Sydney Council propose Helmets with License Plates

Smarthat Helmet License Plate

This is not a joke, the Mosman Council, on the North Shore in Sydney, is proposing that cyclists wear helmets with prominent numberplate display. Designer Toby King presented his helmet design concept to the council on Tuesday as the council prepares a submission to the NSW state government in support of cyclist registration.

At a glance it is easy to understand why the Mayor and councillors in Mosman find the idea of the Smart Helmet attractive, it is an easy replacement to genuine research and can easily be sold to the community as an apparent ‘easy solution’.

Cyclist registration does not address the core issue of motorist frustration – cyclists obeying the law with registration will still be perceived as a hindrance. Cyclist registration / licensing is a short term option that will create long term problems and increase cost for all, this has been explored in our article describing the stupidity of bicycle and cyclist registration.

Spending tax payer money and actively pursuing these ‘flawed solutions’ deflects attention away from genuine solutions; cyclist and motorist education as well as intelligent and integrated transport infrastructure.

Credit should be given to the designer, Toby King, for exploring technology, the helmet includes rider safety protection, head-up display, sensors, brake lights and a rear-view mirror. The helmet is a concept design and not a finished product however is promoted on the website on the false premise that it is “also addressing some of the more inflammatory issues between cyclists, pedestrians and road users.”

The Daily Telegraph Report on this story,  discusses the designers intentions, “Mr King acknowledged the proposal was controversial, saying he would prefer to keep his name out of the public eye in case of any backlash from cyclists against the idea of compulsory registration.”

Unfortunately there is too much discussion and interest in bicycle registration and licensing by parties who can use this to gain political popularity. The politicians are avoiding disclosing the flaws and the costs to their constituents and communities. While all levels of Australian government should not be spending any tax-payer money research and implementing bicycle registration and licensing, it is obvious that the proposals come from politicians who have not done the basic homework. Perhaps some tax-payer money has to be wasted to prove that it is not viable – but it also requires the politicians to listen to and accept the research results.

What can bike riders and the community de? Support cyclist representative and advocacy groups to educate the politicians on the real costs and engage the politicians requesting ‘real’ answers.

Photo ©

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About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

8 responses to “Sydney Council propose Helmets with License Plates”

  1. Mikesbytes says:

    Can’t be attached to existing helmets as it will invalidate the safety design. So new helmets would need to be developed, safety confirmed and manufactured. Perhaps Mosman council and fort the bill for that.

    As for the design displayed, I’ll quote what John Buckton said, as it couldn’t be said better Quote: Has a nice sharp edge at the base so that if you are hit by a car your neck is broken or your head chopped off. No more having to deal with pain and suffering after being involved with cars.

  2. Simon says:

    One of the stupidities things I’ve ever seen. I’d give up cycling before wearing that thing (which I’m guessing is their true intention promoting such a hideously ugly design). And how much would it weigh with all that unnecessary junk attached?

    What about people under 17 on bikes? Will teenagers no longer be allowed to ride on the road? Because 1. They won’t be able to afford to register their bikes and 2. Even if they could, there’s no way in hell they’d wear that chunky monstrosity on their head!

  3. Jim says:

    was always told as a lad if you haven’t got anything positive to say don’t say anything… no but wait .. here’s one – Glad I don’t live in NSW.

    Nothing to see hear .. move along folks.

  4. Rolf Kohnert says:

    Now I have seen it all, should get a Nobel price for the most useless design ever publisehd and I too rather give up cycling before I would relent to wearing one of those mostrocities. Another option would be to migrate to a place where wearing a helmet is not compulsary.

  5. Steve says:

    If we reallllly had to have registration (and I in no way endorse that), why not just a vest or jersey or backpack cover with the large symbols? would be lighter, cheaper, and probably safer than that oversized novelty condom (Grant Naylor)

  6. petermac says:

    Strooth….this is pure bollocks and continues to show what fools are “in charge”…the idea that cycling relates to driving regs has always been a joke……i am not a car….so if and when i see an opportunity to continue on my merry way, i shall.
    registration is nothing more than regulators regulating on things that have no value…..keeps them in a job and me under stress….i am not a sheep.
    then again, maybe that’s all that’s required…..blah blah black sheep have you any brains, no sir, no sir……!!!!

  7. crazyczecho says:

    So I can ride with thongs, shorts and singlet still ? Good, I’ll look great with that Star Trooper helmet on. How ’bout this … ” sorry, Officer, it’s not my bike ” or ” my helmet has been stolen, that wasn’t me holding up the & Elaven ” or ” No, i was not riding that day, it wasn’t me ” or ” sorry, I must have got the numbers around the wrong way” or ” exactly how will iIbennefit from all this ?” Or, have you ever read any George Orwell ?

    Unless there is a really strong lobby against this absurdity we’re all in for a new era of surveillance beyond your dreams. Fight it.