Helmet cam
Helmet camera

Loopholes sought over helmet cameras

Helmet camera laws are being tested in a Victorian Magistrates’ Court where a rider is defending a fine of $289 and three demerit points for “failure to wear an approved helmet”.

Defendant Max Lichenbaum’s case was put forward in the Frankton Magistrates Court this morning. Malcolm Cumming of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, explained that the arguments being made on behalf of Mr Lichtenbaum are twofold.


Firstly, the Australian Standard only applies to the manufacturer and point of supply of helmets, not to the end user. “Beyond the point of sale, the standards don’t provide a regulatory framework,” Malcolm says. 

Secondly, because the road rules pick up the Australian Standard, the Standard must be freely available for the public to view on request. “However, to obtain access to the standards you have to pay a significant fee of about $90 to a private company,” he says. “If they are not publicly available, no one can be convicted on the basis of a failure to comply with the standard.” 

UPDATE: Australian Motorcycle Council Helmets Committee Chair Guy Stanford says the cost is closer to $692. “To comprehend AS/NZS 16982006, it is necessary to also understand the other standards referenced within its text. Current lookup on the SAI Global website for the exact cost if all were purchased today (based on downloadable PDF for personal use only, assumption that amendments are free which they all appear to be and ignoring other similar standards with similar names but not mentioned in that list):

AS/NZS 1698:2006         $47

AS 1609-1981                     $55

AS/NZS 2512.1:2009      $111

AS/NZS 2512.2:2006      $35

AS/NZS 2512.3.1:2007   $47

AS/NZS 2512.4:1998      $22

AS/NZS 2512.5.1:2008   $36

AS/NZS 2512.6:2006      $22

AS/NZS 2512.7.2:2009   $47

BS ISO 6658:2005         $270

The Frankston Magistrate adjourned the matter until February, during which time, further investigations will be conducted about the availability of the standard.

Malcolm says that if the Magistrate finds for them on the second argument it would have further ramifications on other issues where the road rules reference the standards.

”Another topical issue is visors,” he says. “I believe there has been a spate of riders being booked for wearing a tinted visor. My understanding is that there is similar reliance upon a standard and so a similar logic would apply.”

The defendant was booked in March while riding in Frankston with a GoPro on his helmet. He was fined only for the helmet camera “offence”.

“An unusual feature of the event was that at the time the policeman was being filmed for a New Zealand produced reality police TV show,” Malcolm says.

Also in court to observe was a bike travel company representative and a member of the bicycle community. While a different standard applies to bicycle helmets, they may have similar issues with the road rules.

Meanwhile, motorcycle riders around Australia will be paying attention to the result of this test case after riders in Victoria and NSW have been fined for wearing helmet cameras.

However, the matter may be circumvented by an Australian Standards forum in early February which is tipped to discuss the issue.

Helmet cameras are legal in the US and UK.

  1. What about the police, they have the same dam camera attached to their bike riding officers, whats good for the goose is good for the gander I think, Don’t you guy’s and girl’s……..

  2. Why are the police so scared of helmet cams? Are they afraid to get caught out saying or doing something they’re not supposed to?

  3. Don’t the cops have anything better to do? What a total waste of taxpayers money
    and the courts time. The moron who wrote the ticket should have had a kick up the backside
    just for being a total f…wit .surely at some point commonsense will prevail with these glorified
    parking inspectors

    1. Actually the ticket writer did everyone a favour by issuing the notice. Why?

      The issue of attaching cameras to helmets has now become a public and legal talking point, whereas with a warning it is not tested at law. Yes, it is not the most easiest or most popular method but it is one method to bring it to a head.

      1. It’s probably important if you’re some wanker of a public servant trying to justify their
        own useless existence, an officious little nazi cop ,or a lawyer.
        But what in the hell has this got to do with road safety? in fact what does it have to
        do with anything apart from taking money away from people who actually work
        for a living to feed these parasites.

        1. My partner was recently done for the gopro on top. The officer claimed it was a safety issue, as if you come off, the camera will grab the pavement and jerk the neck, as opposed to just letting you slide.

          I wish we had the cash to challenge this in court.

  4. Certainly filming is legal but where is it stated in any pertinent laws of the USA or UK that cameras can be legally fitted to the tops of helmets?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get free access to the best motorcycle newsletter on the planet

Join The Newsletter