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-   -   Illegal to attach to bicycle helmet? (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/929336-illegal-attach-bicycle-helmet.html)

chillspike 01-10-14 12:35 PM

Illegal to attach to bicycle helmet?
 
Illegal to attach to bicycle helmet?
I wanted to attach a homemade turn signal indicator to my bicycle helmet but I saw someone in a video (ironically about attaching a homemade signal indicator to your bicycle helmet) say "Never attach anything to the outside of your bicycle helmet."

I'm trying to find exactly why they said this. Is there a legal issue involved in this? Does it just void the warranty on the helmet? Is it a known danger? All of the above?

I see people who have attached cameras and headlights to helmets, even some specifically designed to be put on helmets. Why would they say that?

Thanks.

pdlamb 01-10-14 12:59 PM

AFAIK it's not illegal.

If you believe a bicycle helmet will help you in the event of a crash (which can be debated), there's a possibility that anything on a helmet could hurt you. For instance, my light mount could reduce a light mount shaped dent in my skull; or a wire-mounted mirror might lead to the wire piercing the wearer's head. In either event, you'd have to hit your head just right (or just wrong).

I suspect the maker of your video is engaging in amateur CYA lawyering. But I'm not going to tell you to attach anything to the outside of your helmet, either!

cplager 01-10-14 01:07 PM

If you do attach it to your helmet, attach it in such a way that it will brake away if it needs to.

njkayaker 01-10-14 01:19 PM

The stuff people find to worry about!

Even if it was illegal to do so (which I strongly doubt), the likelihood that you'd get a ticket for it is basically zero.

===============

Quote:

Originally Posted by pdlamb (Post 16399673)
...there's a possibility that anything on a helmet could hurt you...

A manufacturer (or the guy in the video) has no idea what people are considering attaching to their helmets. It's much easier/safer for them to say "don't do it" than it is to keep the issue open.

RPK79 01-10-14 01:25 PM

Turn indicators on a helmet are not going to be very effective. They're too close together to be clear to drivers and since bikes generally do not have turn signals drivers will not expect to see them; instead, they will think it is just another blinking light.

lhendrick 01-10-14 01:30 PM

Yes, its illegal. You will be arrested and fined. Find something else to worry about.

chillspike 01-10-14 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cplager (Post 16399694)
If you do attach it to your helmet, attach it in such a way that it will brake away if it needs to.

Well, I kind of used zip ties to attach it. Maybe I should use glue? But then I'd have to break off the battery housing to replace the battery.

Here is a video I made of the set up:


What do you all think?

chillspike 01-10-14 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lhendrick (Post 16399756)
Yes, its illegal. You will be arrested and fined. Find something else to worry about.

Wait...It is illegal???

njkayaker 01-10-14 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chillspike (Post 16399766)
Well, I kind of used zip ties to attach it. Maybe I should use glue? But then I'd have to break off the battery housing to replace the battery.

Here is a video I made of the set up:

What do you all think?

That's interesting.

It looks like no turn signal that any driver has ever seen.

That is, it might work to be noticed but it likely work poorly as a turn signal (drivers will have no idea what it means).

Quote:

Originally Posted by chillspike (Post 16399775)
Quote:

Originally Posted by lhendrick (Post 16399756)
Yes, its illegal. You will be arrested and fined. Find something else to worry about.

Wait...It is illegal???

Let me help you.

ItsJustMe 01-10-14 02:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
If you're not even legally required to wear a helmet, how can it be illegal to attach stuff to it?

Your helmet was only tested as shipped, so it's possible that it would not meet certification if you attach things to it. Doesn't stop anyone though.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=358978

wphamilton 01-10-14 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chillspike (Post 16399766)
Well, I kind of used zip ties to attach it. Maybe I should use glue? But then I'd have to break off the battery housing to replace the battery.

Here is a video I made of the set up:


What do you all think?

I think it looks sharp, very Tron like. Turn signal, I don't know. Drivers might not be able to see it from behind and at certain angles, or might not see it as a turn signal. And if you're moving your head around, seems possibly problematic. But try it out, and to be sure, ask random drivers if they understood it. Politely that is.

I wouldn't use glue, but get some industrial strength velcro tape. It will hold that, and would be easy to take off when you feel like riding less flamboyantly.

RPK79 01-10-14 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16399737)
Turn indicators on a helmet are not going to be very effective. They're too close together to be clear to drivers and since bikes generally do not have turn signals drivers will not expect to see them; instead, they will think it is just another blinking light.

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 16399869)
That's interesting.

It looks like no turn signal that any driver has ever seen.

That is, it might work to be noticed but it likely work poorly as a turn signal (drivers will have no idea what it means).

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 16399924)
I think it looks sharp, very Tron like. Turn signal, I don't know. Drivers might not be able to see it from behind and at certain angles, or might not see it as a turn signal. And if you're moving your head around, seems possibly problematic. But try it out, and to be sure, ask random drivers if they understood it. Politely that is.

I wouldn't use glue, but get some industrial strength velcro tape. It will hold that, and would be easy to take off when you feel like riding less flamboyantly.

Seems to be a recurring theme.

chillspike 01-10-14 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 16399924)
I think it looks sharp, very Tron like. Turn signal, I don't know. Drivers might not be able to see it from behind and at certain angles, or might not see it as a turn signal. And if you're moving your head around, seems possibly problematic. But try it out, and to be sure, ask random drivers if they understood it. Politely that is.

I wouldn't use glue, but get some industrial strength velcro tape. It will hold that, and would be easy to take off when you feel like riding less flamboyantly.

Thanks. If not as a turn signal, I'm looking at it as just an extra degree of safety lighting.

wphamilton 01-10-14 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16399935)
Seems to be a recurring theme.

We might be wrong though. Or if we're not wrong, maybe he just needs to extend the lights out further on the helmet. The only way to know is to try it.

njkayaker 01-10-14 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe (Post 16399891)
If you're not even legally required to wear a helmet, how can it be illegal to attach stuff to it?

???? You aren't legally required to drive a car either but your car all sorts of legal requirements and restrictions.

RPK79 01-10-14 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 16399969)
We might be wrong though. Or if we're not wrong, maybe he just needs to extend the lights out further on the helmet. The only way to know is to try it.

Maybe we're wrong. Maybe they'll get smucked by a car who had no idea they were turning. Is it so hard to signal with your arm? How about blinking lights on your left glove to make your signal more obvious?

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 16399970)
???? You aren't legally required to drive a car either but your car all sorts of legal requirements and restrictions.

Apples and oranges. Since there is no legal requirement to wear the helmet there are no regulations on the consumer regarding alterations to the helmet.

njkayaker 01-10-14 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16399986)
Apples and oranges.

It's the same sort of thing. And, in some places, helmet use is mandatory (for some riders).

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16399986)
Since there is no legal requirement to wear the helmet there are no regulations on the consumer regarding alterations to the helmet.

This is wrong. There's no barrier to creating a law restricting the modification of a helmet.

RPK79 01-10-14 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 16399993)
This is wrong. There's no barrier to creating a law restricting the modification of a helmet.

Then cite me the law.

njkayaker 01-10-14 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16399997)
Then cite me the law.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Cite the law that restrictions on modifcations on a thing is only allowed for things that are required to be used!

Helmets being optional has nothing to do with whether there could be a law restricting how they are used.

There are all sorts of examples where something is optional but, once you do/use that optional thing, there are restrictions on that use.

wphamilton 01-10-14 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chillspike (Post 16399775)
Wait...It is illegal???

Seriously all you need to worry about is the color of the light. Check local vehicular code for allowable colors. Whoever said in the video "never attach anything to the helmet" is acting like an idiot or thinks he's talking to idiots.

If this works for you, maybe you can combine it with elbow band turn signals (I've been tempted myself). I'd activate it with a mercury switch, swing the elbow up the blinker turns on.

gracehowler 01-10-14 05:24 PM

Well, I like the idea, I'd just prefer it would attach to my "outstretched" arm, so my signaling intent would be more visible!
R

ItsJustMe 01-10-14 06:16 PM

If you attach stuff to it, it may not be a certified safe helmet any more.

But so what? Then it's just a hat. There's nothing that says you have to wear a helmet and can't wear a hat.

You can't SELL something in the US that claims to be a bicycle helmet unless it meets CPSC standards, but you can wear whatever the hell you want as long as you're not violating vehicular code (like having a flashing blue light on your helmet or something).

sk0tt 01-10-14 07:57 PM

I read this recently, not a bicycle but a motorbike.
http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-news...220-2zoyo.html

chillspike 01-11-14 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sk0tt (Post 16400636)
I read this recently, not a bicycle but a motorbike.
http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-news...220-2zoyo.html

Not saying it's not relevant but I'm in the US and that incident was in Australia. Also, it really appears that Australian police department is concerned with cameras specifically. Notice the officer asked if the motorcyclist used a camera in his car as well. I highly suspect that police department. Maybe some officers careers were put in jeopardy in the past because a civilian had a camera with their vehicle and now they are trying to crack down and rid the roads of all local cameras. Or perhaps it's just a revenue thing. Whatever it is, I don't trust their excuse for cracking down on helmet accessories.


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