I’m sure, like me, many of you have been apprehended at a service station and told to remove your helmet when you go to pay for your fuel. This ruling has mystified me and I’m wondering WHY?
I’ve had several instances of this ruling, my experiences have been as follows:
- I’ve been reminded countless times to remove my helmet before paying, usually I refuse.
- Ordered over the tannoy, as I’ve reached for the petrol pump and the pump has been disabled until I acquiesced to the demand.
- The shop doors have been locked, as I attempted to pay. Eventually, the night window was opened and I managed to pay.
- After 15 years at the local servo, the staff member, who has also been serving for those 15 years and knows me, told me to remove my helmet. When I refused, he told me ‘it’s the law’ and that he’d been instructed by the boss to order motorcyclists to remove their helmets.
- Told that it was ‘a security issue’ and when challenged, the staff informed me ‘it was for her safety’.
Each time, I have parked my bike on the forecourt, with my registration plate clearly visible to their cameras and have been brandishing a $20 note, fully intent on paying for my fuel.
What exactly is the problem that the service stations are afraid of? Why do they need to see my face, when I pay for my petrol? If I filled a car up with fuel and then went to pay wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap, they wouldn’t bat an eyelid and they certainly wouldn’t ask me to take my hat and sunglasses off before I paid.
I can only assume that they think motorcyclists are a sub-human species who need to be kept in check before they inevitably commit an assault against the service station staff.
This is the kind of behaviour which I was frequently subjected to when I was living in the UK. Over there, I only had to walk into a pub with a leather jacket and helmet and then, told to leave, as motorcyclists were not welcome. These miserable people were unable to differentiate between chain wielding Hells Angels and normal blokes who rode motorbikes. Yes, I know, I wouldn’t wear my helmet into a bank either, that’s hardly a valid reason for service stations to impose a similar ruling.
I am heartily sick of this treatment and will continue to challenge service station staff concerning their ‘no helmets’ rule until I get told a sane and logical reason as to why this ruling is in effect.