Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Dump Harmful Helmet Law Say Cyclists

Cycling Health Press Release, 12th November 2003.

Dump harmful helmet law say cyclists.
Cycling Health supporter challenges LTSA Director in court.

Cycling Health member Patrick Morgan has appealed the Director of Land Transport's decision to decline his application for an exemption from the mandatory bicycle helmet requirement. The case will be heard in the Wellington District Court on Thursday November 13. Several Cycling Health members plan to attend and will ride to court in a display of support for Mr. Morgan's appeal.

Mr. Morgan said "Well-meaning people believe the helmet law keeps cyclists safe. However, the evidence in New Zealand and overseas shows it discourages cycling and harms the overall health of the population."

The Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) has the power to issue exemptions on a case by case basis for religious or medical reasons or on other reasonable grounds. Mr. Morgan's initial application was made on reasonable grounds including the lack of protection offered by bicycle helmets and the possibility of increased risk of spinal and brain injury caused by increased rotational forces. He also claimed that the regulation is discriminatory.

Car drivers and pedestrians are not required to wear helmets despite research suggesting they should provide similar or greater protection than for cyclists, as the LTSA have already acknowledged.

The LTSA is currently reviewing the Road User Rules which include the bicycle helmet regulation. Cycling Health spokesperson Oliver Thompson said "The law has failed to do what it was meant to do; that is, make cycling safer."

"The law should be repealed. Cycling is a safe and healthy activity which doesn't need special safety equipment. In the Netherlands, nearly everyone cycles; people see no need for special safety equipment. All the New Zealand bicycle helmet law has achieved is to make a fun, healthy and convenient transport mode less comfortable and seemingly more dangerous."

The LTSA is fond of pointing out that the number of cyclist head injuries has decreased by around 20% but they fail to mention that the the trend before the law was for reducing injuries and that has continued without any measurable impact of the law.

Mr Morgan believes he has reasonable grounds for an exemption in light of all evidence suggesting a helmet can endanger his personal safety and well-being. The law is discouraging him from a safe, healthy, non-polluting activity.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election