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Registration for cyclists – how about a smart-helmet?

By Alexandra Craig 18 November 2014 94

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We all hear calls from time to time for cyclists to pay vehicle registration, have a numberplate, and generally be held accountable for their behaviour on the road. A Sydney designer reckons he’s found the solution. Toby King has presented his idea of a ‘smart-hat’ or ‘smart-helmet’ to Mosman Council. Duncan Gay, Minister for Roads in New South Wales has asked his Department for a list of recommendations. The smart-helmet has a registration number on the back, a mini numberplate if you like, that can be recognised by CCTV and speed/red light traffic cameras.

Before I go any further, I’m not against all cyclists. Just like I’m not against all car drivers or motorbike riders. I’m against idiots who disobey the road rules, put other people in danger and generally act like they own the road. I think that all road users should be held accountable for the way they behave, so I think this smart-helmet is a pretty good idea just like the registration plates for cars and motorbikes are a good idea.

However, I know this would be a very, very difficult, near impossible, policy to implement. The first thing I considered was whether every single bike owner has to have one of these helmets or just people who ride regularly on the road. And if it’s those who ride regularly on the road, how do you determine that? No one is going to put their hand up and say ‘yeah, I do – make me wear a dorky-looking helmet and pay money I would rather spend on something else.’ Plenty of people have a bike for leisure purposes but occasionally have to ride on the road to get where they’re going – do these people have to register their bikes? If they don’t, does that mean they literally can never ever ride on the road? If they ride on the road and get pulled up by police for not having one of these helmets, how do they prove they don’t regularly cycle on the road? Do only owners of road bikes have to register them? Plenty of people ride other types of bike on the road, how do you prove that they’re regular riders on the road? The possibilities go on forever.

Many will argue that implementing registration plates on bicycles or bicycle helmets will discourage people from riding and force them back into cars. Well… if cyclists don’t want to be held accountable for the way they ride, maybe they should be discouraged from riding. If you obey the road rules, what have you got to hide? If bicycle registration forces someone back into a car where they will be held accountable for their actions, then that’s a good thing. I understand that people don’t want to have to pay to do something they’ve previously done for free, however paying for car registration, insurance, petrol and all the other costs of running a car would be significantly higher than the costs of registering a bicycle.

I don’t believe any major political party would ever support this or take it to an election, definitely not in the ACT anyway (however, if I’m wrong, Katy Gallagher or Jeremy Hanson should please feel free to correct me!), so some might argue that this discussion is just a waste of time. If that’s the case, perhaps more should be done to crack down on people disobeying the road rules. Most mornings on my way to work I see at least one cyclist running a red light, just because they can. Greater police presence on our roads would be extremely helpful but understandably that’s not always possible.

I heard a story recently of a cyclist that t-boned a car and in this instance it was 100 per cent the fault of the cyclist. It caused damage to the car but the cyclist just rode off and the motorist couldn’t get their details – in this situation, a numberplate to memorise would have been handy. Again, I reiterate my point of not all cyclists do the wrong thing. It’s absolutely the minority that ruin it for everyone else, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. I don’t think many people would disagree with that… except cyclists.

Aside from identifying cyclists by their registration plate, the smart-hat also has a range of fancy features such as brake lights and indicators. For more information on these features you can check out the website


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Registration for cyclists – how about a smart-helmet?
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Postalgeek 12:28 am 11 Dec 14

Felix the Cat said :

http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/news/57395/smart-hat-designer-bemused-by-critical-response

Entertaining.

Heart’s in the right place but I’d like to see him wear it for a couple of hours in summer and see the dawning realisation upon his face as to why everyone else’s designs have gone in the opposite direction, to reduce weight and promote air flow around the head/brain. Only someone who has never cycled regularly for prolonged periods in Australian conditions would defend this particular design…

King rarely cycles himself in Sydney. He says it’s too dangerous, and that he “honestly prefers vehicles”, but said the device could be a way to encourage people like himself to feel safer on the road.

Well that’s a surprise.

Maya123 9:20 pm 10 Dec 14

Felix the Cat said :

http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/news/57395/smart-hat-designer-bemused-by-critical-response

Quote from the article: “I know people are willing to spend 10-15K on a bicycle.”

Who are these people? A minuscule few. Most people would laugh at that suggestion. Until the helmet designer can come up with better arguments than that fantasy, a lighter helmet, and one that can compete on price with those available now, he’s living in dream land.

Felix the Cat 6:40 pm 10 Dec 14

Here’s some more debate on the subject – https://rideonmagazine.com.au/licence-to-ride/

Mallion 12:18 pm 25 Nov 14

dungfungus said :

Why do Canberra cyclists have persecution complexes?
Keeping dinging your bell, please.

Dinging your bell to pedestrians already doing the correct thing and sharing the path by sticking left can be a risky thing. Easily %50 of the time they will move from the left side over to the right and into your path. Also some (few) take it as an affront rather than a courtesy and will curse you for dinging your bell.

dungfungus 11:27 am 25 Nov 14

There is a great commercial opportunity for the government here (but they wouldn’t know what that is even if they tripped over it).
If rego plates were issued to cyclists the plate/s could be personalised and limited series could be produced (eg Tour de France).
I am sure the uber cyclists in Canberra who shell out thousands of dollars for two wheels would pay big bucks for a personalised rego plate like “Lord of Lycra” or ‘Guru of Gears”.

Tenpoints 4:18 pm 24 Nov 14

Put simply, the capacity you have to cause injury and property damage while driving a car is *MUCH* greater than while riding a bike.

Once you get over the emotional reaction of encountering doucehbags in your life, you can reason that these incidents affecting you are few and far between move on to happier times rather than dwelling on negative experiences.
Common courtesy and self-awareness goes a long way to mitigate or even avoid entirely such depressed thinking.

Society should not be dictated by knee-jerk reactions to isolated incidents of stupidity, yet sadly…

dungfungus 9:14 am 21 Nov 14

Ezy said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

OpenYourMind said :

Mallion said :

dungfungus said :

My point is that while you may call it a “shared path” it isn’t. The few times I have attempted to walk across that bridge cyclists have appeared from both ends simultaneously at speed and there is no where for a pedestrian to go. At the best, one of the cyclists will slow down and complain while the other one passes, at the worst the pedestrian will be hit.
In practical terms, the bridge is for the exclusive use of cyclists.

How do you mean there “is no where for a pedestrian to go”? If find it really simple, you just stick left and walk across. Oh, did a commuter have to slow down a bit and mutter in frustration, that must have been very hard for you to take.

I ride across that bridge regularly. I’ve never seen a single issue with pedestrians and bicycles there. As others have said, it’s very much in the interest of us cyclists to not hit pedestrians or anything else. The only things we ask are that pedestrians keep left, keep their dogs on a leash on their left and keep their kids in some semblance of control. It’s not complicated and will ensure an easy path for everyone. I have kids and a dog and follow these simple guidelines and I’ve never had an issue with a bike.

One of the things about lots of the serious cyclists these days is there’s a reasonable chance they are packing a camera. I’ve got a Fly6 tail-light and it records every ride I do.

“One of the things about lots of the serious cyclists these days is there’s a reasonable chance they are packing a camera. I’ve got a Fly6 tail-light and it records every ride I do.”
I suppose if you are packing a Fly6 tail-ligt (whatever that is) you are a serious cyclist.
Along with all the lycra, bling and hi-tec you have on your bike, do you have a simple bell because the main problem I experience as a pedestrian has is that cyclists come up fast behind and don’t sound their bells.
My observations as they pass show that very few have them and any comment from me such as “where is you bell?” usually invites the bird.
Oh what a cowardly, arrogant group some of you cyclists are.

Bell. Come on, with their earphones on, a bell won’t be heard.
“Ring your bell,” someone shouted at me one day.
“I did, twice,” I shouted back, as they were wearing earphones.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear you.”

You have answers for everything, don’t you?
I was born without wires in my ears and besides, having a bell on the bike and sounding it is the law.
I have seen lots of cyclists wearing headphones.

You realise that not everyone is a saint? Not everyone is going to conform to the laws depending on what activity they are doing. Walking, jogging, cycling, driving. People break the laws all the time. Yes, even I am guilty of breaking laws as both a cyclist and a driver.

I do have a bell on my bike – most ‘dings’ go unheard because of the pedestrians wearing ear phones. I don’t jump on Riotact and start mouthing off about them every single week though. I am just happy they are out getting exercise. The thing is, having cyclists on the road is not a big deal. When have you ever been late to work or an engagement because of a cyclist? When has your life been in danger from a cyclist? When have you lost money because of a cyclist? When have you lost sleep because of a cyclist? When have you gone without food because of a cyclist?

We are people sharing this place with other people. If you can’t be tolerant of other peoples lifestyle choices of leading an active lifestyle – why don’t you look into a solitary life in the middle of nowhere? It sounds like you would be a happier person if you did this.

Why do Canberra cyclists have persecution complexes?
Keeping dinging your bell, please.

JimCharles 7:32 pm 20 Nov 14

A smart helmet isn’t useful to someone without a smart head.
I too have seen idiots bulleting over a crossing without even checking to see if a car is approaching. It doesn’t matter if they’re legally allowed to ride across….if they hit a car they’ll be dead, so nobody will give a toss who’s fault it was.

What about these buffoons who ride around with earbud headphones on, so they can’t hear the ambient traffic noise of a vehicle coming up behind them? They don’t glance round, don’t indicate, have no eyes in the back of their heads, and can’t hear a thing.
I had one last week by the Seventh Day Adventist church…..I was tracking and watching her wobbling around, covering the brake…suddenly she just swerved right out in front of me without even glancing over her shoulder, let alone sticking her arm out. Brainless.
I know what Canberra’s like for cars and bikes…assume everybody is an idiot and you should be OK when you meet a real one, just those 3 or 4 occasions per week.
But seriously, they don’t even defend their own safety, so just how can you protect people like this?

Rather than legislating, surely just making people do a cycling proficiency test and trying to teach them some very simple road sense would be a better use of everyone’s time ?

Antagonist 3:55 pm 20 Nov 14

Ezy said :

You realise that not everyone is a saint? Not everyone is going to conform to the laws depending on what activity they are doing. Walking, jogging, cycling, driving. People break the laws all the time. Yes, even I am guilty of breaking laws as both a cyclist and a driver.

I do have a bell on my bike – most ‘dings’ go unheard because of the pedestrians wearing ear phones. I don’t jump on Riotact and start mouthing off about them every single week though. I am just happy they are out getting exercise. The thing is, having cyclists on the road is not a big deal. When have you ever been late to work or an engagement because of a cyclist? When has your life been in danger from a cyclist? When have you lost money because of a cyclist? When have you lost sleep because of a cyclist? When have you gone without food because of a cyclist?

We are people sharing this place with other people. If you can’t be tolerant of other peoples lifestyle choices of leading an active lifestyle – why don’t you look into a solitary life in the middle of nowhere? It sounds like you would be a happier person if you did this.

Typical cyclist thread. We have gone from a discussion about the pros and cons of smart-helmets to not being able to share roads and paths or how cyclists do not make you late for appointments. It is a classic case of arm waving, and says a lot about cyclists in general. If you are not with cyclists, then you are intolerant and need to leave town? Wow. Seriously, just wow.

Ezy 1:42 pm 20 Nov 14

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

OpenYourMind said :

Mallion said :

dungfungus said :

My point is that while you may call it a “shared path” it isn’t. The few times I have attempted to walk across that bridge cyclists have appeared from both ends simultaneously at speed and there is no where for a pedestrian to go. At the best, one of the cyclists will slow down and complain while the other one passes, at the worst the pedestrian will be hit.
In practical terms, the bridge is for the exclusive use of cyclists.

How do you mean there “is no where for a pedestrian to go”? If find it really simple, you just stick left and walk across. Oh, did a commuter have to slow down a bit and mutter in frustration, that must have been very hard for you to take.

I ride across that bridge regularly. I’ve never seen a single issue with pedestrians and bicycles there. As others have said, it’s very much in the interest of us cyclists to not hit pedestrians or anything else. The only things we ask are that pedestrians keep left, keep their dogs on a leash on their left and keep their kids in some semblance of control. It’s not complicated and will ensure an easy path for everyone. I have kids and a dog and follow these simple guidelines and I’ve never had an issue with a bike.

One of the things about lots of the serious cyclists these days is there’s a reasonable chance they are packing a camera. I’ve got a Fly6 tail-light and it records every ride I do.

“One of the things about lots of the serious cyclists these days is there’s a reasonable chance they are packing a camera. I’ve got a Fly6 tail-light and it records every ride I do.”
I suppose if you are packing a Fly6 tail-ligt (whatever that is) you are a serious cyclist.
Along with all the lycra, bling and hi-tec you have on your bike, do you have a simple bell because the main problem I experience as a pedestrian has is that cyclists come up fast behind and don’t sound their bells.
My observations as they pass show that very few have them and any comment from me such as “where is you bell?” usually invites the bird.
Oh what a cowardly, arrogant group some of you cyclists are.

Bell. Come on, with their earphones on, a bell won’t be heard.
“Ring your bell,” someone shouted at me one day.
“I did, twice,” I shouted back, as they were wearing earphones.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear you.”

You have answers for everything, don’t you?
I was born without wires in my ears and besides, having a bell on the bike and sounding it is the law.
I have seen lots of cyclists wearing headphones.

You realise that not everyone is a saint? Not everyone is going to conform to the laws depending on what activity they are doing. Walking, jogging, cycling, driving. People break the laws all the time. Yes, even I am guilty of breaking laws as both a cyclist and a driver.

I do have a bell on my bike – most ‘dings’ go unheard because of the pedestrians wearing ear phones. I don’t jump on Riotact and start mouthing off about them every single week though. I am just happy they are out getting exercise. The thing is, having cyclists on the road is not a big deal. When have you ever been late to work or an engagement because of a cyclist? When has your life been in danger from a cyclist? When have you lost money because of a cyclist? When have you lost sleep because of a cyclist? When have you gone without food because of a cyclist?

We are people sharing this place with other people. If you can’t be tolerant of other peoples lifestyle choices of leading an active lifestyle – why don’t you look into a solitary life in the middle of nowhere? It sounds like you would be a happier person if you did this.

Alexandra Craig 1:21 pm 20 Nov 14

pierce said :

Has anyone here ever successfully reported a driving offence to the police based on the rego plate?

It’s nice in theory but I think you’ll find they don’t take these calls seriously at all.

If you class extreme road rage as a driving offence then yup, I have. It was reported to police over the phone, they then asked me to come in and make a statement, a few days later I was called back to the police station to formally identify the guy. Full story here if you’re interested: http://the-riotact.com/when-road-rage-goes-beyond-the-blast-of-a-horn/133106

dungfungus 12:24 pm 20 Nov 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

OpenYourMind said :

Mallion said :

dungfungus said :

My point is that while you may call it a “shared path” it isn’t. The few times I have attempted to walk across that bridge cyclists have appeared from both ends simultaneously at speed and there is no where for a pedestrian to go. At the best, one of the cyclists will slow down and complain while the other one passes, at the worst the pedestrian will be hit.
In practical terms, the bridge is for the exclusive use of cyclists.

How do you mean there “is no where for a pedestrian to go”? If find it really simple, you just stick left and walk across. Oh, did a commuter have to slow down a bit and mutter in frustration, that must have been very hard for you to take.

I ride across that bridge regularly. I’ve never seen a single issue with pedestrians and bicycles there. As others have said, it’s very much in the interest of us cyclists to not hit pedestrians or anything else. The only things we ask are that pedestrians keep left, keep their dogs on a leash on their left and keep their kids in some semblance of control. It’s not complicated and will ensure an easy path for everyone. I have kids and a dog and follow these simple guidelines and I’ve never had an issue with a bike.

One of the things about lots of the serious cyclists these days is there’s a reasonable chance they are packing a camera. I’ve got a Fly6 tail-light and it records every ride I do.

“One of the things about lots of the serious cyclists these days is there’s a reasonable chance they are packing a camera. I’ve got a Fly6 tail-light and it records every ride I do.”
I suppose if you are packing a Fly6 tail-ligt (whatever that is) you are a serious cyclist.
Along with all the lycra, bling and hi-tec you have on your bike, do you have a simple bell because the main problem I experience as a pedestrian has is that cyclists come up fast behind and don’t sound their bells.
My observations as they pass show that very few have them and any comment from me such as “where is you bell?” usually invites the bird.
Oh what a cowardly, arrogant group some of you cyclists are.

Bell. Come on, with their earphones on, a bell won’t be heard.
“Ring your bell,” someone shouted at me one day.
“I did, twice,” I shouted back, as they were wearing earphones.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear you.”

You have answers for everything, don’t you?
I was born without wires in my ears and besides, having a bell on the bike and sounding it is the law.
I have seen lots of cyclists wearing headphones.

pierce 12:10 pm 20 Nov 14

Has anyone here ever successfully reported a driving offence to the police based on the rego plate?

It’s nice in theory but I think you’ll find they don’t take these calls seriously at all.

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