AusCycling calls for greater consistency in helmet laws in Australia

Federal government has approved more helmet standards for sale, but many of them can’t be legally used according to state laws

Clock04:11, Friday 19th April 2024
The accepted helmet standards don't currently match local state and territory laws in Australia

© Kaffeebart on Unsplash

The accepted helmet standards don't currently match local state and territory laws in Australia

AusCycling has called for consistency in helmet regulations across Australia after changes to the accepted helmet standards in the country.

Helmets sold in Australia previously had to comply with the Australian and New Zealand standard but the federal government recently made changes that allow suppliers to also sell helmets that meet either the European EN1078 standard or the United States CPSC, ASTM and Snell standards.

Confusing matters, consumers won’t currently be able to use helmets that meet the new standards as road rules in the individual states and territories only currently recognise the original Australian standard, leading to AusCycling’s warning that “cyclists should think twice before rushing out to buy a new model”.

Read more: What is the right helmet for me: Aero or vented?

Road laws could change in the future to match the new federal stance, but there is also the possibility that states and territories will alter their local laws differently, a potentially confusing scenario that AusCycling says it is pushing to avoid.

“Australian cyclists should have more choice, but they should also have the confidence that a helmet bought in an Australian shop is legal to wear on any Australian public road,” AusCycling EGM of government strategy, Nick Hannan, said in a press release.

“There is a real risk that states and territories react to the ACCC decision differently and recognise different helmet standards in their road rules.

“We could be facing a situation where a helmet that is legal to buy and legal to wear in one state could be illegal to wear in another.”

The latest changes to the accepted standards by the federal government were made following a recommendation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and will, according to the government, “reduce compliance and administrative costs for Australian businesses”, which it says could save the industry $14 million AUD each year.

It also says that the change will benefit consumers, who will be able to “access a greater variety of helmets at lower prices”.

The federal government acknowledged the differing laws in its announcement of the changes, saying that it “encourages the States and Territories to update their road use laws in line with the new safety standard”.

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