Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Crash course Can I be fined if I don’t wear a crash helmet on my motorcycle?

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ALL motorcyclists must wear a helmet in traffic – otherwise they face high fines.

The government’s SHARP scheme – for assessing helmet safety – contains a list of government-approved models and rates how much protection they offer the wearer.

Motorcyclists without helmets could be fined heavily by the police.

Wearing helmets falls under the maximum level 2 penalty under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 – which means fines cannot exceed £ 500.

Helmets must meet at least one of the main criteria listed on the government website.

These include a British Standard BS 6658: 1985 with a BSI Kitemark, the UNECE regulation 22.05 or an equivalent European Economic Area Default.

Protective clothing such as pants and jackets is not mandatory but is recommended by the government to ensure road safety.

The British Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Program (SHARP) shows which helmets are approved – and rates them based on the protection offered.

The helmet requirement was introduced in 1973 when the highly controversial draft law on motorcycles (wearing helmets) came into force.

It was hotly debated, with many calling the rule a “gross violation of personal freedom” – although most motorcyclists at the time wore one.

Helmets must meet at least one of the main criteria listed on the government website to keep the rider safe.

These include a British Standard BS 6658: 1985 with a BSI Kitemark, the UNECE regulation 22.05 or an equivalent European Economic Area Default.

Safety glasses are not mandatory and should a motorcyclist choose to wear them, similar criteria must be met.

Protective clothing such as pants and jackets is not mandatory.

However, the officials strongly recommended that they ensure road safety.

Motorcycle helmets can be bought from a variety of well-known retailers, including the Halfords bicycle chain.

The UK Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Program (SHARP) shows which helmets meet the government’s strict criteria.

It also rates them based on overall protection.

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