It will be at least May before Australian riders are able to buy European-standard helmets from stores after the South Australian Government announced they will approve UNECE 22.05 helmets.
While Western Australia is the only other state at the moment that doesn’t allow Euro helmets, they are expected to gazette approval as early as this week.
SA Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas has announced that laws to allow UNECE 22.05 standard helmets would come into affect by May.
While the announcement is welcome, every other state enacted the law immediately when they made an announcement. There is no reason given for the delay.
This will hold up the retail sale of the helmets in Australia after several major importers said they would not begin importing them until all states and territories made them legal to wear.
Longtime helmet campaigner Wayne Caruthers has called on WA and SA police to “show discretion” in infringement notices in the meantime.
In December, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission changed the rules to allow their retail sale, even though Queensland, Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory already approved their use.
As soon as the ACCC approval came through, NSW approved them.
Even though Queensland was the first to allow the UNECE helmets about a year ago, there are still very few available in motorcycle stores.
Apart from importers wanting to clear existing stock, they also said they would be waiting for all states to approve riders to wear UNECE helmets.
We suspect that they will begin importing a wider range of high-quality helmets that we have not seen before in Australia.
Meanwhile, Touratech has started importing an adventure helmet made in conjunction with Schubert which only comes with UNECE 22.05 approval.
We expect other importers will also no longer seek the expensive and protracted Australian approval process, which should make helmets cheaper.