Media: Melbourne Herald-Sun
Date: 16th March 2012
Headline: Pic of cyclist with baby sparks fury
Journalists: Elissa Doherty and Courtney Crane
This article attacks a woman carrying a baby on her back. The baby is too young to wear a helmet, no helmets are available on the market and in any case would likely damage the baby’s neck. As you know, young babies can’t hold their head up, which is why they are often carried close to their carer, with the head supported against the body of their carer.
What particularly outraged these reporters was that the woman riding the bike was wearing a helmet herself: she was “selfish” for “endangering a baby’s life – but protecting her own”. Actually she was wearing a helmet to avoid getting fined for the safe and healthy activity of riding a bicycle. Would the journalists have been happier if the rider was not wearing a helmet?
Congratulations to Garry Brennan of Bicycle Network Victoria for defending the woman, and pointing out that this is the normal way to carry very young babies all over the world. BV’s bravery in standing up to the onslaught is to be commended.
As the law in Victoria stands, it is impossible to get around on a bike with a baby too young to wear a helmet. So if the bicycle is your means of transport, you are grounded. How unfair is that?
As usual, the article totally fails to mention the reason why helmets are considered necessary: because motor vehicles endanger cyclists. So not a word about solving the root cause of the problem, ignoring the elephant as usual.