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


Kiwis To Join protest for Helmet Law Reform


Kiwis To Join an Australasian-wide day of protest for Helmet Law Reform

On March 17, New Zealand joins Australia in a day of protest against blanket helmet laws, with a helmet-optional ride in Wellington.

Organised by new advocacy group, Choice Biking, the ride will highlight cycling as a healthy and sustainable form of transport, hindered by blanket helmet legislation.

“Australia, New Zealand – and the UAE are the only countries continuing to penalize a healthy and safe transport, to the detriment of cycling rates and overall cycling safety”, says ride organiser Jeremy Teague.

Choice Biking in NZ, along with Freestyle Cyclists (Australia) are urging their respective governments to join the rest of the civilised cycling world, as Mexico, Israel and Bosnia have done in reforming their helmet laws to allow adults to make case by case decisions on safety.

Much has changed since the law was introduced in 1994: Kiwis now see the ongoing rollout of high quality, European-style separated cycleways, as enjoyed by the overwhelmingly un-helmeted majority of riders worldwide; a slower situp style of cycling is increasingly the default here, but more than anything, mandating helmets has been rejected on an almost universal basis, worldwide.

Here, one in ten Kiwis already ignore the law which is arbitrarily enforced – some conscientious objectors have never been fined - others have paid thousands.
Choice Biking says it’s time to stop penalising the victims of a car-centric society, scaring away would-be riders, and encourage people on bikes to make informed judgements according to cycling style and conditions.

That helmet-induced risk-factoring encourages risky behaviour on the part of both people on bikes and the drivers around them, is reason enough to reform current laws, says ride organizer Jeremy Teague, but also the severe declines in cycling numbers accompanying the laws’ introductions in both Australia and New Zealand, outweighs any arguable benefits in the event of a collision, he adds.

Ultimately numbers of people cycling is the only guarantor of cycling safety, insists Choice Biking, adding that even with New Zealand’s low cycling mode share cycling is a highly life-extending activity, with or without a helmet.
The Wellington ride will tour the cycle paths and waterfront shared paths - conditions similar to the world's safest and helmet free cities, starting from Civic Square and looping past parliament.

The helmet law has been a hot topic in the media, as increasing consideration is given to the bigger picture of cycling safety.

Rides across australia have grown over the years, but March 17 marks a milestone with a pan-Australasian day of protest, against a clearly failed law which is running on borrowed time, Bike Choice declares.

“This is an act of conscientious objection, rather than indulgence”, says Jeremy Teague, “Choice biking is committed to creating a positive cycling environment which will encourage more people to cycle for everyday transport”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Global Factors Facing TV3

Oaktree Capital gave MediaWorks a gallows reprieve in 2013 by pushing out its former Australian owner Ironbridge and facilitating a receivership-driven restructure that enabled MediaWorks to shed a burden of tax liabilities and international programme purchasing contracts. Oaktree eventually assumed 100% ownership of Mediaworks in 2015.

But here’s the rub. In May of this year, Oaktree itself was bought into by the giant Canadian firm Brookfields Asset Management... In the light of the Brookfields stake and the uncertain state of the global economy, Oaktree has come under pressure to shed and/or streamline the underperforming assets in its portfolio. More>>


'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>


Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>


Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>





InfoPages News Channels