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The Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1998

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations revoke and consolidate with amendments the Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1980 and their amending instruments (the “1980 Regulations”). The 1980 Regulations prescribed certain types of helmet recommended as affording protection to persons on or in motor cycles from injury in the event of accident. The types of helmet were prescribed by reference to conformity with certain British Standards and by appropriate markings.

These Regulations require every person driving or riding (otherwise than in a side-car) on a motor cycle on a road to wear protective headgear as defined in regulation 4. This requirement does not extend to a mowing machine, or vehicle being propelled by persons on foot (regulation 4(2)). Nor does it extend, by virtue of section 16(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, to a follower of the Sikh religion while he is wearing a turban.

Regulation 5 prescribes certain types of helmet recommended as affording protection to persons on or in motor cycles from injury in the event of an accident. The types of helmet are so prescribed by reference to British Standard 6658:1985 as amended or any other standard accepted by a European Economic Area (“EEA”) State which offers in use equivalent levels of safety, suitability and fitness for purpose. In each case the helmet must be marked with the relevant standard with which it conforms and an approved certification mark of an approved body. In this context “equivalent levels” means levels which are the same or greater in respect of the factors specified. The 1980 Regulations did not prescribe types of helmet by reference to standards accepted by EEA States.

These Regulations have been notified to the European Commission pursuant to Directive 83/189/EEC of 28th March 1983 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (OJ 1983 L109, p.9) as amended by Council Directive 88/182/EEC of 22nd March 1988 (OJ 1988 L81, p.75) and European Parliament and Council Directive 94/10/EEC of 23rd March 1994 (OJ 1994 L100, p.30).

British Standard 6658:1985 may be obtained from any outlet operated by the British Standards Institution (BSI) or by post from BSI at 389 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4AL (Telephone number: 0181-996 9000).

Copies of the Directives can be obtained from the Stationery Office.

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