Helmet laws Australia - same crap round 2.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by c-more, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. c-more

    c-more Been here awhile

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    #1
  2. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

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    As in many other areas, it looks like harmonised laws provide the way forward. I could see that NSW testing lab being closed due to cuts.
    #2
  3. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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    Hey c-more: Thanks ... for nutting!
    Last week I gave up plans to buy a helmet out of Japan (I have a round head; Caucasian helmets simply don't fit) and paid a discounted but still steep price for a "locally-legal" helmet with the all-important sticker.
    Which doesn't fit my noggin.
    If I'd known what is in that article, I probably would have go a helmet from some folk I know in Japan.
    Bugger. Probably a "Tour New Zealand" sticker would have done just as well.

    But it's good that this information is out there and full marks to the author for doing the research. It seems having too many politicians has just exaggerated the mess - and allowed helmet importers to screw up prices with scare-tactics about "illegal" foreign-sourced helmets which are identical to what they're peddling at hefty mark-ups.
    #3
  4. outback jack

    outback jack Long timer

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    Good read, i'm no wiser but who would be, it's a bloody joke. Wear what you like and feel safe about your legal err illegal lid :scratch
    #4
  5. Silky

    Silky Awaiting Baby...

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    I'm now more confused. Time to get drunk and re-read it, surely it'll make sense then. :1drink
    #5
  6. Chop Chop

    Chop Chop Hector erector

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    Quite simple really, damned if you do damned if you don't.

    The beer option looks the best though.
    #6
  7. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Good to see my deep-seated illogical paranoia of Govt depts has been proven correct once again.

    I now need a helmet for WA where I live, one for SA, then NSW and then Qld for if I ever ride the V-wobble over to the Winternationals to race, then another to make it ANDRA legal to leasurely potter down the 1/4.

    Bloody oxygen thieves.
    #7
  8. PBee

    PBee ?

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    This is the only thing that concerns me:

    "To the police: If a rider has a helmet on, that’s enough for now. You don’t look for stickers on seatbelts, just that they’re being used. Bookings for “unapproved helmet” are likely to prove unsound in court."

    So I will wear a Klim f4 if it suits me then.:nod
    #8
  9. Brendan J

    Brendan J ONE HACK AT A TIME

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    What a bloody nightmare :puke1
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  10. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    Would seem Guy is frustrated by the process of having the issue resolved & hence the publication of the article

    Perhaps some email complaints to appropriate people like ACCC, politicians etc may be in order

    Takes time out o the day but if it is not strictly legal to ride across state borders with our existing helmets then perhaps some stirring of the pot is needed
    #10
  11. rmhrc628

    rmhrc628 Long timer

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    Wayne

    I have been fighting with AS for 8 months now. I have asked them to harmonise standards so that we dont have a as1698.

    They just defer and defer.

    I can post up 20 emails detailing the changes the standards I have written for them.

    AS are a pack of arseholes.
    #11
  12. Silky

    Silky Awaiting Baby...

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    We should get organised and all go down to the AS office one day and just picket the bloody place.
    #12
  13. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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    Or demand back the money that's been gouged out of us under false pretences - I've probably bought 6 or 7 unneccesatily expensive helmets in the last 10 years (youngster keeps growing out of 'em - and I won't buy her cheap chinese crap).
    Where IS the AS office? Does it even exist?
    #13
  14. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    OK, so after skim reading that article and going cross eyed the other day, I just read it again. I wonder if anyone is a lawyer and correct my understanding of it?

    * in qld where I live, i need to wear a helmet that "permanently" and clearly marks its date of manufacture, type of materials used, and some basic safety/care advice
    * in most other states, no-one really knows what the fuck is going on and it isn't even clear if so-called legit helmets are actually legit
    * if I replace my old worn out australian-purchased Arai with a brand new Arai imported from overseas, and am given a ticket for not having a fancy sticker, I can represent myself court with a fairly good chance of getting it thrown out, or at least reduced to a nominal amount, because this is all so confusing

    :ear

    If anyone who knows what they're doing has some idea how to actually solve this mess... I'd be happy to help out in any way I can.
    #14
  15. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    The answer is simple

    Guy & the others bashing their heads against a brick wall need people to start lobbing emails to pollies, AS and whoever else you can think of, lodge complaints to ACCC & fair trading. In these days of email and on line complaint forms it only takes a few minutes. I lodged a formal complaint with ACCC yesterday. It is a restraint of trade issue as well as a helmet issue.

    Unless there is pressure then the situation wont change

    One question in my mind is where do riders stand with insurance, CTP etc if the helmet is not strictly legal, does this in any way void any of the insurance covers in the case of an accident ?
    #15
  16. rmhrc628

    rmhrc628 Long timer

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    Wayne

    Here are some emails and responses :

    My original email dated 10th Feb 2011 called for harmonisation to end the AS1698 standard.

    Dear AS

    I refer to previous communications in the matter and in particular your phone call today.

    You advised me that a committee is setup to discuss and debate the Australian motorcycle helmet standard from time to time.

    My view is that there is too much input from committees and not enough effort being put into best outcome for consumers (such as me)

    The effect of the current standard (and all its unique parts) is that cheaper and lower standard helmets are dominating the retail shelves and consumers like myself are not being educated on world standards (because of the over reliance of what an Australian committee thinks is best for my skull.). In my case I buy my high quality helmets overseas (Arai, schueberth and shoei) at about 40-50% below the price sold here by Australian retailers (again if that model is sold here in the colour I like).Another benefit of buying overseas is better service and dealing with people who are interested in what they do rather than 98% of Australian retailers.

    Incidentally these foreign helmets are no different to the ones sold in their respective home markets. I will continue to use the imported superior helmets over some as1698 standard as I'm not a "believer"in the ability of a committee representing 1% of the worlds population to adequately and commercially represent my interests of safety, choice and price. Basically I'd be happy to get rid of the committee and rely on the professionalism of the foreign safety bodies as they have far more resources, both financial and professionally. The Snell foundation for example is a fine choice of standard for Australia.

    The facts are there are thousands of Australian riders using ROW (rest of the world) helmets and they all are better off whether your committee agrees or not. Riders are better off both on safety and financial grounds. It is not just 10% either. It's 40-50% cheaper. It is time the committee that is setting the AS1698 realise this and defer to any of the world standards to increase supply and competition in the Australian market place. I do not believe for one minute that safety is the sole domain of AS and so don't render them as being better than ROW. (which to be honest should be the sole goal - ROW standards)

    Australian Standards as an organisation needs to realise the global world is going to render their unique motorcycle helmet standards unworkable, obsolete and impratical.(if they havent already been usurped by the ability to buy the world's best helmets as rates cheaper than any Australian retailer can provide. (again if they can even provide them).

    Australian standards need to become far more of a "tick and stamp"organisation and weight world standards well ahead of some unique domestic Australian standard. Ie disregard unique Australian standards and use foreign well established standards.

    A classic example of the outcome of the as1698 is that I can walk into Peter Stevens today and buy an AS1698 certified helmet for $199 which is technically legal and pleases the Australian retailer, but be worse off from a safety point of view because I cannot use my $550 Arai VX3 pro snell 2005, ECE, Japanese certified helmet. Any practical comparison between the cheap $199 AS1698 helmet and my foreign purchased Arai VX3 pro renders the cheap $199 helmet as useless and a far worse safety helmet. Is AS aware of this issue?

    I'm extremely annoyed at AS1698 for not using foreign standards and trying to create standards that cost everyone a fortune and in the end only low end suppliers comply with. The best helmet manufacturers like Arai, Schuberth or Shoei simply refuse supply if asked to comply with unique Australian standards.

    I summary I wish to advise as follows:

    1. That the committee be advised in writing that unless harmonisation with world helmet standards is achieved in 4 months from this date the committee will be disbanded and have no further input into motorcycle standard setting. The logic being that world standard is sufficient for an Australian head. I'm happy to advise which standards can be imputed to the AS1698 standards if they cannot.

    2. In any event, the AS1698 standard is to defer in all cases to the following by stating that if a helmet meets one or two of the following then it will be deemed to meet AS1698 (at time of manufacture of course)

    Current US Snell standard
    Current ANSI standard
    Current US DOT standard
    Current Japanese standard
    Current ECE standard
    Current British standard
    Current TUV standard

    3. That if the committee achieves harmonisation within the prescribed time frame set, they move onto adopting one of the world standards on motorcycle safety clothing to give them something to do. Again if the committee cannot work this out by 31st October 2011 then they again be advised of their disbanding and dissolution forthwith. I would be happy to assist the committee to make a decision on clothing so that I'm safer on the roads.

    4. No sticker or marking is required from any AS associated entity, body or class of people attesting the the helmet standard. Compliance with the above standards will be deemed compliance with AS1698. There will be no separate AS1698 markings required. If you require assistance to draft the revised standard then Im happy to draft it on behalf of AS.

    5. That the committee gradually reduce its numbers of people by a method of removing members who have not advised adoption of world standards within the past 2 years on helmets or safety equipment. This will put the focus into members being encouraged to adopt world standards, not bespoke, unique Australian standards. That as the committee size is reduced a max number of 3 individuals be the limit of the committee size. Otherwise nil is the ideal. The objective must be world standard not unique filtered Australian standards or part thereof.

    I will be following progress up over the next few months of my suggestions - suffice to say I will be seeing the above changes implemented over time as they are in the best interests of consumers, of which Im one. My requests are not complicated, onerous or difficult. They are consistent with Australia's position in the world which is not a standard setter.My head is not unique so unique onerous standards should not be set. Whilst a noble idea, unique Australian standards are reducing choice of helmets. I wish to see that changed as I believe in great capitalist world, not one of de facto barriers to entry. AS needs to focus energy on adoption of new standards covering equipment for example and move away from helmet standard setting.



    Standards Australia to me
    show details Mar 22
    Dear Robert,

    Thank you for the email.

    Your concerns have been brought to the attention of the Committee.




    I again emailed them on 4th April asking for progress:

    Further to my phone conversation of 28 March 2011 with XXXXX XXXXXXX I request a response in writing to my email dated 22 March 2011 where I requested a reply to an earlier email dated 10 February 2011.

    In addition I would like to know when the matters will be addressed and responded to in writing.

    Please make no mistake - I will be following this matter up until progress is made.

    So if it takes 12 months to get a reply from you - or I take the matter up with the ombudsman then so be it, I'll be happy to do it. I might take up with with ministers of the government - but this matter is not going away. Progress must be made toward harmonisation and more reliance upon world regulations.

    I'll reiterate what SA is about (quoted from your website):

    About Standards Australia

    Standards Australia is the nation’s peak non-government Standards organisation. It is charged by the Commonwealth Government to meet Australia’s need for contemporary, internationally aligned Standards and related services.


    I am obviously progress toward internationally aligned helmet standards. by simple deferral to such standards as:

    > Current US Snell standard
    >
    > Current ANSI standard
    >
    > Current US DOT standard
    >
    > Current Japanese standard
    >
    > Current ECE standard
    >
    > Current British standard
    >
    > Current TUV standard

    If you need any assistance in rewriting the legislation then please let me know as I would be only too happy to rewrite the legislation.


    Followed up again:

    date Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 8:16 AM
    subject Re: FW: AS1698 - attendion JXXXXX
    mailed-by gmail.com
    hide details Jul 13

    Can you please advise how much longer it is going to take before this change occurs?


    I started this process on February 10th this year.

    It is now 5 months since that was done.

    please advise at once.


    I sent another followup on October 7 - no response so far

    I think as I threatened in my original submission it's time to go to the ombudman and use the ACCC against AS.
    #16
  17. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Minority groups actually responsible for legislative change are few and far between, although it seems they run the joint. This is mainly due to VERY loud and vocal minoritys attaining a small incremental change, and then the media having got bored with it all and moved on, it SEEMS as if the minority has won the day.

    I only say this crap because as motorbicyclists we are a minority group, and against us is the prevalent "temporary Aussie" mentality in broader society, which the media seems to love. For us to effect any change in policy will involve much wailing and gnashing of teeth, while getting the media to think it's an interesting story. It seems in todays Oz, common sense or practical rationality is unlikely to be applied to legislature, instead the money trail of research grants, corporate "sponsorship", and Govt "worksafe" programs guarantee continual useless change (known broadly as "evolution") for the sake of it.

    It wasn't that long ago I rode with no helmet at all down to the shops (small town), the wind-in-the-hair stuff at 60kph, because I enjoyed the feeling. On the highway, yep, helmet, the "feel-good" feeling overridden by my sense of perservation! :lol3 My point being that in broader society, us Aussies tend to do what we like despite Govt urgings, whether it be watering the lawn on the wrong day of the week to save our garden, going to the beach and getting sunburnt occasionally, sitting on 105kph in a 100 zone, etc. When it comes to bikes however, we just seem to get all hung up on legalities suddenly.

    I sometimes think the best way to approach the problem (for me personally), is to say "fukkem", and just ride anyway. To fix the problem requires more noise and whinging than I'm prepared to give.

    I hope you can get the changes through mate, but it sounds like you're just about over it all, understandably.
    Don't pop-a-pooper doing it though, makes it hard to enjoy riding when you're done.:freaky
    #17
  18. BurnieM

    BurnieM Nipple boy

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    rmhrc628 it is an absolute waste of time talking to Australian Standards.
    They have a vested interest and do NOT write the law.

    Australian state and federal governments need to be hammered over an extended period of time to get any change.
    .
    #18
  19. grogger123

    grogger123 fatbastard

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    I am finding it really difficult to understand why people are getting bent out of shape about this issue. Does anyone have any facts about the number of people across the country each year who get booked because they are wearing a helmet from a recognised manufacturer, but without the right sticker? Or booked for the issues identified in the original article? I have been riding for thirty years and have been booked in the ACT, Qld, SA, NSW and WA and not once has any cop shown even the slightest interest in the type of helmet I have been wearing. Is this an issue that may present a theoretical problem, but in practical terms is a complete non-event? It certainly looks like that to me. I would be very interested to hear from people who find this issue deeply upsetting as to why they do. Particularly when it seems that in reality it appears to have zero impact.
    #19
  20. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    I for one am not and will not get bent out of shape over this issue but the bottom line is that at the current time it would appear it is not actually legal for us to do what we are all doing on a daily basis, especially when we cross state boundaries

    This leaves some real questions re insurance coverage etc in the case of accidents and legal liabilities for any business who purchases helmets for use by staff not to mention those who organise events like APC & ride days

    We have people like Guy Stanford and others who are prepared to spend their time keeping an eye on these things, sitting on committees etc & I figure the least we can do is support them not knock them

    How much time does it take to fire off an email complaint to increase pressure on pollies and others to act
    #20
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