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Virgins and vampires - Sir Richard Branson joins Robert Pattinson in falling foul of Aussie helmet law

South Australia police caution business tycoon after he's spotted riding without cycle helmet ...

Business tycoon Sir Richard Branson has become the latest high-profile visitor from overseas to fall foul of Australia’s compulsory cycle helmet laws.

The 63-year-old, who is in Australia to help promote a new regional airline operated by his Virgin Group as well as undertake speaking and charity engagements, was cautioned by police officers in the South Australian capital, Adelaide.

"He stopped immediately and was spoken to by two police officers at the time," said a police spokesman, quoted on

"He was given a caution and then put on a helmet. It was pretty straightforward."

Earlier this year, Twilight star Robert Pattinson also received a caution in South Australia after police were alerted to a picture snapped by a fan of him riding a bike without a helmet.

According to police, foreigners typically receive a caution rather than a fine due to their presumed unfamiliarity with the country’s compulsory helmet laws, introduced more than two decades ago, and which remain a subject of fierce academic debate within the country.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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