MRASA The Motorcycle Riders' Association of South Australia
Open Road
Motorcycle Helmets in South Australia - Laws and Changes
  ECE 22.06

As of the 31st August 2023 it is legal to use an ECE 22.06 standard approved helmet in South Australia.

The MRASA is pleased to announce that the ECE 22.06 standard has been approved for use by the SA Government. Please refer to the updated page on My Licence website. Below is the official announcement from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (published with approval).

On 31 August 2023, the South Australian Government made the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) (Motor Bike Helmet) Amendment Regulations 2023 to add helmets manufactured under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulations No 22 incorporating the 06 series of amendments as a prescribed standard of motorbike helmet for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act 1961. This means that it is now legal to use ECE 22.06 helmets on South Australian roads.

The Regulations are gazetted at No. 67 - Thursday, 31 August 2023 (pp. 3129-3193).

  Australian Legislation for Motorcyle Helmets

Australian Road Rules
NTC (National Transport Commission)

State Rules
NSW Legislation (ROAD RULES 2014 - REG 270)
Victorian Legislation (Vic roads)
Western Australia
Western Australia (PDF - see page 61)
Northern Territory
SA - My License website
ACT - must meet Australian Standards

  ECE 22.05 helmets now legal in South Australia - 29 April 2016

As of the 28th April 2016 it is legal to use an ECE 22.05 standard approved helmet in South Australia.

Last week the MRASA executive met with Minister Malinauskas to among other things, finalise our recommendations for the changes to motorcycle helmet laws in South Australia. Today the Minister has issued a news release on the changes to helmet laws, which are outlined in the Government Gazette 2016_024 pages 1313 to 1314. A copy of these documents is provided below.

Key points in the changes are the introduction of the ECE 22.05 standard, the removal of the provision allowing a bicycle helmet to be used by a motorcycle passenger if under the age of six years, and the removal of outdated British Standards and Japanese helmet models all pre-dating 1988.

The MRASA would like to thank the minister for implementing these changes, and all others who have provided input, including those who facilitated the changes to Australian consumer law to allow helmet laws to be amended.

News Release by Minister Malinauskas.
Two pages from the Government Gazette detailing the changes to law.

  SA Helmets Laws Changing - 8 March 2016

The MRA is pleased to inform you about changes to the helmet regulations for South Australia. The Honourable Minister Peter Malinauskas has published a Media Release included below. The Media Release states that ECE22.05 standard helmets will soon be able to be worn by motorcyclists in South Australia.

The MRA has been in close consultation with DPTI over the past few weeks regarding the finalisation of the changes to the helmet laws in South Australia. Due to the restraints of ministerial protocol, we apologise to our members for not being able to inform you of this information.

This follows an article in the Adelaide newspaper today indicates Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas will announce changes to helmet laws, which will then be put to Parliament.

Please note that the changes to regulation 51 in the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014 have not yet been formalised and it is still illegal to use ECE 22.05 standard helmets on our State's roads at this time. Another announcement about the date of the legislation's commencement will be made as soon as that date is known.

Please read the Minister's Media Release published today.

  Australian Standards for Helmets - October 2015

South Australia needs to recognise European Reg ECE 22-05 helmets.

The MRASA has long been campaigning for alternatives to the Australian Standard for helmets.

Maintaining the status quo will not allow progress and riders lives are a pawn in this. Queensland got the ball rolling by allowing riders to wear ECE 22-05 helmets and has been followed by Victoria and the Northern Territory. NSW has stated they will permit ECE 22-05 for use as soon as the Federal Government and Australian Consumer and Competition Commission approve their sale by local retailers.

This raises two major points. Why do we need to do anything and why does the Federal Government and the ACCC need to be involved in South Australian Road Rules?

The answer is simple. Riders should be able to wear the best helmet available and know the helmet will do its job. Recently a South Australian rider died after a low speed incident when his helmet with an Australian Standard compliant sticker catastrophically failed. The MRASA, the AMC's Helmet Sub Committee, SAPOL Major Crash, and the ACCC all played their role in these helmets being withdrawn from sale. The helmets with an approved test sticker should never have been sold. This is a clear indication our current system is flawed.

Phil McClelland, MRASA President   

  MRASA Funds Independent Testing

The MRASA recently provided seed funding for independent testing of a batch of helmets Certified to the Australian Standard. A number of helmets failed testing. This testing confirms there are flaws in the processes used for approving helmets to the Australian Standard. Paperwork and reality are different. We have lost confidence in Australian standards certification processes.

Helmets in compliance with ECE 22-05 are subject to a series of clear testing steps in a transparent regulatory process with checks and balances before being certified. We have confidence in the European certification process.

There are differences in the standards, differences in the specification of technical requirements of the helmet. The ECE 22-05 requirements are based on extensive, ongoing public health studies of head injuries to riders. The Australian Standard is not.

Myths and half-truths used in advertising do not protect riders.

Phil McClelland, MRASA President   

  Consumer Protection Notice No. 9 - October 2015

Why do the Federal Government and the ACCC need to be involved in South Australian Road Rules?

Consumer Protection Notice No.9 (CPN No.9), issued 10 December 1990, is the Commonwealth Government legal instrument that mandates Australian Standard AS 1698-1988 as the declared product safety Standard for motorcycle helmets offered for sale in Australia.

Consumer Law in each state and territory reflect and require this. Currently, it is an offence to sell a helmet unless it complies with this 1988 standard. There are no helmets available in the market that comply.

Road Rules in SA require you to wear a helmet that is illegal to sell under Australian Consumer Law. European helmets in compliance with ECE 22-05 are just as illegal to sell in Australia.

Phil McClelland, MRASA President   

  MRASA Recommendation - October 2015

The MRASA recommend the Commonwealth government to amend the Australian Consumer Law to permit sale of European helmets.

The MRASA recommend the Commonwealth to review certification process requirements and to take a more active role in determining whether the paperwork for certification reflects reality.

  AMC Media Release - 5 November 2015

The new Chairman of the Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) Mr Peter Baulch has issued the following media release calling for uniform rules for Motorcycle helmets.

  Australian Helmet Laws - 29 March 2015

The MRASA has been campaigning for over 30 years to have helmet laws in this country revised. The MRASA has made many submissions to authorities over the years, and is a long time supporter of the efforts of the Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) in their efforts to achieve this at a national level, in a fashion that will inherently be effective in all states and territories of Australia.

Here is a paper presented to the ACCC in September 2013 on the issues together with our recommendations. There are also a number of helmet related articles that have been published in the Centrestand magazine, which are also available from the MRASA website. The March 2013 issue of Centrestand (pages 13-15) outlined the situation with helmets in 2013, read an extract here.
  Helmet Standards - January 2013

The helmet standards issue is still current, with the Australian Motorcycle News (AMCN) Magazine publishing an article on the subject. The article is short and to the point, worthy of a quick read for a simplified explanation of the farce regarding helmet compliance stickers. Here is a PDF of the AMCN news article.
Get your own Australian Motorcycle News Magazine subscription.

Phil McClelland - President, MRASA   

  Helmet Standards - October 2011

The helmet standards issue is a big one at the moment. All helmets manufactured have to comply with the Australian AS1698 Standard. Costly compulsory testing to this standard makes the price of helmets in Australia much more than the same models available overseas. We are a relatively small market. The various US, European and Japanese helmet standards are comparable with AS1698 so why not allow these helmets that comply with their local standards to be legally purchased and worn in Australia? This would mean a fairer market, cheaper prices and a better range.

Currently it is illegal to wear any helmet purchased from overseas, and doing so can compromise any insurance claim in case of a motorcycle crash.

The Australian Motorcycle Council, which the MRASA supports and associates closely with, is working hard on this issue and hopefully sense will prevail and we will get a better deal for all riders.

Neville Gray - Road Safety Officer and Vice-President, MRASA   

  helmet standards

Motorcycle Helmets - General Information
  Helmet Mounted Cameras - 17 June 2017

The MRASA believes there is no need for South Australian legislation to allow cameras to be mounted on motorcycle or pushbike helmets. SAPOL, DPTI and MAC have all indicated that helmet cameras is not an issue in South Australia.

We wouldn't stand in the way of it, but think there are more pressing things to focus on.

It has been an issue in both Victoria and New South Wales where riders were booked for them. The AMC (Australian Motorcycle Council) worked with Maurice Blackburn to have a test case in each state contested. Both riders won in court.

Provided the helmet is not damaged by the mounting of a camera and the mount is designed to break away, the helmet is fit for use. Camera's can be mounted on helmets but the helmet must not be damaged in the process. A point that is not well enough understood is; the approved helmet standard referenced in the road rules is written for the design and manufacture of the helmet. It is not an in-service standard.

The MRASA is not aware of any South Australian rider being booked for a camera being safely mounted on a motorcycle helmet. The MRASA are more than willing to support a test case if it is needed.

Phil McClelland - President

  AGV Helmet cut in half - 21 May 2016

Here is a picture of an AGV helmet cut in half, showing how thick the internal padding is. The pictured helmet has gone through safety tests. The cut away shows the real working part of your helmet, the main bit that protects your head/brain. The padding and foam compresses more slowly in an accident reducing the sudden impact trauma to the brain. Unfortunately a visual inspection of a helmet will not reveal if the padding has been damaged, so if you buy a second hand helmet you may well be buying very damaged goods which will NOT protect you.

Credit for the picture goes to Twitter account @HalfPics. Click on the image for a larger image.

  Go-Pro on your helmet - 18 December 2013

A motorcycle rider was pulled over by Police on Bourke Road Camberwell Melbourne on 12th December 2013. He was booked for having a GoPro mounted on his helmet. You can see the footage on youtube which includes police comments. Guy Stanford, the Chairman of the AMC Helmet Subcommittee has made the following statement.

"This Go-Pro stuff is myth, misunderstanding and poor policing. Think of it this way, there's no ADR for roof-racks. Carrying a load on a car roof using roof-racks may affect safety in vehicle roll-over, or pedestrian collision. The ADR system does not recognise a roof-rack, hence it is non-compliant with any ADR. Same as Go-Pro on a helmet, or a clip-on Bluetooth communicator. The car passes though the ADR system, the customer adds a roof-rack. Helmets pass through the Standards compliance process, the customer adds the Go-Pro, etc."

"No law has been broken. The copper who booked a bloke in Victoria is mistaken and the ticket can be successfully fought. A vehicle driver may be booked for an 'unsecured load', but not for simply using a roof rack to carry a load. Whether it is a part of caution to not attach a Go-Pro is a completely separate issue, like wearing good boots or thongs."

South Australian Police were asked by Mr Phil Creer of the MRASA via Facebook to clarify what law had been broken. SAPOL responded with the following.

"There is no reference in the Australian Road Rules. The information you are searching for is found via the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission website. The ACCC regulates Australian product standards." Please make reference to "Consumer Protection Notice No.9 of 1990 which outlines the mandatory requirements for motorcycle helmets."

Guy Stanford interprets this response as "there is no offence. Besides which, the SA road rule for helmets is impossible to comply with anyway, due to impossible requirements for stickers."
  Motorcycle Helmet Recall - 28 April 2013

The ACCC have published a product safety recall of a particular brand and model of helmet citing that there is a possibility the helmet may not provide adequate protection to the wearer in the event of an accident and may increase the risk of death or serious injury to the wearer. The ACCC advise consumers should immediately stop using the helmets. View the ACCC Media Release.

Details on the product recalls are:
28 April 2013 - Kylin XR-205 Motorcycle Helmet. (Expanded recall 15 May 2013)
07 May 2013 - KBC VR-1X Motorcycle Helmet
04 July 2013 - X1 Moto XR-205 Motorcycle Helmet

11 July 2013 - Channel 10 aired an article covering the helmet certification debacle, which you can view via this youtube clip

The NSW Roads & Traffic Authority website has information on the helmet standard with the sticker shown at bottom left of the four on their Motorcycle Helmets page.

The Motorcycle Council of NSW has a page on what you need to know about Motorcycle Helmets.

VicRoads has similar information on their Motorcyclist Safety page.

Peter Mount has authored a comprehensive national appraisal of motorcycle helmet standards. If you are a MRASA member, you can read more in the March 2013 edition of the Centrestand magazine.

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