The NSW Supreme Court has been asked to clarify a policy which has prompted concerns from people who feel they are breaking the law when they ride a motorcycle.
Key points:The NSW Police and Crime Commission said helmets were a necessary first step in preventing domestic violence, but not compulsoryThe policy has drawn strong criticism from the National Paramedic Association and the NSW Bar AssociationSupreme Court Justice James Beecham told the court that the policy was designed to help people avoid being taken to hospital.
“We have had many complaints of a woman being taken from the motorcyclist for reasons not under her control, and yet the law does not require a person to wear a helmet,” Justice Beechamp said.
“That’s why we have a helmet requirement.”
The NSW Paramedics Association said helmets should be compulsory.
“When you have an accident, the helmet is a critical piece of equipment.
If you’re wearing a helmets, you can make sure the motorist is aware of it,” National Params CEO Matthew Dolan said.NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione defended the policy, saying it was a first step to stop domestic violence in the state.”
It is a step to help ensure that those involved in a domestic incident are able to avoid a hospitalisation, but it is not a compulsory step,” Mr Scipion said.
He said the policy would help police better understand the behaviour of the motorbike rider.
“If you are riding a motorcycle, it’s your responsibility to look after yourself and your family,” he said.
The NSW Bar Federation president, Robert Brierley, said the NSW Police needed to change their policy.
“There is no law in NSW that says a woman has to wear the helmet.
There’s no law that says that a woman must wear a mask,” he told ABC Radio NSW.”
The only law that exists in NSW is a very strong civil code that says you cannot hurt your spouse, your child, your partner.””
That law is a tool that is used by the police and it’s a tool the police use for their own protection, for their investigation.”
Mr Brierly said he believed the NSW Params Association had enough information about the policy to support the policy.”[They’re] the ones that are responsible for the policing of this state and we need to respect that,” he added.
“This policy needs to be changed because there’s a very big difference between protecting someone from injury and injuring someone else.”‘
Unacceptable’Supreme court hears how people reacted when asked to wear helmets for the first timeIn a ruling which could impact on the policy’s future, Justice Bechamp said police were not allowed to use force against a motorcyclists who did not wear a helmets.
“An injury in a motor vehicle resulting from the use of force is an act of violence, which is an offence,” Justice Bechamp wrote.
“In that respect, a motorist must wear an approved helmet and the police may use any means at their disposal to prevent an injury in the event of a motorbike collision.”
The decision sparked concerns from the NSW National Paramics Association (NPPA), who said the police should be given more training.
“Our organisation has concerns about the effect this will have on our profession and our ability to do our job and it certainly has a knock on effect on our business and our business will suffer if the NSW Government does not introduce a mandatory helmet law,” NPPA president John Wilson said.”[The NSW Government] has given us the opportunity to provide training to our members on how to operate a motorbikes, how to handle and react to people who are riding recklessly.”
But this has been ignored, we need the police to have training.
“Supreme Courts NSW and NSW Bar Union president, Andrew Scally, said police had to consider the public’s safety and the impact the policy had on the community.”
One of the things that we’ve been saying for many years is that there are three ways that the police can stop people who do something bad,” Mr Wilson said, adding that it was important for the public to understand the impact of the policy on the environment.”
I don’t think we need a mandatory policy that doesn’t have the community involved, we don’t need that.
“The National Paramesters Association has also been critical of the law.”
They’re putting their lives at risk on a motorcycle and there’s no justification for that,” Mr Dolan added.NSFW Paramedical Association president, Michael Tappin, said he would support a mandatory law for motorcycle riders.”
As the most important profession in NSW we are very much committed to ensuring that we are protecting people’s lives and they are not risking their lives on a motorcycle,” he explained.”
People need to understand that when a motorcycling motorbike collides with someone it’s an accident