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But not just yet in New South Wales….

Just a few weeks ago, the Assistant Treasurer accepted the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) recommendation to adopt additional bicycle helmet standards in Australia.  

This means that bicycle helmets meeting 6 Australian and overseas standards can be imported and sold in Australia.

Australia’s new standards should allow a greater choice and more competitive pricing for high-quality bicycle helmets (Image: Rinehardt)

This includes the European Union EN 1078:2012 and the United States CPSC 16 C.F.R. Part 1203 standards.

Generally speaking, this is a good direction forward. It will reduce compliance and administrative costs for Australian businesses. The ACCC has found that increased access to bicycle helmet suppliers will save industry up to $14 million each year. It will allow a wider variety of helmets to hit the market. And this should provide better pricing for all bicycle riders.  

Buyer beware!  The new standards are not recognised in NSW

The main problem though - you legally can only wear helmets in NSW which meet the Australian and New Zealand standardApproved bike helmets have stickers/labels showing they are approved under AS/NZS 2063 and have passed safety tests.

Bicycle NSW has confirmed that this is the still case in NSW. 

State Governments have been blindsided by this Federal Government decision.  

Bicycle NSW highlights that buyers need to be careful, and ensure they continue to wear an AS/NZS 2063 helmet.  “If you’re just about to buy a new helmet then we recommend you stick with these existing standards until the rules are updated,” says Peter McLean, Bicycle NSW CEO.  

The best bike helmets combine head protection, aerodynamics and ventilation. All helmets must pass stringent testing standards to be approved for sale (Image: Warren Rossiter)

If you're not wearing a properly certified helmet in NSW, you can not only be fined for doing so, but potentially (though it seems such cases are rare) have an insurance compensation claim rejected.

Head to this article for some great commentary and advice on the current rules and the advocacy to change them.

What happens next?

This mandatory standard was updated on 22 March 2024. There is a transition period until 21 September 2025 for suppliers to adjust to the new mandatory standard.

As the leading on-the-ground bicycle advocacy body in NSW, Bicycle NSW is taking the following steps:

  • Educating riders about the existing and new standards. 
  • Working with the NSW Government to help fast track the harmonisation of the new standards
  • Collaborating with the NSW Government and stakeholders to develop a bicycle helmet star rating system to give consumers more confidence when buying a helmet

In communicating with the NSW Government, Bicycle NSW understand that specific approved helmets are administered through a Gazette. Therefore, it will take time to reflect these changes.  

The NSW Government has also highlighted broader issues which needs to be addressed over the next 18 months:

  • States and Territories need to update their road use laws in line with the new safety standard. 
  • NSW desires nationally consistent road rules and therefore needs to understand the position of other states and territories.  
  • NSW Police will experience the operational enforcement challenges, with 6 different standards.

Bicycle NSW will update our Members and stakeholders when these standards are legalised in NSW.  

Before you go….

Bicycle NSW has been campaigning for a better environment for bike riding for almost 50 years.

“If you care about the environment, health, cost of living, social equity and childhood independence, consider joining Bicycle NSW today” says Peter McLean, Bicycle NSW CEO.

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