VicPol throws doubt on novelty helmet covers

Novelty helmet doubt covers

Several days after saying novelty helmet covers were legal, VicPol has thrown doubt on the issue saying it had to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

At first they simply replied: “It is not illegal to put a hat over the helmet”.

Five days later VicPol updated their comment saying it is “not possible to provide a blanket yes or no answer to your query, as it must be assessed on an individual basis”.

They suggest the following points could impact on the compliance:

  • The correct fitment is highly unlikely as the covers are “one size fits all’ and not manufactured for specific brand / model helmets.
  • The cover has the potential to impede vision through the visor when fitted or whilst travelling.
  • The cover may prevent the rider from securing the helmet correctly through the helmet buckle.
  • The cover has the potential to move / fall off at speed.

Queensland and South Australia police say novelty helmet covers are legal:

Novelty helmet covers are not illegal, as long as the rider is wearing a motorcycle helmet that complies with Australian standards and is securely fastened. Riders will need to ensure that the novelty cover does not obscure their vision.

The Western Australia Road Safety Commission says riders are already vulnerable road users, at great risk on the roads.

“Wearing gear that might potentially make it harder for riders to spot other road users would not improve this situation,” they say.

More doubt

However, there could be more doubt over their legality if you are involved in a crash while wearing one.

ACT Police say they would “take action against the user of the helmet cover if it contributed to an incident or collision (for example, if the cover impeded the vision of a rider)”.

“It is concerning to police that the manufacturers openly identify significant risks to the user of the product on their website,” they say.

Most riders wear novelty helmets as part of a fund-raising or at least fun-raising ride.

It would be a very belligerent copper who fined a rider over a helmet cover!

Helmet cover pros and consNovelty santa xmas motorcycle helmet cover

Apart from being fun on many occasions, not just Christmas, novelty helmet covers have some practical advantages.

They protect your helmet from dust, scratches and chips, as well as reducing wind noise.

However, riders should also be aware that there are some disadvantages.

They can also suppress important surrounding noises such as emergency sirens or the sound of screeching tyres.Novelty santa xmas motorcycle helmet cover

They also reduce ventilation which would make them stiflingly hot on a summer’s day, especially if being worn in a slow-moving toy run procession.

Since they are not securely fastened to the helmet, they can also flap around and shift at high speeds, potentially blocking your vision.

Most suppliers recommend they not be worn on the highway, but only at city speeds.

Since most are only worn in charity parades, speed should not be an issue.

13 Comments

  1. Interestingly Victoria has the least tolerant speed limits and possibly Australia’s worst car drivers and subsequently the highest road tolls and fatalities, especially over the holiday periods. So how the police believe they are doing a good job by targeting bike riders who wear a hat on their helmet shows the mentality of Victorian coppers. If ever a culture needed changing it’s that of the Victorian police.

    1. Hi Geoff,
      NSW Police never bothered to reply. If it was an issue they may have replied.
      I am guessing that since it is not drilled on to the helmet, it should be ok if it does not obstruct your view.
      Cheers,
      Mark

  2. Vic police get your house in order. You have a Royal Commission to square away with several past and current serving senior officers looking somewhat amoral if not illegal.
    Furthermore your performance on violent crime , in particular street gang and home invasions is abysmal.
    Stop looking for soft revenue raising targets and restore some credibility throughout the wider community.

  3. When they claim safety issues are on a case by case basis and in the same breath approve the warning of a turban, then you loose all credibility.

  4. Wearing such a cover in Victoria will probably result in the rider being shot by mistake if they can’t find anything else to ticket the rider with

  5. VicPol will assess on a case by case revenue raising basis. Of course it would probably also impact on the structural integrity of the helmet thereby blah blah blah. VicPol, keeping Victorian motorcyclists safe one ticket at a time!

  6. Yes, they could come off…..but so could any scarf or hat worn on your head in an open top car.
    If you cause an accident then you should face the consequences, and this includes uncovered loads on car trailers etc

    Perhaps all helmet covers and toupees should be legislated to include velcro fasteners?…….oh dear… welcome to the nanny states and territories.

  7. We are legally looked at for novelty covers . But the law allows some cultures the convenience of not even wearing a protective helmet??? K . That’s our Canada law saying . We don’t want offend anybody ???

  8. These novelty helmet covers are widely used on festive occasions around the world. They are fun. They are safe. Kids love them so they are good PR for motorcycling and therefore they promote road safety. They show motorcyclists are part of well-organised, fun activities generating respect and harmony on our roads.

    There were dozens of these type of outfits on the MRA TOY RUN in Hobart. 5000 bikes, hundreds of police, no crashes. It was colourful. It was fun. It did a huge amount of good.

    I think the anti Christmas Grinch was based on Victoria’s chief of police.

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