Press release

Minister announces new safety helmet ratings ahead of Motorcycle Show

Extra 16 motorcycle helmets rated by SHARP.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


New safety ratings for motorcycle helmets were published today (26 November 2010) by Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning, ahead of the Motorcycle Show in Birmingham.

An extra 16 motorcycle helmets have been rated by SHARP - the Department for Transport’s Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) - taking the total number of ratings published to 218.

Mike Penning said:

We estimate that 50 deaths could be prevented each year if all riders wore the safest helmets available. That is why I am delighted to be announcing new SHARP ratings today ahead of my visit to the Motorcycle Show next week. I urge anyone going to the show who is thinking about buying a new helmet to visit the SHARP stand to find out more.

By making sure that motorcyclists have access to the best safety information, promoting further training and safe riding, and reminding drivers to look out for bikers I hope that we can improve safety for motorcyclists and reduce the number of tragedies we see on the roads each year.

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, 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 1 and 5 stars - showed 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.

Notes to editors

The new ratings released today are:

  • more information about the SHARP programme
  • visitors to the Carole Nash Motorcycle Live 2010 at Birmingham NEC can find the SHARP stand - G506 - in Hall 4 from Saturday 27 November - Sunday 5 December.

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Published 26 November 2010