Safety ratings for the most popular flip-front motorcycle helmets were announced today by SHARP, the Department for Transport’s Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme.

The 20 helmets are the first flip-front models to be rated under the scheme and bring the total number of helmets assessed by SHARP – which launched in June 2008 after research showed it could save 50 lives a year – to 96.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“Motorcyclists are the single most vulnerable group on Britain's roads today. They account for just 1% of all road traffic, but for 20% of all those killed on the roads last year.

"If all riders wore the safest helmets available 50 lives could be saved each year.  We started the SHARP scheme to ensure that all riders have the best possible independent safety information on which to base their helmet choice. That is why I delighted today to be announcing SHARP’s first set of ratings for flip-front helmets.

"Full face and flip-front helmets from across a wide price range and from a variety of manufacturers have received four or five stars - so all riders should be able to find a high-scoring helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay."

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 objective advice will help riders to choose the safest helmet suitable for them. The SHARP tests - which award ratings of between one and five stars - showed that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%.

The new ratings were launched today at the NEC Motorcycle Show.

For more information about the SHARP programme, visit the SHARP website at

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