Civil disobedience in Melbourne for the greater good

20 07 2010

Update : It made the local ABC. Cyclists fined during anti-helmet protest. Heroes the lot of them.

Serial film (or is that trouble 🙂 ) maker Mike Rubbo has organised a small protest in Melbourne for this Saturday. His stated aim is to try to help the new Melbourne bike share scheme succeed. His argument is that Australia’s silly compulsory helmet laws are going to get in the way of the scheme’s success. Mexico City repealed their helmet laws and Tel Aviv is about to do the same, so so should Melbourne. He and a few fellow riders are going to be brave and ride those hire bikes without wearing helmets, and by doing so, stand up to the draconian laws and the Victorian Police thereby risking non-trivial fines. (A$165 or so I think)

If you’re in Melbourne this Saturday the 24th of July, even if you’re in V-line distance, get along to Carlton and join in.

I really want the Melbourne and Brisbane bikeshare schemes to succeed, and to grow and expand, to return a bit of civility to those car-choked cities. And I want them to drop the mandatory bike helmet laws in Australia and in New Zealand. I’m not one for believing bikeshare schemes need to be funded by advertising, and I’m a bit suspicious of the RACV’s involvement in the Melbourne one. I think a good scheme with good sturdy bikes can be self funded by the cyclists themselves. Especially when dumb laws aren’t put in the way of their success.

Wellington badly needs a bikeshare scheme as well. The train still stops short of wherever you need to go in Wellington.

To Mike and all his friends – I hope the weather is good and I hope you get more media than police attention.




5 responses

20 07 2010
Unity Finesmith

I’ll be there to join in! I think our big hope for getting rid of the helmet law in NZ is if Australia does it first – then surely NZ will see sense!


20 07 2010
Patrick Morgan


21 07 2010
Brian Drury

I ride the cycleways in Napier heaps without a helmet and I use the helmet on the road and its some much easier riding without one. I find they really hold your heat in and make cycling much harder and as I have a heart condition I consider them to be nothing more than a health hazard. The same thing goes for dayglo Jackets and it wont be long before we are required to wear those.

24 07 2010
Blue Rajah

I still do not understand why people would advocate the non-use of helmets…. wake up folks – the proof of the benefit of helmets remains in the emergency rooms of every hospital in the country.

Mike – Wake up and smell the flowers… please read

24 07 2010

Mr Blue Rajah,

Cycling is no more dangerous than being a pedestrian or being a motorist, yet pedestrians and motorists are not compelled to wear helmets.

It is singling out cyclists to be molly-coddled on the basis of dubious data, and proof by anecdote at best. And who made the laws? Motorists masquerading as politicians and so -called “experts.”

Real cyclist safety is provided by well designed infrastructure. Real cyclist safety is provided by there being more cyclists. Real cyclist safety is provided by slowing down cars.

If that makes you a fair-dinkum beserker then maybe you need a helmet at all times, on your bike and off your bike, in case you start head-butting walls.

Til then enjoy your cycling any way you choose.

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