Feds should step in on helmet laws

Helmet laws - helmet petition, helmet forum helmet forum

The Federal Government needs to resolve the issue of states having different interpretations of helmet laws, says an industry spokesman.

Rhys Griffiths, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries motorcycle spokesman, welcomes the recent commitment by the Federal Government to harmonise Australian Design Rules (ADRs) with UN vehicle regulations and hopes it can be extended to helmet laws.

Helmet laws
Australian Standard sticker

“Harmonisation of these rules with international standards have been around as a mantra of various government departments for a long time but they haven’t always related to action,” he says.

“The thing that is a bit of a game changer is the Federal Government’s desire to cut red tape. We’ve already been the beneficiary of that thinking with the decision to accept international standards on motorcycle rear mudguards.”


However, he says the issue of helmets is a lot more involved with the input of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), state governments and the vested interests of certification authorities.

“It’s all very messy,” he says, adding that Queensland’s recent move to accept international helmet standards has only caused more confusion. The situation is so ridiculous riders can’t travel interstate without running into problems with on-compliant helmets.

Helmet laws
USA DOT standard

“But having said that, both the NSW and Victoria authorities are at the very least asking the ACCC to get their act together.”

He says the helmet ADR does not need to be rescinded.

“We just have to make it acceptable to wear a helmet of a similar or higher standard.”


He says most moves are to accept the European standards, but the FCAI would prefer to also accept Japanese and American. That does not mean an influx of Asian “toy helmets”. 

Helmet laws
Vietnamese standard would not be approved

“Having dealt with government authorities, I know that changes to regulations is a slow process and you often get frustrated.

“The riding public is getting very frustrated by the red tape over this issue, but while I can’t say there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is a faint glow in the distance.

“At least now governments are looking for a way out of the mess, but it has to be a federal decision.”



  1. Spare a thoiught for the RTW riders who have to purchase an AS1698 helmet when they come to Oz only to discard it when they leave as it cant be used elsewhere or the NZ riders who cant use their AS1698 certified helmets on Oz because they dont have the Oz mandated external sticker

  2. Love it how old mate still manages to attack the QLD govt even though they’re the ones that first took the steps to sort out this schamozzle.

  3. As I’ve previously posted, the States and Federal agencies need to move on this to make it easer to purchase European and American approved helmets, not only for choice but less out of the pocket.

    Whilst at the outset it may up set the local market, no doubt it wouldn’t take long to sort itself out to benefit everyone.

    I just hope some motorcycle groups start to lobby governments to highlight and hasten the changes.

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