The Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1998
- By law you must wear a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle on the road.
All helmets sold in the UK must either:
- comply with British Standard BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI Kitemark
- comply with UNECE Regulation 22.05
- comply with any standard accepted by a member of the European Economic Area which offers a level of safety and protection equivalent to BS 6658:1985 and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark
- Helmet testing is carried out in accordance with UNECE Regulation 22 (click link and scroll down to regulation 22 for pdf copy).
- Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) is the safety rating for motorcycle helmets set up by the Department for Transport. SHARP provides an independent assessment of how much protection a helmet can offer in an impact. Helmets are rated from one to five stars. The more stars a helmet has, the better the protection it can give. You can find your helmet and check its SHARP rating here.
- How the tests are carried out is available by animation here.
- It is fair to say that a rider's crash helmet is the most important piece of life saving safety gear they wear. There is a vast array of manufacturers and models with an equally vast price range. However, a higher price does not necessarily lead to a higher safety level.
- A fuller discussion on this issue, including a breakdown of the various tests can be found here.
Did you Know?
Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable group of road users - making up just 1% of traffic in the UK but accounting for 19% of all deaths.
Sad but True
Of 599 motorcyclist fatalities in 2006, research shows that approximately 80% of motorcyclists killed and 70% of those with serious injuries, sustain head injuries. Scientific analysis has shown that if all riders wore the safest helmets available, up to 50 lives could be saved each year.