Australian About Turn?

Discussion in 'Helmet Discussions' started by twentysix by twentyfive, 17 Jul 2015.

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  1. twentysix by twentyfive

    twentysix by twentyfive Clinging on tightly

    Over the Hill
    I don't come in here very often but I thought of you lot when this email arrived in my inbox today. Please treat me kindly. :surrender:

    The Australian Federal Senate has appointed a committee to inquire into “Personal Choice and Community Impacts”. The Inquiry, instigated by Senator Leyonhjelm, is better known as the Nanny State Inquiry. The committee is currently seeking submissions from the Australian community.

    Senator Leyonhjelm has singled out mandatory bicycle helmet laws as the foremost example of where the State exceeds its proper bounds by interfering in a matter that should be left to the individual. It would be a pity to miss out on this opportunity to be heard, and to influence government policy.

    I understand that many of our supporters may be reluctant to become involved, on account of political differences with the inquiry’s instigator. It must be pointed out that this is a Federal Government inquiry, and that Senator Leyonhjelm’s role is as a member of the committee, and that it is not a vehicle for any particular party or point of view.

    My understanding is that the committee do not want to restrict discussion to submissions from the usual health and safety professionals. Rather, they are seeking a broader input to include members of the public who can bring before them an understanding of the impact of a range of “nanny state” regulations on their day to day lives.

    I know that many of our supporters have the knowledge and skills to include detailed analysis of the many failures of our mandatory helmet laws, and I would encourage them to include this in their submissions. But please, if you are just someone who has been put off riding a bike, fined or harassed by the police and the courts, or are just plain upset by the dead end path that mandatory helmet laws have taken us down, please make your voice heard.

    The closing date for submissions is 24th August. There will be some opportunities to be heard in person by the committee in all State and Territory capitals in the ensuing months. It would be best to make it clear in your submission if you wish to be invited to appear in person. Details of how to make a submission are at

    Thank you for your support.

    Alan Todd


    Freestyle Cyclists
    MontyVeda and classic33 like this.
  2. Honestly, I don't think there will be a change. 20+ years of mandatory helmets has produced a change in the minds of Australians. When I mention I cycle in London, non-cyclists ask "do you wear a helmet?" I avoid telling them that everyone almost who dies in London is crushed under a huge truck, and helmet is not a factor. It's a deep set belief that cycling is very dangerous, and that helmets make it much less so. I can't imagine anyone would convince the electorate that this is not true.
    classic33 likes this.
  3. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    People in London ask the same question! Where there is neither mandating nor even particularly universal adoption.

    I would be inclined to point out that the danger comes from lorries. If you can throw in the words "denominator neglect" so much the better. Just for once I won't post my favourite link to Jo Wood (@jo from the other place)'s article.

    Given what I do for my organisation a robust challenge can be a prelude to an interesting discussion about how you measure and respond to risk.
  4. Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    Except the Australian government insists they're good for us. Sadly enough, even one of our main so-called cyclist advocacy groups, Bicycle Network Australia, keeps pushing for MHLs to remain (one of the reasons I'm no longer one of their members).

    Pretty much what I expected in this motor vehicle dominated country, though.

    [edit] Just to avoid any confusion: I got the mods to merge my 'nanny state' thread into this one, because they're discussing the same topic, i.e. the 'personal choice' aka 'nanny state' inquiry.
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2015
    classic33 and mickle like this.
  5. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    I've noticed there seems to be a lot more infighting of late amongst the various groups/bodies, that say they're speaking for cyclists. With some saying that others are wrong, and that only they are right.
    A united front would serve you better.
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