The only safety standards for motorcycle protective clothing, any where in the world, have been introduced into Europe. These standards have proved a valuable source of information for Australian and New Zealand riders about the features of effective protective clothing. While no clothing can prevent serious high impact injuries, there is evidence that over half of all motorcycle injuries could have been reduced or prevented by the use of effective protective clothing.
As European products comprise some 30% of motorcycle gear sold locally, this created an opportunity to encourage the local motorcycle industry to develop a product safety assurance system in order to remain competitive. The objective was to encourage riders to be able to distinguish between products that will provide some injury protection and those which are just fashion.
A seminar was held to gain the support of key stakeholders including the importers, distributors and retailers of motorcycle clothing; riders and consumer protection and road safety agencies. The outcome was general consensus to establish performance standards and a regulatory system for protective clothing that would work in the best interests of riders and the industry. The mechanism by which this will be achieved is the subject of ongoing work.