Get head-smart with SHARP

It’s estimated that motorcyclist fatalities have dropped 38% since 2007 as a result of a government scheme of testing helmets.

The award-winning Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme has since carried out more than 13,000 high-impact tests on more than 400 helmets, grading them from one to five according to performance over and above the minimum legal requirements.

Road safety minister Andrew Jones said, ‘We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are determined to do more to improve safety for all road users including motorcyclists. SHARP rates hundreds of helmets based on thousands of tests and provides riders with the best safety information available.

‘The confidence riders put in the ratings shows how vitally important they are in helping reduce the number of tragedies we see on our roads.’

Motorcyclists account for around one per cent of British traffic but 21 per cent of deaths or serious injuries.

David Ward, secretary general of Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP), said, ‘SHARP helps bikers make choices about helmets that can be literally life and death decisions. Nothing is more important to motorcycle safety than wearing a helmet that gives the best protection in a crash. SHARP makes this possible and has now rated 400 helmets.

‘The Department for Transport and its SHARP project team deserves great credit for this pioneering safety initiative that has promoted biker safety in the UK and also attracted attention around the world. It shows how consumer information can be a powerful force for improved safety on our roads.’

Meanwhile, director of British Motorcyclists Federation Anna Zee said, ‘The BMF recognises the SHARP rating system as a useful tool in helping riders make informed choices.’