A worried motorcycle rider contacted the MCC of NSW on the 12th August 2019. He needed some help with his fine for non helmet compliance.
At the time of his ‘offence’, the Police officer failed to consider that he was wearing an identified and marked UN ECE 22.05 compliant helmet. This type of helmet is legal in Australia.
The rider subsequently contacted Revenue NSW twice for a review. His requests to have the Penalty Notice redrawn was denied. A Reminder Notice was sent that $337 was due on 23rd August.
We had little time to act but it was clear from the rider’s photos that the helmet he was wearing at the time of the offence was a legal UN ECE 22.05 helmet.
How the MCC of NSW helped this rider with his fine for non helmet compliance
We helped the rider prepare a third request to Revenue NSW for a review. This was quickly rejected. We suspect Revenue NSW didn’t read it. We suggested the rider take the matter to Court but due to his poor English he was reluctant to do this. He barely had the means to pay the fine let alone pay to be represented in Court.
Free legal representation advised him that if he took the matter to Court, the fine could be 6 times as much. This made him even more reluctant to take the matter to Court.
The MCC of NSW made representation to the Minister for Finance to intervene. This resulted in the fine being placed ‘on hold’ while the matter was further investigated.
A satisfactory outcome
The investigations resulted in the Penalty Notice withdrawn for the rider.
These investigations also established that there were several other non helmet compliance cases where riders had been incorrectly booked. However, these were also withdrawn.
This was a close call for the rider but a good result in the end. The rider could have been left in a situation where his only real option was to pay the fine – which he could ill-afford to pay and just cop the points.
This case was also an example of a failure of the legal system to correctly deal with a case where there was strong evidence that no offence had been committed in the first place.
If you get in a situation and need some experienced advice, please do not hesitate to talk to the committee at MCC of NSW. We may be able to direct you in the right direction.
What the NSW law says about helmet compliance as at March 2020.
An approved motorcycle helmet is a protective helmet for motorcycle riders of a type that complies with:
- Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1698:2006 Protective Helmets For Vehicle Users, as amended by Amendment No. 1 of 28 September 2007 and Amendment No. 2 of 27 May 2009; or
- An earlier version of Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1698 or Australian Standard 1698-1988 that was in force at the time of manufacture or importation; or
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation No 22 (UNECE22.05) as amended;
- And has a mark certifying compliance with an above standard.
A motorcycle helmet that complies with UNECE22.05 must carry the UNECE ‘E’ approval mark. Also a number which represents the country in which the testing and certification was approved. It must also have information confirming the actual standard with which it complies, the type of helmet and its production serial number.
Don’t forget your new helmet should fit properly as well as comply with the necessary law. A well-fitting helmet will be more comfortable and protect you in the case of an accident.
Watch our Rider Risk video on ‘Which helmet do I wear?’ to help you find the right helmet for you.