Rider loses helmet strap fine challenge

Loose helmet strap Julian Collis

A Perth rider has failed in his challenge to a $550 fine for a loose helmet strap after he says he only loosened it with one hand to talk to two motorcycle police who pulled him over.

Julian Collis says the judge sided with the officers despite proving in court he could undo his helmet with one hand and despite both cops swearing he was wearing an open-face helmet.

“I was actually wearing a full-face Bilteell Gringo helmet at the time, so that evidence was clouded,” he says.Loose helmet strap Julian Collis

“I had taken my motorcycle gloves off and put them on the console and loosened my chin strap to take off my helmet but I kept it on when I was told I wasn’t being done for speeding.”

Reasonable doubt

Julian also believes his lawyer proved there was reasonable doubt that police missed seeing him loosen his helmet strap as they were occupied issuing a speeding ticket to a driver at the time.

Unfortunately the police officers’ helmet cameras were not operating as they had parked their bikes to conduct the speed trap.

“In the end, the judge said the two officers had dovetail evidence,” he says.

“We pointed out that they had lunch together in the court recess and could have illegally collaborated on evidence.

“The judge asked if they discussed the case and they said they didn’t and the judge believed them.

“It was a case of two against one.”

Court costs

Julian copped the original $550 fine and four demerit points plus $205 court costs, although his lawyer did not charge him a fee.

However, he says he has no regrets.

“I got to say my piece and tell the truth from what I can remember on the day,” he says.

“I wouldn’t ride around with a loose helmet strap. I value my safety as I have three small children at home and I’ve been riding for 20 years.  

“I could appeal to the Supreme Court, but my lawyer said we had done as much as we can.”

Strap rule

Fine strap Loose helmet strap Julian Collis
Julian’s helmet has a double-D fastener which can be loosened without being undone

Regulation 244 of the Western Australia Road Traffic Code 2000 states that a motorcycle must not be ridden unless an approved helmet is securely fitted and fastened to the head of the rider. 

“It doesn’t mention anything about how tight the helmet strap should be so it’s open to police interpretation,” Julian says.

8 Comments

  1. Magistrate should have found that it was not beyond reasonable doubt and thrown it out. ‘Police evidence dove-tailed’ aka they made it up. At worst they should have given you a warning.

    Also, ‘officer’s helmet cameras’ are they legal there?

  2. WAPOL are a very unprofessional and corrupt force – well known for this sort of nonsense.
    As an organisation, they spend too much time playing politics and inventing ‘legislation’ they present to the Police minister to pass in Parliament. The rest of the time they are simply tax collectors for the minister.
    Going out and stopping and solving actual crime is low in their priorities – despite all their bleating in the media about how hard their job is. And even when they do this they quite often bungle it up.

  3. Remind me Not to Visit West Australia …. I did, Once, back in ’70’s on my Ducati Darmah and was Swooped upon by TWO Police Officers in their UNMARKED Highway Patrol FORD FALCON GT – They Forced me up onto a Vacant block of land in a Bunbury suburb and I was TOLD to Turn the Bike OFF and Put my Hands IN THE AIR – THIS WAS AT GUNPOINT mind you …. WTF – ???

    They Treated me like a bloody Criminal just Because I might have given the DUKE a Bit of a squirt through the suburb, they maintain that the Bike WAS Making Excessive NOISE, they Couldn’t get me for Speeding Because I WASN’T SPEEDING …. They DIDN’T Believe me that the Mufflers were Original and had to be Un-baffled – After they had Holstered their Handguns, and Only Then, did I proceed to SHOW them the DUCATI NAME EMBOSSED/ENGRAVED, Stamped INTO the Mufflers Along with the Ducati CONTI Part Number …

    They Maintained that I had Stamped the names & numbers onto the mufflers and Issued me with a Traffic Infringement Notice for EXCESSIVE NOISE and I was told to get them off and the Proper Mufflers fitted …

    I Told them that I was not going to pay the fine and I would take them to court over the way and manner of their Forcing me off the road onto the footpath of a vacant block of land at Gunpoint, and illegally issuing a traffic ticket for excessive noise because of faulty or damaged mufflers, when they were told & Shown the bike was fitted with CONTI Mufflers direct from the Ducati factory before I had purchased the bike in Queensland ….

    The Western Australian Highway Patrol POLICE were just THUGS WITH the BADGES & GUNS and HOT FAST CARS and Obviously had a Set On, Out of State Motorcyclists…

    I had decided to keep moving along in my travels back then… and I have Never been back to the WEST of Australia because of their obnoxious police officers …. Always 2 of them together back then too … Leaving you NO F’ing Chance of JUSTICE – Good to see Nothing Has CHANGED over there …

    Interstate Riders BEWARE …

    frostbite.

  4. I wouldn’t pay.
    Tell the magistrate to get stuffed.
    There should be evidence on the camera worn by the cop or the vehicle mounted camera.
    This should have been thrown out of court because of the rediculous open/closed face debarkle.
    Shows how corrupted the Western Australia police department and the sworn in magistrates are.
    Royal Commission needs to take place in the Western Australian PEODOPHILE infested POLICE SERVICE.
    I’d definitely contact ACA, this is the sort of stories they’re into.

  5. Yet if it were a wife and husband against a cop they would not be considered two independents views/ witnesses… I don’t know why any responsible motorcyclist would want to try and half do ip their helmet, so it would be reasonable to believe it was done up correctly or full undone… ridiculous they have all the tools to provide a burden of proof, yet they are not functioning at the time!

  6. Dovetail evidence (adjective)-
    Definition:bulls*#t made up when all other genuine evidence is absent.
    “I had no real evidence so we dovetailed it”.

  7. Just another case of victimisation/ discrimination/intimidation against m/bike riders.Would the same apply to a cyclist?? How can this man be fined for a none existing rule? Open faced helmet…And they couldn’t tell the difference!!!!Any person with an ounce of self preservation wears full face..And does the strap up. (Comment edited for legal reasons.)

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