When riding a bicycle you are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened. There are no exemptions from wearing an approved bicycle helmet in New South wales. Research studies identify that helmets reduce head injury by 60 per cent and brain injuries by 58 per cent in the event of a crash. A helmet which is not correctly fitted and fastened does not provide enough protection in a crash.
Look on the bicycle helmet for the sticker or label certifying that the helmet meets the Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063) and has passed stringent safety tests.
An approved bicycle helmet is a protective helmet for bicycle riders of a type that complies with AS/NZS 2063 and has a mark certifying compliance with the above standard.
Helmets manufactured after 31 March 2011 must have an identifying mark from a body accredited or approved by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) certifying compliance with the above standard.
Accredited companies that certify bicycle helmets can be found on the JAS-ANZ website, http://www.jas-anz.com.au. As of October 2010, there are three JAS-ANZ accredited bodies that can certify bicycle helmets to comply with AS/NZS 2063. These are:
Correct helmet fit
Always wear a helmet when you ride and make sure you fit your helmet correctly.
- The helmet should fit comfortably and securelywhen the straps are fastened.
- The straps should not be twisted and nor cover the ears. When done up correctly, the straps should provide a snug fit over the ears and under the chin.
- Choose a bright coloured helmet so other road users can see you.
The following lists the steps for a correct helmet fit:
|Can you place just two fingers between your eyebrows and your helmet?||Do the straps join in a ‘V’ just below your ears?||Can you fit just two fingers between the helmet strap and your chin?|
Replace your helmet if:
- It’s been dropped onto a hard surface or involved in a crash or severe fall.
- You see any cracks in the foam.
- The straps look worn or frayed.
To make it easier for other road users to see you, wear bright or light coloured clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night. If you have no reflective gear for night riding, a plain white top is the next best thing.
Footwear that fully encloses the toes and heel would ensure that your feet are protected and may also provide pedal grip.
Cycling gloves may help to protect your hands, keep your fingers warm in winter and reduce jarring. If you do wear gloves, make sure you can still operate your brakes, gears and bell.
Don’t forget water, sun block and sunglasses - even on cloudy days.
Lights and reflectors
If you ride at night or in hazardous weather conditions, you must display all of the following:
- A steady or flashing white light on the front of the bike that is visible for at least 200 metres.
- A steady or flashing red light on the rear of the bike that is visible for at least 200 metres.
- A red reflector on the rear of the bike that is visible for at least 50 metres when illuminated by a vehicle’s headlight on low beam.
Horns and bells
Your bike must be fitted with a working horn or bell to help sound a warning to other cyclists or pedestrians.
Your bike must be fitted with at least one working brake.