Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thread)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:19 am

The thing that has stopped my wife and I from using share bikes in Brisbane and Melbourne wasn't the need for a helmet, it was the fact that we couldn't just swipe a credit card and take a bike, as far as I could tell the process required registering online, which we obviously couldn't do on the side of the road without a "smart"phone, which neither of us had at the time. Just my experience.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:52 am

human909 wrote:So why are you so keen to argue for something that reduces cycling? Why are you so enthusiastic about denying Australia cyclists freedom that the rest of the world takes for granted?


I'm not. i am simply pointing out bogus arguments.

I simply do not think that MHLs are as big a barrier as they are made out to be (bike share schemes aside - for the same reason that child seats are a pain when it comes to taxis, rental, borrowing mate's cars etc.)

The main barrier is cars. More/better PT and cycle facilities will go much further in both increasing cycling and getting rid of MHLs (I put forward Manly as an example). Most of the arguments put forward for repealing MHLs just make advocates come across like fruit loops - and put people who should be on their side off listening to them.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:11 am

The bikeshare failures show that improved infrastructure and availability will not resolve the volume of cycling issue if there is a MHL in place. I must laugh at the idea that it could, but we won't get a test case to prove you right because good cycle infrastructure goes hand in hand with bike friendly policy - MHL is not bike friendly policy. The most amusing thing is that in this chicken and egg situation a path network costs millions to prove you right but MHL repeal costs almost nothing. I agree that your proposal could work except it is impossible to prove because of the appalling levels of PT and path infrastructure for 90% of the population. So basically the ludicrous position appears to belong to you. Billions of PT isn't sitting in the budget pipeline. But a tweak to the road rules? We would need them both to have your vision succeed.
Cars are the problem I agree but your politics and mine can't agree if you think you can strip the car away from people because it is basic freedom to be able to commute a family as you choose. I know some terrible domestic situations where the wife's inability to drive has caused struggles for her.

So. Repeal an ineffective unjust law, or crush the freedoms of the majority, spend billions on PT and cycle paths, without any guarantee of social or health improvements? Remember, no country has great paths and MHL at the same time. You can work out what seems lunacy.
Last edited by Xplora on Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:13 am

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:18 am

Xplora wrote:The bikeshare failures do show that improved infrastructure and availability will resolve the issue if there is a MHL in place. I must laugh at the idea that it could, but we won't get a test case because good cycle infrastructure goes hand in hand with bike friendly policy - MHL is not bike friendly policy. The amusing thing is that in this chicken and egg situation a path network costs millions to prove you right but MHL repeal costs almost nothing. I agree that your proposal could work except it is impossible to prove because of the appalling levels of PT and path infrastructure for 90% of the population. So basically the ludicrous position appears to belong to you. Billions of PT isn't sitting in the budget pipeline. But a tweak to the road rules? We would need them both to have your vision succeed.


All you need to do is look at cities and towns around the world, the vast majority of which have never had MHLs, and examine the impact of increased number of/better cycle facilities.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:14 am

simonn wrote:All you need to do is look at cities and towns around the world, the vast majority of which have never had MHLs, and examine the impact of increased number of/better cycle facilities.


Nobody is disputing the benefits of good infrastructure.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:41 pm

simonn wrote:[All you need to do is look at cities and towns around the world, the vast majority of which have never had MHLs, and examine the impact of increased number of/better cycle facilities.


Yes, just take a look at Pisa. Plenty of cars about, but restricted. Lots of cyclists as well. But there is very little in the way of bicycle infrastructure at all, apart from some 'pedonale' zones. No one wears a helmet of course.

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And they do have a working bikeshare scheme.
Last edited by il padrone on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:00 pm

simonn wrote:All you need to do is look at cities and towns around the world, the vast majority of which have never had MHLs, and examine the impact of increased number of/better cycle facilities.

Address the whole post thanks. This comment already had a response, and I'm glad you agree with me. So far it seems that your plan to improve cycling is to ensure that all avenues that are cheap and effective are rejected, and to impose unrealistic and expensive requirements to make you happy. Why not mandate a weekly century for anyone riding a bike? That's as likely as getting billions set aside for PT and paths in the next election cycle.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:37 pm

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... 6701571898

LOOK AT THAT APPALLING CRIME COMMITTED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT BY A FOREIGNER! :shock:
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LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson jumped on a bike and zipped down Spring St without a care - or a helmet. With his mop of fair hair waving in the wind, Johnson didn't even realise he was breaking the law as he straddled the blue council bicycle and took off. He squeezed past a packed tram and pulled off a sweeping U-turn in the kind of spontaneous display that has earned him global appeal. London's Mayor showed remorse after he realised he was legally obliged to protect his head. His only hope, he admitted, was that his mate, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, would understand.

"I didn't see the sign," he said. "I hope we will be all right with the authorities."

Having successfully implemented one of the world's most successful bike schemes in London without helmets, Mr Johnson said yesterday Melbourne should do the same. He warned that enforcing a head protection policy threatened to kill off the initiative. "It's not how we would have done it," he said. "Obviously, it's up to Melbourne to decide what they want to do, but we took a very clear decision that it would be counterproductive . . . "I wanted to put the village back into London and create an environment where people felt safe cycling and safe cycling in numbers."

He said evidence had suggested that while helmets could prevent some injuries, in the worst accidents in London, "nine times out of 10" a helmet wouldn't make a difference. In Victoria to be a keynote speaker at the Melbourne Writers Festival, Mr Johnson said Melbourne had all the ingredients to become a cosmopolitan hub. "I think Australia is the most urbanised country in the world and more and more of us will be living in cities over the next 50 years," he said. "But people want cities that are clean, green and which have a village feel."
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:43 am

il Padrone I can see heaps of bicycle infrastructure there, they're called roads ;)

Al these arguments for bike infrastructure, it's already there, we have roads for road vehicles like cars, trucks and . . . bikes.

Boris, well done, I love that he just grabbed a bike and went for a ride. Helmet? Unnecessary, cycling just isn't that dangerous.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:43 am

DavidS wrote:il Padrone I can see heaps of bicycle infrastructure there, they're called roads ;)

Al these arguments for bike infrastructure, it's already there, we have roads for road vehicles like cars, trucks and . . . bikes.

Boris, well done, I love that he just grabbed a bike and went for a ride. Helmet? Unnecessary, cycling just isn't that dangerous.

DS

The problem with roads is that they're designed for motor vehicles, and bicycles are just an afterthought. Which is why we get stuck with ridiculously-small bicycle lanes (those on Collins St in Melbourne one of the more ridiculous examples).
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:51 am

VRE wrote:
DavidS wrote:il Padrone I can see heaps of bicycle infrastructure there, they're called roads ;)

Al these arguments for bike infrastructure, it's already there, we have roads for road vehicles like cars, trucks and . . . bikes.

Boris, well done, I love that he just grabbed a bike and went for a ride. Helmet? Unnecessary, cycling just isn't that dangerous.

DS

The problem with roads is that they're designed for motor vehicles, and bicycles are just an afterthought. Which is why we get stuck with ridiculously-small bicycle lanes (those on Collins St in Melbourne one of the more ridiculous examples).

You mean their design has been hijacked for the exclusive use of motor vehicles
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby richbee » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:08 am

VRE wrote:The problem with roads is that they're designed for motor vehicles, and bicycles are just an afterthought. Which is why we get stuck with ridiculously-small bicycle lanes (those on Collins St in Melbourne one of the more ridiculous examples).


Only motorways and major arterials are designed for motor vehicles. Residential streets in older suburbs and city centres are not designed so much as just happened to be a formalisation of access ways which have been paved. Most rural roads are old wagon/cart tracks that still follow the same route, and indeed were probably used more frequently by cyclists and horses before they were as KenGS so aptly put it 'hijacked for motor vehicles' sometime in the fifties when cars became affordable for all.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:41 am

Despite all the thousands of photos and video of Dutch cycle paths, a significant proportion of the cycling time in holland is still spent on general roads. :idea:

But really bringing infrastructure into this topic is a spurious argument. We all know improvements to our cycling can come from a myriad of ways the fact that other improvements exist isn't an argument against repealing MHLs.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:50 am

richbee wrote:
VRE wrote:The problem with roads is that they're designed for motor vehicles, and bicycles are just an afterthought. Which is why we get stuck with ridiculously-small bicycle lanes (those on Collins St in Melbourne one of the more ridiculous examples).


Only motorways and major arterials are designed for motor vehicles. Residential streets in older suburbs and city centres are not designed so much as just happened to be a formalisation of access ways which have been paved. Most rural roads are old wagon/cart tracks that still follow the same route, and indeed were probably used more frequently by cyclists and horses before they were as KenGS so aptly put it 'hijacked for motor vehicles' sometime in the fifties when cars became affordable for all.

I'm well aware that bicycles preceded motor vehicles, but that doesn't help us in the present. It doesn't change the fact that roads have been built specifically with motor vehicles in mind for many decades now, and any bicycle-specific infrastructure is generally just "patched" onto motor vehicle infrastructure, so that politicians can claim the Green vote, because they're seen to be "doing something" :roll: . If bicycle infrastructure was better planned and executed, then another reason for MHLs would vanish (so yes, I'm keeping my post on-topic :) ).

I'm also well aware that there are other arguments against MHLs, so I only pointed out the infrastructure issue to indicate that this is one of the reasons our government seems to continue supporting MHLs - they feel that our roads are somehow too dangerous for cyclists.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:22 am

VRE - Try to not get caught up in the idea that the government is a nebulous groupthink that has opinions. The Government is made up of at least a quarter the Parliament (except QLD) in Australia. They form under similar policy intentions. That's about it. The Government doesn't think anything. The politicians that make up the Government have not had substantial reason to change their view of indifference. Once the issue is highlighted, it can be changed very quickly. Pressure was put to bear on a great range of safety issues in the early 90s; MHL is just one of them as political correctness really took over in a big way in a rejection of the excess of the 80s. I can understand that it was put in place - lobbying groups, with very little real ability to improve the situation for cyclists, pushed it through and it came through.

The problem is that change is hard, and the obvious solution - dramatically toughening laws regulating cars and trucks and making contact with pedestrians and cyclists an inexcusable criminal offence - is politically difficult. Somehow it's OK to fundamentally change the entire welfare and taxation system to attempt a reduction in greenhouse gas, despite it making no significant impact to the air (considering the actions of other nations) but it's not OK to say that hurting and killing because you are behind a steering wheel, just doesn't make sense. I am 100% behind the freedom that a car gives you, but our society has to move past the idea that a car is anything less than a brutal killing machine when handled without wisdom. I am guilty of this in a big way, because I'm as impatient as a hungry toddler, but my feelings are irrelevant to the basic state of play - a bike is a more society friendly way of getting around from every aspect. We CANNOT negotiate the value of human life. If you can't get there fast enough in a car, you need to look at the rest of your life to work out why you can't there in time.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:47 pm

From the bike NSW website:

Bicycle NSW recommends that a review is held to determine the net benefit of the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules. If no significant benefit is found, Bicycle NSW recommends that the law is revoked if not entirely, then at least for adult bicycle users.

Fantastic! :mrgreen:

http://bicyclensw.org.au/advocacy/posit ... l/helmets/



HELMET USAGE

Bicycle NSW recommends the wearing of helmets by bicycle users due to the likelihood that, in the event of an accident, a person wearing a helmet will benefit from a greater level of head protection than those not wearing a helmet. At face value, this seems to be an elementary conclusion, however it should also be noted that some studies indicate that the wearer of a bicycle helmet may suffer greater brain injuries due to the rotation (angular acceleration) induced by the increased diameter and higher frictional coefficient of a helmet [1].
Helmets are designed to withstand the type of modest impact that would be sustained by the head of a bicycle user who falls to the ground from a standing position. Helmets are not tested for, or designed for, the type of impact that would be sustained during a high-speed collision with a motor vehicle.
Bicycle NSW recognises that bicycle users are required by law to wear a properly fitted helmet and therefore recommends that bicycle users comply with the law.
[1] Curnow WJ: Bicycle helmets and brain injury Accid Anal Prev 2007, 39(3):433–436.

HELMET PROMOTION
icycle safety programs that focus on the vulnerability of bicycle users and the need to wear a helmet send an unmistakable message that riding a bicycle is dangerous and is not an activity that should be engaged-in by children or anyone who values their life [1]. The unfortunate net result of helmet promotion campaigns is a reduction in the number of people riding bicycles. A reduction in the number of people riding bicycles not only reduces the Benefits of Cycling Experienced by Society, but it has a detrimental effect on bicycle safety.
The relationship between bicycle numbers and safety is known as the “safety in numbers” effect and is widely accepted by experienced bicycle planners and advocates. As bicycle numbers increase, the environment becomes safer for bicycle users. This is achieved through a combination of improved driver awareness and acceptance, reductions in traffic speeds and the ability to justify the improvement of bicycle infrastructure.
While it is easy to see how an increase in bicycle usage improves the safety of bicycle riders, there are also a number of less-obvious effects. The increased driver awareness and decrease in traffic speeds also benefits pedestrians who are equally vulnerable to the damage inflicted by motor vehicles. The safety effects of an increase in the number of bicycle users even extends to improved safety for motorists.
While the purpose of helmet promotion is to improve safety, the actual result is that potential bicycle users are scared away, thus reducing the number of people riding bicycles. This results in a more dangerous environment for all riders.
Bicycle NSW recommends that Governments seeking to improve the safety of bicycle users do so by investing in high-quality bicycle infrastructure that is separated from motorised traffic. Bicycle NSW recommends that Government promotion campaigns aimed at improving road safety should focus on driver education.
[1] Horton D: Fear of Cycling. In Cycling and Society Edited by Horton D, Rosen P, Cox P. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2007:pp133-152.

HELMET CHOICE
There is significant evidence to show that the introduction of New South Wales mandatory helmet laws in 1991 produced a 30% decrease in cycling numbers [1]. This decrease in cycling numbers not only decreases the Benefits of Bicycling experienced by individuals, business and society, but results in an environment that is inherently less-safe for bicycle users [2].
As Peter Jacobson notes, “policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling” [3]. Thus, policies that decrease the number of people bicycling reduces the safety of the environment for bicycle users.
While head injury rates did decrease after the laws were introduced, this was part of a continued decline in cycling injuries since the 1970s [4]. The evidence suggests that there were other factors besides mandatory helmet laws such as general road safety media campaigns and the introduction of random breath testing in 1982 that contributed to an overall improvement in road safety. The steady decline in Australian cyclist deaths from 1950 to 2000 mirrors that of The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA, none of which introduced mandatory helmet legislation [5].
What is hard to quantify is the damage that has been done to cycling culture by mandatory helmet laws. While the medical fraternity and motorist organisations are keen to encourage the wearing of helmets, little weight has been given to the fact that every country that benefits from a high cycling mode-share allows adults to ride a bicycle without a helmet. If we are to learn from world’s best practice, then bicycle users should be free to choose to ride without a helmet.
Bicycle NSW recommends that a review is held to determine the net benefit of the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules. If no significant benefit is found, Bicycle NSW recommends that the law is revoked if not entirely, then at least for adult bicycle users.
[1] Smith N, Milthorpe F: An observational survey of law compliance and helmet wearing by bicyclists in New South Wales – 1993. . Roseberry: Roads and Traffic Authority; 1993.
[2] Robinson DL: No clear evidence from countries that have enforced the wearing of helmets BMJ 2006, 332:722e725
[3] Jacobsen PL: Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling. Injury Prevention 2003, 9:205-209.
[4] Rissel C: The impact of compulsory cycle helmet legislation on cyclist head injuries in New South Wales, Australia: A rejoinder. Accident Analysis and Prevention 2012, 45.
[5] Pucher J, Dijkstra L: Making walking and cycling safer: lessons from Europe Transportation Quarterly 2000, 54:25-50.


BICYCLE SHARE PROGRAMS
Bike share schemes are currently thriving in many European cities. The success of such programs can easily be explained in countries such as Holland and Denmark where there is already an established bicycle culture. But the success of bike share in places such as Dublin provides a clear example of what can be achieved in a city which has never been seen as a cycling capital.
In order to explain the success of bike share in Dublin, it is worthwhile to compare it to the bike share program in Melbourne which has similar characteristics. Both cities have a cool, wet climate and both cities have a relatively low bicycle mode share. Even the density and reach of the bicycle share programs are very similar. However, while Dublin’s bike share program is being expanded due to its success, Melbourne’s program is floundering.
The failure of bike share programs in Melbourne and Brisbane may be the result of a very simple but very powerful deterrent. While most cities around the world allow adults to choose whether to wear a helmet, these particular cities require the use of a helmet. This makes it difficult to just grab a bike for an impromptu trip [1].
Bicycle users who perform predictable journeys from home or work such as commuting or recreational riding usually have easy access to a helmet just as they have access to a bicycle. However, bicycle users who have impromptu and unpredictable transport needs require an impromptu solution. While bike share schemes in Australia are able to supply the bicycle in a convenient and cost-effective manner, supplying helmets doubles the complexity and cost of the transaction [2].
Bicycle NSW recommends that riders using bike share bicycles be exempt from the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules.
[1] Fishman E, Washington S, Haworth N: Barriers and facilitators to public bicycle scheme use: A qualitative approach. Transportation Research Part F 2012, 15:686–698.
[2] Fishman E, Washington S, Haworth N: Bike share: a synthesis of the literature. Transport Reviews 2013, DOI:10.1080/01441647.2013.775612.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:12 pm

THat is fantastic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby KenGS » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:35 pm

It seems that in direct contrast to the world at large, the temperature down in Hades is staring to fall
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:47 am

Yay !!
That looks encouraging.
Meanwhile, here in Qld, where the law has been modified to allow an exemption on religious grounds, I'm going to try this.

officer - why aren't you wearing a helmet, sonny ?
Me - it's against my religion, sir
Officer -what religion would that be now ?
Me - why would that matter officer, are you planning on discriminating between religions ?

Of course, I have a medical exemption to fall back on, but I'm seeing a pissy, but thwarted copper. Bells and reflectors will be fitted, so the fallbacks of fining me for whatever other crap they can come up with are not available either.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:18 am

Yes, being deliberately rude to a police officer will definitely ensure a good outcome.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ken Ho » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:23 am

VRE wrote:Yes, being deliberately rude to a police officer will definitely ensure a good outcome.



I'm not sure where you get rudeness from. I'm merely pointing out that it's not just popular or well known religions that ight have the right to pursue their beliefs, and that discriminating on that grounds would be actually a breach of our constitution. Last time I got pulled over by a copper for not having a helmet on, he actually called me a "stupid prick".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:38 am

Ken Ho wrote:
VRE wrote:Yes, being deliberately rude to a police officer will definitely ensure a good outcome.



I'm not sure where you get rudeness from. I'm merely pointing out that it's not just popular or well known religions that ight have the right to pursue their beliefs, and that discriminating on that grounds would be actually a breach of our constitution. Last time I got pulled over by a copper for not having a helmet on, he actually called me a "stupid prick".

In your above hypothetical scenario, you respond to a police officer's question with another question that implies that the officer is planning on discriminating against you. You can't see the rudeness in that? :roll: If someone shows discriminatory behaviour towards you, then you defend yourself, but to accuse someone of discrimination before they even do or say anything is just rude.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:33 am

The joys of inflammatory behaviour and remarks ;) Yep the religious exemption is just gold. I reckon you might get something up in the High Court if you hired an expensive enough barrister. There is clear discrimination where a Sikh's head does not need to be protected and an Anglican's head does.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:09 am

Ken Ho wrote:Yay !!
That looks encouraging.
Meanwhile, here in Qld, where the law has been modified to allow an exemption on religious grounds, I'm going to try this.

officer - why aren't you wearing a helmet, sonny ?
Me - it's against my religion, sir
Officer -what religion would that be now ?
Me - why would that matter officer, are you planning on discriminating between religions ?

Of course, I have a medical exemption to fall back on, but I'm seeing a pissy, but thwarted copper. Bells and reflectors will be fitted, so the fallbacks of fining me for whatever other crap they can come up with are not available either.

FYI you have to have some kind of headwear on for the religious exemption to apply, and it has to make wearing a helmet impractical....
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