Helmets and helmet standards
- Your helmet should fit you properly and offer protection that complies with the Australian Helmet standards (see below).
- Try the helmet on for size before you buy it and don’t purchase online unless you are sure it will fit correctly.
- Light coloured helmets are more visible to other vehicles day and night.
- Do not buy a second-hand helmet, as you don’t know how it has been treated, if it has been involved in a crash or if there is any damage (e.g. UV degradation).
- Helmets must be replaced if you are involved in a crash or it has been dropped.
Approved standards for motorcycle helmets
The wearing of approved standard helmets for all type of motorcyclists and their pillion passengers, including moped riders, is compulsory in Australia. Extensive research shows the effectiveness of wearing approved motorcycle helmets in preventing or reducing the risk of serious or fatal injury in a motorcycle crash.
Regulation 244 of the Road Traffic Code 2000 states that a motorcycle, including a moped, must not be ridden unless an approved standard or type of helmet is securely fitted and fastened to the head of the rider. Failure to comply can incur 4 demerit points and a $550 fine.
Regulation 244 also stipulates that any other person, who is riding or being carried on the motorcycle, including a moped, shall wear an approved protective helmet fitted securely on the head. The fine is $550 for failing to comply for the passenger, and possibly also for the driver.
The standards and types of helmets approved for use in Western Australia include:
- Australian Standard (AS) 1698:1988, Protective helmets for vehicle users;
- Australian Standard /New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS) 1698: 2006, Protective helmets for vehicle users;
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) 22.05, Uniform provisions concerning the approval of protective helmets and their visors for drivers and passengers of motor cycles and mopeds.
To ensure that your protective helmet is compliant with the Western Australian legal standards and types, look for identifying marks on the helmet, such as a sewn-in label and, on 2010 or later helmets, a compliance sticker. All helmets must be marked to show that they comply with the relevant Australian Standard (i.e. AS 1698:1988 or AS/NZS 1698:2006) or UN ECE 22.05.
For helmets that comply with UN ECE 22.05, the helmet must bear a label displaying an international approval mark. Look for a label sewn into the retention system of the helmet.
The mark is in a form of a circle surrounding the letter ‘E’, followed by the distinguishing number of the country in which the testing and certification was approved. The number on the right of the ‘E’, therefore, may vary from one model of helmet to another (e.g. 2=France, 3=Italy).
The mark must also have information concerning the actual standard with which it applies (i.e. 05 is the ECE 22.05 standard and is followed by the approval number issued in the respective country), the type of helmet (i.e. P is ‘protective’ and J signifies ‘Jet’ style open face approval) and its production serial number. Examples are: