Ask NRMA: Is it illegal to attach a camera to a motorbike helmet? 

Motorbike helmet with camera Motorbike helmet with camera

An NRMA Member asked us on Facebook if it was an offence to have a camera attached to your motorbike helmet while riding. 

Amongst other things, the answer to the question depends on how ‘approved motor bike helmet’ is defined in the legislation. 

NSW Road Rule 270(1)(a) is quite ambiguous when it comes to defining exactly what constitutes an ‘approved motor bike helmet’ under motor traffic law (see law below).

Part 270 of Road Rules 2014 covers wearing motorbike helmets

(1) The rider of a motor bike that is moving, or is stationary but not parked, must:

-(a) wear an approved motor bike helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, and
-(b) not ride with a passenger unless the passenger complies with subrule (2).

As stated in the legislation, an approved motor bike helmet must comply with standard AS/NZS 1698. It has been argued by some that this standard relates to the initial manufacturing of the helmet and not attaching third party modifications, such as cameras, to the helmet.

Keep in mind, that the legislation also allows for helmets that have an identifying mark certifying compliance with the standard UNECE22.05 as an approved motor bike helmet, but it is the AS/NZS 1698 standard that has been discussed in court cases and sets precedents in various states in Australia.

It should be noted that it is definitely illegal to screw a device into the helmet by drilling holes or interfering with the structural integrity of the helmet. Once its structural integrity is compromised, the helmet wouldn’t qualify as an approved helmet and the rider’s safety would be at risk.

Have there been any further changes? 

The NRMA is aware that the Centre for Road Safety has recently undertaken a study into aftermarket additions to motorcycle helmets in July 2021.  The NRMA notes that the study concludes “The findings of the study informed changes to Transport for NSW policy, which now allow motorcycle riders to attach aftermarket camera and communication devices, provided they do so properly and following manufacturers’ instructions.

The NRMA is concerned that whilst there may be changes to Transport for NSW policy, amendments to the NSW Road Rules legislation may be required in order for this to become legally effective.

The NRMA has sought to engage with Government urgently to raise our concerns on this matter.

Current Road Rules

As it stands, in New South Wales, it remains generally unclear and open to interpretation whether it is legal to use GoPros or other such devices on motorcycle helmets. The law on this may change some time in the near future to bring NSW in line with other states such as Queensland and South Australia. Their position is clearer, stating that the time for compliance with a standard is at the time of manufacture and not after the sale of the helmet.

Therefore, until the meaning of ‘approved motor bike helmet’ has been more conclusively defined by the courts in New South Wales, you do risk a New South Wales police officer fining you $330 plus three demerit points (for specific helmet offences including the fitting of cameras) with also the possibility of double demerit points over in a double demerit holiday period, if you wear a camera attached to your motorcycle helmet.

Have any more questions?

Feel free to contact our Motoring Advice team 

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