Helmet law decisions made in haste

Wednesday September 13, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

The motorcycle helmet saga is not going to go away because it was not put together properly in the first place. 

 

It was rushed through parliament in a hurry to show some care and concern for the people by the select few who hadn't bothered to sit in parliament for most of the year, and decisions were made hastily without the reasonable amount of thought and foresight on the consequences of them long term.

In part protecting our vulnerable is why they chose the 16- 25-year-old bracket because that is the age group, predominately male, that is at risk the world over on bikes and cars. 

If the lawmakers had carefully read the papers and statistics, they would have found most of the accidents and fatalities occurred at night or early hours of the morning on the weekend. Further reading would also have shown alcohol and speed were contributing factors. If we want to save our youth from death on the roads it should be these two factors that should have had laws made to prevent their deaths. 

First and foremost, there should be an increase on the legal drinking age and firm and strong penalties for those who break the rule by consuming or selling to underage.  Secondly, constant and consistent vigilance on speeding at night, particularly during the weekends. 

Too many times have we been plagued during the day with police stop checks on the way to work and school when this is not when the problems occur. Too many students are sidelined by police outside their schools due to no helmet during the daylight, when it is outside the bars and clubs at night that the police should be targeting. 

Sending our school children to court for fines for not wearing helmets helps no-one. The police and lawmakers are kidding themselves if they think charging our school kids is going to reduce the level of drunk drivers killing themselves on their bikes at night. 

Frankly, they have put in the wrong law purely for the sake of doing something, and now what do we do with essentially good kids, who are going to school (which is a good star)t, calmly going to school, and so they don't have a helmet. Well, hey I don’t believe anyone has died on our roads on the way to school, so go figure.

Are the police seriously going to make them criminals by convicting them for not paying a fine for something that should never have been forced on them in the first place?

We have a disturbing drinking culture that not only affects our drink-driving statistics but also our domestic abuse issues. Why does no-one want to address the simple fact we can't handle our drink and that it needs to be stopped? 

Bars and clubs advertise drinks all day and night for $3.50 - $4.00. Many of them have a car park, but no customer service shuttle at the end of the night, so they effectively put drunks on our roads after dark. By then, the police have called it a day and are at home or in the bars themselves drinking.

Take the focus off the helmets and on to the real problem: Alcohol.

Tea Totaller

(Name and address supplied)

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