May 21, 2024

Australian Helmet Law Changes Introduced

Federal Helmet Laws Allow Sale of European Standard Helmets.

The Small Business Minister and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, has revoked the mandatory standard for the supply of motorcycle helmets, opening the door for the legal sale of ECE 22.05 helmets in Australia.

Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory have already authorised the use of ECE 22.05 European standard helmets, but until now Federal law prohibited their sale.

An announcement on the ACCC’s Product Safety website states that “The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made the recommendation to the Minister to revoke the standard following a review and consultation with stakeholders.”

“Existing state and territory road use laws set out what helmets are legal for motorcyclists to use. These laws require riders to wear helmets that meet a version of the voluntary Australian standard.

Some states also permit the use of helmets that meet the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 22-05, often called the European standard. Helmets must also include a sticker or marking that indicate they meet road use laws.

The ACCC concluded that the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) can be used to support the state and territory road use laws for motorcycle helmets.”

With this change in Federal law now in place other states are expected to change their laws to make the use of ECE 22.05 helmets legal in that state. In the interim the ACCC warns that motorcyclists “should consult with state or territory regulators to ensure their helmets comply when travelling out of their area”.

Although the helmet law change was expected sometime in 2016, it has happened much sooner than anyone thought.

It’s good news to all Australian motorcyclists and ends a ridiculous situation where federal and state laws have contradicted each other.

As a result we can now expect more variety in helmets available in Australia and possibly a reduction in prices since the manufacturers do not need to go through the costly Australian testing and approval process.

Steve McDowall