A recent announcement of new helmet regulations by Minister for Roads Duncan Gay will please motorcycle riders in New South Wales. In a Transport for NSW media release, the minister explained that European standard helmets, as well as those from other countries, would soon be available for use.
A change in helmet regulations would bring NSW into the fold with other states such as Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, states Mr Gay.
The road to new helmet rules in NSW
“While I appreciate our neighbouring states have made changes to their own laws, it makes no sense to allow the wearing of helmets without fixing the retail side of it at a Commonwealth level – we need to enable helmets manufactured to the European Standard to be both worn and sold in NSW,” Mr Gay explained.
“Our first step is to work with the Federal Government to align proposed changes in NSW road rules with the necessary changes in Australian consumer laws.”
In order to set these changes inaction and make the sale of international helmets legal throughout Australia, Mr Gay shared his plans to contact the Federal Minister in order to request an amendment to current laws.
“Once the Commonwealth makes these suggested amendments riders will be able to buy and wear these helmets in NSW,” Mr Gay added. “This will give riders and retailers access to a wider range of quality motorcycle helmets.”
These arrangements are hoped to come into effect from early 2016.
CRASH results released
This comes in tandem with the release of the most recent batch of Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) results, which provides helmets on the Australian market with a safety rating so that riders can make an informed choice.
“To help motorcycle riders make the safest choice, the NSW Government works closely with the NRMA and the Victorian Transport Accident Commission to regularly assess helmets and provide riders with easy to understand ratings based on protection and comfort,” Mr Gay said.
Of the 17 full-face, 8 dual purpose and 5 open face helmets tested by CRASH, the SHARK Explore-R took the top result for protection and comfort with a four out of a five possible stars.
“It’s a critical time to discuss motorcycle safety given motorcycle riders are over represented in the NSW road toll, accounting for around 21 per cent of road deaths and 12 per cent of injuries,” said Mr Gay.
A relevant statement, given that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has observed the continued strong trend for road motorcycle sales in 2015.
Road motorcycles still popular
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber reported that of the 75,848 new motorcycles purchased in the year’s third quarter alone, 42.7 per cent were road bikes. Harley-Davidson leads the pack with 21 per cent market share, followed by Honda at 16.7 per cent and Yamaha at 15.4 per cent.
If sales continue to be strong, and more motorcycles take to the NSW streets, safety will be increasingly important, with the wrong choice of helmet potentially resulting in serious injury or even fatality. Riders can visit the Ride to Live and CRASH websites to help make finding a safe helmet easier.
Information on motorbike green slips is available on the website.