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.
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