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Fined for loose motorcycle helmet strap

Police continue to be plagued by “over-zealous” officers issuing “petty” fines with the latest being a $330 penalty for not securely fastening a motorcycle helmet strap.

It follows recent reports of Queensland Police issuing a fine for 61km/h in a 60 zone and a $44 fine for leaving a parked car’s window slightly open on a hot day.

In the latest incident former Brisbane Deputy Lord Mayor (and my brother), David Hinchliffe, was fined for not securely fastening his helmet. He was pulled over on his 50cc scooter on New Year’s Day by police conducting a random breath test.

“As soon as I blew in the RBT thing the officer reached over and tugged on the strap and said, ‘You know that’s not regulation’ and fined me $330,” he says, pointing out that his BAC reading was zero.

“I didn’t have it (the chin strap) double looped. (See photo) “It was through the double D clasp and crossed over so it didn’t flap, but I hadn’t threaded it back through the second loop. When he tugged on it, it did come loose.”

Fine for Loose motorcycle helmet strapIt is an offence not to wear a “securely fastened” helmet just as it is to not wear a fastened seatbelt. The issued ticket stated “motorbike rider fail to wear helmet”.

“I was wearing the helmet, just not fastening it as securely as I should have,” David says. “Him drawing attention to my helmet contributes to my safety and that’s fine but on New Year’s Day I would have thought he would just warn me to make sure you double loop.”

Whether it is considered petty is debatable, he admits. However, he points out that in the current light of police copping bad PR over petty fines on the back of recent intimidation of motorcycle riders since the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act, perhaps the officer could have issued a warning.

“I have no doubt that these guys are working to ‘kill’ targets,” he says. “They’ve been told by upstairs to boost the revenue. That’s what all this petty stuff is about.”

What do you think? Have you been fined for a “petty” traffic offence? Leave your comments below.

RECOMMENDED READING: Is it legal to have a Go Pro camera on your helmet?

  1. Way beyond reasonable. Here in the nanny state, maybe we should be able to fine or even sue the idiot politicians who allowed plastic clips on motorcycle helmets! A direct result of this is a mate with a severe brain injury due to the helmet coming off! We don’t even have one of the best helmets in the world available here, due to our crazy laws, yet there are half helmets everywhere! Go figure!

  2. And then the Police in the next breath say they want the assistance of the Public in solving real crime , why would we help these jackbooted thugs with anything ? They are the enemy , not the OMGS …..

  3. Under Queensland law, if a driver is more than 3m from their car, the vehicle must be “secured” with the engine off, hand brake applied, ignition key removed (if no one over 16 remains in vehicle) and windows up with a gap no more than 5cm.

  4. This man should get a note from his doctor stating that the strap cannot be tightened too much for ‘medical reasons’.. Qld is the new neo-Nazi state!!

  5. Why are there no reports on Channel Nine and the other TV news about all the anti-bikers laws? All we see is fines for car drivers for leaving the windows a little open, or for driving 1 km over the limit. Also news about Police being put on some kind of performance reports seem to blot out anything about Motorcyclists.

    1. Markus , mainstream media are more interested in reporting the cricket score …………………….

      1. The reason more likely is that the police work hand in hand with the media. The police issue pre scripted stories to the media so the media don’t have to do any real investigative journalism saves time and money ), and in return the media show the police in a positive light by either not reporting on certain stories or by making out the police are all squeaky clean.
        The media in my opinion have become lazy and more interested in entertaining and a glossy magazine style approach rather than doing any real hardcore investigations.

  6. Yeah. You have a bunch of strange rules down under 🙂 But be happy about not living on the other side of the globe, exactly Denmark. If you are caught riding, scooter, motorbike or car, with mariuanna in your blood (they can measure 1month back) you will loose your license for maximum 6 years 🙂

  7. Well that’s what you get when you vote for the LNP (Lying Nazi Party of Australia). Maybe all the rednecks that voted for these fools should take some of the blame for these stupid laws. If you are one to those that fell for their lies, you are a moron.

    1. Agree. This is not an issue related to politics. All governments do it. Doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t fight it, but united, please don’t try to split us motorcyclists along party lines, because that’s what the authorities would like (or are you working for the police?)

  8. While I support everything we motorcyclists are doing to protest what the government and police are doing right now, I must concede that the cop did a pretty good thing here. I would hate to have read that your brother had suffered brain injuries in an accident or something similar to that. Hitting him with a huge fine??….well that’s the big issue that bites

  9. If the person is so physically inept that they cannot do up a simple D-ring properly then should they be operating a vehicle especially one that requires reasonable fine muscle control ?
    Riding with the helmet unfastened is the same as riding without a helmet on as that is what would happen if the rider came a gutza.
    If this person was indeed a respected elder of the community ie ‘Deputy Lord Mayor, then he should hang his head is shame for being such a bad example to other riders and apologise to the community instead of whining.

  10. thats not a petty fine, thats a life saving fine. do your helmet up you lazy sod. i don’t wanna scrape your brains up of the bitumen cause your lid slipped of in a crash.. an yep i ride also

    1. Brains seldom spill across the bitumen , skulls are pretty hard , in fact I read once that more motorcyclists die from facial injuries than head injuries , last time I had a big bingle , hit a car 25 years ago , my pudding basin came off but I actually broke my ankle . A scooter would have to be going incredibly quick to crack a skull open .

      1. Disagree. You read every day of a punch resulting in a death as a head hits the deck from a standing position. Skulls are pretty fragile.

        1. Everyday ? Thats 365 deaths a year from king hits , more than the annual road toll , are you sure ? Besides , king hits are usually to the face , not the skull .

  11. Mark, when you say “loose”, you actually mean “not done up at all”.
    C’mon, you’re a motorcyclist, you KNOW how these fasteners work.

  12. I think they(cops) should get of their fat lazy donut eating arses and catch some real criminals like rapist and childmolesters and corrupt police instead

    1. No money in nabbing criminals…got to make the money so they can help government pay the debt…

  13. This British government Website is an excellent recourse for helmet fiiting information and helmet information generally.
    Note advise on the current tension of a helmet strap. Two fingers should be able to fit between the strap and the throat.

  14. If people simply contest every fine in the courts it would soon have an immense affect on issuing fines

    1. That sounds fine in theory but as far as I am aware , even if you win against the Police , you still have to pay court costs , which is often more than many of the smaller fines , plus you are usually down a day’s wages , especially if you are self employed , do you think we live in a Democracy or something ?

      1. rubbish you cant pay more then fine is worth…you need to read the constitution…but saying that if you win you can asks for costs..and if the magistrate and prosecutor are both paid by state or federal government isn’t that conflict of interest?? fffnn sick of this BS …. Sheeple need to wake up, and start a revolution

  15. Although I think this should have been a warning, doing the strap up like that is just stupid. If he was wearing his gear correctly this wouldn’t have been an issue. Doing up my helmet correctly was the first thing I was taught when I started riding, it really isn’t hard to do.

  16. I don’t have a problem with this fine at all. I’m a motorcyclist and in my opinion anything that increases rider safety is just fine by me. And as has been stated if you can’t even manage to do up your bloody helmet properly you should probably stick to something with training wheels…

    1. That’s probably because it happened to someone else , if it had happened to you then it would
      probably have been viewed as heavy handed . I’m just old enough to remember being able to ride ( briefly ) without a helmet , since then I have witnessed over 40 years of steadily more intrusive and burdensome legislation affecting not only motorcycling , but virtually everything I do from the moment I wake up each morning , sadly , younger generations have never known anything different than a ‘ cradle to the grave ‘ approach to nanny state legislation .

  17. This was a deserved fine. An unfastened strap makes the helmet useless. If Mr Hinchcliff had been travelling with his seatbelt across him but not fastened would he expect a warning, seeing as it was new years day and all (when there are likely to be more drunks on the road by the way)?

  18. Old mate deserved to get fined. Wearing a helmet like that is just stupid and about as good as wearing nothing at all. If it was done up how it was supposed to be there would have been no issue. That said some of the other stupid fines lately have been way over the top but “this” in my opinion is not. Its like tucking your seatbelt under your leg instead of clicking it in the lock.

    1. Not often does this happen, I’ve done it! and I’m sure most riders have sometime in their life not check the helmet strap properly before riding off, it’s human, it’s not about stupidity, and i dare say that Mark’s brother David is far from stupid but but just a lapse, normally i would of thought the policeman would give a warning about it rather than a $330 fine, It’s open slather for anything and over zealous police will love it, so be aware everybody in cars, bikes or any transport you take that the police are going to get you for anything so familiarise yourself with the laws that pertain to the roads.

  19. David does not get it….

    It is his right to do as he pleases as long as he does not harm others…

  20. While it is dumb to not fasten a helmet correctly, it is very petty and it is assault. Take it to court and request the coppers video vision, they all have it and get Hilters son charged, there are lines and the coppers are over stepping them without having to pay the consequences.

  21. My two cents: why wear a helmet in the first place if you’re not going to wear it properly and/or enable it to do its job in case of accident (other than protecting your head during impact – it needs to stay on your head first in order to protect it). How this outlines police being over zealous is beyond me. This would’ve a totally different article had he had an accident and through investigation found out the strap wasn’t even done. Idiotic I say andnot even worth the tme to write the article. There’s reasonable and then there’s stupid.

    1. Would not have mattered one iota. This is about peoples rights to live their lives as they see fit and wish. There are not 2 sides to this story as some allude. There is one side. The side of people being able to live free and with tyrants jacking them up in the name of “protecting” them.

  22. Where is the victim? Who has been hurt? Do we all need rules to save us from ourselves? Wearing a helmet should be your decision, not some disinterested third party who profits from your decision. Truth is that we need to be given agency over our lives if we are to develop responsibility for our actions. While I do wear a helmet and seat belt, I can understand that there may be times when people would make a conscious decision that it is not necessary. It’s about personal freedom, the same freedoms that we celebrate every ANZAC day. Whether it is freedom from foreign powers or our own government – our ancestors would be rolling in their graves to think that we have meekly allowed others to control our lives – for our own good of course.

  23. Clearly two sides to the argument here! I too have ridden off & forgotton to do up the strap- but only a couple of times in over 40 years of riding. Why didn’t David do it up properly Mark? The cops ALWAYS have the opportunity to just warn people when they catch people out breaking the law, but they are cops for a reason – individuals (mostly) that have an inferiority complex (not just my words)! Maybe there should be some system that allows 3 strikes for minor infringements. ie. warnings on 2 occasions & then a fine on the 3rd. I’ve had about a 50-50 good cop/ bad cop experience in my many encounters with the cops (for traffic offences only!). Most recently whilst riding in the metro area I have technically broken the law in front of 2 motorbike cops (just before I saw them on both occasions!) & they have ignored it. I hate the thought of a Police State & a reduction in Human Rights but Seat Belts & Helmet laws were introduced because of statistics that show they save lives. Sometimes we need saving from ourselves. Adolescents (which can mean people in their early 20’s & older) will often take unnecessary risks & need to have boundaries (ie. laws). We don’t need statistics to tell us that not wearing protective gear will save skin, bone & potentially lives & I think it should be compulsory. I always completely cover up whenever I ride, even for the shortest trip. If we had compulsory advanced rider training everyone would see the sense in it. I know I need the added security of being completely covered up when I’m cranked over in a corner & there are some unseen rocks that are in the wrong place at the wrong time. A redesigned licencing process for cars & bikes where regular theory & practice advancement would be the solution to reduce road trauma but allowing people with the highest level of licence allowed to ride/ drive at whatever speed they thought appropriate for the road conditions, will be the way of the future…a long way into the future, unfortunately!

  24. Sorry, not worth writing about. Essentially an undone helmet the same as an undone seat belt. Lazy and or stupid. Just illegal. There are serious issues regarding the police that we need to deal with. Not this.

    1. The fines for open window and 1 km/h over the limit are petty, the un-fastened helmet straps is not. Why would you wear a helmet, if it’s not holding onto your head in an accident? Fastening the strap is self-preservation, leaving it lose is stupidity.

      1. Markus, Have YOU ever ridden a bike?
        Let me explain (although if I have to, you may not understand)

        As soon as he took off, the helmet would be pulled back by the wind with strap chocking him. Everyone has different levels of tightness required for a comfortable and safe ride. Some people re-tighten the strap as they take off to allow for the wind strength. As he was riding at the time, I figure he knows his way around a bike helmet. I didn’t suggest he is an suicidal idiot, (and I know you didn’t say that either, simply paraphrasing for your benefit) just that the overzealousness is an understatement. I stand by what I said, the overzealousness is an understatement. It is called harrassment at this level.

        1. I doubt the “wind” when he “took off” on his 50cc scooter posed too much of a choking hazard.

  25. Thank you for the lesson.
    Just to answer your first question: I have ridden motorbikes since 1963, so I know a bit about it, I dare say. I’m also been a member of the Ulysses Club for the last 20 years.
    Your excuses for riding with flapping helmet chin straps are piddly to say the least. In all my time of riding motorcycles, I have never been chocked by the strap on take-off, not even when showing off on my V-Max. And that thing takes off!! If the helmet is properly fitted, it shouldn’t do that. Of course, if you wear a German army type one from the second world war or similar, you have to expect that they act like a sail on your head and pull on the straps. I know all about that too, as I was riding motorbikes in the Swiss army in 1965, using this type of helmets. Since then the army got clever and they use proper full face ones. There is a reason why proper helmets are not shaped like that, they’re designed to protect you in case of a crash. I also have some experience with that, and the benefit of a good fitting helmet.
    Anything else you like to teach me?

  26. How to stick to the point? I stand by what I said, the overzealousness is an understatement. It is called harrassment at this level.

  27. I cant understand all the bullshit over this. the helmet was not done up, you get a ticket, SIMPLE. If it was a seatbelt there would be no questions.

  28. Exactly Deon. This is more than just a “loose strap”, the rider has made no effort to secure it properly, by his own words and evidenced in the photograph above.

    1. Hey mike, might be a stupid question, but I had no idea about chin stop done up thing. I use to secure the chin strip by passing it through the tow rings, I had another ring on the other side, I use to pass it through that and then button it. I was safe and secure, have fallen down many times, but my helmet lock wasn’t broken,
      The other night was fined 312 dollars for my way of securing the chin strip
      What do I do?

  29. A warning would have been sufficient and fair but not for these nazi authoritarian bullies. I once respected police, now I hate them and their attitudes. One gives what one gets….

  30. What a joke. $330 and 3 points is what I just copped recently for a strap that was flapping on my scooter doing 30kmh.
    I have an impeccable record, gold license, pulled over immediately, did the right thing was polite and apologetic, obey by every road rule and respect he police. your license record, type of offence, like doing 150ks with loose strap, back chat etc should be taken into account. I thought I was getting a warning and if explained what the fine was, I would be more weary of this as well. A warning would of made me a much more cop appreciative citizen! No more, revenue wasting time tax paying assholes. They were rude, looking for me to ark up, 2 wankers …. bullied at school now with guns! 3 points what a joke!!!!!

  31. Hi I just revived as well an Infringement notice in Brisbane qualified as ” Motobike/Quad/utility offroad vehicle rider fail to wear helmet” with 391 AUD fine and 3 demerit points
    I was stopped over on my scooter by a police office, that told me that the strap was not enough fastened ( shall be the double loop ). Now i had my helmet, the strap was clipped , but was maybe too loose and did not have the double loop.
    Now i was not aware of this rule, but if this exists i am not contesting it, but it does not seem fair to be fine as if i had no helmet at all .
    As i do not have many demerit points remaining , i wanted to know if this is worth in my case choosing the option 2 in back of notice and elect for the matter to be dealt by a court , or if this is useless.

    thanks for your advises

        1. There are a lot of petty and stupid things done in Traffic Policing. This is NOT one of them, failing to properly secure the helmet is like not wearing the helmet at all. And quite frankly, not doing it up in the correct manner saves what? two seconds?

  32. Australia is a Police state, origins of a penitentiary colony perhaps? The law leaves plenty of opportunity in bullying, I lodged a complaint once, nothing came of it, unfortunately before the days of wearable video cam.

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