How to escape bicycle helmet fines in Australia

Nerendra Jeet Singh, a Sikh, went to court in New South Wales (NSW), Australia over a bicycle helmet fine. He escaped the fine, arguing that his identity and religion are of prime importance.

In Queensland, Jasdeep Atwal challenged a helmet fine in court. The Sikh community has led Queensland to reform the helmet law to add a religious exemption.

Sikhs have helmet exemptions in South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

In Victoria, Alan Todd challenged a helmet fine in court, avoiding the fine.

People who challenge a helmet fine in court often escape it. In NSW, the defence of necessity allows people to break a law to avoid more dire consequences. Bicycle helmets increase the risk of accident and injury. To avoid a higher risk of accident, cyclists can choose not to wear a helmet.

This might explain why the police rarely book cyclists for helmets in NSW. It is pointless harassment: most people give up cycling, those who prefer to keep riding can challenge the fine in court.

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2 thoughts on “How to escape bicycle helmet fines in Australia”

  1. I believe the law was one of those tabled at the 11th hour when it won’t have any opposition and like any ‘law’ that provides revenue and control we have Buckley’s of ever having it removed!
    I just read a news article in the Herald from 2010 which states that a great number of lives have been saved since the helmet laws enactment and I’ve also found that most people I’ve spoken to who would argue for the law don’t even ride. With governments obviously controlling spin and the sheep like mentality of our population we who would fight for civil liberty are really in a difficult position.

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