This document is no longer current and only maintained for historic purposes.
Please see Australian Motorcycle Laws by State for more details
RTR Produced Materials supporting the changing of legislation
What is ECE 22.05
The ECE (Economic Community of Europe) 22.05 safety standard is the most widespread up-to-date helmet certification used by over 50 countries worldwide (including Germany). The standard is approved for competition events by AMA (American Motorcyclist Association), CCS, FIM(Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme), Formula-USA and WERA
Helmets complying with the standard are chosen by nearly every professional motorcycle racer competing in world championship road racing, motocross or off road events, including Moto GP [Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations 2009 – Sporting Regulation 2.12.7].
Why the change
Under the current Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014, all motorcycle riders on South Australian roads must wear a helmet securely fitted and fastened on their head that complies with Australian standard AS1698 or AS/NZS1698 or British Standard 6658:1985 (and bear the BSI Kitemark). However, almost a decade ago, the UK changed their helmet laws to allow the ECE 22.05 standard and as such, manufacturers no longer produce helmets certified by the 6658 standard, instead opting for the ECE 22.05 helmet standard which is currently not approved in South Australia. This restriction in available legal helmet choice to those that only meet the Australian standards results in a limited range of helmets being available to motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists come in all shapes and sizes and the reduced range of helmets available in South Australia may result in a motorcyclist having to purchase a style of helmet that does not fit correctly which will be less safe than a securely fitted helmet. Therefore, by opening the market to more manufacturers that meet the ECE 22.05 standard, riders will have access to a wider variety of helmet shapes and sizes that as stated by the QLD Government ‘have a similar safety record to those meeting Australian standards’
Is it legal elsewhere
How would the law work
- Helmets approved for use in South Australia would be expanded to include those complying with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 22.05 standard.
- To ensure sure helmets meet the ECE 22.05 standard and to support enforcement activities, helmets approved under the standard will be required to display a label certifying compliance with the standard as per the regulations governing the ECE 22.05 standard which currently require the display of such labels.
- Pillion and sidecar passengers will also be able to wear helmets complying with the ECE 22.05 standard, in addition to helmets complying with the Australian standards.
- As current Australian consumer law restricts the sale of helmets that don’t comply with Australian standards, Motorcyclists could legally buy helmets meeting the ECE 22.05 standard through international online retailers or if they are travelling overseas.
How would the law be enforced
- Existing helmet laws would remain but legal compliance would be extended to include the ECE 22.05 standard.
- In the 2010 report ‘Motorcycling in South Australia: Knowledge gaps for research‘ produced by the CASR (Centre for Automotive Safety Research), authors Baldock MRJ & Hutchinson TP noted
One major Australian study that considered a broad range of factors involved in motorcycle crashes was that conducted by Johnston, Brooks and Savage (2008) using ten years of fatality and serious injury crash data. Key findings included … that 20 percent of cases were wearing an incorrectly fitted helmet.