S TAY S HARP
Established in 2007 as part of a Government drive to reduce road casualties, the SHARP initiative provides an independent and consistent measure of helmet safety. To achieve a sharp rating each model of motorcycle helmet undergoes 30 linear and two oblique impact tests. A minimum of seven individual helmet samples, in a range of sizes, are subjected to impacts at three speeds and the result is presented in an easy to understand rating of one to five stars. Unfortunately this only measures active safety, so a ‘five star’ rating may have been obtained at the cost of rider comfort. The aim is to ensure no-one’s wearing a one star helmet rather than make sure everyone’s wearing a five star. For most riders anything with three stars or above is probably worthy of consideration.