If you want to get into the Christmas spirit with a novelty Santa helmet cover, you can be assured the police will not play Scrooge and fine you for a non-compliant helmet.
Motorbike Writer subscriber Travis Yap of Victoria asked us whether a novelty helmet cover would be illegal.
He says he was concerned after reading articles about riders being fined for having painted helmets or attachments such as cameras and Bluetooth units.
Travis bought a Santa Claus cover that simply slips over the helmet and has elastic on the bottom to hold it in place. There are no screws, velcro, glues or other attachments.
We asked the various state police services for their opinion.
Novelty helmet cover not illegal
VicPol simply replied: “It is not illegal to put a hat over the helmet”.
Queensland and South Australia police agreed that novelty helmet covers are legal but supplied a little more detail:
“Novelty helmet covers are not illegal, as long as the rider is wearing a motorcycle helmet that complies with Australian standards and is securely fastened. Riders will need to ensure that the novelty cover does not obscure their vision.”
We are still awaiting replies from other police services, but don’t expect they will vary from the same theme.
Helmet cover pros and cons
Apart from being fun on many occasions, not just Christmas, novelty helmet covers have some practical advantages.
They protect your helmet from dust, scratches and chips, as well as reducing wind noise.
However, riders should also be aware that there are some disadvantages.
They can also suppress important surrounding noises such as emergency sirens or the sound of screeching tyres.
They also reduce ventilation which would make them stiflingly hot on a summer’s day, especially if being worn in a slow-moving toy run procession.
Since they are not securely fastened to the helmet, they can also flap around and shift at high speeds, potentially blocking your vision.
Most suppliers recommend they not be worn on the highway, but only at city speeds.
“I purchased it just for the silly season because it is a bit of fun,” Travis says.
“I expect it will get rather hot under there. I usually just commute to work so maybe I can put up with it for 20 minutes.”