As you may be aware following the K Class incident last year and the subsequent MAIB report the RYA have now mandated that all helmets used in the sport MUST conform to the minimum BS 6658 standard. All helmets will be thoroughly checked throughout the season and this will commence at the Brass Monkey race Saturday 4 February. I have copied below a statement from the Simon Wood Power the ORC Chairman which is very helpful and sets out some practical methods of dealing with this problem.
A formal statement from the RYA will be issued next week following the ORC meeting on Thursday 9th February and CRC meeting on 7th February, if any competitors for the Brass Monkey race in particular have any problems in this regard please call me at the office and I will do what I can to assist.
Please reply to email@example.com
to confirm receipt of this important information.
Notes RE Helmets for those of you doing the Brass Monkey Race:
As many of you may know the RYA is under stringent watch from MAIB after the unfortunate incident in Weymouth last year.
One result of this is that the RYA have been told to make a mandatory helmet standard, not a recommendation as was previously in the rules.
Unfortunately there is not a suitable standard yet published for marine crash helmets. The PAS standard (applicable to Gecko type helmets) is for what one could call "bump helmets", the impact rating is far lower than that for a motorcycle helmet.
The RYA has commissioned Quinetiq to conduct a helmet survey, many of you kindly answered questionnaires, the results of this survey are due to be published at the end of February. (At which time firm rule definitions will be laid down, to include BS6658)
In the mean time Quinetiq have advised the RYA that all helmets should be to BS6658 or higher. This can include Snell standards and also the new CE motorcycle standards. (ECE22-05). If you have either an ACU green or gold sticker, ECE sticker or BS green or blue sticker on your helmet; no problem
Scrutineers have been asked to be quite vigilant in the policing of this new rule. The onus of proof of compatibility and compliance is on the competitor.
We also want to be practical; if you have a helmet painted orange with no sticker, go onto the internet, find a description of the helmet at a vendor who is selling it with the standard detailed, print it out and bring it to the race, that proves compliance.
Similarly if you have a very old ropey helmet with frayed strap you are likely to have it refused, have a think about it ...
Heads are a one off commodity; protection is vital, you cannot put a price on them Ö
It is very unfortunate that yet again we have to bring in another onerous rule but we do live in a litigious society now, full of monitoring, health & safety, accident reporting and risk assessments, we do need to comply.
Probably enough said ...
All road legal motorcycle helmets sold in the UK must conform to ECE 22-05 or the older British Standard 6658 (categorised as Type A (blue label) or Type B (green label). These stickers are normally located on the back of the helmet and will also include a batch identity number. ECE 22-05 helmets are tested by BSI, and have the BSI Kitemark on the label. If it doesn't have a sticker or kitemark, don't buy it, it may be an import and will not be legal on British roads. A recent article suggested that most Traffic Police were not interested in the safety stamp, providing the helmet was a recognisable brand and model. However, this may change in the future.
The BSI 6658 and ECE 22-05 standards are among the toughest tests for motorcycle helmets in the world. They are generally accepted to be better than the American DOT and older European CE standards, although they are broadly equivalent to the SNELL M2000 standard. These standards don't just test new helmet designs, but mandate testing of a %age of all batches manufactured (typically around 1%) with ongoing continuous inspection and recertification. All this helps to reduce the risk to you in the event of an accident.
Your helmet may also have an Auto-Cycling Union (ACU) gold or silver badge. The ACU is the governing body of motorcycle sport throughout the British Isles, excluding Ireland. ACU accreditation is different from the BSI standards, however they typically match the standard, with ACU gold going to most BS6658 Type A helmets and Silver to Type Bs. The price of a type B will range from between about £40 to £100, while a Type A will start at around £70 to over £400. Always try to go for a type A/gold if you can afford it, as it will give better protection and should last longer. You will also be allowed to use it on a track day if you wish.
While it is not a legal requirement to have a visor, if one is fitted it must comply with the BS 4110 ZA or YA test standards. These standards define impact and scratch resistance as well as tint. Blacked out visors are not road legal as is any visor not marked with the BS stamp.
Regards to you all, SIMON.
Simon Wood Power