Brisbane City Council Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Queensland government Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, quarrelled today on Twitter over the state’s strict bicycle helmet rules.
The rules state that when you ride a bike, scooter or segway, you have to wear an Australian Standard approved bike helmet that fits ya properly and stays fastened. 
Schrinner is the Chairman of the Public & Active Transport Committee on the city council and took to Twitter this morning to brag about the success of their CityCycle bike hire initiative, with 1.9 million cycle trips undertaken since its introduction in 2010. 
Melbourne PR agency MediaWise replied to the Councillor, saying trips would soar if bike helmet laws were relaxed. 
So Schrinner, a member of the LNP, took the opportunity from MediaWise to @ the Labor Minister, Bailey, urging him to boost cycling by making helmet use optional, and start up similar bike share schemes elsewhere.
But Bailey pounced back, and he went partisan, pointing to the LNP’s failure to build CBD bike lanes. So Schrinner decided to dare Bailey to force council to build the lanes: “If you really believe that, force the Council to do it. I dare you!
Bailey did not take this well: “That’s pretty arrogant Adrian.. you’re all talk on cycling & no go aren’t you?” And then he pushed the point on pro-cycling infrastructure again. 
But Schrinner reckons his council has outspent the gov on “active transport infrastructure“: “You’ve got more front than Myers.” 

Bailey returned to the successes of his gov, saying that they had restored the Cycle Network Local Government Grants Program, whose funding was cut by the LNP. The program pays local government half of the cost of the design and construction of cycling infrastructure.

But Schrinner would not let this early morning argument get away from him, concluding: “Any funding assistance is greatly appreciated. But we will outspend the State. Back to helmets, even a trial would be a big positive step.”

  

Read the full interaction below:  




In May 2016, Schrinner said he thought that helmets shouldn’t be compulsory for adults cycling in low-risk environments, and offered Brisbane up to trial voluntary helmet laws. Bailey rejected the suggestion on ABC Radio.    
Off Twitter today, Schrinner returned to the issue of bike helmet law:

Council would love to work with the state to trial optional helmet laws for CityCycle. It can be a win-win outcome. 

Part of the difficulty that Brisbane has with an uptake in convenient, short-distance cycling trips is to do with the mandatory requirement to wear helmets.
 
Many people would be more inclined to use bikes and CityCycle as an active transport trip in the CBD and inner-city locations, if they were not forced to wear a helmet.
Bailey though isn’t much interested in changing helmet laws, and again pushed the need for more cycle-friendly infrastructure: 
I 100% support bicycle helmet laws because cyclists have little to no protection in the event of a crash.
Actions speak louder than words and Cr Schrinner talks about cycling but we’ve seen no new investment in cycle lanes in Brisbane’s CBD.  
Brisbane is lagging behind other capital cities when it comes to cycling lanes in the CBD. The cycling community had been calling for this for years and BCC has been arrogantly ignoring the cycling community.” 
So doesn’t look like the councillor made much headway there. 

Source: Brisbane Times
Photo: Jeff Greenberg / Getty.