Fines, fines, everywhere fines

Fines will soon be increased for bicyclists not wearing a helmet from $71 to $319. This is really sad. Australia is so very boring.

In the Netherlands, it is not mandatory to use a helmet and yet they have the highest concentration of cyclists in the world. If I had to guess, the fact that Dutch politicians ride bicycles daily to the shops and work means they actually understand the issue.

Here in Australia, they think bicycles are toys. They expect cyclist to get out of the way of cars, councils often direct you on the footpath and even the riders themselves don’t seem to have any sense of road rules.

Riding bikes you’ll hear people yelling at you from passing cars… unbelievable. The pure ignorance around bicycles in Australia is shocking.

If you ride a bike, now you must carry photo ID or face another fine. So much for jumping on the bike and going to the beach with nothing but your swimmers. You’ll have to bring your valuables and leave them on the sand. Oh wait, that’s probably another fine-able offence.

Every month the government ladles over us more and more laws. Common sense and personal risk are not acceptable.

You are guilty if you drive with your arm out the window, you park a car with the window partly open, you walk a dog anywhere off a leash, and you’re seriously screwed if you smoked some marijuana days before getting stopped at a random roadside check point… despite having zero impairment.

So many laws; everyone is guilty of something. Basically, we are all going to be fined if the men in blue happen look our way. We hope our status; newish car, nice clothes, age and so forth will leave us unchallenged… we hope. Like wildebeest in the herd hoping the lions don’t look at us.

I’m a good guy who is being called a criminal and I don’t like it. Where does this end?

Mark Oliver, Byron Bay

5 responses to “Fines, fines, everywhere fines”

  1. Joe Monks says:

    Australia is a generally a peaceful and safe place to live in because we have the rule of law, separation of church and state, an independent judiciary and women have the same rights as men etc etc.

    Try living in a country without them and you might just decide your rave is about nothing important.


  2. Neil says:

    Mark, you need to visit and talk to the medical staff at some of our hospitals who have to treat the brain damaged cyclists who are admitted to emergency departments due to falling off their bicycle and not wearing a helmet to protect their brain. Even these helmets don’t completely protect as I’ve seen them split with a heavy knock as someone comes off their bike.

    Your irresponsible and selfish attitude, shared with others who feel that they can do what they like without considering the consequences, just adds to the burden of health care in Australia. Grow up Mark.

  3. Paul says:

    I am totally on your side Mark. These freedoms get removed one at a time all with an explanation that is about making us all safe. Before long kids will have to wear a helmet to climb a tree and we will have to wear a lifejacket when we swim- both will save lives but will diminish the experience.
    Freedom, personal choice and risk taking are part of the human experience and should be cherished

    • Les says:

      Quote/”Freedom, personal choice and risk taking are part of the human experience and should be cherished”

      Bike riders are already given much more freedom on our roads than the rest of the road uses.

      Other road users have to have driving lessons, a driving licence test, a registered and roadworthy vehicle with plainly visible number plates.

      Bike riders have to wear a helmet and carry ID. They don’t have to have riding lessons or a riding test or a licence to use our roads. Nor do they have to pay a yearly registration or a roadworthy on their bikes. Or have plainly visible number plates.

      Seems to me bike riders have much more freedom and personal choice on the roads than the rest of the road users already.

      As for risk taking, I would really prefer if you didn’t do that on our roads.

  4. kol says:

    Dear oh dear.. the nannies have come out on this one… people who wish to wear helmets to ride a bike, close their windows and lock their car at every possible opportunity and want to voluntarily offer their saliva for testing just in case u may have passively inhaled a marijuana joint the last time you went to the pub, are all welcome to do so…the point of Marks letter and the majority of law abiding conscious citizens living in the shire that i have met and talked to are sick and tired of being told what to do when to do it and by whom… Freedoms’ just like democracies ( even though the democracy we have is a farce) have been fought for by many, for many years..not just the right to vote or the right to a fair trial, but more significantly the right to live a safe but hassle free lifestyle, away from police harassment and over regulated day to day activities. Once upon a time a public servants job in the police force was to serve and protect. To chase down criminals and show empathy and compassion towards teenagers and the young, who are learning life’s tricky path…nowadays it is all about producing criminals, topping up the States coffers financially and producing enough crime as to protect maintain and continue the privatized world of law courts lawyers barristers jails and those who rely on the boys in blue to prop up their crony self interest…. this topic riles me because it is not about the freedoms we have any longer that is the issue as much as it is about those freedoms which we are losing at an enormously fast rate. Risk is part of life, as is having fun, taking drugs, and believing somewhere in amongst all this that the State and its elected powers are there to produce safety nets for our own passage as they are required, and not to be legislated into knee jerk reaction Acts willy nilly by a few self interested lobby groups …. this fair and just belief in our ability to self govern sadly is no more… Shame Australia.

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