IAM calls for safety ratings on motorcycle clothing

Road safety group wants clothing rated like helmets are under the government's SHARP scheme

MOTORCYCLE clothing should come with labelling clearly indicating the level of protection it offers, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

The road safety charity is calling for motorcycle clothing safety ratings after finding 85% of riders viewed protection as the most important factor in clothing choice but 43% 'felt the right information was only available if you look hard enough'.

The IAM wants clothing to be subject to a scheme similar to the government's 'SHARP' Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme, which uses a five-star scoring system determined by impact tests.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: 'The industry must introduce a safety labelling for clothing like the SHARP rating for helmets.  Not only will it provide better guidance on the best way to stay safe on the roads, it will give motorcyclists clear and unbiased information and advice that they need.  The current situation is confusing and relies too much on promotional information to be of any real use in making a judgement.'

A release from the group said the research also found:

  • 71 per cent of respondents believed the brand partly contributes to the effectiveness of protective clothing.
  • 60 per cent said the torso was considered the most important part of the body requiring protection.  46 per cent said hands and legs.
  • 90 cent of motorcyclists stated that they always wear motorcycle protective clothing when riding.
  • 48 per cent of respondents believe that protective clothing (other than the use of a helmet) should be compulsory.