More motorcycle helmet reform needed

While the motorcycle community is celebrating the reform that allows international-standard helmets to be sold in Australia, issues such as visors and action cameras still need to be resolved.

Australian Motorcycle Council Helmets Committee Chair Guy Stanford says there are many people to thank for the bureaucratic change, but says they will also have to keep working for more reform.

“More is required to finish the task with a new, uniform National Road Rule 270 to replace the disparate variations with many unbelievable stupidities, impossibilities and allowance of whimsical enforcement,” he says referring to police in NSW and Victoria who have fined riders for wearing action cameras and dark visors.

“This requires that all road authorities, as agreed by the TIC, engage the agreed full COAG principles of Better Regulation and conduct a transparent, contestable Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) with wide community consultation.”

Sounds like gobbledigook, but it means that regulations and road rules have to be standardised and specifically stipulate requirements such as action cameras and visors, so riders are not confused.

NSW police have cameras on their helmets, so why can’t we?

“We expect that riders will continue to be subjected to confusing and misleading announcements and gossip,” Guy predicts.

Changes to the Consumer Protection Notice by the Minister for Small Business, Kelly O’Dwyer, mean motorcycle helmets offered for sale must now be FIT FOR PURPOSE, which means they must be compliant with requirements of road rules.

However, these still remain different in each state. Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory  permit their use, while Tasmania, NSW and South Australia previously said they would allow use of ECE 22-05 helmets as soon as the ACCC lifted sale restrictions.

Meanwhile, Guy has thanked a host of motorcycle organisation members, public servants, community groups and media for their work in achieving the helmet law changes.

They include: AMC Helmets Committee members Chris Mearns (Qld), Dave Wright (WA), Peter Baulch (Vic) Bruce Campbell (NSW); Dr Bruce Campbell;  Dan Leavy of the NSW RMS; Marg Prendergast, General Manager of the NSW Centre for Road Safety; Australian Road Rider magazine; helmet campaigner Wayne Carruthers; journalist Peter Thoeming and

“We have made good progress, but there is another swamp to cross. Put fresh batteries in your bullshit meter,” Guy warns.