Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

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Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby boatonthehill » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:24 pm

Hi all

I was hoping someone could clarify something for me.

I dont wish to spark a LBS vs online webstore debate that has been covered plenty of times before, but 'legally' what would the ramifications of purchasing a new helmet from an overseas webstore ie: the UK and wearing it in Australia if an accident or such occurs?

I am thinking mainly about events like Sportives, at the velodrome and I am thinking about having a crack at club racing later in the year. Most memberships to clubs etc have some limited insurance but I wonder if I would be voiding this if I went down this road.
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by BNA » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:33 pm

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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby jules21 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:33 pm

you can be fined under the road rules, which require a helmet to meet the AS. you can be denied entry to events (if they check of course).

i doubt you'd void any insurance, they'd probably need to show your decision to wear a non-compliant helmet contributed to your injury costs. of course if you hit your head, they might give that a go.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby brendeng » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:07 pm

Apparently you can also have problems with the likes of T.A.C if ya happen to have a crash on the road, car at fault sort of thing, give ya head a whack, T.A.C might not comes to the party if ya off work for a while or medical costs.

I get alot of stuff from overseas, but frames and helmets are the 2 things I go to LBS for.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby human909 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:22 pm

brendeng wrote:Apparently you can also have problems with the likes of T.A.C if ya happen to have a crash on the road, car at fault sort of thing, give ya head a whack, T.A.C might not comes to the party if ya off work for a while or medical costs.

I get alot of stuff from overseas, but frames and helmets are the 2 things I go to LBS for.


The TAC would have to show that having a non accredited helmet lead to your injury. A near impossible task.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby boatonthehill » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:27 pm

thanks guys you have just reinforced all my fears ha

I am not to worried about the cops or clubs randomly insepcting the helmet am more worried about avoiding BS in the event of a spill

Although online stores have a much larger range and are about 1/3 the price I think I will be purchasing from the LBS - means I will have to save my pennies a little longer sigh.... and was going to be easier to get a $130 purchase past the minister for fun and finance than a $300 plus one!


if anyone could give a clubs perspective on this that would be great.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby philip » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:34 pm

boatonthehill wrote:if anyone could give a clubs perspective on this that would be great.

my club does occasionally check for helmet stickers, if you're racing here you're really better off buying locally
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby Oxford » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:36 pm

you cannot race road or most MTB events with a non AS helmet. that's from a race commissiare ie me. you will void the insurance policy as it hinges on many things including having an AS helmet, it is in the race rules. the only exception I am aware of is in MTB DH events where internationally accredited full face helmets are allowed.

in saying all that it is rare for commissaires to check helmets, but it has been known to happen and will happen a lot more in the future.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby william » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:09 pm

Now here's a thing.
When our overseas competitors ride here with their sponsors and team equipment why do they ride with helmets that are not sold in Australia and obviously do not have the Australian regulations sticker. ie Uvex. Casco track helmets etc.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby Oxford » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:12 am

william wrote:Now here's a thing.
When our overseas competitors ride here with their sponsors and team equipment why do they ride with helmets that are not sold in Australia and obviously do not have the Australian regulations sticker. ie Uvex. Casco track helmets etc.

because the organisers apply for and are allowed exemptions from the road rules including AS approved helmets, speed limits, the support vehicles being allowed to drive either side of the road etc etc. governments buckle for these exemptions because of the $$$ coming in the door from tourism, economic factors etc etc.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:22 am

human909 wrote:The TAC would have to show that having a non accredited helmet lead to your injury. A near impossible task.

it's not even that. in Vic at least, TAC 3rd party injury insurance is on a "no blame" basis. your injury costs are covered, regardless of your level of blame in causing them. the helmet law is just another road rule you aren't held liable for by that insurance regime - there's no grounds for them to not pay you out.

of course that insurance only applies if you're hit by a registered motor vehicle.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:48 am

jules21 wrote:
human909 wrote:The TAC would have to show that having a non accredited helmet lead to your injury. A near impossible task.

it's not even that. in Vic at least, TAC 3rd party injury insurance is on a "no blame" basis. your injury costs are covered, regardless of your level of blame in causing them. the helmet law is just another road rule you aren't held liable for by that insurance regime - there's no grounds for them to not pay you out.

of course that insurance only applies if you're hit by a registered motor vehicle.


Good point.

Doesn't matter cause my helmet is a AS2008 approved helmet that cost me $5 from a vending machine! :D
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby sogood » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:59 am

I can understand maintenance of an Australian Standard in the pretext of sovereign right of the nation. A necessary construct for any country. But I don't believe it protects any better or worse than similar technical standards specified in other developed countries.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:26 am

sogood wrote:I can understand maintenance of an Australian Standard in the pretext of sovereign right of the nation. A necessary construct for any country. But I don't believe it protects any better or worse than similar technical standards specified in other developed countries.

over the years there has been a deliberate strategy of reforming standards in australia to harmonise with major international ones. the objective is to free up trade - streamline import and export of products. new vehicles are a good example, where the old regime of dedicated australian rules that served to protect local car makers was dropped - we now accept european standards. they seem to work pretty well. the helmet standard is one where regulators have persisted with a unique australian standard that prevents the import of a range of products that weren't designed to meet it. make of that what you will..
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby sogood » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:43 am

jules21 wrote:over the years there has been a deliberate strategy of reforming standards in australia to harmonise with major international ones. the objective is to free up trade - streamline import and export of products. new vehicles are a good example, where the old regime of dedicated australian rules that served to protect local car makers was dropped - we now accept european standards. they seem to work pretty well. the helmet standard is one where regulators have persisted with a unique australian standard that prevents the import of a range of products that weren't designed to meet it. make of that what you will..

Yes, harmonization has been the focus for quite a few years now. Very similar in the food and drug field (FDA, CE, TGA etc). However, the agreement of common standards and acceptability of data/approval from another jurisdiction remains contributory to the local approval process (ie. Faster and cheaper for the commercial applicants), the national bodies still reserve the final stamp of approval. Not unreasonable in my mind or we won't have to call ourself Australia.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:02 am

yeah, i agree with that.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby alex » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:18 am

brendeng wrote:Apparently you can also have problems with the likes of T.A.C if ya happen to have a crash on the road, car at fault sort of thing, give ya head a whack, T.A.C might not comes to the party if ya off work for a while or medical costs.


australian road rules require you to wear 'an approved helmet' - i have never seen any reference to 'australian standards approved' so a helmet from o/s seems fine for non racing use.

the insurance that cycling australia uses for racing etc requires you to wear 'an australian standards approved helmet' .

when you have a TAC/CTP claim, the question is 'were you wearing a helmet', followed by a tick box. there is nothing about australian standards.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:29 am

alex wrote:australian road rules require you to wear 'an approved helmet' - i have never seen any reference to 'australian standards approved' so a helmet from o/s seems fine for non racing use.


From Victorian road rules:

approved bicycle helmet means a bicycle helmet of a type that is approved, for these Rules, by the Corporation by notice in the Government Gazette;
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby cjrich » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:30 am

After my commuting accident in 2009 the ambos took my helmet and handed it to the hospital staff for inspection. Not sure if they were inspecting it just for damage or for AUS compliance as well.

Since then I have always purchased helmets with AUS standards. Figure WorkCover / Insurance company may not have approved my rehab without a compliant helmet, so the extra cost of buying an AUS helmet is well worth it for my piece of mind.

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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby eddy montignac » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:33 am

I lived and raced for many years in the UK, and while I have several helmets bearing the approved AU/NZ sticker, I also have a very nice MET road helmet bought in the UK.
The MET literature itself states that 'each and every helmet carrying the MET logo offers the same level of quality and safety' so I still find it ridiculous that, because it lacks a little red sticker, my MET helmet, which is approved for use in races throughout Europe and in what are arguably the most hair-raising traffic conditions in the world is, unlike my vastly inferior Adura Edge, not deemed good enough for Australia, even though the identical models are available here at three times the amount they cost in the UK.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby william » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:40 am

Same with UVEX. One of the highest regarded safety companies in the world with a huge research and development. But not approved to be worn here???
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:41 am

Alot of digging through law and I finally found this: (Applicable to Victoria only)
4. Expiry
This notice expires on 9 November 2019.
5. Revocation
The notice published in Government Gazette No. S 174 on 1 December 1999 entitled
‘Approved bicycle helmets’ is revoked.
6. Definition
In this notice, relevant Standard means –
(a) Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2063:1996 Pedal cycle helmets, as
amended by Amendment No. 1; and
(b) Australian Standard AS 2063 as related to helmets for pedal cyclists.
7. Approval
I, George Mavroyeni, delegate of the Roads Corporation, approve the following bicycle
helmets for the purpose of the defi nition of approved bicycle helmet in the dictionary to the
Road Rules –
(a) a bicycle helmet manufactured in Australia which –
(i) complies with the version of a relevant Standard that was in force at the time
of manufacture or any later version; and
(ii) is marked with an offi cial standards mark certifying compliance with that
version of a relevant Standard; and
(b) a bicycle helmet imported into Australia which –
(i) complies with the version of a relevant Standard that was in force at the time
of importation or any later version; and
(ii) is marked with an offi cial standards mark certifying compliance with that
version of a relevant Standard.
Last edited by human909 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby Oxford » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:42 am

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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:02 am

Notice that the rule says "of a type"... so long as you can prove it is identical to locally sold helmets in every regard, including straps, visor and buckles, you should be fine. However, you are biting off a potential avoidable dispute - I'd pay up just to avoid that kind of grief.

My son has a Fox Flux that was sourced out of the USA, but it still has a sticker claiming AS/NZ 2063 compliance, albeit not the red-and-chrome one.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby sogood » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:04 pm

cjrich wrote:After my commuting accident in 2009 the ambos took my helmet and handed it to the hospital staff for inspection. Not sure if they were inspecting it just for damage or for AUS compliance as well.

That's not for reasons of law, but directly for clinical evaluation ie. Working out the direction, point of impact and possible severity. Additionally some places collect them for their research studies.
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Re: Helmets bought OS meet Aus regulations?

Postby queequeg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:08 pm

trailgumby wrote:Notice that the rule says "of a type"... so long as you can prove it is identical to locally sold helmets in every regard, including straps, visor and buckles, you should be fine. However, you are biting off a potential avoidable dispute - I'd pay up just to avoid that kind of grief.

My son has a Fox Flux that was sourced out of the USA, but it still has a sticker claiming AS/NZ 2063 compliance, albeit not the red-and-chrome one.


I have a Lazer helmet that has the Chrome/Red sticker on it, and it is one of those "self destruct" ones that can't be pulled off. However, I also have two Limar Pro helmets, and both of those have Red/White Paper AUS Standards stickers, and these peel off like Magic Tape without destroying the label. That being the case, a little sticker transplant would certainly solve the issue of anyone "checking for the existence of a sticker" in the helmet.
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