Bulletin Pertaining to Helmet Standards
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Helmet laws changed quite dramatically in 2016, leaving many riders confused, but the bottom line is you can now wear helmets that are 'European standard', opening up a range of new brands and helmets to riders, and potentially encouraging competition among manufacturers.
Australian standards still apply, but any helmet that falls under these classifications is 'fit for purpose':
  • Australian standards  AS/NZS1698:2006 or AS/NZS 1698
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 22.05 standard - commonly referred to as 'European standard'.
These are the standards for both on-rode and off-road bikes, as well as quads. Helmets that comply with one or both of these standards will usually have a sticker on the back of the helmet to signify this, but this is not always the case. Helmets are permitted to have a stitched label on the inside of a helmet instead that stipulates that the helmet complies with relevant safety standards. These certifications mean that the helmet has been through testing and will stand up better in a crash.
The main points of concerns when helmet testing from both the Australian and European standards are:
  • The helmet needs a means of absorbing impact energy, a means of distributing load, and a retention system. All of these components need to be permanently attached.
  • Nothing fitted to the helmet should be likely to cause injury in the cause of an impact.
  • The retention system (e.g. the chin strap) needs to be adjustable in order to produce tension.
What Does this Mean for Drag Racers?
The ECE R22-05 that has now made its way to Australia is mostly available through Motorcycle retail outlets. There are a couple of important areas to look out for when purchasing one of these helmets and they are as follows:
  • Ensure there is a clear marking on the helmet with a sticker either on the outside or inside.
  • Ensure there is a Manufacturers Date on the Helmet (A helmet without without a Manufacturers Date on it will NOT be accepted), Remembering there is a 10 year life of the Helmet from that Date. (No Exceptions)
  • Ensure that it meets on of the following standards.
  • AS/NZS 1698:2006 or AS/NZS 1698| SNELL | SFI | FIA | ECE R22-05 | EC-## |
An ECE 22-5 certification mark, please note that small number may vary but will still be valid.
  • If all racers could please get into the habit of checking your Helmet Manufacture ate before events to ensure you're not turned away from Scrutineering.
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