Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

richbee
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby richbee » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:09 pm

Here's a couple of examples - purely for information purposes, I know none of you would ever print any of these out, laquer them and glue them to the inside of your overseas purchased helmets :twisted: http://wa.cycling.org.au/Portals/18/aus ... helmet.png
http://wa.cycling.org.au/Portals/18/aus ... helmet.png

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby ValleyForge » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:22 pm

g-boaf wrote: I bet the defendant lawyers would try to use that to say the driver was innocent and you were a law-breaker. :roll:
The insurer would seek to have any payout markedly limited. And the defence team would seek to infer that a cyclist who rides with a non-AS compliant helmet is fundamentally reckless.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:42 pm

I have asked insurers about standards approved helmets and effects on compensation - and even riders who are not wearing helmets and eligibility. This hasn't really come up before in Australia - typically an issue like this goes to court and is challenged and at the end there is a precedent and higher level of awareness.

Overseas in Europe (completely different jurisdiction and law) there are cases where fault (and percentage of compensation) of the driver is reduced because of the bike rider (e.g. non-compliance with laws, even when their was no direct contribution to the accident and severity).

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:49 pm

As others have pointed out, a helmet that does not meet the Australian standard is regarded as no helmet at all. Yes you are unlikely to get caught, but if you do, you will be required to make a contribution to state revenue.

In NSW in relation to a collision involving a motor vehicle, a failure to wear a required helmet is contributory negligence - s138 (2)(d) Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 & this can reduce the damages that are payable.

The difficult part however for insurers is that the party alleging contributory negligence must prove that the failure to wear a helmet caused some of the plaintiff's injuries and the whole conduct of each negligent party must be taken into account in determining the extent of the contributory negligence.

To put it into simple terms, the insurer must prove that the cyclists injuries were worse than if the cyclist was wearing a helmet that had an Australian standards sticker.

This is difficult if the cyclist was not wearing a helmet because no helmet will protect from all injuries. It will be very difficult to prove in the case of an overseas helmet.

The issue has come up in NSW in the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal in Nominal Defendant v Rooskov [2012] NSWCA 43, where the cyclist was not wearing a helmet and was intoxicated (0.180 at the time of testing some time after the collision). The Court of Appeal found the judge was correct that the contributory negligence due to not wearing a helmet was 5% and that being intoxicated did not contribute to the accident at all.

Usual disclaimer applies: If you want legal advice, go to a lawyer. Don't rely on comments from some semi-anonymous poster on the interwebs.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby cp123 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:04 pm

eeksll wrote:
jemo27 wrote:I was touring in North America and my Australian bicycle helmet broke so I purchased an American one from a bicycle store in Seattle and continued cycle touring for another 3 months. Does than mean when I use it back in Australia, I'm breaking the law?
it is my understanding that you would could get a fine for that.

unless he happens to live in the NT....

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:43 pm

Thanks find_bruce for the court case reference and outcome.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby ValleyForge » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:54 pm

find_bruce wrote:
To put it into simple terms, the insurer must prove that the cyclists injuries were worse than if the cyclist was wearing a helmet that had an Australian standards sticker.
So 5% of an insurance payout is WAAAY more than even a Kask helmet!
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:58 pm

find_bruce wrote:The Court of Appeal found the judge was correct that the contributory negligence due to not wearing a helmet was 5% and that being intoxicated did not contribute to the accident at all.
What were these judges pinging on?
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:44 pm

ValleyForge wrote:So 5% of an insurance payout is WAAAY more than even a Kask helmet!
In Mr Rooskov's case, 5% was about $30,000 so yes
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby Top_Bhoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:08 pm

ValleyForge wrote:Maybe I'm a bit profligate, but I can't see the "benefit" in saving a few dollars for a non-AS helmet. Like trying baby oil in your hydro brakes to save money. Brakes and brains are important. :roll:
Is there evidence that an AS helmet is 'better' than a EU or US standard helmet? Also, unless a helmet was tested with an external device attached e.g. camera or light, attaching an external device should normally invalidate the testing.

The last time I looked at the Aus cycle helmet standards, it referred to undertaking tests in 'normal configuration' or words to that effect. Someone may want to correct me on that but if still valid, anyone having a camera or light attached to an Aus stickered helmet which hasn't been tested with an external device attached, is equally non-compliant as when wearing an EU or US helmet. An external device would apply stresses differently if one wasn't attached.

I am of the opinion helmets are beneficial for safety but I don't think it matters a jot if its Aus, EU or US stickered. Sadly too many ill-educated pollies, police and medics don't know their arses from their elbow and the consumer ends up paying unnecessary costs. :D

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:14 pm

In NZ they relaxed the law to permit multiple standards, ie not just the AU/NZ sticker. Its about time they did the same here
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby Duck! » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:25 pm

Top_Bhoy wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:Maybe I'm a bit profligate, but I can't see the "benefit" in saving a few dollars for a non-AS helmet. Like trying baby oil in your hydro brakes to save money. Brakes and brains are important. :roll:
Is there evidence that an AS helmet is 'better' than a EU or US standard helmet?
Some elements of the Australian standard are more stringent than overseas standards, so yes, an Aus-spec helmet can be better than an OS model. It does depend on the manufacturers to an extent though, whether they engineer the helmet with Australian testing in mind, in which case the Aus helmet is no better than the others, or an existing OS model may be presented for Aus testing, fail, and be reworked to pass the Aus test.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:08 pm

Better is such a difficult concept when you need to balance competing issues. To take an extreme example, a motorbike helmet would be better at resisting impact forces, but much worse at overheating & the weight will create neck issues.

The Australian Standard testing requires multiple impacts at the attachment points of the helmet prior to a 136 kg downward load being applied to the strap. This affects the design of the helmet in relation to the attachment points, the material used for the strap and the buckle.

Whether this results in a real world benefit is open for debate. Sadly the issue of standards is often overtaken by jingoism & vested interests.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby Patt0 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:51 pm

I had a copper grill me on my trek ballista, au bought, no sticker. He let me off but told me to get another helmet. I checked the stds and there is no requirement for a sticker. They just have to be compliant with the stds.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:40 am

Here are a few bits of info.

On helmet attachments
5.1.2 Attachment of components
None of the components, or any accessories, shall be fitted to the helmet in such a way that they are likely to cause injury to the wearer in the event of an impact.
This does not rule against attachments, however they must be safe

Requirements for labelling (8.1)
- Name / Address of manufacturer and or Aus Agent
- Shell and liner materials
- Model and brand
- size
- direction of front of helmet (yes.. so that it is not put on back to front)
- month / year of manufacture

Regarding the sticker for the standards, my personal view is that it would be probably be reasonable to argue that it has fallen off. It would be hard for law enforcement to say that the wearer is at fault if they are wearing a compliant helmet but the sticker has fallen off - but it is also a lot of stress.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby mikesbytes » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:44 am

I was thinking the same, if I understand correctly the helmet needs to be approved to AU/NZ standards. There is nothing in the law which states the sticker must be attached [can someone confirm this].

With motorcycle helmets the law on attaching pretty much means that the device needs to be clipped on, as one can see on NSW motorbike cops or attached with Velcro or the like. I can imagine the defending lawyer arguing that the device caused the injury if the attachment is more secure than what is specified with motorcycle helmets
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:21 pm

Somewhere on the forum there was a discussion on the motorcycle issue of attached cameras - which supposedly were illegal. I think the result was that this challenge was thrown out as they don't effect the structural integrity of the helmet.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby Patt0 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:16 pm

One of the stds pertained to the stickers being impervious to water and washing. One of my stickers wasnt. Guess it is time to get a new helmet.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby limetang » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:38 pm

I've happily bought helmets overseas. Years ago I had a Giro Atmos which was identical to a friend's AS stickered model.

I refused to pay over $100 extra just for a sticker. Our helmet laws are draconian enough, time to relax them enough to allow overseas compliant helmets to be legally worn.

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby ValleyForge » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:06 pm

limetang wrote:I've happily bought helmets overseas. Years ago I had a Giro Atmos which was identical to a friend's AS stickered model.
I'm glad it is identical.
All my family ride with AS helmets and AS sunglasses. I wouldn't let any of them travel overseas for surgery, nor would I let let any of them fly on an airline on the EU Blacklist no mmatter how much money they were saving.
It's perspective. Like I posted earlier - like using baby oil for brake fluid.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby uad782 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:11 pm

I have a 1997 Bell tsunami pro helmet. It had an as sticker but has worn out. I still ride with it sometimes. Is this legal or do I have to have one that meets a new std?

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby AUbicycles » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:51 pm

With the sticker - it has to withstand 15 seconds submersed and then 15 seconds being wiped with a rag with soapy water.

I think if it has worn off - that is fine as you can 'argue' it in the unlikely event that it is every an issue. For competitive cycle events, a helmet with the sticker intact makes more sense.
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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby limetang » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:01 am

ValleyForge wrote:
limetang wrote:I've happily bought helmets overseas. Years ago I had a Giro Atmos which was identical to a friend's AS stickered model.
I'm glad it is identical.
All my family ride with AS helmets and AS sunglasses. I wouldn't let any of them travel overseas for surgery, nor would I let let any of them fly on an airline on the EU Blacklist no mmatter how much money they were saving.
It's perspective. Like I posted earlier - like using baby oil for brake fluid.
Congratulations on your high horse perspective. I doubt your AS approved helmets are any safer than the overseas equivalent.

With our small market and economies of scale, we are locked into helmets at obscene prices compared with other parts of the world.

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby Duck! » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:42 pm

Try explaining that to The Authorities who will use non-compliance of your helmet against you if you're in the unfortunate position of having a stack.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Is it legal to buy a helmet from overseas yet?

Postby eeksll » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:54 pm

limetang wrote: With our small market and economies of scale, we are locked into helmets at obscene prices compared with other parts of the world.
Given we pay a high price on all other bike parts, are do helmets have a extra premium?

If your after the top end model of helmets then i think it forces you to start thinking about how much is really different. But down the lower cost end of the scale, price diff is not that obscene.

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