ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Motorcycle protective clothing: Are stars better than standards?

Haworth, Narelle, de Rome, Liz, Varnsverry, Paul, Rowden, Peter



Little information is available to Australian riders regarding the likely level of protection provided by different brands and types of protective clothing. Australian manufacturers and importers are not subject to any mandatory standards in relation to protective clothing except for helmets. This paper presents the results of the first stage of investigating the possibility of developing a model for a safety ?star rating? system for protective clothing. Later stages are proposed to include a market research study and a research study into the feasibility of implementing a ?star rating? system for protective clothing. It is considered that mandatory standards such as those in Europe are unlikely to bring about a marked improvement in motorcycle protective clothing without substantial allocation of resources to enforcement of the standard which has not occurred in Europe and is unlikely to occur in Australia. Therefore two models for a star rating system are proposed: a voluntary star rating system and a system in which the accrediting body purchases and tests garments and publishes the safety ratings (analogous to the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)). It is proposed that a star rating would be based on safety performance, weather protection and ergonomic performance. One of the issues to be addressed in the next stage of this research is whether the star rating should be presented as an overall score, or whether riders should be provided with the star ratings for the individual criteria. If an overall star rating was chosen, then how the results from the different tests were combined would need to be considered.