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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Half-shell' helmets to be banned

‘Half-shell’ motorcycle helmets will be banned as they do not offer adequate protection.

Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh said the half-shell helmets did not meet safety standards and the department was drafting a provision in the law to ban them.

“We are going to ban and confiscate them. They are not suitable for riding motorcycles,” he said.
He said the proposal would include seizing the helmets from the shelves of retailers found to continue selling them.

“These people are smart. Malaysians don’t read labels, and retailers place “Not motorcycle helmet” on the label and continue selling.

“They tell us it is a toy helmet. There is no such thing as a toy helmet. A helmet is a helmet.” he said.

Suret Singh also urged motorcyclists to change their helmets at least once every five years, as the material in the shell deteriorates over time.

“Look at the manufacturing date when buying helmets,” he said, adding that helmets that had endured impact or had been dropped should be replaced even more frequently.

Since the helmet-wearing awareness campaign kicked off in December 2006, Suret Singh said some 50,000 helmets had been given out, with almost 20,000 defective or old helmets collected in exchange.

“The helmet-wearing rate in rural areas had increased from 40% to 90%,” he said.

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