What, I wonder, does Andrew Coyne think about the Australian debate over mandatory helmet laws... for jackaroos. The issue arose after a 23-year-old jackaroo died from a head injury after falling off his horse while rounding up cattle in 2001:
The jackaroo mates who found Daniel Croker's body still do not wear helmets when they ride a horse. But his parents hope one day everyone will wear one, whether riding a bike or a horse.Certainly, it should be mandatory for underage jackaroos to wear them, but adult jackaroos -- they can make up their own mind about whether to wear a helmet or not...
And any farmer whose jackaroos don't don a hard hat might think again after Mr Croker's boss was fined $96,250 for safety breaches yesterday.
Forcing them to wear helmets could lead to a jackaroo shortage, of course, because the primary reason jackaroos enter the trade is to wear broad-brimmed Akubra hats, which are hip, but provide little protection to the cranium. And imagine what effect a jackaroo shortage would have on the nation, and the world. A world without jackaroos: Now that's a scary thought.
Poor, deluded Mr. Croker, whose son would be 26 this year, is more worried about safety than looking cool:
"I think we can still have that fantasy of romantic, wild west-type attitude but with safety added on," Neil Croker said.Bah! What has become of Australians? How did they contract this morbid aversion to risk? When did they turn into such wusses?
[Previously on On the Fence: Helmet hair sucks, but what can you do?]