(Photos: 'I need Spain' displayed in The Sydney Magazine last week)
Spain, among many other nation states, has tapped into a 'tourism & marketing golden goose' but here in Australia we cannot!
Bicycle share schemes languish in an under-utilised capacity in two Australian cities simply because of our nation's 'clunky' helmet laws and our political infatuation with Big Oil.
Back in the day pre-bicycle helmet law, Australian governments received inadequate advice about the proposed compulsion to wear helmets. Fast forward 2 decades & unsurprisingly we cannot fail to observe that the public health as well as the economic benefits have been considerably less than touted. In fact as more interested parties delve into this matter it is coming to light that advice to governments in those early days was not based on independent science and therefore was never in a position to provide our governments with the opportunity to make well-informed decisions.
Now we have the situation where our governments' clinginess to yesteryear's limited analysis and rebuttals has led to an impasse where consideration of new options for Australian bicycle-users (or would-be bicycle-users) looks like it will continue to be severely restricted.
Conflicts of interests, non-disclosure, 'less-than-arm's-length' connections between research & business, have recently left many interested parties wondering whether the potent power of associated companies with benefits pertaining to the continuation of Mandatory Helmet Laws are always going to ensure that this pesky piece of regulation remains on the books.
There'll be no 'magic carpet' ride for us in terms of tourism / urban transport / congestion / the planet even, until Australia let's go of Nanny's apron strings and says a big loud 'NO' to our restrictive laws that are determined to dictate how we behave when we pop to the shops for milk
- next we'll be told how to knit!