Two awards for SHARP helmet scheme

12.00 | 26 November 2013 | | 1 comment

The DfT’s safety helmet assessment and rating programme (SHARP) has won two prestigious road safety awards.

SHARP has been given a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award and the International Motorcycling Federation’s annual Road Safety Award.

The SHARP programme was presented with the Prince Michael award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to improving road safety at the 2013 Motorcycle Live Show at Birmingham’s NEC on 23 November. Later in the week it will receive the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (International Motorcycling Federation) annual Road Safety Award recognising achievements in helping motorcyclists.

SHARP gives objective advice, including guidance on how to select a good fitting helmet, to help riders to choose the safest helmet suitable for them. 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 SHARP tests award ratings of between one and five stars and show that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%. Helmets across a wide price range score highly so all riders can find a high performing helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay.

SHARP is the only safety rating system of its kind and was launched by the Department for Transport in 2007 after research revealed real differences in the safety performance of motorcycle helmets available in the UK.

Robert Goodwill, transport minister, 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 that SHARP is being recognised for its work of offering objective advice to motorcyclists over the past six years.

"I hope these awards will help to highlight the valuable work SHARP does by making sure that motorcyclists have access to the best safety information so we can improve safety for motorcyclists and reduce the number of tragedies we see on the roads each year."

Tony Spalding, chairman of the Prince Michael judging panel, said: "When recommending the award to His Royal Highness, the judges highlighted the importance of independent assessment of the effectiveness of safety critical products and the need to make this knowledge available to bikers. SHARP does all this and has been a real success."



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    There is no doubt in my mind that the introduction of SHARP is a good idea. A database of information where a prospective buyer of a helmet can see just how much protection any helmet provides, tested by an independent authority.

    However, it is not universally liked or adopted. It would appear there is still some resistance. This is due to several facts, one of which is the motorcycle retailers who benefit more by selling what by SHARP standards would be an inferior helmet at a very high price as against an apparently superior SHARP helmet at one quarter of that price.

    One would expect that as it has been in being for a number of years all helmets would have a SHARP rating clearly displayed on their product. That is not so. On a visit yesterday to my local shop only one helmet manufacturer out of some half dozen, and including about 100 helmets only 5 had a clear visible sign with the star symbol displayed.

    I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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