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Helmet cameras make roads safer

Sena 10C helmet cameras

Video from helmet cameras will not only provide evidence of an incident but should make roads safer by encouraging compliance with the road rules by both riders and drivers.

The comments were made in South Australian Parliament by Peter Treloar Member for Flinders (LNP) who was speaking to the Road Traffic (Helmets) Amendment Bill which seeks to make helmet cameras legal.

The Private Members Bill was introduced in June by Shadow Minister for Police, Emergency and Correctional Services, Stephan Knoll.

There is a state election early next year and, if the LNP win, they should make helmet attachments legal.

However, as SA Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas (ALP) points out, the states are already working on a national rule “so riders know exactly where they stand” on the issue.

Use of cameras for evidence

The debate in SA Parliament last week was therefore fairly pointless, but it did bring up some interesting points about the use of helmet cameras.

Treloar says the type of evidence produced by helmet cameras will also help to reduce “spurious or vexatious claims of road rule offending”.

“Police are also beginning to roll out body-worn cameras,” he says.Body cameras

“There is commentary most weeks in the media about how those body-worn cameras are assisting police in their work, particularly when evidence is needed and prosecution is made. In fact, police are also beginning to use helmet-mounted cameras for the same purpose.”

Michael Pengilly, Member for Finniss (LNP) said it was “just ridiculous that we should even have to bring this sort of legislation into the house”.

“There is clearly some confusion in the motorcycle and bicycle community with regard to the wearing of cameras on motorcycle and bicycle helmets, and this is an attempt to clear that up.”

Riders fined

Riders have been fined in South Australia, NSW and Victorian for using helmet cameras while there is no ban in Western Australia or Queensland where a previous Police Minister actually encouraged their use and last year the ACT ratified the legality of helmet cameras and Bluetooth units.

In fact, in February 2017 Adelaide rider Eric Aria received an official police warning about wearing an “illegal” helmet camera when he went to a police station to submit video of drivers cutting him off in traffic.

Confusion grows on on helmet attachments jail cameras
Eric Aria (Photo courtesy Channel 7)

NSW has been nominated by the other states as the lead legislator to trial new helmet camera legislation before it is introduced nationwide.

Malinauskas says they prefer the national approach to the issue, rather than a “hotch-potch” of state rules.

“While we welcome the Opposition’s support for our effort, we think it’s got to be done in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety of motorcyclists,” he says.

In a final note on the debate before it was adjourned, Pengilly said people “have to be responsible for their own actions and their own safety”.

“You cannot expect legislation to cover everything. I just find it ridiculous. We are over-legislated and over-governed, and we are making people weak between the ears as far as I am concerned,” he says.

Hear, hear!

  1. There is no need to attach cameras to helmets, there are a number of brands that are wired to the bike.
    I have one front, and one rear on my bike, turn the bike on, and the cameras are running

  2. I would if allowed, that is, on a daily basis provide evidence of deliberate and stupid actions putting my life in danger by a car driving majority.
    Being a helmet camera and being able to take footage of the driver, their actions, my reactions to each event, would prove beyond any reasonable doubt, the car drivers unsuitability to be driving on public roads, but also that police and road authorities have a total disregard for motorcyclists unless it involves revenue.
    This situation has not got any better over the years, by the false and misleading tripe feed to the media.
    But I do so feel, assured when I ride past those wonderful spin doctor slogans, signs and banners, like, “No one deserves to die on our roads”.

    1. It’s a double edged sword. You better make sure you don’t do anything illegal yourself.
      I wear one for my commute, as that’s when I’m likely to encounter a higher percentage of potential incidents. I ride legally and conservatively as I do not wish to inadvertently incriminate myself.
      I have my camera set on DVR mode to record in 10 min intervals, use an 8 Gb card so that it’s frequently overwritten and not keeping unnecessary footage.
      I’ve tried having the camera mounted on the bike but in my opinion gives a limited view. On the helmet it looks where I look and goes where I go.

      1. 100% agreed TOG.
        The double edge sword, and how many stories have we all heard of the police confiscating cameras or memory cards, to find a conviction. Its fine when it suits them.
        I to have tried the bike mounted version, the helmet mount gives a far more accurate account of events, and by getting clear footage of the drivers body language, and behavior speaks volumes. And it proves our attentiveness.

  3. Firstly,, the argument that it is illegal for motorcyclists to mount helmet cams due to safety concerns is faulty if motorcycle police can use helmet cams. It could be argued the government doesn’t care about the safety of their motorcycle police but do care abt the ordinary rider and we all know this is incorrect.
    Secondly, there seems to be too many motorcycle fatalities attributed to speed ,inexperience or being older returning rider and no consideration of circumstances that happen in a millisecond that results in the rider Losing control yet there is no evidence left at the scene, such as wildlife darting out, a bird strike, a rock or object thrown up by a passing motorist not to mention a motorist veering too close to a rider and driving on oblivious to the fact in swerving the rider may have lost control of their bike. And while road conditions are assessed it only need be a small warp in the road, a pot hole or something on the road surface that causes rider to try and avoid it to no avail. A helmet camera would answer these questions do it seems strange there is not a push for all to wear them or at least make it legal.
    If cyclists can wear them and horse riders and police motorcyclists the premise of the argument is flawed.

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