Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Bicycle Helmets. Good or bad?

I'm going to go completely off the topic today and talk about bicycle helmets. You might be wondering what do bicycle helmets have to do with introverts and extroverts? Well, the answer to that is nothing. It is just something that I want to comment on.

In 1994, New Zealand became only the second country in the world to make wearing helmets compulsory while you were riding a bicycle. I hear that Australia is the other one.

I remember when this law came in. It actually wasn't such a big deal for me at the time because my high school that I attended had made wearing helmets compulsory while riding in school uniform from home to school and back again. That was in 1988 so I had had 6 years "practice."

Now I see that some people in New Zealand are trying to get the compulsory helmet law repealed.

Here is my five cents:

How stupid can you get?

I mean let me see what you are saying.

Lets make the wearing of something that PROTECTS your brain not compulsory anymore just so people can feel FREE.

WTF does that mean?

Is this a vanity issue? If it is, you know which lake you can go and jump in. The nearest one.

The whole reason that we have the compulsory bicycle helmet law is because Palmerston North resident Rebecca Oaten campaigned night and day for years to get the law enacted.

Ms. Oaten's son, Aaron, unfortunately had a bicycle accident when he was 12 and lost the ability to speak and to help himself.

I remember meeting Aaron when I was 8 or 9. (We are the same age. Although unfortunately Aaron passed away in 2010) He was very chatty and we went up in a small airplane with a mutual friend. Everyone felt sick, except Aaron who couldn't stop talking the entire 20 minute trip. It was very sad to hear a few years later what had happened to him.

I've always wondered what would have happened to him if he was wearing a helmet. I'm sure Ms. Oaten has wondered that thousands of times over the years.

My point is don't let the Oaten's experience go to waste. By keeping the compulsory helmet law and if it saves one life then that is enough for me.

I live in Japan and I don't ride a bicycle. When I go home to New Zealand however, I like to ride a bicycle and the helmet is the first thing I look for. It doesn't feel right when I don't have it on and it is a small price to pay for the protection that it gives me.

Keep the compulsory helmet law I say.

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