Motorcyclists and pillion riders should only use Sirim certified crash helmets, said Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president S. M. Mohamed Idris.
He said statistics provided by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) showed that 68% of the 3,963 motorcyclists and pillion riders who died in road accidents last year wore sub-standard helmets or did not wear any helmets.
“Crash helmets reduce the risk of head in-juries by up to 85%. It softens the blow to the head, depending on the nature of fall or crash.
“But unfortunately, many motorists do not understand the function, usage and care of crash helmets,” he said at a press conference in George Town yesterday.
Mohamed Idris said many imported novelty and games helmets in the market come without Sirim certification.
“These helmets are designed specifically for various usages. They cannot be used interchangeably, especially on the roads,” he said.
He added that motorcycle crash helmets for children aged below five were difficult to find in the market.
Mohamed Idris said locally-made helmets were flimsy as they were made of ordinary plastic with thin protective cushioning.
Mohamed Idris said crash helmets do not guarantee 100% protection to the head.
“Motorcyclists have to ensure that helmets are worn snugly around the head before it is fastened securely,” he said.
He said helmets could not be passed on from generation to generation because it has a life span.
“Motorcyclists should be aware that the helmet materials are not made to last forever under any conditions.
“Such helmets may have a useful life span of about three years only. Helmets should be checked frequently for visible damages. It is best to replace one which has been involved in an accident,” he said.
Mohamed Idris also urged the JPJ to conduct frequent checks to ensure that only Sirim approved motorcycle crash helmets are available in the market.
Press Statement, 10 September 2008