Australia was the first country to insist on mandatory bike helmets in 1990, falsely creating the impression that cycling is significantly more dangerous than walking, thus discouraging cycle use, thus making our nation unhealthier and actually making cycling more dangerous by reducing the number of cyclists on our roads. The process behind the legislation was negligent and driven purely by mere political considerations, as detailed here: http://crag.asn.au/?p=2046
If I'm a cyclist of only average ability at hazard-avoidance (I'm not), and I ride an hour a day (I don't), I can expect to ride for 3500 years before being killed. So naturally, the government has to dictate my risk management for me... the only reason I'd wear a helmet is to avoid fines, but as with most such examples of poorly-advised state nannying, I vehemently refuse. I also refuse to pay the fines, and I'm prepared to go to jail for it.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out I'm not the only one utterly fed up with being harassed and persecuted by cops for riding a bike with more sense than most (the general attitude in this country regarding this subject takes the law as gospel and sees helmetless riders as having some sort of death wish, despite the entire rest of the world... I'm so bloody sick of it). Thankfully, after 22 years of this damn balderdash, folks who agree with me are finally starting to organise: http://helmetfreedom.org/
You can sign a petition here: http://www.freestylecyclists.org/fre...s?opendocument