Uniformity on helmet cams and other rules

Gopro helmet camera 2015 ban

Helmet cameras, tinted visors, standing on the footpegs and other rules affecting riders have moved toward uniformity with the publication of new Australian Road Rules.

The ARR, published by the Australasian Parliamentary Council’s Committee, have been welcomed by the Australian Motorcycle Council, which has been lobbying tirelessly behind the scenes for uniformity of rules across the states.

The uniform road rules require the agreement of all states and territories who work together with the National Transport Commission.

The uniform rules include for the first time helmet standards, helmet labelling, standing on the footpegs, lane filtering and other rules affecting riders.

However, the rules could still be implemented differently by State Regulatory Authorities and they also allow for some variances in lane filtering rules, such as Queensland’s “edge-filtering” rule.

Helmet cams uniformity

Helmet cam

In a significant boost for riders worried about inconsistent helmet rules across state boundaries, changes to Rule 270 simplify the labelling requirements and don’t include Australian labelling.

The rule now formalises the use of European-standard helmets and clarifies the standards compliance for helmets at the point of manufacture.

That should mean riders are allowed to wear tinted visors in daytime and add bluetooth and camera devices so long as they do not drill holes in their helmet.

“Finally some sanity on this one,” says long-time helmet campaigner Wayne Carruthers.

The new ARR also ratify changes in many states to allow riders to stand on the footpegs and take one hand off the handlebar.

However, there is no nationalised rule on motorcycles and scooters using bus lanes as is allowed in NSW and ACT, although the NSW “Bus Only” rule proposal was dropped.

Good win for riders

“Overall a good win for the rider associations and AMC who worked together to achieve the outcome,” Wayne says.

“Now it will be the work of ensuring all the states implement the rules and don’t deviate with their own variations.”

AMC chairman Shaun Lennard says it has been working with motorcycle advocacy groups in all states and territories to achieve uniformity.

“The AMC congratulates the National Transport Commission (NTC) for managing the process to achieve national agreement on Road Rules for the wearing of motorcycle helmets and for lane filtering,” he says.

“We are pleased that parochialism has been put aside in order to achieve an excellent result for all road users.

“Motorcycle advocates in every state and territory have been quietly working with their local road authorities in order to help them understand the specific problems with lack of uniformity and defects in the old rules that disadvantaged riders.

“Motorcyclists look forward to each jurisdiction endorsing the nationally-agreed Rules, by immediate adoption into local Road Rules.

“Many Road Rules have had unique variations between states that rely upon ‘another law of this jurisdiction’. As a result, what is legal in one State is illegal in another.

“Consistency was the whole reason behind the agreement to, and adoption of, National Road Rules in 1999. The new rules covering these aspects of motorcycling need to be adopted unchanged, as agreed under this process.”

New rules

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter tasmania
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

The newly-published national rules include:

  • Formalise the use of European helmets certified to UN/ECE 22-05 which  provide safer helmets and a more competitive market;
  • Clarity over standards compliance for helmets at the point of manufacture only (current rules demand a helmet must be in exactly the same condition as when sold, unmarked by use and include all original packaging and booklets, which is impossible);
  • Remove legally-grey areas, such as use of dark visors in bright daylight, and use of communicators and cameras;
  • Provide uniform rules for lane filtering (currently four different sets of rules exist, with considerable variation); and
  • Tidy up some small variations resulting from unclear definition criteria.

Groups involved in the process include the AMC, Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland, ACT and South Australia; Motorcycle Council of New South Wales; Victorian Motorcycle Council; Motorcycle Riders Association of Western Australia; Tasmanian Motorcycle Council and Rider Awareness Northern Territory.

Shaun paid special tribute to the hard work of of Guy Stanford (NSW) and Rob Salvatore (Victoria).

23 Comments

  1. Are these rules now in effect? Or will they go into effect on a later date?

    There is nothing that governs the use of devices that are attatched to the helmet. A police officer can come up to me and say “That helmet camera is illegal because it damages the (insert excuse here) of the helmet.” as a revinue raising exercise.

    I’m sorry, I don’t trust it.

  2. Does that mean all those poor souls targeted under the revenue raising regime will be refunded now that their offences are no longer considered against the law? Changing the law is like an admission that they were wrong in the 1st place. It’s a bit like the stolen generation it was wrong and decades later they finally apologise and offer reparations. Can Maurice Blackburn start a class action for Government stupidity??

    Rant over, so good work getting this thru 😉

  3. MotoRain:
    Having lived a while in Townsville and other “remote/rural” locations, I know how you feel!
    However, abolishing the states could lead to other improvements, such as the abolition of local councils, by amalgamation. (A process which is already happening)
    My suggestion would be: amalgamate local councils, to form regional governments, in which geographic and other demographical commonalities exist. e.g. SEQ, FNQ. This would allow better allocation of resources by government closer to those it represents.
    Councils and state governments would cease to exist, thus reducing the number of politicians, bureaucrats and other inefficiencies.
    Canberra could be pared back to provide national representation abroad, and financial services to the regional governments, such as already happens, with the distribution of revenues such as income tax, GST, etc.
    It won’t happen in my lifetime, as too many bloodsuckers are making too much of an easy living from the current farce.

    1. That would result in one government (the federal government) being made responsible for road transport throughout the whole of Australia. Which means it would only take one bad decision (it will happen) and throughout the whole of Australia, motorcycling gets ‘screwed.’

  4. (Checks top right of screen to see its not April the 1st! Nope it is March 13th)

    In that case, well done boys! It must have been like herding cats to get the collies to agree to common sense proposals.

    This is the one line that worries me however “Motorcyclists look forward to each jurisdiction endorsing the nationally-agreed Rules, by immediate adoption into local Road Rules.

    How can we have NATIONALLY agreed rules, but then allow states the option of only implementing some or none of them if they so wish? Surely local rules should supplement the national rules. – although I cant think of any reason why there would need to be local variations on rules regarding helmet type approval, or the use of helmet cameras when local police forces use them to capture people breaking road rules.

    The same with tinted visors. It seems stupid that you can be done for wearing an O/E tinted visor that complies with any regulations about being shatterproof and fits the helmet, but has a light tint, but it is perfectly ok to wear a clear visor with $10 servo sunnies that are less than 50% opaque and are not shatterproof, and could literally take your eye out in a crash.

  5. “Clarity over standards compliance for helmets at the point of manufacture only (current rules demand a helmet must be in exactly the same condition as when sold, unmarked by use and include all original packaging and booklets, which is impossible);”

    This ^^ means that you can now add things to your helmet. The rules now say it MUST be the same as it came in the packaging.

  6. I couldn’t find any reference to helmet cameras in this model legislation. Perhaps you can clarify how these rules achieve uniformity in this area?

  7. This is a good step in the right direction Mark, but no one should be under the impression that these rules have been adopted by the states. It says quite clearly on the document that they are NOT law. Any idea how long it will take for the states, particularly NSW to have them implemented?

  8. Pete, what you are looking at is the problems created by having three tiers of government. But what you can’t see is the problems that would be created without them.

    1. when you really start looking at the ludicrous situation were even details like fish bag limits and sizes vary from state to state. certain occupations need different licences when they move state They even have to extradite criminals from state to state…All this Everything has a totally different department running it in every state.And the system encourages them to not agree to to justify why they are there.Hell it was only fairly recently that the various police forces started exchanging information on stolen vehicles.No i cannot see the reason we would be worse off without them…Put them all on the dole be a lot cheaper

      1. “fish bag limits and sizes vary from state to state.”

        That is a good example of regional differences. Fish stocks vary in different places. If the limits were the same everywhere some places would run out or other places would have unnecessary restrictions.

        Throwing a lot of people on the scrapheap (the dole) is not a good solution. It shouldn’t be just about money. I would rather reduce the size of the federal government and give more power, more responsibilities and more money to the states. It creates a competitive environment. In the past some states have given better operating conditions for businesses to encourage them to move to that state. Other states have to match these conditions or they will loose out. Without the states it would only take a rogue federal government to impose unreasonable conditions and nobody has any choice.

        If there was only one government department controlling the road rules for the whole country and it was run by people who are anti-motorcycling they could impose ridiculous restrictions on us. But if one state does it they would look ridiculous compared to the others. Having numerous governments across Australia helps us “keep the bastards honest.”

  9. Great job by the campaigners and associations. Thanks to all concerned. Now all we need to do is cull a few of the excessive number of politicians and regulators that are cluttering up the place and stifling business with their stupid regulations and pointless red tape, and we’ll be right.

    1. pete, when you say “Federal public servants make up around 18% of the workforce” that is just not correct. Instead of plucking some fanciful number from out of the air it would take you only a few minutes to get the correct information.

      There are about 12.5M people employed in Australia (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0)

      The federal public service workforce is about 150K (http://www.apsc.gov.au/about-the-apsc/parliamentary/aps-statistical-bulletin/statisticalbulletin16-17/size) . So that is about 1.2%. Your estimate is not very close is it?

  10. Good reason for getting rid of the states .Apart from the 40 billion the useless arse polishing parasites extract every year for making every ones life difficult

    1. Yep. Never understood why a nation of some 28 million people needs seven roads ministers – or however many there are – and their attendant bureaucracies. Surely one is enough. The same goes for all the other government portfolios. The duplication and inefficiency is staggering, yet these are the same people that will lecture Australian business for being inefficient. There is a transport crisis in Sydney that the RMS continues to address in the same tired old way by introducing ever more pointless ways to deliberately slow down traffic, but if we got rid of the entire NSW state government we’d save enough money to build a state of the art city-wide metro system and solve the problem in the same way that most other major cities have.

      1. “Good reason for getting rid of the states .”

        Hell no! Those of us who live in Far North Qld are sick of having state governments, from either side of politics, who are only interested in governing for the benefit of South East Qld. It isn’t about the number of people. It is about understanding regional differences and their different needs. If the states were abolished it would become all about Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne and the rest of Australia would be neglected. Politicians spend money where they will get the most votes, not where it is needed.

          1. Every area has a federal member it means when you are not happy there is only one arse to kick out..Getting rid of the states also gets rid of the continual blame shifting and deflection..We already have councils to direct funding. All state governments do is act as middlemen and think of more exotic ways to justify their existence. Federal public servants make up around 18% of the workforce, Not sure about state public servants but i would bet total is on its way to 50%

  11. Well done I would appreciate feedback on handlebar height
    Iam 6ft 3 and the legal height does not allow me to ride in a position that gives me best control and comfort of my motorcycle
    I drive a Toyota landcruiser ute were the seat height and the height of the steering wheel is greater than what Iam allowed on my bike
    As we all vary in height I feel this is a extremely important matter that needs to be addressed
    Most motor vehicles have seat adjustments both forward and back plus height up and down steering wheels can also be adjusted to suit the personal preference of the driver
    I find that 14 inch bars on two inch risers suits my riding style and allows me to ride in comfort and gives me control of my bike
    One rule does not suit all
    Thanks
    Greg Robertson

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