BIKE SAFETY: Gayndah Police Acting Sergeant Brian Nugent with Herb Taylor, who has an exemption from wearing a helmet due to medical reasons.
BIKE SAFETY: Gayndah Police Acting Sergeant Brian Nugent with Herb Taylor, who has an exemption from wearing a helmet due to medical reasons. Alex Treacy

Helmet-less rider urges cyclists not to follow his lead

GAYNDAH'S Herb Taylor is hard to miss.

Frequently shirtless, the most gregarious person you will likely meet can often be seen pedalling through town, his long grey hair waving in the wind.

But where is his helmet?

For Mr Taylor, wearing a helmet is not possible due to a combination of medical conditions, including arthritis.

He has explained his situation to Gayndah's Acting Sergeant Brian Nugent and has received a special exemption from riding with a helmet, but wants to make sure people don't follow his lead, especially students of the three local schools.

"Three years ago, I contacted every principal to ensure students were not following my example of not wearing a helmet on pushbikes,” Mr Taylor said.

He said the majority of motorists in Gayndah were good drivers, but also noted that a major highway ran through the middle of town.

Sgt Nugent said that traditionally, residents had been good at wearing their helmets, but there would "always be the few”.

He said he would typically give a warning the first time he caught someone not wearing a helmet while on a bike, before issuing an infringement notice if the behaviour continued.

"It's a safety thing. The legislation exists, it's not there on a whim, it is a proven safety measure,” Sgt Nugent said.

Mr Taylor said he was happy he had the chance to explain why he didn't wear a helmet.

"If I can save even one person, then it will be worth it,” he said.


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