A new safety star ratings system for protective clothing will soon help Kiwi motorcyclists when choosing safety gear.
The star ratings system will allow motorcyclists to check the performance of protective clothing before they buy.
We've joined with a range of Australian state road and road safety agencies to develop the system. It will be based on the familiar consumer five-star ratings system.
Our motorcycle injury prevention specialist David Keilty says safety star ratings are just as important. "When buying a car or a motorcycle helmet it makes sense to have a ratings system. That’s also the case for protective clothing.”
Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council chair Mark Gilbert has also welcomed the initiative.
“Giving riders more information, based on a test-based ratings system, will allow motorcycle riders to make informed choices when they buy protective clothing, so they choose the best option for their particular needs."
Better gear, less injuries
Last year ACC paid $94 million to support 7,370 motorcyclists who were injured on New Zealand roads. Many of them have suffered significant, life-changing injuries.
In some situations the quality of your riding gear could be the difference between life and death.
How the rating system works
The ratings system will be based on the results of 12 months of testing at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. This involves the blind testing of protective clothing purchased from retail outlets.
Results will be available to manufacturers or importers before the ratings system is launched. On-going testing will continue to test as much gear as possible.
Ratings will also provide information on fit and comfort in warm and cool weather. Some riders may take risks in warmer weather by wearing less gear because of discomfort.
Dave Keilty says "We expect demand to driven by riders wanting to know how their favourite brands stack up. It will be up to manufacturers or importers to decide whether to display the ratings on their gear."
Once the star ratings system is in place the test results will be available online.
School up before gearing up
The NZTA is an excellent source for helmet safety standards.
Check out how your helmet is rated by visiting the Sharp Helmet Safety scheme.