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VIC Booked for Illegal Motorcycle Helmet

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Daniel Warren, 8 August 2014.

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  1. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren Member

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    I was recently booked for wearing an illegal helmet.. It had an aust standard sticker on the helmet, but no sewn in patch inside. What are the Victorian motorcycle helmet laws? Do I have a case to argue this matter in Traffic Law court?
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Daniel,
    Unfortunately, the police can fine you (or remove demerit points) for riding with a helmet that does not comply with standards: VicRoads.

    Each State and Territory has their own, slightly different, motorcycle helmet laws and standards. A helmet that is legal in NSW will not be legal in Victoria, for example. Helmets purchase overseas also generally do not meet Australian standards.

    Apparently, according to the Victorian Motorcycle Council, Victoria and the Commonwealth Health Standards have helmet standards that are impossible to meet and have not yet (as of 2013) been met by any product on the Australian market. The submission specifically mentions that although consumers take stickers of compliance to mean actual compliance with legal standards, this is not the legal position. I would suggest bringing this submission up with the police and asking whether any helmets have been held to meet conflicting (Victorian and Commonwealth) standards: Council submission on helmets. You can try contacting the Victorian Motorcycle Council and see if the situation has changed since the submission.

    You may also complain about the compliance sticker. You may lodge a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. There is a consumer guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law (came into effect in 2011) that provides that products must match their descriptions, of acceptable quality and meet any promises in relation to standards/quality/performance that it sets out: ACCC consumer guarantees. You should try contacting the company who sold you the helmet first and see if they are able to give you a refund/compensation for your fine.

    This article may also help you with understanding the conflicting standards in Australia when it comes to motorcycle helmets: http://www.roadrider.com.au/special-features/state-of-helmets
     
    winston wolf likes this.
  3. Phildo

    Phildo Well-Known Member

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    This one's old... what happened in the end?

    There are helmets that are sold legally here (ie AS1698 compliant) that have the sticker on the back of the helmet but no patch on the inside.

    Helmets in Australia tend to be overpriced, and many people buy helmets from overseas via mail order. Some people even manage to track down an illegally duplicated copy of the AS1698 sticker.

    Was the helmet originally bought new in Australia, or is it an import with an illegal copy of the AS1698 sticker attached?

    It sounds like the cop suspected that it was a copy of the sticker. Interesting.

    If you bought the helmet new then try and find proof of purchase. A receipt would be ideal, but an EFTPOS transaction on a bank statement might do.

    Contact the importer for that brand of helmet.

    That one is definitely worth taking to court, although if the helmet was legitimately AS1698 compliant then senior police will cancel the infringement pretty quick.

    If the helmet was legit, then at the very least pursue a complain against the infringing officer.

    I think it is Queensland that is currently looking into legislation that will recognise standards from other countries.
     

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