Victory in void helmet sticker fine

Void helmet Ian Joice

Police have waived a Bribie Island rider’s $400/3point infringement for having a void helmet sticker in a test case that proves riders can legally remove the external sticker.

Ian Joice, 63, says he was pulled over by police on Bowen Rd, Glass House Mountains, on 12 August 2019 at 11.38am.

He says the officer noted the external sticker had the word VOID across it from age and sun damage while the internal label was faded due to wear.

Helmet fine void sticker
Internal label

A week later he received an infringement notice in the post for “fail to wear helmet”.

So he contacted Motorbike Writer after reading our article which advised riders that is legal to remove the external sticker.

Click there to read our full article.

We contacted Queensland Police to ask why an erroneous fine was issued and how many other similar fines had been issued.

They replied:

The infringement in this matter will be withdrawn. This is an isolated incident and the officer has been given guidance regarding the matter.

Ian was greatly relieved when we passed on the news of his fine waiver.

“I have been very distressed with this situation and am greatly relieved that the notice has been withdrawn,” he says.

“I have had some black days since the notice arrived.”

Australian Motorcycle Council helmet law expert Guy Stanford says he believes police are not aware of the rules and standards that apply to helmets.

Guy Stanford - Mobile phone while riding - darrk visor helmets tinted visor youtube withdrawn void
Guy Stanford

“This is a good result from a commonsense complaint,” he says. 

“The facts were clear, the rider had been issued a fine for an offence he did not commit.

“This sort of fraud reflects badly on all police.”

Void sticker

Guy says the external sticker on a motorcycle helmet is only an indication of compliance and not a legal requirement.

In fact, the Australian Road Rules and standards do not even mention an external sticker.

They only say the helmet has to be “permanently and legibly marked”.

“So long as the mark of certification appears somewhere on the helmet that’s all you need, which means the label inside,” Guy says.

AS/NZS 1698 external stickers show VOID due to fading in the sun or if they have been removed.Helmet fine void sticker

“This is only a manufacturer’s device to recommend to riders when they should update their helmet,” Guy says.

“It has nothing to do with any legal requirement and is not mentioned in the Australian Road Rules. There is no expiry date on motorcycle helmets.”

Ian says he didn’t realise his helmet was so old and has now spent the $400 he would have spent on paying the fine to buy a new helmet.

  • We suggest you keep a copy of this article and/or our previous article to show police if you are ever threatened with a similar erroneous fine.

14 Comments

  1. Tim, A helmet degrades when exposed to Sun, wind and rain. The five year recommendation is a market tool. I say the helmet needs to be replaced when the rider has a crash involving the head, the helmet liner is degrading or the helmet is no longer a good fit. I have a sixty year old helmet in perfect condition that I use on displays. I also have a brand new Bell Star I bought at 50% discount and never worn. I will use it and it will probably be well over five years old while I will be wearing it but I will still have faith in it.

  2. This area of rider safety should be of ZERO concern to the Police except for enforcing compliance i.e. riders actually wear helmets and drivers use seat belts. The actual safety & compliance level of helmets and clothing should be a consumer issue, enforced at the retailer, by the ACCC. What I mean is that a retailer should not be allowed to sell safety items that do not comply with the relevant Australian Standard. The various police forces and the “laws” they try to enforce are completely out of touch with reality. For example, there is NO Australian Standard that requires a sticker to have the 5 Ticks, that requirement was deleted from Aust Standards years ago. In fact the 5 Ticks symbol is now owned by an international company that charges for its use. This article exposes the difficulty riders have when explaining this to a revenue-focused, but untrained, Police officer.

  3. Apparently the police were NOT right to take it on given the fact that the ticket was rescinded.
    As far as “cheap chinese”helmets go-a lot of the “reputable”brands have their helmets made in china in the same “cheap chinese” factories. Ian was on the correct side of the law -the police were not.Its as simple as that.

  4. So many awesome, popcorn worthy comments here made by people without a clue or with elitist attitudes.
    This comes back to the visor sticker debacle where some police were trying to book people for non-compliance because the compliance sticker on the visor wasn’t on there anymore.

    What’s needed is universal helmet laws, universal registration and round rules and universal vehicle compliance.
    This haphazard state to state compliance BS is ridiculous.

    Dot, ECE, Aus Standard, Snell. All standards. All have a purpose.
    Snell is exceedingly high but is for a specific purpose.
    ECE and Aus Standard are good helmet standards and it is a relief Australian states finally pulled into line with acceptance of the ECE standards.
    You need to remember however that a standard is a standard, not a sliding scale. If it passes the standard it is a safe helmet. Now others may be safer for various reasons but a cheap Aldi helmet with Aus Standard will protect you.
    Price is no indicator. A lot of the time you’re paying a premium for “features” and a “brand label”.

  5. Simply expand the photos of the helmet if you wish to see it’s condition and the cracking.. You correctly point out the poor condition was omitting from the article.

  6. Even a rider with no helmet doesn’t put other road users in any danger whatsoever, only risking their own life or safety. If all these over opinionated do gooders had their way we’d all be waring hi Vis lollypop lady vests , full face helmets and training wheels,

  7. Anyone wearing a dodgy helmet like that is indeed failing to wear a helmet. The thing is barely useful when new let alone when its old enough to show signs of cracking and the internal label cant be read. The Police were right to take it on!

    1. How is a helmet “barely useful” when it’s New? Please explain this because it sounds a bit stupid to me. I was knocked off my bike at 40 mph and my helmet saved my life when i hit the floor and rolled. Now if I handy been wearing a helmet my skull would have split like a dammed egg and the police would have been mopping my brains off the road. And another question, where in this article did it mention the gentleman’s helmet was showing signs of cracking?

  8. Good on Ian for bringing yet another idiot revenue ranger to task, it’s time we all stood up for ourselves when confronted by a badge toting bully. The officer in question should have known the law,probably did and decided to try it on anyway,too many police are ignorant of relevant legislation because of the arrogance they revel in and profiteering thinly veiled as public safety….i mean isn’t knowing the law what his job is?

  9. Question..
    How the hell does a dodgy Chinese made road helmet get an Australian 5 tick safety rating but a USA compliant DOT road helmet isn’t.. I smell a rat..

    1. Helmets sold in Australia must be compliant with either the Australian standard (AS/NZS 1698) or the international (european) standard (ECE 22.05). A DOT compliant helmet does not necessarily meet either of these standards, or has not been certified as meeting these standards even though it may.

      Note that the “5 ticks” sticker is used by just one (of many) certifiers to indicate compliance with the Aus standard. It does not indicate that the helmet is exceptionally good.

    2. US DOT certifications are useless. Give me some strapping, a chunk of wood, and a lathe, and I can make you a helmet that meets DOT requirements. There are other rating system that actually mean something, Snell being one of them. I’m not saying the Chinese helmets are good, but a DOT certifications does not by any means imply that a helmet is safe to be worn on a road.

  10. the police SHOULD have the right tp book riders who wear helmets that are outside manufacturers recommendation, which i beleive is 5 yrs ??? not to mention the so called motorcycle helmets from dodgie web sites

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