Back in 2015, Max Lichtenbaum in Victoria was fined by the police for having a GoPro camera attached to his motorcycle helmet. He took the matter to the Victorian County Court which led to questions around the legality of consumers putting attachments on their helmets.
When it comes to road rules, there is a lack of uniformity in the law that governs them in each state. The fact that lane filtering is legal in some states and not others is just one example. When the aforementioned GoPro court case came to light, the Victoria court was forced to re-examine the legalities around consumers attaching bits and bobs onto a helmet that is used on the roads.
In Victoria and NSW, adding an attachment that protrudes by more than 5mm is seen as voiding the helmet’s adherence to the Australian Standards, effectively classifying it as a non-compliant helmet. But there has been a debate over whether this was a rule that applied only to manufacturers and not consumers.
While Lichtenbaum, who was initially fined $289 for having a GoPro on his helmet, lost the court case, the decision was overturned on appeal. County Court Judge John Jordan dismissed the charge and agreed the standards for helmet attachments only applies to manufacturers.
The decision spurred legislative changes in Victoria. All other states except NSW have either explicitly legalised attachments on helmets or have no law against it.
Having cameras on helmets isn’t just for fun and capturing memories. Much like dash cams in cars, portable action cameras like the GoPro allow motorcycle riders to record footage for insurance and safety purposes.
So thank Max Lichtenbaum. His landmark case finally gave motorcyclists and cyclist some clarity over this part of the law.
This story has been updated since its original publication.