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UK: New Motorcycle Helmet Testing Standard

  Posted at 03:02:45 PM
  File under  Helmets Safety
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Helmet Testing
Jim Fitzpatrick, UK road safety minister, announced today that the UK government is launching a new motorcycle helmet testing and rating system. Called SHARP (Safety Helmet and Assessment Rating Programme) Open link in a new window, the rating system will consist of 1 to 5 stars.

The more stars, the better the helmet.

SHARP will use laboratory test to differentiate the motorcycles helmets that are available in the UK. Helmets in the UK (and Europe) need to be approved for use on their roads, but you can not tell which helmet is better or safer. The new rating system should change that.

The system works very much like the safety rating European car manufacturers are exposed to. The reason the UK government is starting this scheme, is because in 2006, there were 599 motorcycle deaths. Of the 599, 80% (and 70% of those seriously injured) had head injuries despite wearing approved helmets. According to analyzes, some 50 bikers' lives could have been saved if they had proper head gear on.

SHARP website
According to Jim Fitzpatrick, testing has already begun, and in the spring of 2008, anyone can see in an easy way, which helmet models are the best.

The SHARP website has lots of interesting information about helmets, plus an example of the test results.

Once they've tested all the helmets, this should become a very interesting reference database of helmets. The web site lists information such as;

-model number,
-approvals, and
-links to the manufacturer website.

Also, obviously, the rating is displayed (1 to 5 stars).

Quite an interesting development, which will be of use to all bikers around the world.
Thank you UK.

Click here to access the SHARP website Open link in a new window

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