Sue Abbot did it and so a precedent has been set for the rest of us who strongly believe that bicycle helmets should be a choice and not a law to stand up for our rights in the Magistrates Court!
I am interested to know if others have taken their fines to court, what the outcomes were and any advise to those of us who will continue to cycle without helmets risk the fine and who will not pay the fine.

 Steve Jay mentioned in a separate discussion "Every freedom comes at a cost. Ours will require an awful lot of everyday cyclists getting active and risking fines or arrest, just as any campaign in history. It will require charismatic true believers who come from middle Australia".

It will also require our stories of not rolling over and taking this to be shared.

"Choice not Law"
Let's keep spreading the message!


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The rational issues against helmet compulsion come down to the following points

- is the evidence which alleges a decrease in cycling fatalities since the introduction of compulsory helmets beyond reasonable doubt? There was a report just a few months ago, from a respected health policy researcher at UTS which attributes the reduced cycling road toll commonly attributed to the helmet law was in fact more likely due to intensive road safety campaigns of the 1980s. - the verdict: there is reasonable doubt and its relevance must be tested

- Do countries without compulsory helmet laws have higher head injury and fatality rates than Australia? No, the majority of places of a similar culture to Australia which also have no compulsory helmet laws have no worse injury or death rate than Australia and many have significantly better rates than here. The verdict: Helmets in themselves don't improve cyclist safety.

- is it just and fair in law to make target one small group of victims of a wider social problem (poor driver attitudes), while not making other victim groups a target (ie pedestrians and other motorists) for their share of the same problem? The thought experiment I like to quote for this one is, if you remove cars from the roads, fatalities on the roads are non-existant, but if you remove bicycles the road, fatality rates would hardly change. The verdict: It's unjust.

Being anti-compulsion doesn't mean a person is anti-helmet. I used a helmet in traffic before they were compulsory, and I would continue to use a helmet in traffic if they became voluntary. The problem, aside from justice and contradictory evidence, with compulsory helmets is that the politicians actually believe enough has been done to make cyclists safe, "You've got helmets and bike lanes, what more do you want?!" What we want is recognition that cycling is not the problem. Compulsory helmets are a Scarlett letter, damning us as the safety whores of the road, not due respect of other road users.

I'm a cyclist - I'm nobody's bitch, OK.
Oh, in terms of being booked, they're not likely to get me on-road, as I choose to wear a helmet. On cycle paths (ie off-road) I'm in with a chance because, when the cyclo and ped traffic isn't too heavy, and the weather warrants it, I do ride helmetless but I don't ride paths all that often. (the road is my right)

Where I'm likely to be "pulled" is for having no bell, as I firmly believe that polite communication by voice is a far better warning device, both by volume and by demeanour, than any bell. I actually hope to be given a ticket for this as I will take it to court, where a simple demonstration will prove that a bell is less effective than a voice and that a voice serves as a warning device fitted to the bicycle when in operation..
"a simple demonstration will prove that a bell is less effective than a voice"

I agree with the sentiment but am interested in how you'd prove this in court?
With a simple demonstration. Plus a bit of case law where enforcement of safety laws has to involve a need to protect the safety of the defendant or others.

Then it's in the hands of the judge.
Steve, could you help with a bit more info re this :

"a bit of case law where enforcement of safety laws has to involve a need to protect the safety of the defendant or others."
Trying to rummage through the buckets of email and web detritus where the article link might have been. If I find it, I'll post (think it might have been a BV article. I'll keep digging.)

That said, there have been cases (not just cycling ones) where judgments have been stated with the effect that in same cases, road safety offences have to carry explicit danger to be successfully prosecuted.

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