Freestyle Cyclists’ Helmet Optional Ride

Stop Fining Healthy Transport

Saturday 18 March, Melbourne

Freestyle Cyclists speaks for everyday transport cycling.  We are holding a helmet optional ride in Melbourne in support of helmet choice.  The ride will be on Saturday 18th March, starting outside the Green Park Cafe, 815 Nicholson Street Carlton North at 11am.  

Alan Todd, President Freestyle Cyclists said: “The bicycle is internationally recognised as a healthy and sustainable form of transport.  Everyone agrees that we have healthier people and more liveable cities if we leave the car at home and use a bike instead.  But if you do this in Australia, and don’t wear a crash helmet, you will be fined”. 

In most countries people are free to attend to everyday activities by bike, dressed in everyday clothing.   Freestyle Cyclists wants Australia to join the rest of the world, and move beyond helmet fines. 

Riding a bike is a safe activity when carried out at sensible speeds in decent conditions.  A crash helmet for all occasions is overkill.  The practice of fining people for this healthy and benign activity makes no sense”, Mr Todd added.

Internationally bike helmet laws have been almost universally rejected.  It is seen that these laws prevent the uptake of cycling while offering no significant safety benefit”.  

Bikes account for 5% to 50% of trips in many European cities and towns.  Australia is still stuck on the 1% it has been at for twenty five years.  Public bike share schemes  flourish in Europe and the United States, while Australia plays host to the dud failures in Melbourne and Brisbane, thanks to our helmet laws.  

Health and transport experts openly acknowledge that the Australian experiment in mandatory helmets has been a failure. A Queensland Parliamentary Enquiry recommended in 2014 that a two year trial exemption be put in place for adult cyclists in low speed environments. 

The Northern Territory has long since wound back helmet requirements, and allows adults choice, and in 2016 a Senate Enquiry found insufficient evidence to support claims that helmet laws had improved cycling safety.  

Unfortunately our politicians ignore the evidence, and continue with their heads in the sand. In Victoria the Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan refuses to meet with us, and has insisted  there will be no discussion of helmets in the current review of Victoria’s cycling strategy”. 

The police are instructed to carry out blitzes and random fining of cyclists, often against their better judgement.  They would much rather use their time and resources more productively than in punishing ordinary people for a healthy activity.

It’s time to say enough.  Stop fining healthy transport”, Mr Todd added.

For further information on Freestyle Cyclists Inc and the ride, contact:

Alan Todd – president Freestyle Cyclists Inc 0400 502 325

Troy Parsons – member, 0421 135 336

One Comment

  • Potyka says:

    What I see is:
    1. The government implemented a law that kills.
    2. Duncan Gay heavily fines people who disobey for the sake of their lives.
    3. Police are hiding along cycleways to rob harmless and innocent people.
    Therefore, if I could, I would sue the
    1. Government for second degree murder,
    2. Duncan Gay for pizzo collection,
    3. Police for banditism.

    But I grew up in dictatorship so I know I cannot win over dictator’s power. Yes, I was fined too for 750 dollars for something I had been doing for over 40 years without free of charge: riding on a 5m wide empty footpath with 12km/h speed, near a busy road bear headed. When I asked Mr. Officer Malevolence why he wants me to put my life in mortal danger in heavy traffic or faint in a toxic plastic hat in hot and humid Australia (I am sensitive to benzol which is the main body of Styrofoam), his answer was: ,,that’s the law’’. Not kissing his ass ended up me being considered having “an attitude’’ which resulted in a 3rd fine after I left the spot, saying I continued riding. He “forgot” to mention he was expecting me to walk my bike 5km to get home and naive me I did not think I do not have a cooling period to get a helmet if I wanted to. I thought I picked the worst guy until I say a lady’s comment who was fined 850 dollars with 7 tickets. I was thinking to go to court but I saw how Sue Abbott was treated and I realized that the jury belongs to the same mafia.

    The amount collected by police and the number of people fined in a short time are the proof that whole police departments (not just one bad guy I was picked by) deserve the title: Bandits in Uniform. The whole bike law in Australia is an organized crime towards hard working taxpayers. Now I do believe cycleways was built for police for easy catch, not for bike riders. The most annoying part of it that this officer gets his salary from my tax so actually I am his employer. I pay him to rob me. 😀

    It is said that people stop riding their bike because of the fines. Cars and public transport probably costs more a year then fines. For example, going to work by public transport would cost me 1500 dollars a year. So I can afford 1500 dollars a year to be extorted. After the experience with this Officer Malevolence I ride a bit trickier way: I avoid cycleway, use parks and back lanes where police physically cannot follow me, ride footpath in the opposite direction of traffic flow so police are unable to turn and come after me, getting off the bike 5m before big intersections of major roads where they might hide. This worked so far, even during the recent heavy bandit activism. 😀

    I live in Sydney and would love to go on a protest ride here, collecting helmets in a big pile and putting them on fire. Sounds harsh, but the polite way doesn’t work with this arrogant government. 🙁

    So I encourage everybody not to give up on biking because of the harmful law. There is only one law that don’t change with times and it stands above all government law. It is the law of the universe, including the law of physics and the law of spirit. At the end my life is my responsibility. I won’t be able to come back from the grave to complain. And I don’t feel bad about disobeying a law that is trying to kill me. When politicians can ban gravitation I will obey their bike law…..

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