Majority of Children’s Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmets in Malaysia Fail Safety Standards

While we adults understand the importance of wearing a helmet when we ride motorcycles, a study conducted has found that the majority of children’s motorcycle and bicycle helmets in Malaysia fail safety standards.

The survey was jointly conducted by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and Road Road Safety Marshal Club of Malaysia (RSMC).

Children’s motorcycle helmets

The two bodies had purchased 10 child helmets from retails outlets, with an additional 10 from online platforms. The helmets were then set to the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) for testing.

The test results were alarming. Of the former group, only 5 passed safety standards. The batch bought online fared even worse as 7 failed.

All helmets were tested against the newly-proposed and much overdue MS 1-2:2023 helmet standard. The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) and and SIRIM had proposed to implement the new standard.

Children’s bicycle helmets

As for child bicycle helmets, 11 were purchased from retail shops and another 10 from online stores. They were also sent to SIRIM for testing to the current MS 1763: 2004 bicycle cycle helmet standard .

6 from retail outlets failed while 7 from online stores failed.

MMA and RSMC noted that the retailers were generally aware of the standard requirements for child motorcycle helmets but not so for child bicycle helmets.

A worrying state of affairs

“Some retailers were unaware of the quality of the helmets they were selling. Some retailers verbally said that the helmets meet standards while there were no labels on the helmets.

“Some of the helmets sold had a QC label implying that they met the manufacturers’ standards,” said the statement.

It added that the majority of the bicycle helmets did not have a standards certification label while some had labels of foreign standards that were acceptable, such as USCPSC and EU standards.

“Some of the helmets were labelled ‘toy’. Some were flimsy,” it said.

MMA and RSMC urged the authorities to take action to ensure that all motorcycle and bicycle helmets available in retail and online stores meet Malaysian or international standards.

They also advised the public to exercise caution and make sure that they purchase motorcycle and bicycle helmets that are up to standard.

MMA said it would be invited by the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry in May to present the findings to the management group and discuss further steps towards protecting the public from unsafe helmets.

Advice from

Implementation of the new SIRIM standard will be a much-welcomed development in terms of helmet safety, as several – if not all – local helmet manufacturers are still producing products that comply to the very old MS 1:1996 standard. For comparison, the European standard which is also adopted by the United Nations, is now ECE/UN R22.06 which came into effect this year. The previous ECE/UN R22.05 standard was implemented in 2000. So that shows you how old the current SIRIM standard is! There was a revision to the MS 1:2011 but not all local helmets comply to this.

Again, do buy and only wear helmets that were either approved by SIRIM (for locally produced helmets) and/or by ECE/UN R22.05 or ECE/UN R22.06 (for imported helmets). Solely DOT approved helmets are not approved for sale in Malaysia unless it has the additional ECE/UN approval.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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