Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

N/A | National Senator Ricky Muir's speech regarding motorcycle stuff

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by smee, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Published on Oct 13, 2015
    I rise to make some short comments pertaining to motorcycle crash helmets for use on public roads in Australia.

    The crash helmet is the most important part of motorcycle protective equipment – combined of course with the brain that is inside the head, inside the helmet. In recognising this, there are laws and regulations about what helmets can be sold and what should be worn. Compulsory helmet laws make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, in Australia that’s about where the logic ends.

    As 650 specialists from around Australia and overseas meet on the Gold Coast this evening on the eve of the first Australasian Road Safety Conference, it’s an appropriate time to highlight the significant conflicts around motorcycle crash helmets between Commonwealth laws and those of the states and territories.

    These conflicts have been recognised for a number of years; yet little has changed to address this and nothing at the Commonwealth level. Hopefully through the COAG process, this is about to be addressed.

    Motorcycle and scooter use has grown significantly in Australia in the past decade. There are almost twice as many riders in 2015 as there were in 2005 – the number is now around 800,000. Yet new riders looking to do the right thing would be confused, because it’s been impossible to purchase a complying motorcycle helmet for almost that entire decade.

    The Consumer Product Safety Standard governing sale of motorcycle crash helmets is Consumer Protection Notice Number 9 that was published in 1990 – 25 years ago. It refers to the Australia and New Zealand helmet standard 1698, from the year 1988.

    However, Standards Australia subsequently reviewed this standard – in 2006. Whilst federal laws govern what can be sold, it’s state and territory regulations that govern what is legal for use whilst riding. These state and territory regulations refer to the later standard – AS1698 of 2006. Since the introduction of the updated standard, no helmet sold in Australia has complied with Consumer Protection Notice Number 9. What kind of “consumer protection” law is this?

    Following representations from rider organisations, the governments of Queensland, Northern Territory and Victoria have amended regulations to allow riders to wear helmets complying with the European standard ECE 22-05. This is all well and good, yet it remains illegal to sell a helmet in Australia complying with ECE 22-05 as a motorcycle crash helmet. That’s because Consumer Protection Notice is 25 years old.

    Motorcycle riders recognise their own vulnerability, and are highly aware of safety. Riders want to choose from the best helmets they can afford.

    Consumer Protection Notice Number 9 needs to be revoked or amended to allow sale of ECE 22-05 helmets and to recognise the current Australian Standard – not one that was surpassed a decade ago. This then needs to go a step further – to ensure that Australia has a standard that reflects the current global market.

    All state and territory road authorities need to amend Road Rule 270 and the definitions of “an approved motor bike helmet”, to ensure uniformity across all jurisdictions.

    I understand that through COAG, the infrastructure and transport ministers from across the country plan to discuss this issue at their next meeting in November. I urge the relevant Commonwealth ministers to ensure that we work with the states and territories to finally bring about a quick and sensible resolution to this issue.

    I also urge the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to play their part in working with organisations such as the Australian Motorcycle Council to resolve the matters around consumer protection as soon as possible, in the interests of improving motorcycle safety.
    • Like Like x 9
    • Winner Winner x 3
  2. And for those that do not know, Shaun Lennard recently (last week) resigned his long-term (9 years) position as Chairman of the Australian Motorcycle Council to take up a position as Media Advisor for Ricky Muir. I expect we'll see more two wheels based political media releases and parliamentary speeches (and vote recruiting) coming from Ricky Muir from now on :)
    • Like Like x 10
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Applause for the above statement and best o' luck to Shaun Lennard on his career move.....but

    my 1 wish in all of this........please don't let the politicians cock it all up, like just about everything else that they meddle with....
  4. in some ways i'd actually prefer the american way... no helmets.... that way we can choose to wear the safest and best fitting one we can find regardless of government ineptitude.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  5. Indeed. For those that don't follow what's happened, this is a good example of how to make change occur. You can bleat on the unfairness of it all and try to shame people in government all you want but until a sitting member enters a bill for debate in parliament, nothing will happen. Convincing a senator to do this is so hard to do because as political animals they weigh up all the ramifications from doing so first before looking at the merits. We're extremely fortunate at the moment for having one or two senators that not only are prepared to listen to our issues, but to act upon them. Ricky being one of them. From the bill being debated, action can then occur as the government agencies work to fulfil the requirements the parliament dictate. This is how the system works and it's why the AMC members have been working so hard on this for so long. It's tedious, laborious and it takes time to build and develop the relationships needed and the credibility backing those looking for change that we're now beginning to see fruition. It's not about public protests and name calling, it's how to work with the government to rally against those with conflicting self interests for a better outcome. Kudos to all those involved, you know who you are.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I was one of the few that voted for Ricky, but boy was it a worthwhile vote!
  7. If you think about it, that's a politically necessity for him; his initial election was virtually a roll of the dice, so if he wants to stay in parliament he'll almost certainly need to make enough of a name for himself that a large number of people start voting for him directly. Being seen to take up worthy causes and trying to get good stuff done is vital for that.

    And if it doesn't pan out for him, he'll still have the satisfaction of having done said good stuff (or at least doing his best).
    • Agree Agree x 2