Previously, motorcycle riders on Queensland roads were required to wear a helmet that complied with Australian standard AS1698 or AS/NZS1698. The range of motorcycle helmets approved for use in Queensland has been expanded to include those complying with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 22.05 standard.
Reasons for the changes
For road safety reasons, all motorcycle riders on Queensland roads must wear an approved motorcycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on their head. Restricting available helmets to those that met Australian standards limited the range of helmets available and sometimes the sizing was unsuitable, particularly for people with larger heads. Helmets meeting ECE standards have a similar safety record to those meeting Australian standards, so the range of helmets approved for use in Queensland has been expanded to include those that meet the ECE 22.05 standard.
What about motorcycle passengers
Pillion and sidecar passengers are also able to wear helmets complying with the ECE 22.05 standard, in addition to helmets complying with the Australian standards.
Buying a helmet meeting the European standard
Australian consumer law currently restricts the sale of helmets in Australia to those that comply with Australian standards so it would be an offence for a retailer to sell other helmets. However, Queenslanders are able to legally buy helmets meeting the ECE 22.05 standard through international online retailers or if they are travelling overseas.
Penalties for breaking the motorcycle helmet rules
A fine of $341 and 3 demerit points applies to motorcycle riders or passengers who break the motorcycle helmet rules. Double demerit points still apply for second or subsequent offences within a 12-month period of failing to wear a helmet.
Helmet labels and stickers
To make sure helmets meet the ECE 22.05 standard and to support enforcement activities, helmets approved under the standard are required to display a label certifying compliance with the standard. The regulations governing the ECE 22.05 standard currently require the display of such labels (for example, a sticker on the outside of the helmet or a stitched label on the inside of the helmet). The label resembles the label in the diagram below but may contain any number from 1 upwards.
Helmet standards elsewhere in Australia
Currently other Australian states and territories only allow helmets approved under Australian standards, although some jurisdictions are reviewing helmet standards. Motorcycle riders and passengers should be aware that it is still an offence to wear a helmet approved under the ECE 22.05 standard when riding in other Australian states or territories.