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  • Lane Filtering legalised

    On 1st July 2014, lane filtering was legalised in NSW. The MCC of NSW has fought for this legalisation for many years. For more details click here

  • Bylong Valley Way Improvements

    As a result of a cluster of motorcycle crashes in a short section of Bylong Valley Way, NSW Roads and Maritime Services (formerly RTA) and Mid Western Regional Council are completing improvements to the road using Federal Blackspot Funding. For more details see the files below.

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Helmet Road Rules

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

See also:
Accessories
Cameras
Standards Review
Certification History

Whatever it is, make sure it FITS YOUR HEAD.

About 10% of helmets come off in crashes. Fasten the strap.
Don’t buy a helmet you haven’t had on YOUR head.
Helmet fit is very important. More here

Helmets required by road rules are different in every State or Territory in Australia

This page is ONLY for NSW

NSW Road Rule 270 requires a rider, a pillion, a sidecar passenger to wear “an approved motor bike helmet”.

NSW “approval” is via the Trademarks of certain companies.
“approval” is not really about standards or safety of helmets.
“approval” is about labels and the meaning of that label.

It’s about the label on the INSIDE of your helmet, not an external sticker.

An external sticker may mean you don’t have to take the helmet off to show the one on the inside. An advertising convenience, that’s all.

Up until 5 February 2010, there were SIX labels you could have on your helmet

ConformanceMarkStandards Association of Australia (defunct)
SAI Global LtdTuV Rheinland Australia
BSI UKPasMark

On 5 February 2010, NSW introduced a retrospective definition for “an approved motor bike helmet”. This created market chaos. Riders got fined. Small helmet importers suffered financially. So the then RTA had another go after protests.

Since 5 November 2010, there are only four labels permitted on helmets purchased after 31 March 2010.

Buy one of these stickers with a helmet attached and that’s how to comply with NSW Road Rule 270. These are fine protection.

JAS-ANZ companies

RMS helmets webpage

EXEMPTION

If your head requires a helmet larger than 62 cm, since 28 September 2012 you can wear a different helmet, BUT there are conditions

  1. you need to carry a formal medical certificate
  2. the helmet must have labels showing it complies with any of
  • European Reg ECE 22-05
  • Japanese JIS T8133
  • USA "DOT" (FMVSS-218)

You're also permitted to wear a helmet marked only by Snell, but we DO NOT recommend this for street use.

European helmets are lighter to reduce neck injury and basilar skull fracture, have excellent impact attenuation, greater test coverage area and a very sound certification process.
Japanese helmets are virtually identical to Australian, but with better impact attenuation (more restricted pulse width) and the most robust certification process of any.
US "DOT" helmets are almost the same as Australian, but with better impact attenuation (more restricted pulse width) and a certification process that places responsibility on the manufacturer (or importer) for compliance. Their recall system is regularly used, in market surveillance testing by NHTSA, backed by a legal system that punishes manufacturers who transgress.

These have labels like this:-

EuroDOT
European above left, sewn onto chin strap
USA above right, on rear of helmet
Japanese below, on outer shell

The Japanese compliance system is very strong and the sticker is evidence that the insurance premium for a head injury has been paid for the wearer of that helmet (insured only if in Japan)

Novelty Helmets

Definitely NOT recommended. While an ice-cream bucket with elastic under the chin might be handy for some things, for helmets to be truly useful, they need impact attenuation.

Just 'cos it's cool in the USA doesn't mean it's safe. The US NHTSA reckons they're Unsafe Motorcycle Helmets and the Michigan State Police can show you how to identify a novelty helmet.

  • Helmet Accessories

    See also: Helmet Rules Cameras Standards Review Certification History There are no Regulations in NSW that specifically prevent adding an accessory to a helmet. NSW Road Rules require you to wear a...

  • A Word About Cameras

    See also: Helmet Rules Accessories Standards Review Certification History Got a camera stuck on your helmet? A good rider is a good risk manager. So what’s the risk to be managed? We recommend...

  • Standards - A Brief Review

    See also: Helmet Rules Accessories Cameras Certification History Basically, there are two “types” of helmet standards that we see today as viable alternatives. Motorcycle helmet design is further...

  • Road Rules and Helmets Certification - A History

    See also: Helmet Rules Accessories Standards Review Cameras In 1972, concurrent with introduction of seat belt wearing laws, road authorities commenced introduction of helmet wearing laws, with...

1. File description: Retrospective Definition 5 Feb 2010 [509.9KB]

File name: Government_Gazette_5_February_2010_P_503.pdf

2. File description: 4 Labels only Definition 5 Nov 2010 [59.9KB]

File name: Government_Gazette_5_November_page_5402.pdf

3. File description: Big Head Exemption 28 Sept 2012 [124.3KB]

File name: Government-Gazette-28-September-2012_PP_4138_4139.pdf