Dr Richard Harvey, Coopers Shoot
In Backlash an item stated Byron Shire Council supported the opening of a cycleway from Suffolk to Byron. Whilst I feel this is a very worthwhile project, as this will obviously encourage more cyclists, I am dismayed by the absolute lack of action, apparently only in the Byron Shire, in enforcing the cycle helmet laws.
I have contacted the police, Council, and the local member of parliament and have been faced with the usual ‘it’s not our problem’, ‘we don’t have the manpower’ or it’s ‘just a waster of time’.
Even the responsible minister has been ignoring my requests for an answer to this serious problem over the past four months.
It seems like we don’t wish to offend our overseas tourists whose countries don’t have compulsory helmet laws.
The problem is that many locals are now following suit and ignoring the law. I am told fining visitors would be a waste of time as they will leave the country without paying.
However, I have pointed out that the tourists all carry credit cards and if you receive an on-the-spot fine overseas you pay then and there with your card.
We get fined for not wearing seatbelts, but not for not wearing a bicycle helmet. Both protective devices have been proven in studies to save lives.
Do we wait for a cyclist’s death in this area before we act? On the spot fines, immediately deducting the amount from their credit card, would soon correct the problem.