NSW police blitz on helmet cams continues

NSW police blitz

The NSW police blitz on riders wearing a helmet camera will continue.

After almost two weeks and several phones calls and emails asking for a reasoning for the current blitz on helmet cameras, we finally received a curt NSW police response that didn’t address any of the questions asked.

READ ABOUT THE CRACKDOWN

Our inquiries were in response to riders being fined $311 and three demerit points. This follows a warning from Snr Sgt Tony Grace, Culture Senior Supervisor of the Central Coast Highway Patrol to the Motorcycle Council of NSW which says they will target a range of offences, but specifically helmet offences, including the fitting of cameras.

We asked the following questions through the NSW Police Media Unit to a senior constable who does not wish to be named. The questions were:

  • How many fines have been issued for this offence in the past year?

    helmet cams - NSW police
    The Stokmans were fined by NSW police for an “offending” GoPro
  • Why are police targeting helmet non-compliance? Has there been a relevant “safety” incident or crash?
  • Is it because riders post footage on YouTube?
  • Is this blitz a departmental or ministerial directive?
  • Isn’t the ADR about modifications open to interpretation? For example, is sticking a camera to a helmet a modification or an accessory?
  • Does this law also affect Bluetooth units?
  • If so, why are police only targeting cameras, not bluetooth units?
  • How can riders appeal the fine?
  • On this occasion the officer who issued the attached ticket offered the rider advice on how to appeal the offence. He allegedly said that the law was not prominent and the rider could appeal because riders could not possibly know of its existence.
  • If the law is not well known, why don’t officers just issue a warning?
  • Do NSW motorcycle officers wear cameras or bluetooth units on their helmets?
  • Isn’t this blitz provocative in the light of the Federal Government Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda to internationalise Australian Standards such as helmets and the coming forum on that matter in particular?

The response which they asked to be attributed to a NSW Police Force Spokesperson reads: “Police will continue to enforce road safety for the benefit of all road users. So far this year 58 riders have lost their lives on the state’s roads, which forms the background for any operation targeting motorcyclists’ safety. Police run regular local and state-wide operations targeting a number of different offences and will prosecute those breaking the law.”

In other words, they answered none of the questions.

Meanwhile, a Victorian Magistrate has adjourned the hearing of what could be a test case for that state on the issue. 

READ ABOUT THE COURT CASE

The matter could also be resolved at a Standards Australia forum in February at which helmet laws will be discussed.

If you believe helmet laws are misleading, confusing and varied across the states you may like to sign a petition for a uniform approach across the country.

SIGN THE HELMET PETITION

11 Comments

  1. I was actually advised by a Police office at Raymond Terrace police station (a few months back) (I won’t divulge his name) to get a helmet mounted camera – this was in response to an incident where a P plater purposely tried to run me off the road. As I have the Police officers name and date, I feel confident that if I am fined I will have a good response

  2. I don’t know why your police have a hard-on for helmet cams other than that they are afraid that riders will possibly have evidence that can be used to dispute other traffic violations. Im not familiar with the attitudes of Australian police but in the US most police only bother you if you are reckless in your driving. The minor violations are only used if you are disrespectful when stopped. I have Veteran plates on my bikes and i cant remember the last time I was pulled over.

    One funny old US helmet law when California first made a law that you had to wear a helmet they never mentioned on what part of you body it was to be worn. You would see bikers riding with a helmet strapped to their knee. It was a good laugh until the politicians finally realized they screwed up.

    1. Hi Brian,
      Great idea! Where can I buy a US Vet plate for my next trip to the US!?!? (Just kidding.)
      When the mandatory helmet rule was brought in for Italy, they did the same thing because t didn’t say where they had to wear it. Most wore them on their arms to protect their nice haircuts!
      Cheers,
      Mark (MBW)

  3. Doesn’t help that “Doctors” are attributing Micheal Schumacher’s injuries on his GoPro.

    Helmet footage is genrally rubbish anyway, particularly if you’re being situationally aware. Put the camera on your bike.

  4. There is a trend among world police forces to have them wearing cameras to gather evidence. So do they really have a law preventing the police motorcyclists from wearing helmet cams when their forces decide to mandate them wearing them?

Leave a Reply

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