Signs have appeared on beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs warning joggers they “must wear a helmet”.
Reminiscent of the schoolyard "no hat, no play" rule, the signs left social media users to ponder if they could possibly be real.
Sydney journalist Siobhan Moylan was one of the first to flag the new "warning", saying she had seen signs at Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches, and she was not writing off the possibility that they were genuine.
“[I]n a town where you can be fined for showing a**e crack on a push bike and be sent home at 11pm in order to get to bed early, I fear this could be real – George Orwell was right,” Ms Moylan commented online, after posting a photograph of a policewoman standing beside a sign.
She said she asked the officer if the sign was “enforceable yet and she just stood there adjusting her holster and blinking”.
The sign warns of the "dangers" joggers may face, including “slippery surfaces”, “collisions” and “trip hazards”.
"No helmet = No run" it says and it even calls on those getting some light exercise to log their jog online “before leaving home”.
Real or not, the possibility provoked in many social media users their frustration with a perceived “nanny state”.
The Australian Cycling Alliance also spotted the signs, tweeting a picture and reminding joggers that, “helmets are cheap and may save your life”.
It struck a chord with the cycling audience who suggested joggers should also have to “carry hooters” and wear hi-viz because it’s “really hard to see them among the prams and dog walkers”.
A lot of seemingly tongue-in-cheek comments also followed Ms Moylan’s post to Facebook.
“I think it’s reasonable. Why should you have the right to burden the Medicare system when you trip and get a head injury? This is for the greater good,” one user wrote.
“I’ll respect their right to jog when they pay footpath tax like the rest of us,” another added.
While the ‘government website’ that the sign points to does not work, this alone was a possible sign to one Facebook user that joggers not wearing helmets could in fact be fined.
“The government website doesn’t work so it could be real,” Courtney wrote.
Waverley Council has since responded to 7 News Online, advising that the signs were not real.
"The signs relating to joggers wearing helmets are not Council signs and are fake. We believe they were put up on Wednesday evening, and our rangers had taken them down by early Thursday morning," a Council spokesperson said.