Bunbury Police crackdown on helmet safety

Acting Sergeant and Officer in Charge of South West Traffic Rob Malcolm.
Acting Sergeant and Officer in Charge of South West Traffic Rob Malcolm.

ACTING Sergeant and Officer in Charge of South West Traffic Rob Malcolm is urging people to wear a helmet following the death of a 15-year-old boy last week.

The boy was killed after colliding with a car in Australind and was flown to Perth but died from his head injuries.

“Think about the consequences of not wearing a helmet,” Sergeant Malcolm said.

“It won’t seem so un-cool if you have to spend the rest of your life in hospital.”

He said helmet use was a problem in Bunbury with an average of one accident reported to police a week, but many others went unreported.

“It’s something we’ve tried to enforce through education and it’s come to the point where we’re going to enforce it with infringements,” he said.

Currently, a $50 fine is handed out to those not wearing helmets.

“The fine is certainly enough to make most people think twice about not wearing one,” he said.

“The fine is the cost of a bike helmet and you only have to think about the consequences if you have a crash.”

"[Wearing a helmet] won’t seem so un-cool if you have to spend the rest of your life in hospital."

South West Traffic officer-in-charge Rob Malcolm.

“There was only an accident on Spencer Street two weeks ago where the use of a helmet saved a man’s life.

“People don’t think about it and it’s not just ‘will I die, will I live’, it’s about what quality of life will I have after an accident if you do survive.”

Sergeant Malcolm said children were taught bike safety at school but parents played a huge role in starting good habits. 

“It’s positive to see so many young children going out with their parents all wearing helmets,” he said.

“But you tend to find non helmet use goes with other things because most people who don’t wear a helmet are also likely to breach other road rules like going through red lights, riding the wrong side of the road or riding on the path when they’re not supposed to.

“What might seem a minor issue to some people might not be a minor issue when you get knocked off your bike and die or get seriously injured because you didn’t wear something that could save your life.

Sergeant Malcolm said legislation was made to help people feel safe and bike rider deaths counted towards the road toll. 

“We all have to work together to keep the road toll down,” he said.