Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Uneasy riders on the nanny state

By David Leyonhjelm - posted Tuesday, 12 September 2017

I sometimes hear it said that such an attitude is irresponsible because if I am injured, I will be a burden on my fellow taxpayers (which obviously rules out a lot of people who don't pay tax) due to our socialised healthcare system.

The shared cost is not disputed, but should we modify our behaviour merely because we have a health system that discourages individual choice?

In my view, the health system needs to change. If we are reckless or irresponsible, we should bear the cost ourselves. If health insurers are legally permitted to take risk into consideration and regard motorcycling as risky, they will raise premiums.


More broadly, as a society we must stop trying to force other people to conform to our idea of what is safe, sensible or responsible. The only aspect that should concern us, and the law, is whether others are harmed.

Indeed, we should celebrate the benefits of motorcycling. Motorcycles ease congestion in cities, use less fuel, require fewer parking spaces, produce fewer emissions and cause less road wear than other vehicles.

And yet when it comes to public policy, we are barely an afterthought. In the 173-page National Road Safety Strategy Review, just two pages are devoted to motorcycling. The majority of politicians and policy makers are not motorcyclists and share the common view that we are all mad.

If we learn to speak with a louder voice, this will change. Our numbers are growing, with motorcycling more popular than ever.

In most states, motorbike registration has outstripped car registration on a percentage basis for the last five years.

In my next term, I intend to seek amendments to the National Road Safety Strategy that reflect respect for motorcycling. I would particularly like to see the best aspects from each state (such as lane filtering and footpath parking) incorporated into the national strategy.


And I will do my best to encourage opinionated police officers to stick to what they know.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. Page 2
  4. All

This article was first published in the Australian Financial Review.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

20 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

David Leyonhjelm is the Liberal Democrat Senator for NSW.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Leyonhjelm

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of David Leyonhjelm
Article Tools
Comment 20 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy