With a new safety helmet rating published today, SHARP reaches the 500 milestone. The safety ratings highlight the better-performing helmets in the marketplace, which are likely to perform significantly better in real-world road accidents.

Since the launch of SHARP in 2007, more than 16,000 impact tests have been carried out over and above minimum legal requirements to generate the 500 safety ratings. In addition, SHARP provides guidance on how to choose a comfortable helmet that fits a user’s head securely and safely and uses a simple 5-star rating system to communicate the risk of head injury. Providing this safety information is likely to have contributed to over 40 per cent drop in motorcyclist fatalities since 2007.

Road Safety Minister, Baroness Vere, said:

“I cannot stress enough how impressed I am with the SHARP project team. There is no doubt in my mind their work has contributed significantly to the over 40% drop in motorcycle fatalities since 2007.

Bikers are one of the most vulnerable groups on the road and it is crucial we equip them with the information to make informed decisions about their safety, which is exactly why we hope the industry continues to support this vital work.”

David Ward, Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation – 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 500 helmets.

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

Karen Cole, Director of Road Safety and Rider Training – The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA) Ltd, on behalf of MCIA said:

“MCIA congratulate SHARP on the 500th helmet safety rating. We applaud the work SHARP has done over many years to encouraging riders to think carefully about the helmet they choose and most importantly to consider the fit and comfort of the helmet.”

SHARP will continue to promote the importance of helmets and their correct usage. The SHARP website, increasingly seen by motorcyclists as the go-to source of helmet safety information, contains information on the SHARP scheme, including safety ratings and advice on how to select a helmet that fits correctly.

If you have any questions regarding SHARP or would like a particular helmet model to be rated, please e-mail us at sharp@dft.gov.uk or tweet us at @SHARPgovuk. However, if you have a media query or you’re a journalist please contact the Department for Transport’s press office.