I was pleased to speak on the Road Traffic (Helmets for Motor Bike Riders) Amendment Bill in Parliament on May 19.
Late last year I raised the concerns of motorbike riders that European standard helmets (ECE helmets), the same as those used by Moto GP riders, were not able to be used in South Australia. I am now pleased to say the State government has finally listened and motorbike riders will now be able to use ECE helmets in South Australia.
You can read my speech on the Road Traffic (Helmets for Motor Bike Riders) Amendment Bill below.
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (11:14): I rise today to speak on this bill and point out that this is some of the good work of this place, in that this bill was moved by the member for Unley to allow the ECE helmets (European standard helmets) to be used by motorbike riders in South Australia. These motorcycle helmets are used by Moto GP riders—the elite of the elite. Unfortunately, in South Australia motorcycle riders were not allowed the option of using these premier safety helmets because of a flaw in the law.
The story behind this goes back to late last year, when I raised the issue and it was picked up in the media that these helmets were not allowed to be used by motorcycle riders. Since then, the member for Unley has picked up the case and moved this bill before parliament. It was great to see that the government finally came around and decided that this was a good idea and that we would change the regulations to allow these helmets to be used; so I commend them for that. I am a little bit disappointed that it took as long as it did to happen.
There was a forum last year, in February 2015, where all the states came together, as far as I am aware, except for South Australia, to discuss these helmets. All of the other states moved in this direction, and it was not until the push we made late last year that South Australia and the government finally came around and jumped on board to make these helmets legal in South Australia. We were the last in the country to adopt these helmets and allow them to be legal. It is another example of where South Australia again is a slow-moving state, which is very disappointing for people using motorbikes who want these motorcycle helmets that are used by the elite of the elite.
Whilst there is a positive, in that South Australia has finally joined up and the government has finally listened to this cause, I suppose, it is disappointing that South Australia was last to join the ranks of the states allowed to use this helmet. Tim Kelly did a lot of work with the Ride to Review crew, and I commend him for the work he did to bring this to the public's attention. He should be very happy that we now have this law in place through the changes to the regulations. Again, it is great that we have it in South Australia. It is sad that we were so slow to move, but let's look forward and be positive, and let's hope that in the future people stay safe on our roads, especially those riding motorcycles.