Petition requirements

Petition text

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales.

This petition of residents of New South Wales (NSW) brings to the attention of the House the need to allow exemptions for the requirement to wear a helmet while cycling in NSW.

While cyclists must wear AS/NZ 2063-compliant helmets in Australia, and some States and Territories provide exemptions on cultural, religious, age, infrastructure, or medical grounds, NSW doesn't provide any exemptions. Furthermore, the climate at NSW has high UV radiation levels, with wide-brimmed (>7cm) hats recommended for outdoor activities, but an equivalent safe tested helmet attachment is not available. Custom attachments are illegal; they are not tested and may interfere with the helmet properties and may injure the cyclist in case of accident.

The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to call on the Government to amend section 256 of the Road Rules regulation to allow bicycle helmet exemptions for cyclists who satisfy a condition such as:

  • belong to a religious or cultural group (such as Sikh) and wear its headdress which makes it impractical to wear a bicycle helmet,
  • cycle at a speed below a given threshold such as 10km/h, and have a speedometer fitted on the bicycle,
  • wear a wide-brimmed (>7cm) hat,
  • have a letter from a medical practitioner confirming medical reasons or physical characteristics which make it unreasonable to require to wear a bicycle helmet,
  • are cycling on a dedicated bicycle way,
  • wear ear muffs for protection from traffic noise which makes it impractical to wear a bicycle helmet,
  • are of age 18+,
  • have special reasons approved by an Authority, such as Roads and Maritime Services, NSW.


And the radiation protection standard* recommends wide-brimmed >7cm hats for adequate sun protection but the helmet visors -- the only tested AS/NZ 2063-compliant sun protection attachment -- are shorter and only front-side. These visors expose face, ears, and back of the neck to direct sunlight and the resulting skin cancer hazard.

*"Australian Radiation protection standard for occupational exposure to ultraviolet radiation"