Road Safety News

DfT launches new SHARP helmet ratings website

Thursday 27th May 2010

Mike Penning, the new road safety minister, has unveiled a new website to give motorcyclists the best advice and information on choosing a helmet.

An extra 25 motorcycle helmets have been rated by SHARP - the DfT’s Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme – taking the total number of ratings published to 200.

All these ratings are published on the new SHARP website which has been overhauled to include more information for motorcyclists on how to find the right helmet for them.  The site also includes demonstrations of how the SHARP tests are carried out and how to make sure a helmet fits properly.   

In addition, new in-store information leaflets are being made available for retailers to give them and their customers more information about the SHARP scheme. 

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 additional SHARP ratings and the new and improved SHARP website.”

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 - 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.

The new website was developed in response to feedback from consumers and the motorcycle industry and SHARP is inviting motorcyclists to continue giving feedback on the new site so that it best meets their needs.

Click here to visit the new SHARP website.


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This is a much better system tham the old one. I will be using this within my role as a road safety officer
Gary Elston, Hampshire

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Further to my previous comment some motorcyclists are concerned that in a time of insurance companies reducing claims by whatever means that they can in the event of an accident would they consider a particular helmet perhaps to give insufficient protection, compared to another and therefore reduce their liability thereby. I have no doubt that this will happen soon and an insurance company will try it on.

We are already reading of insurance compensation being possibly reduced in cases of smidsy because the motorcyclist was not wearing a high vis vest.
bob craven Lancs

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Good to see this info being made more readily available, though from time to time it will be printed in motorcycle mags.

The only other issue with helmets is noise ie wind noise. Many motorcyclists use ear plugs and there are a lot of variables. A quieter helmet is certainly more beneficial than a noisy one, and safer.
bob craven Lancs

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I suggest we need the same for bicycle helmets
Nigel - Sheffield

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Very good site with a wealth of information and easy to use. A super resource for motorcyclists and those with an interest in road safety.
Mark - Wiltshire

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