Motorcycle helmet labeling rules changed

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has changed motorcycle helmet labeling rules to help consumers and law enforcement better distinguish between Department of Transportation approved and unapproved helmets, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.

Beginning May 13, 2013, each approved helmet will be required to have a decal with including the phrase “FMVSS No. 218” (for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218), lettering indicated the helmet manufacturer’s name and/or brand name of the helmet and the word “certified” in a horizontally center position underneath the “FMVSS No. 218.” The rule also includes details on the placement of the decal on the helmet.

Those helmets baring the decal must pass a retention test, an impact attenuation test and reach specified conditioning tolerances. The impact and retention tests were revised to make them less ambiguous, according to the MIC release.

The new rule comes as the NHTSA was seeking ways to crack down on counterfeit DOT stickers, the organization told The New York Times. The new decals, the NHTSA said, are more sophisticated to reduce the chance of replicas being created. The agency only wants approved helmets marked with the stickers so as to discourage the use of novelty helmets that have failed all or most of its tests.

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