Hopefully this will help some of you, I managed to get a $325 Cycling without helmet fines dismissed in NSW in October 2016 using a slightly less refined version of the defence below of which I handed copies to both Judge and Prosecution well in advance of my appearance and I wore a bland suit and was as polite as possible. It went very smoothly and there was little I had to say at court which is good because public speaking is not my highest strength.
It was an involved and educational process that hopefully others can draw from, I initially tried to plead my case to the officers on the side of the road, unfortunately with my dodgy see pictures hoody on they had already formed a contemptuous opinion of me and my words were ignored. LESSON 1: Always wear a clean white hoodie, I now try to look as respectable as possible. Police are less likely to treat someone looking respectable in a trivial manner. Furthermore when pulled over and a feeling a little anxious to give a brilliant persuasive speech to police officers is something I must come to assume I am not good at I shall give up on this and perhaps next time I will simply carry a copy of the below document for them to read over.
I tried in a similar manner after pleading guilty to have the matter dismissed through the appeal procedure on http://www.sdro.nsw.gov.au/fines/pn/review.php and then again in the local magistrate court however failed on these levels as my defence and presentation perspective needed refining.
Essentially my defence impresses that I had reasonable grounds under the defence of necessity citing sun and glare protection to get the fine dismissed or failing that to at least obtain some mitigation of the fine citing my current lowly financial status.
Here is the document provided
Link to PDF and word document with photos.
If despite my very best intentions if you think that I am in the wrong or misguided, perhaps a dumb, smart person and you cannot allow me a section 10 dismissal with no penalty.
Please consider how I may best be shown wisdom beyond mine, educated or rehabilitated in a lenient manner and not just an attempt made to smack me into place by some draconian fine, bearing in mind my poor financial abilities as I have not worked for some time since finishing my job and business due to medical problems.
Please accept that I am apart from this minor matter an otherwise Righteous contributing and volunteering member of society.
It was with much regret that on this occasion I could not safely wear a helmet as to do so causes my hat to fall too low not allowing me to effectively see ahead and compromising my safety, in a similar manner that would occur in an un-roadworthy vehicle where the visor falls or gets stuck in its downward placement also at possibly dangerous moments.
You might also notice I have fair easily sun damaged skin on my face and neck as well as sensitive compromised eyes so based on the best of medical advice it is of the highest importance that I wear a hat and sun protective hood.
Notice in the image how shade protected my face and eyes are in this idealic attire.
Furthermore to not wear a hat, sunglasses and sun protective hood results in a dangerous blinding glare falling upon ones eyes such an effect especially noticed when one drives towards the setting sun.
Insert image of modern visor helmet with light being completely inadeqate in sun and glare.
While you may see some people wear a helmet and hat I can demonstrate how this is not safe because the hat becomes like a permanent fixed visor that cannot be easily moved up and down to adjust to changes in sun protection and visibility requirements while cycling. If the helmet is worn loose to allow a high hat position inevitably it bounces pushing my hat down at possibly dangerous moments. A sun protective hood also cannot be safely used to reduce glare from the sides as if under the helmet it would be impossible to adjust the positioning to suit the suns aspect at the time.
Furthermore the wearing of this combination is causative to increase chance of skin diseases and heat fatigue.
While I would dearly like to just walk rather than break the law by cycling without a helmet it is unfortunate that I cannot do so as walking for more than short distances aggravates my medical conditions.
While I might consider public transport as an alternative it is too expensive for me and would also result in worsening of my medical conditions.
Furthermore my actions as a cyclist and pedestrian have never caused harm to another person or myself irrespective of the use of or non use of bicycle helmets in my 37 years of bicycle use…. in fact, Quite the contrary my health situation has actually improved by alternately cycling then walking with my bicycle in 10 minute durations so this has become my main form of transport which along with other types of rehabilitative exercise are helping to stabilize and improve my medical conditions.
And the following was added for a current SDRO appeal submission
And finally sunset on Day of offence was 19:16 please see the photo showing blinding glare taken in similar conditions at 18:55 the time of the offence on day later, if I am expecting to be riding when sun and glare are not an issue I always carry my helmet and lights to wear as the sun sets as I do utmostly try to obey the law when it is safe and reasonable to do so.
The Judge at my last court appearance was quite supportive of my predicament and questioned why a helmet exemption was not available, having taken these comments onboard I have submissions to make to my local political members so fair and reasonable ammendments to cycling laws can soon be made.
END OF DEFENCE I hope you can personalise it to suit your situation, I will be shortly adding new pictures using my newer more pleasing white hooded T shirts.
Hopefully you will find the same satisfaction I have found in my current choice of pressure held visor and hoodie to be very comfortable and helpful especially in our hot Australian Sun and it surprises me that hooded attire isn’t used more commonly as when wearing an extra size larger as I do heat escapes very well rather than get trapped inside as happens with unhooded shirts. The cords I hold together with light tension by a hair elastic so adjustments to hood opening can easily be made.
The sun visor similar to a ladies golf visor is slid over the ears and is held by light pressure, allowing the head to stay cooler than other “hats” and allow for and position adjustments to be made with the hoodie providing additional holding pressure and preventing its detachment.
Here are some links to the products I use.
For further cooling over summer I will be getting white sun sleeves with silicone grips for my arms and short sleeve hoodie T shirts like these:
If you find a better product or cheaper price for the items I have selected above please let me know so I can keep this page up to date and best help others.