young woman on bike with no helmet

Nanny State Under Fire Over Absurd Law

There are real crimes. And then there are actions — or inactions — that are technically illegal, but not really criminal at all.

One such inaction is deciding not to wear a helmet when you go for pedal on your bicycle.

Outside of the Northern Territory, the Nanny State has decided that failure to do so constitutes a crime.

Victoria became the first state — and the first place in the world — to pass mandatory helmet laws in July 1990.

These days, New South Wales has the highest fines for riding without a helmet. The state’s police will slug you for $337.

Of course, if you decide to ignore the police in any of the states and just keep on pedalling, then you’ll be in a heap more trouble. Eventually the police might see fit to force you from the road…or draw their weapons.

That’s your taxpayer money at work.

Should Australia bin the helmet law?

Now, this is not to say that people shouldn’t wear helmets. Simply that it’s none of the government’s business whether you do or not. Any extra risk you take is yours and yours alone. These are the same kinds of decisions people make for themselves all the time at places like the beach, for example.

But there is a growing push from cyclists and free-thinking Aussies alike to finally bin the helmet law.

Canberra debated allowing adults to make the decision for themselves earlier this year, though the law remains in place today.

And the debate re-emerged in Victoria last week as well.

Lord Mayor Capp supports axing the law

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Sally Capp is a supporter of axing the law, saying she wouldn’t always wear a helmet if given the choice. A choice that should obviously be hers to make.

As reported by The Age, Capp told 3AW radio’s Neil Mitchell:

That is my personal choice. I lived in London for three years … I rode all around the city and loved it. If I was going on a busy road or a long ride I [would] really judge the risk, but personally I would love to be able to make a decision and I think it’s well worth considering.’

Thank you, Lord Mayor Capp.

You are not alone in wanting to make your own decision on when you should or should not don a helmet.

But don’t expect the Nanny Staters to give in without a fight.

PS: The tax burden on Australians has grown by leaps and bounds in our lifetime, and shows little sign of reversing. You may think you know who’s responsible for rising taxes. But as we reveal in our free new report — ‘What you could do to stop Australia’s Tax Freedom Day from blowing out even further in 2018’ — you may have it all wrong…Click here for more.

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben is the lead editor at The Australian Tribune. Bernd makes use of his extensive network to bring you the top stories you need to know about each day. Stories the mainstream may miss. Or bury somewhere you’re unlikely to ever read them. Bernd studied aerospace engineering and journalism at the University of Michigan, before graduating with a degree in economics. Over the past two decades he’s worked in media, management, and finance in the US, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. His other role, as the editor of the Port Phillip Insider, puts him in a unique position to read Australia’s most exclusive financial advice. Some of which he shares with readers of The Australian Tribune for free.
Comments: 11

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  1. If cyclists are prepared to forego Medicare funded treatment for head injuries let them go helmet-less. If they are not confident that friends and family would crowd fund the treatment of ABI then go for it…enjoy the wind in their hair or whatever.

    1. I agree, cyclists should forfeit Medicare funded treatment if they have an accident. Also, vaccinated people should also forfeit Medicare funded treatment for the statistically 10x number of diseases they get from their failure to educate themselves before destroying theirs and their children’s lives.

  2. And how does this differ from wearing of compulsory seat belts?
    The consequences are not “yours alone”. As a taxpayer, I am paying for your “unnecessary” visits to hospital casualty departments.

    1. What I suggest is only mentally impaired people who are fluoridated and vaccinated should have to wear helmets. They are a risk to themselves and become a burden on the medical system when they get older as they are guaranteed to get cancer and diseases..

  3. OK Bernd, so lets dump the helmet laws because we can’t stand to be ruled by the “Nanny State”. In that case let those who choose not to wear a helmet that the responsibility and accept the consequences of the associated costs and life time treatment / assistance after they spill their brains on the pavement following an accident. If you expect the State to look after you then you should minimise the risks by falling in line with what the State says you should do.

  4. It may be regarded as an intrusion into your choice to wear or not to wear a protective gear, when you expose yourself to a potential danger.
    If you lived some place where you are totally responsible for the consequences of your actions, than it is really up to you how smartly or silly you want to enjoy your day.
    However, if you live in a society which picks up the pieces after your fall, it has the right to minimise the losses, you and others may cause. The law makers may not be echoing the will of the people, but they readily proclaim that they do. It is a different story whether they are our servants, or our masters.

  5. Bernd you conveniently omit the consequences of injury as a result of not wearing protection and the cost to those who pick up the pieces. There is a choice…. wear a helmet as prescribed by law and get protection both physically and financially or not and risk having to look after yourself. Those who think the public purse will pick up the tab for their indiscretions are selfless fools.

  6. This is why our Government force medicates fluoride on the dumb sheeple, so they can’t think for themselves. This is obvious by the fact the dumb sheeple keep voting in the 2 socialist parties.

  7. Helmets to protect us or get a fine
    Next we will have police on the beach and a fine if you have not applied enough sunscreen, after all not applying enough sunscreen could lead to skin cancer and a burden to medicare.

  8. I’m an avid cyclist who has been saved from serious brain injury because I wore a helmet. I get the argument about choice, up to the point that I pay for other’s choice to take in the risk. So we either accept helmets because we accept others’ tax contribution or we accept the full consequences of such decisions…personally, I think the current system works and is such an imperceptible difference that it’s just a bore even arguing.