Should Queensland's New Bike Helmet Laws Apply To All Australians?

The Queensland government has announced it will amend bicycle helmet laws to allow exemptions for riders with 'religious headwear', such as turbans. The decision was made following the recent court case of a Brisbane Sikh who successfully contested a $100 fine for not wearing a helmet. This got us to thinking — if it's legal to ride without a helmet on religious grounds, shouldn't it be legal for everybody?

Bike helmet picture from Shutterstock

Don't get us wrong: we think all cyclists should wear helmets for their own safety, especially when riding through busy city streets. But should you be forced to do so by police? It seems somewhat unfair to have different laws for different community groups. Perhaps a blanket relaxing of the rules would be a more sensible way to go.

For starters, this could actually get more people out on their bikes and free up road congestion. As we have noted before, the proportion of people regularly cycling in Australia has dropped in recent years, with the fact they're forced to wear a helmet cited as one of the key reasons. (i.e. — It's something extra you need to carry around or attack to your bike and risk getting stolen).

Making the wearing of helmets non-compulsory would naturally lead to more injuries nationwide, but the same could be said for plenty of legal activities, such as rock fishing and the consumption of alcohol. (Then again, a recent study from the University of NSW found that people who ride without helmets are more likely to ignore traffic rules and to ride drunk, so maybe it isn't such a good idea after all.)

Would you get on your bike more if you didn't have to wear a helmet? Or is this something that should be limited to idiots and turban wearers? Tell us your take in the comments section below.


Comments

    It makes no difference to me - even if I had the choice, I would still wear a helmet for obvious safety reasons.

      So long a all medical insurance on their part is wavered...

      I really don't get this argument though, seat belts, motorbike helmets and bike helmets have all potentially saved my life, I've certainly gotten my moneys worth out of them.

        I don't agree - if you're not wearing a seat belt in a car crash you still get to claim from the TAC...

        The helmet argument is more relevant for those people doing a quick dash around the corner to see a mate/have a drink/pick up some milk. Many people shy away from riding because the helmet is bulky to carry/looks bad/messes up hair/etc.

        Removing the fines for no helmets, but still encouraging their use is the answer. There is study after study showing that roads become safer for cyclists as cyclist numbers grow. Victorian helmet laws keep more people off bikes than almost any other reason.

          Drivers are supposed to ensure safety belts are worn and are liable for a fine if a passenger is not wearing one, Drivers receive training and have to pass some form of test.. (not that you'd know it.)

          I believe that TAC does not pay for unregistered/unlicensed people, part of your registration payment is insurance for injuries in accidents.

          I'm not persuaded that I should pay any part of a medical bill for someone who does not look after their head. Especially when the reasons included "messing up hair" or "looks bad".

          The problem here is human nature v's the cost to society. While no doubt some people will still wear helmets, I believe the majority would not if they could get away with it. Humans are basically an apathetic and lazy bunch and will cut corners where they can. If given the option, most will go without. This is exactly the same reason for fines for not wearing car seat belts. Seat belts were standard in cars years before they became compulsory which was only done so to reduce the number of injuries being racked up every year. Sure we don't want to become a "Nanny State" but I'm a firm believer that the fines are one of the few ways to get people to wear helmets. I'll always wear one regardless but observation shows that even with fines there are quite a few who go without.

          "The helmet argument is more relevant for those people doing a quick dash around the corner to see a mate/have a drink/pick up some milk." I don't see how? It takes about 2 seconds to put your helmet on and if you leave it with your bike you don't have to go looking for it.

      I, too, would still wear a helmet. But fining behavior that we don't approve of is not the answer. People who don't want to wear a helmet pay taxes too, and should be given the freedom to do what they like.

      Those who argue that all insurance should be waived; why stop at cyclists with no helmets? Cycling is riskier than traveling by public transport; how about we just stop insuring anyone who rides a bike? Or anyone who goes scuba diving? Or swimming at the beach? Or leaving the house...

        Cycling in itself is legal, as is scuba diving, swimming at the beach, and leaving the house. Cycling without a helmet however, is illegal. That's why insurance shouldn't cover you if you're not wearing a helmet. Just like how insurers won't pay you out if you crash your car while drink driving. Seems pretty obvious to me.

          Cycling without a helmet however, is illegal. That's why insurance shouldn't cover you if you're not wearing a helmet.
          Should insurance cover Queensland Sikhs riding without helmets? Taking this line of argument (we shouldn't pay for people doing silly things) to its logical end means we stop health cover for those who are overweight or injured while under the influence of alcohol.
          If helmet laws were relaxed (for everyone, not just religious people) I would imagine that most people just off to the shop for milk or going round the corner to a mates place would not bother. However, most people if riding on a busy road probably would. This would lead to an overall increase in the health of our community.

    "Then again, a recent study from the University of NSW found that people who ride without helmets are more likely to ignore traffic rules and to ride drunk, so maybe it isn’t such a good idea after all."

    I'm pretty sure all that indicates is that irresponsible people will break more than one law at a time. Bicycle helmets don't magically impart responsibility. Reversing the obligatory helmet law wouldn't suddenly cause cyclists to start getting drunk and riding down old ladies.

      A very good point. It's a very common correlation-causation error- usually made by irresponsible journalists looking for a headline; as the scientists will always note this in the 'Confounding Variables' section of the paper.
      It's the same thing with the story about "kids who eat breakfast do better at school"
      It wasn't the breakfast that was doing it, it was the fact that the kids who didn't eat breakfast were more likely to be from lower socioeconomic families; and have poorer acess to proper resources from the parents.

        Damn! i never feed my kids breakfast. I figured I was toughening em up!

        Don't want em to be greedy and like, expecting things n stuff.

    I'm in two minds about this issue. but I strongly believe that all should wear a helmet for safety reasons, no matter what their faith is. The other thing I have a problem with this is that the legal side of things becomes a little blurred I think. If you hit a person not wearing a helmet and they are left with medical or health condition. Normally they can sue for the costs and ongoing costs of that but if the injury or ongoing health issue could have been avoided by wearing a helmet and proven then what????

      What if they're wearing a helmet and you hit them in the legs and leave them paralyzed? Wearing a helmet isnt going to magically protect a cyclist from vehicular damage, in fact helmets only prevent one very specific form of damage, that being blunt force impact trauma. Even in a helmet if the force of the impact is high, the secondary impact of your brain against the inside of your skull can still be more than enough to kill you. All of this is still ignoring the important point that, regardless of whether a cyclist is wearing a helmet or not, it's still illegal to hit someone with your car and you're liable for any damage you do to another person/property with said vehicle

        I didn't mean it like that cal. It was a simple "What If" question. I never mentioned a car though but nevermind

          If you hit a person not wearing a helmet and they are left with medical or health condition. What else are you proposing to hit them with if not a car?

          But I get your original point, and I think it's a fair question to ask.

    I would encourage everyone to begin wearing colanders. Spread the good word about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    rAmen!

      It's funny that you mention that; because it would be a very interesting idea to test out their "classification of religion" section by doing the same as the Austrian man who put a colander on his head for a passport photo- and once they checked he wasn't mad, they let him keep it on.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14135523

    This might sound a bit wrong, but if they are going to argue their religion over their own personal safety, then maybe we should let them ride without a helmet, on the condition that they receive no financial assistance due to injuries that could have been reduced/prevented by them wearing a helmet.

    As for me, its a no brainer, helmet = protected (at least semi-protected) head, the laws should stay as they are, keep it compulsory for everyone.

      For those of faith (as opposed to myself as one of little faith ie none) then the argument could then be given that seatbelts are not required, as their god will protect them? I do not think that this would be upheld as an argument for that.

      I do not know anything about the Sikh religion, and so make no judgement against it. However religion needs to be kept between your ears and if it conflicts with societies rules then society wins. And that goes for collanders as well.

        Pretty sure the reason is that they wear a turban and so can't fit a helmet on top. It's nothing to do with being protected.

          Maybe some smart person can invent a turban style helmet? lol make some big bucks...
          But i think is a bit silly that because of religious views that common law is waived. Maybe i'll just wear a turban now when riding?

          ^ This. And if you even thought for a second that it was for another reason....you might want to do a IQ test and be prepared for bad news.

          But the fact that they wear a turban should not be a reason for them to be exempt from the law, they should remove the turban and put on a helmet

          I see a business opportunity. Design a helmet to fit over a turban. Problem solved! Speaking of inappropriate helmet use, city cycle bike share in Brisbane provides helmets. In many instances they don't fit, don't adjust etc.Not good! I am more at risk of yellow blindness when it flops around over my field of vision. That should suffice and save me $100 fine.Safety issue.

      I don't get the argument that cyclists who choose to ride without a helmet don't get their medical costs covered/subsidised.

      If I get drunk and stoned, fail to wear a seatbelt and then wrap my car around a pole, I still get TAC support.

      It's an absurd argument that unhelmeted cyclists should forgo medical coverage, as if it would become a drain on the health system. Car crashes accounted for $18 billion in costs in 2006, which was 1.7% of GDP!

      Let cyclists ride without helmets if that's what they want. It's drivers we need to wrap in cotton.

        In my opinion, anybody who has a car accident that is their fault, and is under the influence of alcohol (over legal limits) or drugs, should also not have their medical costs covered/subsidised

    When I cycle to work, I wear a helmet. When I cycle to the farmers market along the river, not even close to the roads I don't wear a helmet.

    I think the laws should be relaxed.

      Unfortunately for you, the rest of your soft, squishy body is still uncovered.

      So the odds of you surviving an incident with a car going more than 50kms/hr are still pretty damn low.

      Agreed. Riding around a park, why do I need a helmet.
      Anyone who doesn't wear one on a proper road is mad. But we never wore them as kids because I grew up in a village that saw fewer than 2 cars an hour...and even then people drove slowly generally as it was tiny.

      In Japan you ride on the footpath and I never saw anyone getting hit nor did I hit anyone while I rode...... I would prefer safer riding and no helmets here..as it is I'm never willing to ride on a road with our crazy traffic so I won't ever ride. If I could ride without a helmet on the footpath and the occasional back street etc I would actually ride.

    we should stop giving religion free passes period. otherwise get over it and if in public wear a helmet they provide a large safety benefit, no one cares if you think it looks stupid or gives you hat hair, or means you cant wear a turban most people hate you for simply slowing traffic never mind the helmet

      Sikh do not belive in cutting their hair (Kesh) in respect and devotion to god. To cut your hair is like incest to a Sikh, so no it's not as easy as "Hey just take your Turban off or get a haircut." The hair is never cut can you imagine taking a turban off and having 3-4ft of hair to manage whilst riding a bike. Sure the kids would be fine but an adult?

        you can not even imagine what traditions / religious believes are around the globe ... doesn't mean we have to band over for each and everyone of them

          this. If I say I believe in magical fairies that tell me not to wear a helmet do I get a free pass too? No? But my fairies are just as likely to exist as the all the imaginary gods your religion made up.

    I think there could be some leeway.

    On paths and roads less than fifty km/hr and you are traveling at <15km/hr then a helmet isn't necessary anything faster and a helmet is required.

    I wear mine to work but when I go down to the park which is 300m away I usually skip it.

      And how is this possibly going to be enforced? Cycle path speed cameras?

        If a copper can catch you when you're on a bike, you're doing it wrong.

          Sorry, I don't make a habit of running from police.

        The exact same way that speed limits are enforced in general.

    Should you wear a helmet? Yes.
    Would I wear a helmet? Yes.
    Do I think other people should have to wear a helmet? Don't care as long as I'm exempt from liability if wearing a helmet could have avoided injuries caused by a hypothetical accident. If I'm still liable, yes they should.

      The liability question is an interesting one. Europe has great respect for more vulnerable road users, who are protected by law known as 'strict liability'. Basically the more dangerous your vehicle, the more liability you attract if you hurt someone.

      The controversial part of strict liability is that regardless of culpability, the least vulnerable party in a collision carries the liability. In this concept, pedestrians carry no liability, cyclists some, cars more, trucks most.

      The whole idea encourages safer behaviour on the roads - if a pedestrian listening to music steps out in front of me on my bike, it's my fault if I hit her. If I change lanes without signalling on my bike and get hit by a car, it's the drivers fault...

        Which in my opinion is an idiotic concept. If a pedestrian steps onto the road in front of a car, that's their damn fault (assuming they were jaywalking and not appropriately crossing the road) and they should be liable for their stupid mistake.

        Now I'm not saying that we should just assume we have the right to drive around carelessly, but seriously people need to take responsibility for their actions sometimes.

        If I go ahead and try to cross a rail crossing with the gates down and I get hit by a train, no ones going to blame the train, and they shouldn't. Same should go for pedestrians crossing when they shouldn't. I'm sorry but that's the harsh reality. No one blames trams when pedestrians walk in front of them.

    So..if my religion forbid me from putting anything on my head, am I exempt from this law? This is stupid!

      What if your religion demanded that you had to sacrifice a child every Sunday... Do we bend and change the laws then? Anyone can start a religion if they have enough followers...

    Never understood why religions get so much leeway in the first place? Their places of worship don't even pay taxes for Christ's sake! (Pun intended) The amount of brain trauma accidents has dropped since the law was brought in, that's a fact pure and simple. As 'Si' mentions they should have to pay for their own liability when they do come a cropper..!

      It's not actually clear if brain injuries have reduced since the introduction of mandatory helmet laws (MHL). Helmets work within a narrow range of force, and only in particular falls, so should not be seen as an ultimate solution to all brain injuries related from cycling falls.

      MHLs are shown to discourage the use of cycling as a viable transport method through creating a culture of fear and danger. If we legislate MHLs we are telling the public that cycling is a dangerous transport method - when in fact the likelihood of serious head injury is higher in an australian car passenger compared to a cyclist per km travelled. Although any death is one too many, the rate of death to cyclist has not changed since MHLs were introduced and varies between 26 and 57 per year in comparison to the ~1000 motorist deaths per year. We should also remember that over 90% of cyclists deaths involve the motorist being at fault. Within that group over 90% of deaths involve traffic moving at over 50kmh - well outside the effective speed range of a bicycle helmet. Perhaps we should be looking at the perpetrator not the victim?

      Whilst all of the globe, except Australia and New Zealand, don't have MHLs we are able to use Australia as unique study on the effects of MHLs. Wearing helmets whilst cycling have shown to increase risk taking in the form of risk compensation, and drivers passing helmeted cyclists more closely. The failure of bike share programs in Melbourne and Brisbane to gain traction is unprecedented across the world, with all other bike share programs being a roaring success and illustrating the practical problem of MHLs. In regards to health, recent studies put the additional life years gained through cycling compared to increased chance of injury or death at a 77:1 ratio! Research into the economics of increased use of cycling as a transport mode is also extensive.

      The inclusion of MHL in Australia has significant disadvantages to participation which I argue outweigh the potential reduction in harm to individuals that a helmet may offer.

        mvlin20, contrary to what you say it is abundantly clear that helmets have dramatically reduced the number and severity of head injuries. You go on to say that "in fact the likelihood of serious head injury is higher in an australian car passenger compared to a cyclist per km travelled". That is patently ridiculous. OK, here is some anecdotal evidence: my group of friends are mostly medical professionals and many of them (not me) are into wearing lycra. Three of them have had serious closed head injuries, despite wearing helmets and lycra. None of their collisions involved cars (just riding along and suddenly the bowl of porridge hits the ground). Two required surgery, one didn't. Luckily they all survived. None of them have had a head injury while riding in a car, despite travelling hundreds of times the distance they do on a bike. I don't personally know anyone who has had a serious head injury from any other method apart from bike riding. I conclude that riding a bike is bloody dangerous, and you'd be insane not to avail yourself of any available protection.

        I don't buy that argument. The exact same one could be made for air travel. That requires you to consider that any flight could end in a crash that you are unlikely to survive with their mandatory safety demonstrations, but the number of passengers each year goes up.

        And is your ratio saying that you have a 23% chance of a drastic reduction in life expectancy through injury, versus a 77% chance of a mild increase through improved health? That's a helluva dice roll. What's the outcome if you just walk to the bus/ train stop?

    Silly me - I thought a turban was to stop God seeing your head. And a bike helmet would do the same thing quite well.
    Turban-compatible bike helmets? OK - but what about nuns wearing wimples?

    Are you asking us if - because one group now has permission to be recklessly, stupidly dangerous and increase taxpayer costs from resulting injuries - we should all receive that permission? No - a question in reply involving the Harbour Bridge and jumping springs to mind.

    The problem all started when cyclists (of all ages and abilities) were forced to share the road with cars, trucks, buses, etc. I stopped riding my bike when this rule came in. Also the fact that I could not find a helmet that was "Turban" friendly didn't help either.

    I remember the days when I used to be able to ride my bike on the footpath as a kid. It was "safer".

    There is no doubt that helmets provide more safety against head trauma than a turban could ever do. And I for one, would not ride my bike on the road with cars, trucks & buses without a helmet.

    In my opinion, the solution is to provide "safer", decidated riding lanes throughout Metro Sydney. That way, you won't need to rely on your helmet to protect you. More people would likely take up cycling with this, rather than just relaxing the helmet rule without providing the safe riding lanes.

      There is no "because we have X we can abandon Y" You HAVE to have x AND y. You might as well say just because we have dedicated driving lanes means we don't have to wear seat belts.

      The problem all started when cyclists (of all ages and abilities) were forced to share the road with cars, trucks, buses, etc.

      Incorrect. Children under 12 years old are allowed to ride on footpaths, as are any adults supervising them.

        I think law for this varies from state to state. So you might both be correct.

    You guys need to Man up. I used to ride my bike before the helmet laws were introduced. A bike helmet isn't going to save your melon if a car runs straight over it. I only think that children should be make to wear a helmet as they are still learning to ride and balance on the bike. I stopped riding my bike when it became law to wear a helmet as I didn't like to look like a retard. Also if you are so worried about your safety then wear a motorcycle helmet instead because like I said a car will still squish your head if you are wearing anything less...eg a push bike helmet.

      Riiiight, because being a man is all about taking unnecessary risks and worrying about what you look like with a helmet on. You're the one who needs to man up princess. Of course a cycling helmet isn't going to help in the extremely unlikely event of a car actually running over your head, but it obviously helps in the far more common scenarios of coming off your bike and hitting your head on something.

        Lol if anyone is a princess it's you. Reasons being you are too scared to ride a bike without a helmet and because you don't have the skill to ride a bike because you are worried about coming off your bike and hitting your head on something. So stop being a handbag and get some training wheels.

          Do you wear a seatbelt when you drive a car? Because according to your logic that would make you a princess too, princess. Reasons being you are too scared to drive a car without a seatbelt and don't have the skill to drive a car because you are worried about crashing your car and hitting something. So stop being a handbag and walk everywhere.

            Maybe you should have a read of the following and you might learn some things you were not aware of in regards to bike helmets. http://bicycleaustralia.org/helmets.php

              So? Vehicle airbags also don't protect you from all forms of accidents, and in some situations can even cause severe injuries, but the fact is that more often than not, they reduce more harm than they cause. I would take limited protection over no protection any day.

              Imagine I was standing in front of you with a brick and I told you I was going to hit you on the head with it, and there was no way for you to avoid it. But before I do I give you the option of either wearing a bike helmet or not. I bet you would choose to wear the helmet. I rest my case.

                You can't compare a high speed car accident with airbags being used to falling off a bike. That's like comparing apples and oranges. Also I don't know about you but I can't ever recall going for a bike ride and it being anything like being hit in the head with a brick, you must be doing it wrong.

                  You're right, the consequences of coming off a bike at high speed could potentially be worse than a car accident with airbags, given that you only have a helmet for protection rather than 2 tonnes of metal around you. Sounds like another argument for wearing a helmet to me.

                  I've never been in a serious cycling accident either, but that doesn't mean that if I were to come off my bike at high speed for whatever reason and hit my head on the ground, that the impact wouldn't be similar to being hit in the head with a brick. Don't be an obtuse idiot, do you really need everything spelled out for you?

              Maybe you should have a read of the following and you might learn some things you were not aware of in regards to bike helmets:

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21819836

              You do realise your linked site argues that bike safety laws are a mass conspiracy perpetuated by a shadowy conglomeration that includes: foam manufacturers, the Labour Party, the oil industry, pharmaceutical companies, doctors(!), surgeons (!!), hospitals (!!!), the police, and "The Government transport department" (given there's several, I guess you just pick your local one?).

              I mean, if nothing else, the Labour Party? Really? They can be an effective and key part of this secret conspiracy when they can't get the most basic of media reforms up and running? Seriously!?

              Last edited 23/04/13 7:15 pm

          If you don't like looking like a retard then you may want to review what you've written here...

      Hey, Tony Abbott always wears a helmet when he rides a bike and he doesn't look like a retar...... let me think that though again.

    This is a sad day. And I definitely do not think this should spread to the rest of Australia.

    Australia is a geopolitical region. The people within it are governed by law, for their welfare and protection. It is not a culturo-religious region, governed by religion, although it of course contains different cultural and religious groups.

    Any religious activity should be conducted within the confines of the law, not law being re-defined for religion. While respect for religious beliefs is important, adherence to law is paramount. The law protects the greater democratic community, whereas religion only applies to the self selected few.

    I am a doctor working in ICU, I have seen too many road traumas. So my choice is clear. However, there is a silver-lining. Politically incorrect as it sounds, when some states in the USA got rid of helmet laws (for motorbikes), the availability of donor organs increased dramatically.

    Whether you choose to wear a helmet or not, be it short distance rides (personally I think the rate of accident is proportional the length of the ride, but then so is the discomfort of having to wear helmets - short ride = less accident = less helmet discomfort/inconvenience); be it low speed rides (you cannot stop another car from crashing into you at 60kph no matter how slow you ride), all free thinking citizens can choose to do as they please, and wear the consequences.

      It might seem logical, but think about what you're saying here. You just asked all of the religious folk to put their societal law above the laws of their assorted gods. That just doesn't make any sense. Even to a non-religious person,

      I'd also say helmet inconvenience increases with the shortening of the journey, because it takes the same amount of effort to use, regardless of the lesser risk.

        Australia is secular state. I don't think it's debatable whether societal law or religious beliefs should regulate its citizens.

        As for wearing of helmets, please do as you please, as long as you are prepared to wear the consequences.

        In fact, one's preparation to wear the consequences isn't even relevant. The state will make you wear the consequences regardless. And rightly so.

        Last edited 21/01/14 5:00 pm

    What a stupid idea to allow exemptions on the basis of religion. I thought we live in a secular society? So what will be next?

      Curious as to what you mean by 'secular society'?

    If cyclists want to take their safety into their own hands - no worries.
    I think it's should be codified that if the cyclists end up with a head / brain injury as a result of an accident with a vehicle that they acknowledged the dangers of not wearing a helmet and the driver should be not held responsible for their injuries.

    i ride with a helmet all the time. fallen off enough times both on road and off to know its a good idea, the rest of the body hurts but not the head thankfully

      How many times have you fallen on your head though? I'm curious because I never have. Maybe I'm just lucky, but my helmet has been of no use whatsoever, it's always my arms and legs that are hurt when I've crashed. I know my experience doesn't apply to everyone, but still, my experience shows my helmet to be an annoyance with no benefits.

        So will you be happy if you actually do hit your head when you fall off? If a helmet only saves you from severe head trauma once in your life, then I'd say all the years of being annoyed by having to wear one would be worth it.

          Of course I wouldn't be happy if I hit my head, but it doesn't seem likely to me. I was just wondering how common it actually is.

    I'm so tempted to wade into this, facts flying left and right, but this is really a far more complex debate than can be addressed in a paragraph or two. For anyone who's willing to learn some of the background into cycle helmets and compulsory helmet laws, then a few minutes spent reading may give you a better understanding of the claims and counter-claims. Here are a couple of sites that do a pretty good job -
    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
    http://www.nohelmetlaw.org.uk/ (no guesses as to which side this site is on)

    One thing I will say is that the helmet law is clearly not robustly enforced (many helmetless cyclists cycle past police with no consequences). Whatever the reason for this (police having other priorities is the most likely), the impression given to kids growing up is that the presence of a law saying "do/don't do X" is no guide to the consequences of their actions, so the deterrent effect of laws in general is weakened in their eyes.

    seatbelts next?

    As a Pastafarian it is against my religion to cover the spaghetti on my head with anything other than meatballs.

      As a fellow Pastafarian, stop being a douche.

    From my experience as a volunteer firefighter, I can't stress enough how important safety apparatuses truly are!

    People who neglect helmets are only fooling themselves. If you want to ride without a helmet; then go ahead but don't blame emergency services when your ignorance costs you your life.

      Are you trolling or actually claiming that bicycle helmets protect the wearer from fires?

        I think they're saying that as someone who sometimes has to see and deal with people with horrific burn injuries, they have some sympathy for the Queensland paramedics who will now have to cope with an increase in seeing and dealing horrific head injuries. Not so much trolling as empathy.

          Oh, thanks for explaining that. I didn't see how being a firefighter was relevant.

            Definitely not trolling because firefighters don't always do "just fighting fires", firefighters also deal with the occasional car crash.

            Unfortunately, some crashes involve cyclists who were unfortunate to have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, or got hit from behind by a car.

              I didn't know that either. Makes perfect sense to me now.

    I'm concerned about laws being changed to accommodate religious groups. I think a cohesive society is based on consistent treatment of everyone under the law. I also think kids would ride bike more if they didn't have to wear helmets, so they should have just relaxed the helmet law.

    Great article, have been talking with some friends about this very idea.
    Adults should be allowed to ride without a helmet, would get more people riding bikes.

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