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S Barker

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New helmet safety rating scheme

Started by Redeye, 22/11/07 - 18:41:34

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Following is a Press release I received yesterday (embargoed until today) Included "notes to editors"

A pioneering new Government motorcycle helmet safety rating scheme which could save the lives of 50 riders a year was officially launched today by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.

In a world first, SHARP - the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme - will give an independent rating of how much protection a helmet can provide in an impact. Helmets will be rated from 1 to 5 stars depending how well they perform in our laboratory tests.

All helmets on sale in the UK must offer the wearer a minimum level of protection, but tests show there are real differences in safety performance. SHARP's objective advice, based on rigorous testing, will help riders choose a safer helmet by measuring the extent to which a helmet exceeds the minimum standards.

Speaking at the Road Safety Expo 07 in London today, Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:
"Our research indicates that even though all helmets have to reach a minimum legal standard, safety performance can vary by as much as 30%. The SHARP scheme being officially launched today will allow riders to select a safer helmet on the basis of a simple star rating system.

"This is a vital step forward. Motorcyclists are one of the single most vulnerable groups on GB roads today. They account for just 1% of all road traffic, but for 20% of all those killed or seriously injured. We estimate that if all riders wore helmets that scored well in our rating system, the SHARP scheme could save up to 50 lives a year."

During his speech, Jim Fitzpatrick also announced the launch of the Driving Standard Agency's Enhanced Rider Scheme. This is aimed at enhancing the road safety skills of the motorcycle and scooter riders already on the roads. The Agency has been working with the motorcycle industry to devise a new training package for the benefit of all riders with a full motorcycle licence. Those who pass the Enhanced Rider Scheme will get a certificate that will put them in line for discounts on their insurance.

The first SHARP results are expected to be available next Spring, with the majority of helmets on the market tested before the end of 2008. Early results show that good performance is not restricted to premium price helmets.

For more information about the SHARP programme, visit the SHARP website at http://www.direct.gov.uk/sharp, or email SHARP@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Notes to Editors
1. Motorcyclists are our most vulnerable road users. Last year 23,326 motorcyclists were injured in accidents, with 599 being killed.
2. Head injuries occur in 80% of all motorcyclist fatalities and in 70% of these the head injury is the most serious.
3. Currently no comparative rating system is available on motorcycle helmets anywhere in the world.
4. Helmets sold in the UK must meet the minimum standards of UN ECE Regulation 22.05 or comply with British Standard 6658:1985. SHARP will assess the extent to which helmets offer protection above these minimum requirements.
5. Initially, SHARP will concentrate on assessing full-face helmets. Ultimately, all helmets will be rated by SHARP.
6. SHARP will be promoted in partnership with the THINK! road safety campaign, which already gives advice to motorcyclists via the THINK! Academy. See SHARP and THINK! at the NEC, Hall 2 2E50 from today until 2 December.
7. For more information about the DSA's Enhanced Rider Scheme log on to http://www.transportoffice.gov.uk/rpmt

Mark H

Wow, you got a press release that was embargoed?
Team DNF is now just waiting for another arse kicking...


Quote from: Mark H on  22/11/07 - 19:19:09
Wow, you got a press release that was embargoed?

What have French snails got to do with a press release????  ???
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