Letter to politicians for bicycle helmet exemption.

There is a situation that I would like your consideration of and hopefully you can advise of your forward action of a remedy to this situation that I have had from some of your political opponents.

 

I am a respectable member of society who contributes, volunteers and does their best for everyone they know.

 

I have conditions with my feet and back making it unsuitable for me to walk long distances or sitting or standing for more than short amounts of time.

It is medically advised by my doctor, Physiotherapist and exercise physiologist that I be as active as possible but to stop activities before inflammation sets in, so in that aim I spend as much of my day as possible walking, cycling, swimming and with a weights program so that my medical issues may be stabilised and reversed of which I have made some achievement and of which I would like your help to continue.

 

To do this I walk as much as I can which is around 10 minutes at a time and use a bicycle which I walk along side to carry my books, shopping and other items.

As I can only walk for 10 minutes I then either need to stop, however unfortunately sitting or standing are also problematic to my conditions and it is not practical to lie down and take such breaks in many places on my rehabilitative trips.

So then I find it helpful to ride my bike for a while which provides some support for my back and allows the fatigued muscles to re-couperate  as different muscle groups are used and for my feet to be relieved before pain and inflammation from walking set it, sadly I can only comfortably bicycle for a while but usually long enough to allow me to once again walk for 5-10 minutes so I repeat this many times per day.

 

As you can imagine as I embarked on this path to wellness and with the beginning of summer the problems of increasing time outside in the sun quickly became apparent.

Wearing sunscreen alone doesn’t solely mitigate risk as the Slip Slop and Slap Public Health Safety message advises.

Unfortunately Sunscreen with a bicycle helmet is not 100% UV blocking nor does it prevent blinding glare and overheating which are of special concern for me with compromised Kidneys and hoping to avoid Kidney Failure for as long as possible.

While a hat is commonly recommended, while riding about it can flop around dangerously as to do the neck flaps I have attached to my helmets  and compound of temperature issues under a helmet.

Hats and helmets with neck flaps also don’t really do a great job of protecting the face, ears or neck from the sun and do not prevent blinding glare when the sun is low in the sky in the manner that a cars visors can able to moved quickly and adjusted into place very usefully and a car would be considered unsafe should they not be detached or faulty.

 

While I’d like to tell you I found or developed a desirable cycling helmet that could prevent blinding sun glare, skin UV exposure and heat related medical issues, I could find or think of no such design.

I did however find another solution by trying all combination of options with the different bicycle helmets I own.

A light cotton hood and a visor.

 

Unfortunately with a helmet the hood would not stay in place well over the helmet and underneath it could not be moved far enough forward to prevent sun damage and blinding glare and with the heat trapped wearing such a combination I had to soon discontinue.

As for the visor with a helmet it became difficult to move and obstructive and could prevent me seeing potential dangers.

 

While I considered other rehabilitation exercises and transport options and asked others I asked could find no other suitable options within or in even outside my limited financial means that worked so well for me than walking, cycling and swimming.

 

So unfortunately I could only safely wear a cycling helmet at night which even then still does occasionally cause me to overheat especially with summer coming on, but with fear of legal trouble I do wear it although unfortunately cannot exercise to the same quality while wearing it.

 

Please bare in mind my actions as a cyclist and pedestrian have never caused any harm to another person or myself irrespective of the use or non use of a bicycle helmet in my 37 years of bicycle use… and remember In fact quite the contrary my health situation is improving considerably.

 

Also at my recent court appearance where the Helmet fine was dismissed with no penalties the presiding Judge was most empathetic and surprised that no such exemption was available for people like myself.

 

I hope by illustrating my situation to you that you or your party may help to create an exemption or change to helmet laws for myself and people like me.

 

It is quite depressing for me as someone who in near any other country would be considered a respectable, noble citizen to be anxiously worried for the next police car to treat me like I’m some sort of criminal outcast, so it is very important for me that you help me especially given the following difficult experiences I have had with relation to this helmet law as follows:

 

In few months since helmet fines dramatically increased I have been pulled up by police and told to walk or wear a helmet on 4 occasions, being also humiliatingly Searched for illicit items and detained with police resources wasted on me for near 30 minutes on one occasion making me late and quite upset and unsettled for an employment interview I was trying to get to.

Having received 2 $325 fines, 1 caution and having a limited financial capacity and looking to seek fair judgement in this matter I have also spent many hours where I would rather have been working towards my goals of setting up a new business helping others instead of having to obtain legal defence for my court appearances on these matters as with current legislation I fear many time wasting and stressful dealings with the courts in the future.

 

I have also been subject to harassment by other citizens more concerned with self gratification through authoritative actions against others than my personal wellbeing often  dangerously yelling from cars sometimes in a scaring sudden or shocking manner that I should wear a helmet, and the diss-approving attitudes of people who somehow think I’m some bad, rebellious outcast and thinking they know what’s best for me despite having no idea of my health situation and not having been on a bicycle for years and often spending most their lives inside in air-conditioned comfort.

 

Once again I look forward to you assistance in this manner

 

Yours Sincerely