Australian Helmet standards

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Walrus, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    I was at Richmond Cyclery on the weekend with a mate looking at helmets. My mate comments that he wants a Giro Pneumo like I have. The sales guy butts in and says "You need to be careful with Giro's and some other helmets. For a while now, some manufacturers haven't exported to Australia because they have to pay for the Australian standard to be applied." He then added that "If you have a crash with a helmet that is not to Australian standards, you may not be covered on insurance."

    A quick search located this website http://www.cycling.org.au/Content/NavigationMenu/News_and_Media/CA_Memos/050811_Helmet_Regulations.htm which clearly states that "The Australian Road Rules clearly demand that a bicycle helmet must meet the Australian / New Zealand Standards. The AS/NZ 2063 Standard does not recognise any other standard helmet from any other country. Accordingly, only helmets that meet and carry the AS/ NZ Standards approval are permitted for use on Australian Roads – including road races conducted under the auspices of CA and its affiliates."

    I got my Giro off eBay, so there is a US standards sticker on it. It has a CPSC standard approval on it, which I assume is the US equivalent.

    Any thoughts? Is there any truth in his claim about insurance (pardon the pun)? If I have a crash, am I at risk of not being covered?
     
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  2. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Walrus wrote:
    > I was at Richmond Cyclery on the weekend with a mate looking at helmets.
    > My mate comments that he wants a Giro Pneumo like I have. The sales guy
    > butts in and says "You need to be careful with Giro's and some other
    > helmets. For a while now, some manufacturers haven't exported to
    > Australia because they have to pay for the Australian standard to be
    > applied." He then added that "If you have a crash with a helmet that is
    > not to Australian standards, you may not be covered on insurance."
    >
    > A quick search located this website http://tinyurl.com/bjvgp which
    > clearly states that -"The Australian Road Rules clearly demand that a
    > bicycle helmet must meet the Australian / New Zealand Standards. The
    > AS/NZ 2063 Standard *does not* recognise any other standard helmet from
    > any other country. Accordingly, only helmets that meet and carry the AS/
    > NZ Standards approval are permitted for use on Australian Roads -
    > including road races conducted under the auspices of CA and its
    > affiliates."-
    >
    > I got my Giro off eBay, so there is a US standards sticker on it. It
    > has a CPSC standard approval on it, which I assume is the US
    > equivalent.
    >
    > Any thoughts? Is there any truth in his claim about insurance (pardon
    > the pun)? If I have a crash, am I at risk of not being covered?


    NFI re insurance, but it's illegal to use a non-approved helmet.

    The bike shop you got the helmet from (assuming that was in Australia)
    should have told you that.
     
  3. Joel Mayes

    Joel Mayes Guest

    Walrus wrote:
    >
    > Any thoughts? Is there any truth in his claim about insurance (pardon
    > the pun)? If I have a crash, am I at risk of not being covered?


    I'd say yes, the law is pretty clear. You could also get fined for not
    wearing a helmet

    Cheers

    Joel
     
  4. GPLama

    GPLama Guest

    "Walrus" wrote in message ...
    >
    > ..snip..
    > Any thoughts? Is there any truth in his claim about insurance (pardon
    > the pun)? If I have a crash, am I at risk of not being covered?
    >


    I got a Limar 909 off Ebay a while back.. after finding the right size at a
    local LBS.. the box and booklet came with the Aussie certification tick
    indicating it meets Australian standards. Although the helmet itself does
    not have that little sticker.

    Must be an expensive little sticker that one, I got the helmet $100 cheaper
    from Ebay..

    cheers,
    GPL
     
  5. Joel Mayes wrote:
    > Walrus wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Any thoughts? Is there any truth in his claim about insurance (pardon
    >> the pun)? If I have a crash, am I at risk of not being covered?

    >
    >
    > I'd say yes, the law is pretty clear. You could also get fined for not
    > wearing a helmet
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Joel


    If you're riding in a triathlon the rules state you can use a helmet
    which is approved for road use in a country which is affiliated with the
    International Triathlon Union (ITU).

    Marty
     
  6. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    I got it on eBay...
     
  7. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Walrus wrote:
    > Bleve Wrote:
    > >
    > > NFI re insurance, but it's illegal to use a non-approved helmet.
    > >
    > > The bike shop you got the helmet from (assuming that was in Australia)
    > > should have told you that.

    > I got it on eBay...


    That would be a case of "buyer beware", and you got the advice
    you paid for. Don't try and race with that helmet, it's being
    enforced now at CA races.
     
  8. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Insurance is legally independent of the statutory legality of wearing the helmet.

    If the helmet is not approved, the law considers that you are not riding wearing a helmet.

    Insurance - firstly, you may have a contractual obligation under the insurance contract that means that if you are not doing everything that you are legally required to do (helmet, all reflectors etc) your insurance will be void.

    Secondly, however, if you do not have a contractual obligation, unless the lack of an approved helmet caused/contributed to the accident or caused/contributed to the damages/injuries, it will be irrelevant to an insurance claim. IF an insurance company was aware that you were wearing a non approved helmet, it may refuse to pay on the basis that your helmet did not meet the required standard AND that this contributed to the accident/injury. The standards in different countries vary. Aus standards are considered to be higher than many others. For example, the Aus standard requires batch testing to ensure ongoing compliance after the initial test - the CPSC standard does not. If the insurer refuses to pay (and many seem to be intent on not paying these days) , you will need to enter into a complex legal argument about the standards and whether the lower standard contributed to the accident or injury - hard work and expensive.

    Having said all that, 3 of my helmets are CPSC certified and 1 is Aus standards certified.

    Steve A
     
  9. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    Thanks for that excellent response.

    I just got off the phone with my insurer, MBF, and they confirmed that they don't care what sort of helmet I am wearing. They will cover me as long as I am wearing a helmet. I thought this sounded a bit flaky, so when the girl asked me if I wanted her to have that confirmed by her "guru's", I said yes. She put me on hold, then came back in 5 mins and said definitely yes, I am covered.

    Given there is zero chance of getting this in writing...I guess it's just up to me to decide whether I want to take the risk (if there is a risk?).
     
  10. Peka

    Peka New Member

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    Note for future: record stuff like that with your phone's voice recording feature ;)

    Since a sticker can quite easily fade or come off with time, I don't see how you could get booked for it. Otherwise, the offense should be called "Riding without a sticker" rather than "Riding without a helmet".
     
  11. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    :D Both good points.

    I wonder if I call them back and say "could you just repeat what you told me earlier" would they get suspicious? :rolleyes:
     
  12. Peka

    Peka New Member

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    Well if they say anything, you were just double checking - you wouldn't be the first person to get multiple answers to the same question from an insurance company :rolleyes:
     
  13. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Make a 'contemporaneous' note with date, time and name of person you spoke to. Put it somewhere you will find it (helmet box if you keep them?)

    SteveA
     
  14. Graeme Dods

    Graeme Dods Guest

    Insurance companies will generally try to get out of paying you any money
    if they think they can get away with it. In the UK (where helmets are not
    compulsory) there have been a number of cases where insurance companies
    have tried to get out of paying non-helmet wearing victims of crashes
    caused by their policy holders purely on the basis that they contributed to
    their injuries by not wearing a helmet. Luckily, in the cases I know about,
    they have not been succesful thanks to some on the ball lawyers (on the
    cyclists' sides).

    In other words, try not to give the insurance companies a legally (if not
    morally) justfiable excuse to tell you to get lost, get an Aus Standard
    helmet (must get one myself).

    Graeme
     
  15. Graeme Dods

    Graeme Dods Guest

    >
    > Exactly. I wouldn't want to be them if someone crashes, gets
    > a head injury while wearing a non-approved helmet, and decides to sue
    > them.


    Have you ever read any of the blurb that comes out of helmet manufacturers?
    Not even the manufacturers claim it will prevent head injury in the event
    of a crash. All they ever have on their web sites are "cool feature",
    "sporty looks" etc (their "in box" blurb is even more clear, usually "if
    you hurt your head when wearing this, don't come crying to us" type stuff).
    That way they're pretty much in the clear when it comes to claims against
    them, and by extension, anyone mandating their use who also do not make
    such protective claims. Any sporting body could mandate the wearing of a
    frilly pink tutu, but if they make no claims for its effects (implied or
    otherwise) then nobody can say it didn't do what it was meant to do.

    However, if said sporting body says, "wear your helmet to protect from head
    injuries", they're on more dubious ground.

    Graeme
     
  16. Walrus wrote:

    > I got my Giro off eBay, so there is a US standards sticker on it.


    If it is sold in Australia, then AFAIK it has to meet Australian
    standards. If you purchased it elsewhere, then who knows.

    At one stage, if faulty memory serves well, Oz standards were the toughest.

    As far affecting insurance, then you are going to have to chase this up
    with your insurer.

    Personally I'd get rid of the US stickers as there is no point in giving
    insurance companies a reason to reject your claim.
     
  17. Couldn't you just find an LBS that stocks your brand of helmet??

    Then check if its got the sticker inside... If it has, then you're
    apples. (ie. if you have an accident, and it becomes an issue, you can
    just say that the sticker came off...). And if it doesn't, then legally
    you're toast...

    Cheers,
    Abby (I fought the law and the, law won...)
     
  18. Gags

    Gags Guest

    "Walrus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > I was at Richmond Cyclery on the weekend with a mate looking at helmets.
    > My mate comments that he wants a Giro Pneumo like I have. The sales guy
    > butts in and says "You need to be careful with Giro's and some other
    > helmets. For a while now, some manufacturers haven't exported to
    > Australia because they have to pay for the Australian standard to be
    > applied." He then added that "If you have a crash with a helmet that is
    > not to Australian standards, you may not be covered on insurance."
    >
    > A quick search located this website http://tinyurl.com/bjvgp which
    > clearly states that -"The Australian Road Rules clearly demand that a
    > bicycle helmet must meet the Australian / New Zealand Standards. The
    > AS/NZ 2063 Standard *does not* recognise any other standard helmet from
    > any other country. Accordingly, only helmets that meet and carry the AS/
    > NZ Standards approval are permitted for use on Australian Roads -
    > including road races conducted under the auspices of CA and its
    > affiliates."-
    >
    > I got my Giro off eBay, so there is a US standards sticker on it. It
    > has a CPSC standard approval on it, which I assume is the US
    > equivalent.
    >
    > Any thoughts? Is there any truth in his claim about insurance (pardon
    > the pun)? If I have a crash, am I at risk of not being covered?
    >
    > --
    > Walrus
    >

    I am not claiming this to be true but I heard from somewhere (could have
    been a bike shop but I can't remember) that the only reason that the Giro
    helmets did not meet Australian Standards was that they failed a certain
    test that involved hanging weights off of the chin strap or something???
    Despite this, they will still provide protection levels as good as the Aust
    Std helmets available.

    This was a couple of years ago and for pretty well their top of the line
    helmets. I was told that they have sinced changed their testing regime to
    meet the Aust standards as they are supposedly the toughest around.

    Gags
     
  19. ritcho

    ritcho New Member

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    Very true - I was recently at a race where they checked for the presence of the little silver sticker. No sticker = no race.

    Ritch
     
  20. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    Terry Collins wrote:
    > Walrus wrote:
    >
    >> I got my Giro off eBay, so there is a US standards sticker on it.

    >
    > If it is sold in Australia, then AFAIK it has to meet Australian
    > standards.


    You can buy anything you want but it only has to meet Oz standards if you
    wear it on the road. Doesn't have to meet any standard to be on sale.

    Theo
     
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