International helmet acceptance grows

motorcycle helmets unece large

Australia is gradually accepting international helmet standards in the wake of the Northern Territory this week adopting the wider rules.

Queensland was the first state to accept the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe standards, commonly referred to as ECE 22.05 early this year and Victoria followed suit last month.

Now the Northern Territory has joined in, but there is a speed bump in Tasmania and South Australia.

Helmet campaigner Wayne Carruthers welcomed the NT joining in the relaxation of the rules to allow international helmets. To comply, helmets need the E1 label in a circle on the chin strap.

E1 helmet compliance label
E1 helmet compliance label

He says he has been pushing various states for a response to this issue and received notice that the NT had accepted the standard on Wednesday, September 16.

However, he also received a letter from Tasmania advising that the Department of State Growth is awaiting a decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding the possibility of broadening the supply of motorcycle helmets to UNECE 22.05, and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, often referred to as DOT-21 8.

“Until a clear direction is reached by the ACCC regarding the appropriate standards available for purchase within Australia, I am reluctant to amend the current Tasmania road rules to permit the use of these helmets,” the letter says.

While South Australia is yet to respond formally, Wayne says he is aware the SA Minister asked the Police to advise them on the legality of interstate riders wearing UNECE helmets while in SA because the police rang him.

“They will be advising the Minister the helmets are not legal in SA,” Wayne says.

“Here is the problem though; the SA Minister has asked the police to advise when the Minister should have asked the State Solicitor General who is the correct legal advisor to government in each state.

“When you don’t want something legal (or don’t understand) you ask the police. When you want to find a way to make something legal you ask the Solicitor General.”

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