NEW SAFETY HELMET RATINGS PUBLISHED AHEAD OF EASTER BANK HOLIDAY

An extra 14 motorcycle helmet ratings from the Department for Transport’s Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) have been published today by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Today’s ratings take the total number of helmets rated by SHARP – the Safety Helmet Assessment and Ratings Programme – to 261.

Mike Penning said:

“Many of us will be getting our bikes out and – with luck – take advantage of some sunshine over the bank holiday weekend.

“I would urge anyone thinking about buying a new helmet ahead of the start of the summer season to check out the SHARP website before making their decision. A properly fitted helmet with a high SHARP rating will provide you with the best possible protection in the event of an accident so it’s well worth checking the advice on the site before you buy.”

Motorcyclists represent approximately one per cent of UK traffic yet account for 21 per cent of our casualty base; 403 motorcyclists died on UK roads in 2010. Accident studies show that approximately 80 per cent of motorcyclists killed and 70 per cent of those with serious injuries sustain head injuries.

All helmets must meet minimum legal safety standards to be sold in the UK 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, which includes important guidance on how to select a good-fitting helmet, will help riders to choose the safest helmet suitable for them.

The SHARP tests – which award ratings of between one and five stars – show that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%. With helmets across a wide price range scoring highly all riders should be able to find a high performing helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay.

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

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