmet?
safety? freedom of choice?
it do not hurt to wear a helmet, simple as that, and it's un-valid to compare danish and australian bike culture, seen from a danes point of view it is extremely strange to see so much focus on helmets, look at it this way, bike culture in Australia is at an infant stage, neither riders or drivers are fully experienced and the bike infra structure is non existing, most bike tracks are a joke and seems more like a political stunt, so until we all get better and more experienced it is important to wear helmets to prevent injuries, no matter if you go 100 mtr to get a coffee or 120 km around the bay, it's might not be you who are a bad rider it could be the driver who open a door in front of you who are...
In Denmark the simple solution to this dilemma, was to get popular designers to design the helmets and make them fashionable to wear, profit from sales went to victims of bike accidents, very neat.
in response to Peters comment "The argument about wearing helmets is nothing to do with freedom of choice or health... it is pure vanity,...."
So I'm saying the argument does have something to do with freedom of choice - as Peter says.. the choice to be vain !
happy to enlighten.
@John E using words like "rubbish" and "nonsense" sounds like invective to me and lack of respect for others' opinions.
In fact, you sound like a person who would never change his opinion, regardless of any evidence, some of which is presented in these comments.
For myself, I can't understand that any cyclist would object to abolishing the MHL. What's in it for cyclists that they would want to maintain the status quo, given that many of their fellow cyclists object to the law (which is not the same as objecting to helmets). Being a pedestrian is much more dangerous but they are not compelled to wear padding or helmets. Why pick on cyclists, and why do cyclists agree to being singled out?
why don't you want to wear a helmet?
Don't worry about it might be more dangerous to walk the streets or swim w sharks...
Simply what is the problem with wearing a helmet?
You miss the point entirely!
I do wear a helmet in traffic as well as a hi-vis vest. I'm sure the vest is much more useful than the helmet. The objection is to the fact that I'm forced to wear a helmet, and there are times when I would choose not to wear a helmet. In the summer, I invariably wear a wide-brimmed Akubra hat whenever I'm outdoors but I'm not allowed to wear it when I ride with my grandkids in the back streets of my suburb - yet safety is not an issue - the chances of me falling off are negligible.
The only reason the helmet was made compulsory (nothing to do with safety statistics) was so that the car could continue to rule the roads unhindered by bikes and bike infrastructure costs could be avoided. Put any costs of action onto the victim - let them pay for a helmet.
Peter, it's perfectly reasonable to question why people don't wish to wear a helmet, but I just don't understand why there needs to be such a fervent, inquisitorial element to it. This religious belief in helmets has created a very nasty environment that has ruined the enjoyment of cycling for a lot of people. I often question why cyclists feel the need to charge down busy streets and throw their bikes between busses and trucks - it looks utterly suicidal to me - but then I respect the fact that they feel comfortable doing so. If I took a leaf out of the pro-helmet brigade's book then I would publically rebuke such riders and support a law banning such behaviour.
to both Rob and Etienne, yes I am a cyclist, 100%, I import bikes and are involved in a lot of different bike related issues.
And I'm interested in why people don't want to wear a helmet, I have no opinion about if the law is good or bad or accidents statistics as they can be manipulated to suit any course, I have good friends who only is alive today for wearing a helmet, I so wanted my kid to wear a helmet in Denmark, but I never wear one myself... only when racing.
I think people should be able to choose, but in Australia right now I find it a good idea for people to wear them as it is simply so stupidly dangerous to ride many places.
So argue all you want about laws and accident statistics I just like to know why people don't want to wear helmets.
There are so many reasons. I could type for days.
Many people believe they have very limited efficacy, so why wear them if it makes no difference.
They make an accident more likely. Cars drive closer to you, take less care and think it doesn't matter if they crash into you because you're protected.
They make rotational brain injury and neck injury , in the event of an accident, more likely.
They only work at speeds of up to 20 kph
It is more inconvenient having to find a helmet every time you want to jump on a bike.
They interfere with hearing and peripheral vision.
They cause overheating in warm weather, increase sweating and itching of the scalp.
They are uncomfortable.
They prevent the feeling of the wind in the hair.
They ruin hairstyles and may be unfashionable (depending on your sub - culture)
You cannot wear broad brimmed hats with a helmet, or other chosen headwear.
They may make you ride faster and more dangerously (risk compensation)
They rob cycling of it's greatest asset and that is JOY.
Take your pick from any of the above. Choose as many reasons as are true for you. Everybody is different. Add your own reasons that are not on the list.
Those are the reasons I thought of in 2 minutes.
there you go, except for the first 4 arguments that can be as easily proved wrong as right, it's all about feelings, convenience and vanity.
Personally I don't see many angry faces on people riding even with a helmet on, and all our customers are still happy and enjoy riding even with a helmet.
So maybe it is not the helmet laws we should change but the way the bike paths are build and the way people regard riding.
ps. from what you say it also sounds a bit like you dont have the correct helmet for your needs.