UK Government

Department for Transport (National): Minister announces new safety helmet ratings ahead of the Motorcycle Show

Press Release   •   Nov 29, 2010 11:23 GMT

New safety ratings for motorcycle helmets were published today 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 - 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 one and five 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

1. The new ratings released today are:

To view the table that accompanies this release, please follow the link below;

2. For more information about the SHARP programme, visit the SHARP website at

3. Visitors to the Carole Nash Motorcycle Live 2010 – Birmingham NEC, can find the SHARP stand G506 in Hall 4 (Saturday 27 November – Sunday 5 December). 
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