Helmet cameras and tinted visors ‘unclear’

Vozz RS 1.0 Helmet

Last week’s Helmet Forum still leaves riders unclear about the laws governing the use of helmet cameras and tinted visors, says Australian Motorcycle Council helmet committee chairman Guy Stanford.

Guy was one of many rider representatives at the forum, convened by Standards Australia. It was also attended by relevant government departments, university researchers, rider representatives, motorcycle helmet crash testers and certifiers, motorcycle industry representatives, road safety experts and regulators, motorcycle helmet importers and distributors and several representatives of Australian-designed Vozz Helmets. Police were not present as they were at the first forum.

That’s a shame, because the biggest issues affecting riders are the varying interpretations of the standards by police in each state on issues such as tinted visors and helmet cameras.

Guy and other rider representatives, CJ Burns of the MCC of NSW and longtime helmet campaigner Wayne Carruthers, made the case for a nationally consistent, sensible and understandable road rule.

“The problem remains regulatory, with road authorities seeking amendment of AS/NZS 1698, to turn it into an in-service regulation to control use of helmets,” Guy says.

“This approach is wrong-headed and has already shown problems.”

Those problems include riders being fined by police in one state, but not others, and one Victorian judge dismissing a helmet camera case because the laws were too difficult to access, not because the compliance standard was correctly interpreted.

“Road authorities need to sort out a consistent single national road rule with in-service regulations for helmet use based on evidence and current safe practices (e.g. dark visors in daytime),” Guy says.

“In-service regulations are to address issues like drilling holes in a helmet, crash damage and any other issues that may compromise a helmet.

“Several forum participants seemed to be hypnotised by cameras on helmets. We had the FUDs of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, speculations and secret testing, but no actual evidence of an injury problem. Some statements made on this subject were not credible.”

There was also a lot of muddled gobbledigook about tinted visors and goggles, sunglasses and internal drop-down sun shades with one nanny-state bureaucrat declaring it was ridiculous to allow the rider decide when to use them!

Nolan N-40 adaptable helmet tinted
Nolan N-40 with internal sun shade

The forum was held mainly to decide whether the AS/NZS standard needs to remain now that the ACCC allows UNECE 22.05 to be sold and all states and territories permit their use.

“The majority of helmets into the future will be ECE 22-05,” Guy says.

“Some helmets will still require AS/NZS 1698:2006, but there is no technical need to amend the helmet or visor standard for these.

“What is needed is improved point-of-sale surveillance of helmet certifications for all standards.”

Guy rejects claims that the first Helmet Forum at Standards Australia early in 2015 was a farce.

“Yet what resulted was national change to helmet laws to allow sale and use of ECE 22-05 helmets,” he says.

“This came about through regulatory changes by the ACCC and road authorities, not from any action of Standards Australia.

“This year’s Forum at Standards Australia did its best to disappear down a psychedelic rabbit hole, Standards Australia again pointing out that the solution was not with them.”

Guy says solution rests with the hard work of rider representatives working toward a common national road rule.

“Again, the heavy lifting will be done by those quietly doing the ongoing and consistent work of state and territory based rider organisations co-ordinating through the Australian Motorcycle Council,“ he says.

4 Comments

  1. I’ve been pulled over countless times in QLD with a blue iridium visor……not a single cop has said a word about it.

  2. Cameras on helmets…. last Friday 13, I went down on my Super Tenere outside Winton around 30 km/h on some greasy clay. The camera on my helmet just torn the mount in two and sailed off down the road. No problems at all.

  3. The call for national consistency is getting louder, and is one that is vital to allow people to travel around this big, brown, wide beautiful land of ours without hindrance. Motorcyclists are an easy target for persecution as much of the lifestyle that goes with being a motorcyclist is about freedom of choice. When those choices become illegal simply by crossing a state line, the need for national consistency of standards and regulations becomes paramount. The need for national consistency on a range of road safety and motoring policies is one of the key messages of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party.

    1. A ban on the use of speed cameras at anywhere other than genuine black spots would be a good policy also. A review of the ridiculously low speed limits we have in most states would be another good policy if it is not already on the agenda.
      A campaign to educate both the public and the nannies that speeding can occur at speeds well below a speed limit and that going faster than a limit is only speeding in the eyes of the law unless the speed is also too fast.
      If these things are done we might start seeing the death toll come down again.
      By the way how much is the revenue grabbing in the name of safety actually costing in all the extra trauma costs and lost wages etc?

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