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NSW Helmet cam crackdown

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by gunissan, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. #1 gunissan, Nov 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2014
    Similar to this thread,

    NSW police have now decided to issue TIN's for helmet cams.

    Riders have been advised to fight fines for having a camera stuck to their helmet in the wake of a crackdown on helmet cams in NSW.

    The Stokmans’ Harleys

    Harley Fat Bob rider Chris Stokman was one of those fined $311 and 3 demerit points last week by NSW Highway Patrol between Kempsey and Coffs Harbour for having a helmet cam.

    “That’s a fairly hefty penalty, especially when he could have just given me a warning,” she says. “My husband and I do thousands of kilometres a year on our bikes around eastern Australia and have never encountered an issue before,” she says.

    At least one expert says this is an example of police misinterpreting the Australian Design Rules.

    Australian Motorcycle Council spokesman and expert in helmet laws, Guy Stanford, says the laws are very complicated and are interpreted differently in each state.


    The cause of the concern is that the design rules stipulate a helmet cannot be modified with anything that sits out more than 5mm from the shell. However, Guy says a helmet cam or Bluetooth unit that is stuck on is a temporary accessory, not a permanent modification of the helmet.


    A permanent modification would require the shell to be tampered with such as drilling holes in it to secure a helmet cam or any other device such as a Bluetooth unit. In Chris’s case the camera was attached via velcro. Attachments can also be via double-sided tape, a suction cup or clamp that does not pierce the outer shell.

    NSW police have been emboldened in their interpretation of the law because a GS rider fined in October agreed to admit guilt in return for having no conviction recorded, no fine and no cop demerit points. Guy says his admission has set a dangerous precedent.

    Chris says the officer who issued her fine suggested she appeal on the grounds it is a little-known law.

    Guy has written a pro-forma letter to the NSW police that can be used in an appeal against the fine. He says he will write similar letters for riders in other states. It reads:

    Dear Sirs,

    I was issued with Infringement Notice No XXXXXXXXXXXXX on the basis my helmet is not in compliance with NSW Road Rule 270.

    NSW Road Rule 270 requires a rider to wear “an approved motor bike helmet” NSW Gazette of 5 November 2010 at Page 5402 carries the definition for “an approved motor bike helmet” for purposes of Road Rule 270.

    This definition provides for “approval” through a sticker attesting compliance with a nominated standard.

    Infringement notice

    My helmet continues to bear the approval sticker as required.

    A camera is an accessory. Many accessories are available for helmets. Accessories are distinct from a modification.

    Removal of an accessory returns the helmet to original condition, while modification of a helmet does not.

    There is no NSW regulation that provides for revocation of approval of a motor bike helmet.

    My helmet was “approved” prior to purchase and it is because it was approved for use on NSW roads that I purchased it.

    The standard referenced in the definition of Page 5402 of the Gazette of 5 November 2010 is not a regulation and contains no regulatory subject matter that provides for approval or revocation of approval.

    The referenced standard is not a NSW in-service regulation. Without doubt, I was and continue to wear an approved helmet. The presence of an accessory camera is irrelevant.

    This Infringement Notice is not based on NSW regulations and I request that it be withdrawn.

    Yours, etc

    We are still waiting on a legal interpretation of the law and advice for riders from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and a statement from the NSW police on their blitz. Stay tuned for more on this developing issue.

    Meanwhile, read the stories below which give some background on this complicated issue which could be resolved at a coming Standards Australia forum into helmet laws and safety certification in Sydney next year.
  2. Thanks to the mod , whichever of you it was, for inserting the text, I got called away from the 'puter before I could finish off properly.
  3. I'm going to feel naked commuting in Sydney now without a camera on my head as a black box recorder.
  4. Good. Maybe now you'll learn how to ride in traffic.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. Not sure if it helps, but I know some helmets come with instructions on what bluetooth units they're compatible with. (External ones). Same information sheet warns not to modify the helmet, so it seems pretty obvious that the manufacturer also considers an accessory like a bluetooth an accessory only, and not a modification. Aka: https://netrider.net.au/threads/fined-for-having-a-gopro-on-helmet.171747/page-34#post-2709423

    Might be worth putting in the letter too?
  6. Might keep several of these proformas under my bike seat.
    One to give immediately to the officer to store with his notes.
    Save him time reading it in court.
  7. It's a good point ajrider. It might help, but probably only in Victoria, which is the only force (AFAIK) who have decided that manufacturer's instructions possess the force of law (perhaps unproven).
    NSW police seem to have made their own blanket decision as to what constitutes compliance. (A court may yet disagree.)
  8. How do issues like this and the tinted visor compliance usually get sorted? These ambiguous laws which leave it open for a police man with a chip on his shoulder an avenue to ruin your day. Surely it should be a priority to update legislation to reflect new technology and innovations in Motorcycle equipment.

    One of the arguments I hear in favor of the AS covering helmets, is that is an Australian standard to suit Australian usage and safety requirements. Surely then, it should be easy to have it changed? I imagine it should be much easier that if the law was adhering to an EU or US standard.

    I am also worried that highlighting these issues will not lead to a knee jerk reaction by some "safetycrat" to ban Bluetooth, tinted Visors and cameras altogether. It will defiantly need to be handled correctly.
  9. I think you've answered your own question. Issues like this usually get sorted by the cop asking you to bend over. You bend over - and hope for the best!
  10. As an example, in February there is going to be a meeting of interested parties and organisations to take their concerns to a possible overhaul of the Standards issues by the Feds.
    If they can fix the compliance issues, and especially, if they can overrule the nonconformities between states, there is a chance that some of the opportunities for cops to issue vexatious TINs will cease to exist.
    As you say, recognition of EU and US standards is one possibility.
  11. V2V2 I meant a more holistic solution, not a case by case basis :)

    titustitus That sounds good, it is a real inconvenience for people when they are traveling between states to be required to adhere to different laws.
  12. If NSW HWP command deem a camera fitted (non permanent) to the helmet to be a modification making AS1698 void, they had better start looking for a new helmet supplier and certifier themselves, because their bluetooth comms and cameras place them in the same boat.

    I am unaware of any legislation exempting them from the AS1698 requirement. If I got a TIN for this, I would run it by the magistrate and try to have it determined. If I got up, apply for costs.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Are the PoPo going to TIN themselves for wearing noncompliant gear? There's always the defence that it was necessary to perform their duties.
    Maybe someone else could bring an OH&S (Workcover) case against them?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. So if someone manages to get Police pinged by any authority at all for things attached to their helmets, how does that make the case that anyone else should be allowed to do it?

    It sounds to me like it would be an own goal.

    Getting the technical matter of whether or not a TIN can be issued for a helmet camera cleared up once and for all is the ball that needs to played, and challenging that in court as the MCC is suggesting seems to be the logical way to go about it.

    What happens beyond that depends on that yet-to-be-arrived-at outcome, so any other shooting in the dark in the meantime is pointless at best, almost certainly only clouds the issue further, and will quite likely be counter-productive to whatever degree other possibly ill-advised or even obviously vexatious actions might entail (which is a whole swag unknown quantities).

    It's surely better to have anyone affected follow Guy's advice so that there is a rational, credible and cohesive approach to the issue that can give a definitive result. If it's the one we want - good. If it isn't, it is only after the outcome that we know what to deal with as the next step.

    There's little point in acting on spurious or angst-driven second-guessings of the possible outcome before seeing what it will be. That's hardly a sensible or methodical approach.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. So should or shouldn't I get a head cam at the moment ??? What is the legal veracity of these things as evidence in court please? Could JustusJustus please provide legal standpoint on these cameras- I am not sure of the finer points of the AS requirements but know that stickers on a helmet purportedly 'invalidate" the AS requirements. With only four points to play with on my Ps for next 12 months, it is not worth my time to get pinged for a helmet camera...
  16. You can still mount a camera somewhere other than your helmet, without an issue. Even if NSW police are proven wrong about helmet mounts, it'll still cost you time and money to challenge in court. I would wait for the feds to try and sort out helmet law next year.
  17. Titus is pretty much spot on above. Even if you test in court a TIN for having a non-compliant helmet and get up, you can apply for costs but it is time consuming, in some cases more costly than what you might be awarded by a magistrate.

    With the helmet laws being looked at early 2015, waiting for some determination might be the best thing.

  18. NSW riders should be able to FOI the OH&S work that OK'd "modifying" NSW Police helmets for duty. If no such work exists then Police command are placing their own members in the same peril they believe requires enforcing at the public level.

    Really, what Guy has written should see the matter thrown out at the appeal level and if it goes to the Mag Court, then thrown out of Mag court. Riders SHOULD ask for costs so that it deters Police prosecutors continuing to chasing after such a vexacious bullshit TIN's. If VicPol is anything to go by, command takes a very dim view of TIN's going to court and losing particularly if there's a price tag attached.

    I was fascinated by the NSW police statement that talked about policing ADR 1698. Whoever wrote that demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding. Helmets are not covered by an ADR.
  19. Where did this happen? I can't find anything about policing adr1698?
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