Think what you want - helmet laws are there for a reason
CYCLIST Sue Abbott doesn't like wearing helmets.
Ms Abbott backed up her claims with science, proclaiming, "There's very little evidence to prove conclusively that wearing a helmet actually saves you from anything.”
Now, I'm not a doctor either, but going off the scientific studies I could find (yes, scientific studies conducted by real life doctors!), helmets can reduce the risk of heat injuries by between 60 and 80 percent.
First of all, the amount of evidence that exists is redundant.
The fact that it's there at all...kind of disproves your theory.
Sue, you yourself have just made it clear that there is at least some evidence of bicycle helmets aiding rider safety.
That aside, Sue, I can guarantee none of them have ever claimed that helmets could save you from "anything”.
If a man comes at you with a gun and demands to be given your bicycle, a smug tap of your helmet is hardly going to scare him away.
That said, at least you wouldn't leave that little swap meet empty-handed, both with the helmet itself, and the knowledge that the offender could be pulled up by the cops for not wearing a helmet.
But seriously, how is this situation OK?
With any other repeated and conscious refusal of a law, harsher sanctions eventually rear their head.
Yet this woman has been able to cop the same punishment each and every time, and has no desire to change her ways.
Are punishments not there to actually deter the crime?
Sue Abbott can think what she likes about our helmet laws.
That doesn't mean she can rewrite them.
Imagine being the truck driver who pushed the keen cyclist off her bike only for her to perish at the expense of severe head injuries.
Chances are that truck driver will care "very little” for the "very little evidence” of bicycle helmets increasing rider safety.
Instead, I think the following thought would have crossed said truck driver's mind: "Why the flip wasn't she wearing a helmet!?”
There are plenty of laws I would like to change.
I think the speed limit either side of Gympie should definitely be put back up to 100.
I think two people of the same sex should definitely be allowed to get married.
And I think the fact we aren't actually allowed to verbally abuse New South Wales supporters in Origin season is a vicious blight on the very notion of democracy.
But I can't just harass someone who supports a different team to me and "happily pay the fine”.
I can't just marry another man and "happily pay the fine”.
And, I mean, well I suppose I could go 100 through that 90-zone...but why in Heaven's name would I want to?
See, what Ms Abbott clearly doesn't realise is that "happily paying a fine” is an oxymoron far too perfect to be true.
You can't seriously tell me that even as you stick it to the system and remind it that you won't be dictated to by its nanny state laws that there isn't at least a hint of "Gee, I sure could have used that 800-odd dollars”.
In other words, paying fines is about as happy as other monetary inconveniences such as rent, bills and unused Netflix subscriptions you didn't even know had still existed for the last 18 months.
Paying a fine should be a hassle.
Yes, because of the money, but also because you should be telling yourself not to make the same mistake again.
Because we all mistakes; we've just got to find a way back on the bike when we do.
...Preferably with a helmet.