Glendwood Sikh Community Want to Keep Turbans on While Cycling in Australian Suburban Streets

2014-12-07- helmetGLENWOOD, Australia—The Sikh community is exempt from wearing helmets when riding a bicyle in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria and want the same law to apply in NSW.

Last week, they won support from Blacktown Council to change the law in NSW too.

Sikh community representatives presented a petition of over 400 signatures to Blacktown Council asking for an exemption to the law, citing religious and practical reasons.

Australian Sikh Association’s Glenwood branch general secretary Jagtar Singh said Sikhs only wanted a small change to allow them to cycle on suburban streets.

“We have a lot of old retired or semi-retired people who live around our temple (in Glenwood),” Mr Singh said.

“They can’t drive the car and there are no buses so it’s easier for them to ride a bike to temple. We are not asking to ride on the roads like the M4 or anything like that without a helmet. Most of the bicycle are riding on the footpath.”

The law in NSW requires all cyclists to wear a helmet, creating difficulty for Sikhs who wear turbans that vary in size and shape and cannot be removed easily.

“We have for years been asking every politician who visits the temple for this change,” Mr Singh said.

“During World War I and World War II Sikh people fought without helmets.

“Our community is very law abiding we don’t want to break the law … what we want is to make it legal.”


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