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Monday, December 8, 2014

AUSTRALIA - Helmet hassles : Bikers accuse police of giving out petty visor fines


  • Herald Sun
  •         MOTORCYCLISTS have accused police of being “petty” and trying to meet end-of-year targets after a series of riders were fined on the state’s roads over their helmet’s visor tint. MOTORCYCLIST WEARING GO-PRO CAMERA CHALLENGES HELMET LAWS
    And biker advocates say Victoria Police must stop booking motorcyclists over helmets until the Federal Government clears up “extremely complex” laws surrounding helmet compliance standards.
    Luke Johnson, 27, from The Basin, copped an infringement notice of $295 and three ­demerit points for “riding without a helmet” after police stopped him and said his tinted visor did not meet the standards required by law.
    Flabbergasted by what he says is a “grossly unfair” fine, Mr Johnson turned to the web for answers and was shocked to find he was not alone.
    An OzRider blog revealed at least two other Victorian motorcyclists had been hit with the same offence in recent weeks. All were nicked during the day and were not intercepted for speeding or any other offences.
    “I have the utmost respect for what our police officers do, but this seems to be a joke,” Mr Johnson said. “They are saying by swapping the visor from the original makes the helmet ‘void’, and you can then be charged as if you’re not wearing a helmet at all.
    “I thought I was doing the right thing by putting the visor on to cut out the glare. It’s much safer. They allow you to wear sunglasses — what’s the difference?”
    The fines come as the Australian Standard helmet compliance laws are under review by the Federal Government.
    The Australian Motorcycle Council has made submissions to the Government to fix what it says is “incoherent” legislation that differs between each state and territory. A national forum on the issue will be held in Sydney in February. Victorian Motorcycle Council deputy chairman Peter Baulch said police should hold off fining riders over helmets until after the forum. “Any officer who punishes motorcyclists over this ahead of this forum is a little foolish,” he said.
    Originally published as Bikers hit out over helmet hassles