Saturday, March 6, 2010

ROAD RULES 2008 (NSW) - REG 256 (1)

ROAD RULES 2008 - REG 256 Bicycle helmets
(1) The rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, unless the rider is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of this jurisdiction.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units (1 penalty unit = $110 therefore $2,200 - omg! how expensive is that!!!!)

Note: "Approved bicycle helmet" is defined in the Dictionary (off to the Dictionary then!)

ROAD RULES 2008 - SCHEDULE 99 DICTIONARY (Rule 4) "approved bicycle helmet" means a protective helmet for bicycle riders of a type approved by the Authority.
Note: "Authority" is defined in the Act.
Note: This definition is not uniform with the corresponding definition in the Dictionary of the Australian Road Rules . However, the Australian Road Rules allow another law of this jurisdiction to make provision for who may approve such helmets. Different definitions may apply in other Australian jurisdictions.

...ok, you're losing me somewhat! but first up let's check how 'authority' is defined in the 'Act' which we know is the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 because the our NSW Road Rules told us it was

1 Definitions "Authority" means the Roads and Traffic Authority. far so good, I think we expected that...but now to the 'not uniform' corresponding definition in the dictionary of the Australian Road Rules

Australian Road Rules Dictionary - February 2009 version, p 358
"Approved bicycle helmet" means a protective helmet for bicycle riders that is approved, for the Australian Road Rules, under another law of this jurisdiction.

"Authorised person", for a provision of the Australian Road Rules, means a person who is appointed under another law of this jurisdiction to be an authorised person for the Rules or the provision.

......appears to be 'same old!' 'same old!' - yet what a turn-up for the books!!!! - the Australian Road Rules are model rules only and have no legal effect, in fact they were drafted by the National Transport Commission (NTC)and actually only form the basis of road rules in each Australian state and territory - no way!!?!! - and whilst the National Transport Commission has taken great care to ensure the accuracy of their pdf version they're not convinced that they're actually capable of hosting an accurate document so hastily advise readers that the official version of the Australian Road Rules with all amendments is located in the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (Commonwealth) - the only thing is, it isn't - I've searched this riveting site with a fine cyber toothcomb and cannot 'locate' it!!!!


So can I apply for an exemption under the Fair Trading Act given a claim in an RTA memo, received under Freedom of Information, that helmets may create a 'disbenefit' for certain headforms?

FAIR TRADING ACT 1987 - SECT 44 False representations
(TPA s 53)
A person shall not, in trade or commerce, in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services or in connection with the promotion by any means of the supply or use of goods or services:

(e) represent that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits they do not have

...Dr Livingstone, I believe, time for some exploration!


  1. But I don't remember helmet makers saying anything to do with safety.

    They might say that theirs is more comfortable, not quite so sweaty or a nicer colour but do they claim actual safety benefits?

  2. Sue, you probably already know this but the best place to go for the most recent version of the Australian Road Rule applicable in your State is either Austlii or your State Government's site for legislation. The Australian Road Rules take the form of Regulations in each State.

    In SA, they are enacted under section 80 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (

    Usually, each State has a separate Regulation with rules ancillary to the ARRs. In SA, that set of Regulations provides for exemptions to the operation of the ARRs. See:

    It is the relevant Minister who grants the exemption here. Given the response you received from Queensland I have no doubt they will take some convincing.

    All the very best.

  3. wee folding bike, you're probably right but the government in the form of the australian competition and consumer commission (ACCC) have set mandatory standards with regards to safety and these standards are enforceable - however it's interesting to note that there are no mandatory standards for 'heaforms AA' which are the heads of regular under 4 year olds - the standards for these precious members of our community are only voluntary - what a joke - but back to the enforceable ones, that does imply that there is a mandatory level of safety

    edward, in nsw i'll have to find another law in my jurisdiction to qualify for an exemption so i've been madly searching what might apply - the 'fair trading act' was one thought as was the 'anti-discrimination act' but i couldn't really see any relevant provisions there - maybe there might be something in medical research legislation, or even the 'therapeutic goods act' but that's commonwealth legislation so not counted as in my jurisdiction - is that right? - could helmets be classified as medical devices given that they modify the anatomy?

    so much to think about!

  4. If such a pathetic law is implemented in britain, I won't and never will wear a helmet, I've cycled since the mid 1960's and taught myself to cycle back then without all that health and safety crap, Tom, Crystal Palace, London, utube, LetsCycleToday

  5. Go, Tom!!!! - make sure it doesn't happen - it's the worst measure EVER for cycling!!!!

  6. Sue, Feel Free if you ever wish, to get in touch, or keep in touch on,

    Mike Ruddo also has that contact,

    The nearest I was to your part of the world was back in 1984 whilst hitchiking Sydney to Brisbane along the Pacific Coast Highway and beyond, Australia was a kinder place in those days, but when back in Australia in 1991 and 1999, political correctness had also eroded the pom jokes I used to love being blasted with, it was such fun, I loved the affection of it all.

    The cycle videos I put on utube 'LetsCycleToday' may play in a juddery fashion, unless it's because I'm using an older computer to view them on, however if they are downloaded and played using software converter such as 'prism', they should play smoother,

    I wish you the best of Life and Luck.

    Tom, Crystal Palace, London.

  7. thanks for your comment, Tom! I'll have a look!

  8. Hi all visited this site a few times now since i have also been fined and given warnings for not wearing a helmet.
    My recent discovery was the LDP who have a specific policy to remove bicycle helmet laws they will get my vote next election.

    please have a look at
    goto their policies section have a look the one on
    Victimless Crimes

    Wish i knew about them sooner they would have gotten my vote this election too.

  9. Like drivers' safety procedures, cyclists must also be aware about wearing safety gears for their protection. Any motorist has a chance to encounter accidents on the road. So, everyone must follow the rules, wear safety gears and check his cars or bikes to avoid hassles in traveling.