Tinted helmet visors ‘now legal’

Bell Bullitt motorcycle helmet with bubble visor helmet cam

Police have withdrawn a fine against a Victorian rider for having a tinted visor, prompting a call for all riders who have been fined for tinted visors or cameras on their helmets to immediately ask for their fine to be withdrawn.

Rider Luke Johnson was fined on November 29, 2014, for having a non-compliant helmet because his visor was tinted.

Rider advocates have insisted that the police interpretation of the compliance laws are wrong and now the police also seem to agree.

On June 16, 2015, the police wrote to Luke and told him that they would withdraw the infringement and “no further action” would be taken.

visor
Fine withdrawn

That should be a lesson to all police that interpreting complex and arcane laws should be the matter of barristers, not police.

Rider advocate Wayne Carruthers, who started an online petition for sensible helmet standards, says the laws should be reviewed.

He also urges that anyone fined for an illegal visor or wearing a camera on their helmet should fight the fine.

“The simple fact is there are no provisions in any of the state regulations which empower police to determine that a helmet with a valid approval label/sticker is no longer compliant,” he says.

“VicPol are being liberal with the truth in the document where they claim a Brief of Evidence was prepared.”

He points out that the case had been held over for mention twice as a brief of evidence had been unable to be presented to the court.

“No infringement notice for either a visor or camera should be paid in any state as they are improperly issued,” he suggests.

He also calls on the Motorcycle Riders Associations in each state to demand a review of all helmet offence infringement notices and seek refunds for any rider who has paid any infringement notice for these offences.AGVisor tinted visor

This comes as Australian Standard helmet compliance laws are under review by the Federal Government and a national forum on the issue was held in Sydney in February 2015.

Victorian Motorcycle Council deputy chairman Peter Baulch has said police should hold off fining riders over helmets until after the results of the forum are finalised.

Meanwhile, riders are being ripped off up to a million dollars in helmet non-compliance offences that may also be bogus.

8 Comments

  1. it has long been my opinion that police using pedantic and petty interpretations of these types of laws , ie tinted visors , go pros on helmets and tail tidies / short rear guards is obviously meant to harass and inconvenience motorcyclists . common sense suggests these charges are issued largely for the purpose of making it unpleasant for bikers to frequent certain popular areas , for example around Mt Glorious , Mt Nebo , Mt Tamborine , Mt Mee etc . In addition they are issued Imho as a substitute manner of punishing riders that officers perceive are the type that may be involved in breaking the law on other occasions outside the present offense . obviously this is a very cynical pattern of behavious on the part of those police that pursue that train of thought . it smacks of the old adage that if you were not guilty of an offense on this day it is probably well deserved for past sins . this is the opposite of what the law is supposed to achieve and is certainly profiling by police without evidence .

  2. The charge was for wearing a non compliant helmet but there are no provisions in any of the State road rules which void the compliance of a helmet where a different visor is fitted or a camera is attached so a helmet with a dark tinted visor is still compliant and legal

    It is not possible for police to determine the visible light transmittance of a visor on the side of the road just as they are unable to determine the visible light transmittance of tinted car windows where they are only empowered to issue a minor defect notice

  3. Please check facts.
    Charge was dropped as the booking was for not wearing a helmet.
    If it had have been not wearing a compliant helmet, the outcome would be very different.
    Tinted visors are still illegal.

    1. True, but a good lawyer can now use the fact the charge was dropped as leverage.
      Besides, there is a moral victory here for riders and it would be bad publicity for police to continue to fine people when they won’t go through with the offence when it is contested. Everyone should contest their fines!

  4. “That should be a lesson to all police that interpreting complex and arcane laws should be the matter of barristers, not police.” But barristers cannot interpret the laws unless the police take action first… so are you arguing that the police should charge people or not ?
    By the way interpreting the legislation is the role of a magistrate/judge, not the barristers nor the police.

    1. Hi Nev,
      I don’t see how it is the police duty to interpret law.
      It almost seems they use strange interpretations of arcane laws to harass motorcyclists!
      Don’t barristers argue the laws and then the magistrates decide? Let’s not get too pedantic. The point remains that police are being “over-enthusiastic” in their policing and harassing riders.
      Cheers,
      Mark

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