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

  • 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. 

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