Department for Transport
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Sharp announces new safety ratings for flip-front helmets

Sharp announces new safety ratings for flip-front helmets

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (181) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 27 November 2008

Safety ratings for the most popular flip-front motorcycle helmets were announced today by SHARP, the Department for Transport's Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme.

The 20 helmets are the first flip-front models to be rated under the scheme and bring the total number of helmets assessed by SHARP - which launched in June 2008 after research showed it could save 50 lives a year - to 96.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"Motorcyclists are the single most vulnerable group on Britain's roads today. They account for just 1% of all road traffic, but for 20% of all those killed on the roads last year.

"If all riders wore the safest helmets available 50 lives could be saved each year. We started the SHARP scheme to ensure that all riders have the best possible independent safety information on which to base their helmet choice. That is why I delighted today to be announcing SHARP's first set of ratings for flip-front helmets.

"Full face and flip-front helmets from across a wide price range and from a variety of manufacturers have received four or five stars - so all riders should be able to find a high-scoring helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay."

All helmets must meet minimum legal safety standards but the SHARP scheme uses a wider range of tests to provide riders with more information on how much protection a helmet can provide in a crash. The objective advice will help riders to choose the safest helmet suitable for them. The SHARP tests - which award ratings of between one and five stars - showed that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%.

The new ratings were launched today at the NEC Motorcycle Show.

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

Notes to Editors

1. The ratings published today are:

Make         Model           Rating
      AGV          Longway         4 Airoh        Matisse RS      2
      BMW          System 5        5 Caberg       Trip            5
                   Justissimo GT   4 Duchinni     D601            1
      G-MAC        Concept         3 Grex         RF2             4
      KBC          FFR             1 Lazer        Granville       4
                   Revolution      4 Nolan        N103            4
                   N102            4 ROOF         Boxer           4
      Schuberth    C2              4 Shark        Openline        3
                   Evoline         4 Shoei        Multitech       3
      Viper        RS V121         3              RS RS101        4 


2. All final results of SHARP testing can be found at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/sharp.

3. The SHARP tests and assessments are valid for all types of helmet and further results will be released on a rolling basis. Full face helmets represent the largest part of the market (approx. 80%), but 'flip front' style helmets are gaining in popularity and therefore, SHARP has assessed these before completing the remaining full face helmets. Open face helmets will be considered later.

4. Motorcyclists are one of our most vulnerable road user groups. In 2007, 24,381 motorcyclists were injured in accidents, with 588 being killed.

5. Head injuries occur in 80% of all motorcyclist fatalities and in 70% of these the head injury is the most serious.

6. Currently no comparative rating system is available on motorcycle helmets anywhere in the world.

7. Helmets sold in the UK must meet the minimum standards of UN ECE Regulation 22.05 or comply with British Standard 6658:1985. SHARP assesses the extent to which helmets offer protection above these minimum requirements.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

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