Friday, May 11, 2012

Australia's Helmet Law

From ABC News Experts Butt Head

Recently the issue of mandatory helmet laws have again been at the forefront.Including talk back on ABC Radio today with the Fremantle Council proposing a trial no helmet rule.

On the Australia's  Institute of Public Affairs website  , Luke Turner wrote an opinion piece on the disastrous impact of such laws.

Freedom of choice is the way to go in our obesity exercise staved population as helmets just drive down bicycle use in our cities. I can sympathise and agree with the sentiment but I for one will always use a helmet. It has saved my life more than once and in our car crazed society , cyclist are very vulnerable. This make comparisons of before and after mandatory laws difficult .
I don't agree with all the arguments and I for one prefer to sway towards safety and helmets . I don't take more risk with a helmet on either , one of the arguments bandied about.

There are many objections to MHLs: they don't improve injury rates, discourage regular recreational exercise in an era of high obesity, and are an unnecessary and unjust intrusion into individual freedom.

The first criticism of bike helmet laws is simple-they don't do what they're intended to do
              Australia's helmet law disaster  Luke Turner

              WA Should ditch helmet laws

Ultimately like all things in a democratic society , rules are there for a reason.It is the fine balance between protecting us from ourselves and others and minimising the impact on society and still allowing citizens to go about their business. On a wider but just as relevant consideration. Free market economies have rules because , some citizens  will aways gravitate to the lowest denominator of what is  possible yet wrong. The GFC is a case in point and if free market economics was so correct , what society would allow its bankers to package toxic mortgage products disguised as legitimate investment products . Well a few bad apples got away with it at a huge price for the rest of the world. The world governments were asleep .There is no free meal but Governments have to balance the safety and well being of society against this lowest common denominator of moral  or immoral rules because legal and illegal is sometime not so clear in this murky complex world we live in. ,where we play catch up with laws as new problems erupt.

So I will wear a helmet because I know it works for me. And if the rest of the world wants to be couch surfers so be it .