One Byron Bay local equates that to driving without brakes, calling the behavior “selfish” and “reckless. “There’s been some horrendous damage out there and people are getting life-changing injuries,” Ian Cohen, a former member of parliament who now refuses to surf The Pass without a helmet, told ABC News Australia. “[These are] serious injuries where they don’t recover, and I think that’s an appalling situation.
In the case of Byron, though, injuries may reach a tipping point where government may be forced to intervene. “If the number of injuries reached a sufficiently high number and they’re also sufficiently serious enough, then parliaments may well decide it’s an area that needs to be legislated on,” said Southern Cross University law lecturer Andy Gibson. “But it would be a very tricky area to enforce as well.
The solution, explains Cohen, might require a physical presence at beaches like The Pass to enforce order. “I actually think we’re going to need some sort of patrol thing, like lifesavers with their flags patrolling for safety,” Cohen said. “Have a whistle and say to a person, ‘Look you’re acting like a ratbag, you either get out of the water or we call the police.
But even then, it could be costly for the victim with little return. “You can always bring a negligence [claim] against someone who causes you injury,” said Gibson. “But that pre-supposes that that person’s got the necessary funds to be able to pay the damages in the first place, and historically surfers have not been considered to be people with loads and loads of money.
Read more here: The Inertia