Riders who adopt hi-tech safety technologies such as head-up display may face harassment from over-jealous police who issue fines for wearing them, warns long-time motorcycle campaigner and Emeritus Professor of Transport Marcus Wigan.
He says the approval in most states and territories of UNECE 22.05 helmets is a welcome move, but there now remain side issues that need to be sorted out.
Marcus says the most pressing helmet issues that need to be addressed are impending safety technologies such as head-up display, vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity and the integration of powered helmet accessories.
“My major concern is head-up displays which require careful assessment of a number of visual, visor and helmet aspects, let alone the power issues of course,” he says.
He says HUD addresses the loss-of-attention risks of riders having to perform frequent speed checks because of the “heavily enforced and often very variable speed limits over small distances”.
He says the helmet laws also have to address the proliferation of powered devices on helmets which are currently considered as separate items: cameras, hearing aids, communications devices, music and radio.
“Each of these appear occasionally (in the rules) as if they were stand-alone items,” he says.
He warns that riders who adopt these technologies for their own perceived safety may end up receiving erroneous fines from police.
“However the rapid growth of IoT (internet of things) and V2V (vehicle to vehicle) aspects of ITS (intelligent transport systems) means that a coherent approach is needed to head off the all-too-evident continuous harassment of early rider adopters and long delays in securing the substantial potential safety benefits for riders of all types of vehicles,” he says.
Marcus suggests the Greens and Australian Motorists Enthusiasts Party should get together to solve motorcycle helmet issues and has invited AMEP Senator Ricky Muir and Greens Senator Janet Rice to meet with him to discuss the issues.
Senator Muir has been vocal on motorcycle issues since employing former Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard as his media adviser and Marcus says he has already had discussions with Senator Rice.
LISTEN TO RICKY’S HELMET SPEECH: