Qld to introduce bike helmet exemptions for religious

Braden Cooper, 12, shows off the large chunk taken out of his helmet after he had a bike accident last year.
Braden Cooper, 12, shows off the large chunk taken out of his helmet after he had a bike accident last year. Adam Hourigan

THE State Government will introduce bicycle helmet exemptions for cyclists on the basis of religious beliefs.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson reviewed the law following a recent court decision to overturn the fine for a cyclist who was unable to wear a helmet because of his religious headwear.

"By amending the Queensland Road Rules we will join Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia which also have these exemptions," Mr Emerson said.

"After applying a common sense approach we will introduce exemptions for those who want to cycle but for religious reasons, may not be able to wear a helmet.

"By the end of this year the exemptions will be in place so that anyone wearing religious headdresses can ride a bike in Queensland without a helmet on.

"Similar to Western Australia, there will be no requirement to actually apply for these exemptions which will make for a more streamlined process reducing the need for unnecessary red tape."

Mr Emerson said the exemptions would apply only to those practising religions which required them to wear a headdress and would not allow them to wear a helmet.

Studies conducted in Queensland show that those wearing a helmet have a 69% reduction in the likelihood of brain injury when involved in a bike crash.

"Wearing a helmet remains compulsory for any other cyclists who don't have an exemption, with the penalty for failing to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle being a $110 on-the-spot fine," he said.

"The safety of everyone on our roads is paramount, so I ask cyclists and motorists alike to use common sense and follow road rules while using our roads."

Helmet exemptions apply to bicycles only and anyone riding a motorcycle or scooter/moped must still wear a helmet.

Topics:  bike helmets queensland religion scott emerson

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