May 19, 2024

Motorcycle Helmet Laws under Review

Helmet Laws under Review by Transport and Infrastructure Council.

A few weeks ago we raised the issue of differing laws in various states relating to lane filtering and helmets, both of which are causing plenty of confusion among riders and those required to enforce the laws.

Australian motorcycle helmet laws in particular have come under heavy scrutiny and the issue was addressed at a recent meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council. The Council includes Transport, Infrastructure and Planning Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories, New Zealand and the Australian Local Government Association.

Whilst seemingly not a priority for the council, a communique released after the meeting states that Ministers “agreed on the need to resolve inconsistencies in standards for the sale and use of motorcycle helmets and agreed an update on progress would be provided to the next meeting.”

2016 could see helmet law changes introduced for Australian motorcyclists.

Chairman of the Australian Motorcycle Council, Peter Baulch, has also called on the council to support nationally consistent standards for the sale and use of motorcycle helmets.

A major issue in the debate is that the Commonwealth, through the ACCC, is responsible for the standards relating to the sale of helmets, but the states are responsible for the standards relating to their use.

So while some states, namely Victoria and Queensland, have made it legal to use European standard helmets in their jurisdictions, federal legislation actually prohibits their sale, creating a ridiculously inconsistent situation.

The council meets every six months, so no resolution could be expected until mid-2016 at the absolute earliest.

Steve McDowall