When Jagdeep Singh bought a new bike in September last year he was excited to take it out for a ride.
But after discovering the ACT had no exemptions for people who can't wear a helmet for religious reasons, it has sat unused since.
He is a member of the Sikh community and wears a turban which cannot fit under a bike helmet.
Mr Singh used to live in Melbourne where he had an exemption on religious grounds and regularly rode his bike.
He wrote to Road Transport Minister Shane Rattenbury asking him to change the rules so he and others in his community could ride bikes in Canberra.
The ACT government agreed to introduce an exemption for people whose religious headdress "make it impractical to wear a helmet" and Mr Singh is now looking forward to dusting the cobwebs off his bike.
"I always loved to ride bicycles," Mr Singh said.
"It's good and I believe many more people in my community will ride a bicycle now without fearing any fines."
Mr Rattenbury said the changes would allow anyone in the community to enjoy active travel, regardless of their religion.
"Canberra is a community where everyone should feel included. The Territory supports individuals practising their religion or belief and this regulation ensures that sections of the community are not excluded from active forms of transport," he said.
"The change responds to an issue raised by the community, identifying this as a barrier to cycling.
"As an example, it is important to Sikh members of our community to wear religious headwear, and this can mean they can't wear a bicycle helmet."
Under the regulation, a person is not required to wear a bicycle helmet, if the person is a member of a religious group; the person is wearing a type of headdress customarily worn by members of the group; and the wearing of the headdress makes it impractical for the person to wear an approved bicycle helmet.
The changes bring the ACT in line with Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia which already have similar exemptions in place.
Helmet laws will remain in place for all other cyclists and there is still no exemption for motorcycle riders.
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