New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:31 am

I'd argue that the greatest hindrance to potential new cyclists now is the level of aggression and ignorance on our roads which has them believe that they need helmuts regardless.
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by BNA » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:56 am

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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:56 am

One of the biggest hindrance in Sydney is those hilly roads. Only if Sydney is flat like Holland...
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby human909 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:23 am

Howzat wrote:
human909 wrote:The fact of the matter is that mandatory helmet laws have had the single BIGGEST impact on cycling numbers since the introduction of the automobile.

I think there is another thread for the anti-helmet debate, human909.

...even if this one is an article of faith :P

Which thread is that. All I see is a thread about mandatory helmet laws and another thread about exemptions to mandatory helmet laws.

Who is anti-helmets!?? Certainly not me! I own more than half a dozen helmets for SEVERAL different sports. :idea: :D

(Only one of those sports has MHLs)


The 2nd Womble wrote:I'd argue that the greatest hindrance to potential new cyclists now is the level of aggression and ignorance on our roads which has them believe that they need helmuts regardless.

You could be right. But we aren't mandating aggression and ignorance. We ARE mandating helmets. :idea:
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby GTRmon7 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:38 am

I think it's a non-issue. There's obviously only a small handful of sikhs who ride bikes in Queensland (otherwise this issue would have presented itself earlier). They will now be able to ride bikes without a helmet, but take the risks such as they are. Everyone else will continue to ride bikes wile wearing a helmet and life will go on. This will be completely forgotten about within a week and it's net impact on cycling in Queensland will be negligible.

I don't buy the "well next it will be the bikey gangs" argument. That's rubbish. This is an exemption that covers a very small minority group and it the courts won't start hearing cases on group who want exemptions cause they don't feel like it.

However, there are two bigger questions this issue highlights (to be discussed in other threads):

Mandatory helmet laws

Why aren't there more sikh cyclists in the first place? (i.e. why is cycling, as a sport and as a general way of getting around, dominated by white middle class males?)
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby human909 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:54 am

GTRmon7 wrote:I think it's a non-issue. ... This will be completely forgotten about within a week and it's net impact on cycling in Queensland will be negligible.

Agreed. Both that it will be forgotten and that it is a non issue for cycling. But I do think that there are deeper issues regarding introducing laws that discriminate based on religion or non religion.

GTRmon7 wrote:However, there are two bigger questions this issue highlights (to be discussed in other threads):

Mandatory helmet laws

Why aren't there more sikh cyclists in the first place? (i.e. why is cycling, as a sport and as a general way of getting around, dominated by white middle class males?)


Great questions.

I would like to point out that sport in general is often dominated by white middle-class males! However once the sporting association with cycling is gone then you now longer find that cohort in abundance. In areas where cycling is most common then it is NOT dominated by white middle class males!
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby GTRmon7 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:07 am

Ok, fair point. There are plenty of bikes used to get around in Asia and South America (although scooters and motorcycles) have displaced a lot of bicycle usage in many parts of Asia over the last decade or so.

But in western countries cycling appears to be dominated by white middle class males (disclaimer: I'm one). Competitve cycling is even worse. Our club is 98% caucasian, 2% asian; and 90% male. I know cycling is expensive, especially when racing comes into the equation. But why are there (apparent) racial barriers?

Other high level competitve sports (the football codes, running and athletic disciplines, for example) all have a much greater mix of racial equality.

Just a thought.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:30 am

GTRmon7 wrote:I think it's a non-issue.

The other way to look at this problem is, given the multi-layering of fabric on Sikh's head, its protective benefits may not be any less than a commercial helmet. Their head gear is much more substantial than a single fabric layer bandana.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby Jean » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:39 am

sogood wrote:
GTRmon7 wrote:I think it's a non-issue.

The other way to look at this problem is, given the multi-layering of fabric on Sikh's head, its protective benefits may not be any less than a commercial helmet. Their head gear is much more substantial than a single fabric layer bandana.


Sikhs and helmets were an issue for the British Indian Army in the First World War too. The turbans were kept, supposedly because the many layers of tightly wound turban offered similar protection to the steel helmets. No idea what the view is today with more modern helmets in either the British Army (which must have a few Sikhs at least) or the Indian Army.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby boyracer » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:25 pm

So will the rastafarian population be next to appeal?

Maybe there is a market for an 'instaturban'....kinda like a stretchy tie for scholkids? no straps at least.

I miss the days when i could choose whether or not to wear a helmet.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby misterhorsey » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:06 pm

As an atheist, I am happy to speak on behalf of all atheists and suggest that we should be the only group who should be required to wear helmets.

Those of a theist persuasian generally have some believe in an afterlife, which presumably they can enjoy after being snotted on their bike. Whereas us atheists really only have this world and so need to make the most of our time here.

:D
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby human909 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:41 pm

GTRmon7 wrote:But in western countries cycling appears to be dominated by white middle class males (disclaimer: I'm one). Competitve cycling is even worse. Our club is 98% caucasian, 2% asian; and 90% male. I know cycling is expensive, especially when racing comes into the equation. But why are there (apparent) racial barriers?

Other high level competitve sports (the football codes, running and athletic disciplines, for example) all have a much greater mix of racial equality.

Just a thought.


Come check out most cyclists in Melbourne's inner north and it will break your stereotypes. White middle class males are certainly NOT dominant. Or examine Amsterdam or Copenhagen.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby liquor box » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:01 pm

I dont have a big issue with this change in the law, I would have preferred it to just make helmets optional for adults. We already have laws that specify that certain people dont have to wear certain uniforms (food industry) due to their faith, we many exemptions based on less important things than religion.

You cannot by law force someone to remove a wedding ring (unless it contains stones) in a food service workplace. You can ask for other jewellery to be removed though. This is because the wedding ring is considered sacred to most people who are married, you basically make a decision to show your love for your partner at all times by wearing the ring always. I would imagine a Turbin would have the same emotional value to a sikh as a wedding band would to others.

Personally, if you choose to ride without a helmet then you get what you deserve if you fall off, but let it be a choice for all cyclists to make for themself.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby ChairmanSaab » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:28 pm

Hey guys,

I am sikh myself,although i live in Punjab. We donot wear helmet here-in. However IMO this law should be applicable only for adult since childerns usually do not wear(some do wear early at 15yr)turbans (they wear " PATKA / keski / dastar which donot provide protection ).
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:21 pm

Metropolitan police force bent rules to allow Sikhs to wear a police turban many years ago now.
Before then, the helmet was a safety hat as much as a dress item.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:32 pm

misterhorsey wrote:As an atheist, I am happy to speak on behalf of all atheists and suggest that we should be the only group who should be required to wear helmets.

Those of a theist persuasian generally have some believe in an afterlife, which presumably they can enjoy after being snotted on their bike. Whereas us atheists really only have this world and so need to make the most of our time here.

A most persuasive argument. I like! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby John Lewis » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:27 pm

This law change is in QLD.
As I understand it this exemption has been in force for years in most other states.
This is from WA regs.
(3)
Subregulation (2) does not apply to a person who —
(a) is a member of a religious or cultural group and who is
wearing a headdress customarily worn by members of
that group, if the wearing of that headdress makes it
impractical for a person to wear a protective helmet; or
(b) has been exempted in writing by the Director General
from wearing a protective helmet for medical reasons,
and is complying with any terms and conditions of that
exemption.

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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby Rhubarb » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:45 pm

Yep, as I understand it, it is currently in place in 3 other states, WA, SA and Vic (?).
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby kb » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:04 am

sogood wrote:
misterhorsey wrote:...Whereas us atheists really only have this world and so need to make the most of our time here.

A most persuasive argument. I like! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Only if you think going around with your head in a foam cage is making the most of your time ;-)
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby Xplora » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:10 pm

I honestly cannot see the logic in allowing any minority to circumvent laws that are intended solely for the safety of the participants, unless you are prepared to drop the entire law for all. Australia is not a country built around discriminatory laws. The helmet is either important for all, or it is not important for any. The Sikh population do not have stronger skulls than Muslims, Christians or agnostics. The helmet is an inconvenience for all people - it is only enforced because that inconvenience is considered acceptable for bike users in public.

I have zero issue with Sikhs wanting to wear turbans, or Muslims wearing hijabs or burqas, or Catholics eating fish on Good Friday, as long as those desires are not in direct contradiction with the laws of the land. If we need to change the laws, then change them... but if it is not important for a Sikh to wear a helmet, or a Muslim to identify themselves to the police, or for fishmongers to be open on Good Friday, then it is fair to say that the remaining population should not be burdened by the same expectations.

We end up on a very slippery slope where we allow dispensations for minorities, because societies inevitably become oppressive and discriminatory when they accept that some people deserve special treatment... either the specially treated are reviled by the state (fascist regimes) or by the majority population (indigenous peoples left after colonisation in western countries).

Good on Qld for responding to the court case... but seriously... the review hasn't gone far enough.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby human909 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:08 am

liquor box wrote:Personally, if you choose to ride without a helmet then you get what you deserve if you fall off, but let it be a choice for all cyclists to make for themself.


I'm sick of such attitudes and find it extremely cold hearted and idiotic.

Why does somebody deserve what they get if they fall off a bike when not wearing a helmet? Does the same apply to somebody wearing a helmet? If a helmet wearing person falls off their bike and ends up with brain damage do they deserve what they get?
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby Shpox » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:14 pm

human909 wrote:
liquor box wrote:Personally, if you choose to ride without a helmet then you get what you deserve if you fall off, but let it be a choice for all cyclists to make for themself.


I'm sick of such attitudes and find it extremely cold hearted and idiotic.

Why does somebody deserve what they get if they fall off a bike when not wearing a helmet? Does the same apply to somebody wearing a helmet? If a helmet wearing person falls off their bike and ends up with brain damage do they deserve what they get?


You are responsible for your own safety. No one deserves to get hurt but if you don't foster conditions that could save you in the act, you have to take responsibility. I have no problem with the law. It's not an injustice. It's not like we all don't want wear our helmets and it's 'unfair'. If someone feels this law strongly impedes their religious responsibility, I think that's fine for them. I'm sure there's plenty of the Sikhs that would still prefer to wear a helmet for protection, even if they are exempt to do so. Why? Because it's going to save your head in a fall. The Law should always act in in the best interest of the people and Scott Emerson has largely shown he is an idiot over his term but it's like blaming Strava for encouraging unsafe cycling. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions, legislative or not.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby sogood » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:26 pm

Time to integrate some of the above posts in THAT MHL thread...
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby human909 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Shpox wrote:You are responsible for your own safety. No one deserves to get hurt but if you don't foster conditions that could save you in the act, you have to take responsibility.

But not wearing a helmet isn't any less responsible.

Shpox wrote:I have no problem with the law. It's not an injustice. It's not like we all don't want wear our helmets and it's 'unfair'.

No. Just some of us don't want to wear helmets.

Shpox wrote:Why? Because it's going to save your head in a fall.

Is it? I've never hit my head/helmet when I've fallen. Stop speaking in absolutes.

Shpox wrote:The Law should always act in in the best interest of the people and Scott Emerson has largely shown he is an idiot over his term but it's like blaming Strava for encouraging unsafe cycling. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions, legislative or not.

And taking responsibility has nothing to do with helmet wearing.
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby RonK » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:33 pm

ChairmanSaab wrote:Hey guys,

I am sikh myself,although i live in Punjab. We donot wear helmet here-in. However IMO this law should be applicable only for adult since childerns usually do not wear(some do wear early at 15yr)turbans (they wear " PATKA / keski / dastar which donot provide protection ).

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: New helmet law exemptions announced for Qld

Postby Pax » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:45 pm

sogood wrote:Time to integrate some of the above posts in THAT MHL thread...


+1
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