DRAFT CPSC Bicycle Helmet Standard
as of December, 1997
Summary: The final draft of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's bicycle helmet standard for approval by the Commissioners. This was not an official copy, but our carefully-proofed scan of material from the CPSC Commission briefing packet. This is for historic interest, since you can now access the final standard.
Part 1203 - SAFETY STANDARD FOR BICYCLE HELMETS
Subpart A - - The Standard
1203.1 Scope, general requirements, and effective date.
1203.3 Referenced documents.
1203.5 Construction requirements - projections.
1203.6 Labeling and instructions.
1203.7 Samples for testing.
1203.8 Conditioning environments.
1203.9 Test headforms.
1203.10 Selecting the test headform.
1203.11 Marking the impact test line.
1203.12 Test requirements.
1203.13 Test schedule.
1203.14 Peripheral vision test.
1203.15 Positional stability test (roll-off resistance).
1203.16 Dynamic strength of retention system test.
1203.17 Impact attenuation test.
Subpart B - - Certification
1203.30 Purpose and scope.
1203.31 Effective date.
1203.33 Certification testing.
1203.34 Product certification and labeling by manufacturers (including
Subpart C - - Recordkeeping
1203.40 Effective date.
1203.41 Recordkeeping requirements.
Subpart D -Bicycle Helmets Manufactured From March 16, 1995, Through
[insert date that is 1 Year after publication].
1203.52 Scope and effective date.
1203.53 Interim safety standards.
AUTHORITY: 15 U.S.C. 2056, 2058, and 6001-6006.
Figures for Part 1203
Subpart B is also
issued under 15 U.S.C. 2063.
Subpart C is also issued under 15
Subpart A-The Standard
§ 1203.1 Scope, general requirements, and effective date.
(a) Scope. This standard describes test methods and defines minimum
performance criteria for all bicycle helmets, as defined in §
(b) General requirements.
(i) Projections. All projections on bicycle helmets must meet
the construction requirements of § 1203.5
(ii) Labeling and instructions. All bicycle helmets must have
the labeling and instructions required by § 1203.6.
(iii) Performance tests. All bicycle helmets must be capable of
meeting the peripheral vision, positional stability, dynamic strength
of retention system, and impact attenuation tests described in
(iv) Units. The values stated in International System of Units
("SI") measurements are the standard. The inch-pound
values stated in parentheses are for information only.
(c)Effective date. The standard shall become effective [insert
date that is 1 year after publication] and shall apply to all
bicycle helmets manufactured after that date. Bicycle helmets
manufactured between March 16, l995, and [insert date that is
1 year after publication], inclusive, are subject to the requirements
of Subpart D, rather than this Subpart A.
§ 1203.2 Purpose and basis.
The purpose and basis of this standard is to reduce the likelihood
of serious injury and death to bicyclists resulting from impacts
to the head, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 6001-6006.
§ 1203.3 Referenced documents.
(a) The following documents are incorporated by reference in this
(1) Draft ISO/DIS Standard 6220-1983 - Headforms for Use in the
Testing of Protective Helmets.
(2) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, Motorcycle Helmets.
(3) SAE Recommended Practice SAE J211 OCT88, Instrumentation for
(b) This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director
of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and
1 CFR Part 51. Copies of the standards may be obtained as follows.
Copies of the draft ISO/DIS Standard 6220-1983 are available from
American National Standards Institute, 11 W. 42nd St., 13th Floor,
New York, NY 10036. Copies of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard 218, Motorcycle Helmets, are available from the Department
of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
Office of Vehicle Safety Standards, 400 7th St. S.W., Washington
D.C. 20590. Copies of the SAE Recommended Practice SAE J211 OCT88,
Instrumentation for Impact Tests, are available from Society of
Automotive Engineers, 400 Commonwealth Dr., Warrendale, PA 15096.
Copies may be inspected at the Office of the Secretary, Consumer
Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland
20814, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 N. Capitol
Street NW, Room 700, Washington, DC.
(a) Basic plane means an anatomical plane that includes
the auditory meatuses (the external ear openings) and the inferior
orbital rims (the bottom edges of the eye sockets). The ISO headforms
are marked with a plane corresponding to this basic plane (see
Figures 1 and 2 of this part).
(b) Bicycle helmet means any headgear that either is marketed
as, or implied through marketing or promotion to be, a device
intended to provide protection from head injuries while riding
a bicycle. [Footnote 1]
 Helmets specifically marketed for exclusive use in a designated
activity, such as skateboarding, rollerblading, baseball, roller
hockey, etc., would be excluded from this definition because the
specific focus of their marketing makes it unlikely that such
helmets would be purchased for other than their stated use. However,
a multi-purpose helmet -one marketed or represented as providing
protection either during general use or in a variety of specific
activities other than bicycling -would fall within the definition
of bicycle helmet if a reasonable consumer could conclude, based
on the helmet's marketing or representations, that bicycling is
among the activities in which the helmet is intended to be used.
In making this determination, the Commission will consider the
types of specific activities, if any, for which the helmet is
marketed, the similarity of the appearance, design, and construction
of the helmet to other helmets marketed or recognized as bicycle
helmets, and the presence, prominence, and clarity of any warnings,
on the helmet or its packaging or promotional materials, against
the use of the helmet as a bicycle helmet. A multi-purpose helmet
marketed without specific reference to the activities in which
the helmet is to be used will be presumed to be a bicycle helmet.
The presence of warnings or disclaimers advising against the use
of a multi-purpose helmet during bicycling is a relevant, but
not necessarily controlling, factor in the determination of whether
a multi-purpose helmet is a bicycle helmet.
======End of Footnote=======
(c) Comfort or fit padding means resilient lining material used
to configure the helmet for a range of different head sizes.
(d) Coronal plane is an anatomical plane perpendicular to both
the basic and midsagittal planes and containing the midpoint of
a line connecting the right and left auditory meatuses. The ISO
headforms are marked with a transverse plane corresponding to
this coronal plane (see Figures 1 and 2 of this part).
(e) Field of vision is the angle of peripheral vision allowed
by the helmet when positioned on the reference headform.
(f) Helmet positioning index ("HPI") is the vertical
distance from the brow of the helmet to the reference plane, when
placed on a reference headform. This vertical distance shall be
specified by the manufacturer for each size of each model of the
manufacturer's helmets, for the appropriate size of headform for
each helmet, as described in § 1203.10.
(g) Midsagittal plane is an anatomical plane perpendicular to
the basic plane and containing the midpoint of the line connecting
the notches of the right and left inferior orbital ridges and
the midpoint of the line connecting the superior rims of the right
and left auditory meatuses. The ISO headforms are marked with
a longitudinal plane corresponding to the midsagittal plane (see
Figures 1 and 2 of this part).
(h) Modular elastomer programmer ("MEP") is a cylindrical
pad, typically consisting of a polyurethane rubber, used as a
consistent impact medium for the systems check procedure. The
MEP shall be 152 mm (6 in) in diameter, and 25 mm (1 in) thick
and shall have a durometer of 60 2 Shore A. The MEP shall be affixed
to the top surface of a flat 6.35 mm (1/4 in) thick aluminum plate.
See § 1203.17(b)(1).
(i) Preload ballast is a "bean bag" filled with lead
shot that is placed on the helmet to secure its position on the
headform. The mass of the preload ballast is 5 kg (11 lb).
(j) Projection is any part of the helmet, internal or external,
that extends beyond the faired surface.
(k) Reference headform is a headform used as a measuring device
and contoured in the same configuration as one of the test headforms
A, E, J, M, and O defined in draft ISO DIS 6220-1983. The reference
headform shall include surface markings corresponding to the basic,
coronal, midsagittal, and reference planes (see Figures 1 and
2 of this part).
(l) Reference plane is a plane marked on the ISO headforms at
a specified distance above and parallel to the basic plane (see
Figure 3 of this part).
(m) Retention system is the complete assembly that secures the
helmet in a stable position on the wearer's head.
(n) Shield means optional equipment for helmets that is used in
place of goggles to protect the eyes.
(o) Spherical impactor is an impact fixture used in the instrument
system check of § 1203.17 (b)(1) to test the impact-attenuation
test equipment for precision and accuracy. The spherical impactor
shall be a 146 mm (5.75 in) diameter aluminum sphere mounted on
the ball-arm connector of the drop assembly. The total mass of
the spherical-impactor drop assembly shall be 5.0 + 0.1
kg (11.0 + O. 22 lb).
(p) Test headform is a solid model in the shape of a human head
of sizes A, E, J, M, and O as defined in draft ISO/DIS 6220-1983.
Headforms used for the impact-attenuation test shall be constructed
of low-resonance K-1A magnesium alloy. The test headforms shall
include surface markings corresponding to the basic, coronal, midsagittal, and reference
planes (see Figure 2 of this part).
(q) Test region is the area of the helmet, on and above a specified
impact test line, that is subject to impact testing.
§ 1203.5 Construction requirements - projections.
Any unfaired projection extending more than 7 mm (0.28 in.) from
the helmet's outer surface shall break away or collapse when impacted
with forces equivalent to those produced by the applicable impact-attenuation
tests in § 1203.17 of this standard. There shall be no fixture
on the helmet's inner surface projecting more than 2 mm into the
§ 1203.6 Labeling and instructions.
(a) Labeling. Each helmet shall be marked with durable labeling
so that the following information is legible and easily visible
to the user:
(1) Model designation.
(2) A warning to the user that no helmet can protect against all
possible impacts and that serious injury or death could occur.
(3) A warning on both the helmet and the packaging that for maximum
protection the helmet must be fitted and attached properly to
the wearer's head in accordance with the manufacturer's fitting
(4) A warning to the user that the helmet may, after receiving
an impact, be damaged to the point that it is no longer adequate
to protect the head against further impacts, and that this damage
may not be visible to the user. This label shall also state that
a helmet that has sustained an impact should be returned to the
manufacturer for inspection, or be destroyed and replaced.
(5) A warning to the user that the helmet can be damaged by contact
with common substances (for example, certain solvents [ammonia],
cleaners [bleach], etc.), and that this damage may not be visible
to the user. This label shall state in generic terms some recommended
cleaning agents and procedures (for example, wipe with mild soap
and water), list the most common substances that damage the helmet,
warn against contacting the helmet with these substances, and
refer users to the instruction manual for more specific care and
(6) Signal word. The labels required by paragraphs (2) - (5) shall
include the signal word "WARNING" at the beginning of
each statement, unless two or more of the statements appear together
on the same label. In that case, the signal word need only appear
once, at the beginning of the warnings. The signal word "WARNING" shall be in all
capital letters, bold print, and a type size equal to or greater
than the other text on the label.
(b) Instructions. Each helmet shall have fitting and positioning
instructions, including a graphic representation of proper positioning.
§ 1203.7 Samples for testing.
(a) General. Helmets shall be tested in the condition in which
they are offered for sale. To meet the standard, the
helmets must be able to pass all tests, both with and without
any attachments that may be offered by the helmet's manufacturer
and with all possible combinations of such attachments.
(b) Number of samples. To test conformance to this standard, eight
samples of each helmet size for each helmet model offered for
sale are required.
§ 1203.8 Conditioning environments.
Helmets shall be conditioned to one of the following environments
prior to testing in accordance with the test schedule at §
1203.13. The barometric pressure in all conditioning environments
shall be 75 to 110 kPa (22.2 to 32.6 in of Hg). All test helmets
shall be stabilized within the ambient condition for at least
4 hours prior to further conditioning and testing. Storage or
shipment within this ambient range satisfies this requirement.
(a) Ambient condition. The ambient condition of the test laboratory
shall be within 17°C to 27°C (63°F to 81°F),
and 20 to 80 degrees relative humidity. The ambient test helmet
does not need further conditioning.
(b) Low temperature. The helmet shall be kept at a temperature
of -17°C to -13°C (1°F to 9°F) for 4 to 24
hours prior to testing.
(c) High temperature. The helmet shall be kept at a temperature
of 47°C to 53°C (117°F to 127°F) for 4 to
24 hours prior to testing.
(d) Water immersion. The helmet shall be fully immersed "crown"
down in potable water at a temperature of 17°C to 27°C
(63°F to 81°F) to a crown depth of 305 mm +/-
25 mm (12 in. +/- 1 in.) for 4 to 24 hours prior to testing.
§ 1203.9 Test headforms.
The headforms used for testing shall be selected from sizes A,
E, J, M, and O, as defined by DRAFT ISO/DIS 6220-1983, in accordance
with § 1203.10. Headforms used for impact testing shall be
rigid and be constructed of low-resonance K-1A magnesium alloy.
§ 1203.10 Selecting the test headform.
A helmet shall be tested on the smallest of the headforms appropriate
for the helmet sample. A headform size is appropriate for a helmet
if all of the helmet's sizing pads are partially compressed when
the helmet is equipped with its thickest sizing pads and positioned
correctly on the reference headform.
§ 1203.11 Marking the impact test line.
Prior to testing, the impact test line shall be determined for
each helmet in the following manner.
(a) Position the helmet on the appropriate headform as specified
by the manufacturer's helmet positioning index (HPI), with the
brow parallel to the basic plane. Place a 5-kg (11-lb) preload
ballast on top of the helmet to set the comfort or fit padding.
(b) Draw the impact test line on the outer surface of the helmet
coinciding with the intersection of the surface of the helmet
with the impact line planes defined from the reference headform
as shown in
(1) Figure 4 of this part for helmets intended only for persons
5 years of age and older.
(2) Figure 5 of this part for helmets intended for persons age
1 and older.
(c) The center of the impact sites shall be selected at any point
on the helmet on or above the impact test line.
§ 1203.12 Test requirements.
(a) Peripheral vision. All bicycle helmets shall allow unobstructed
vision through a minimum of 105° to the left and right sides
of the midsagittal plane when measured in accordance with §
1203.14 of this standard.
(b) Positional stability. No bicycle helmet shall come off of
the test headform when tested in accordance with § 1203.15
of this standard.
(c) Dynamic strength of retention system. All bicycle helmets
shall have a retention system that will remain intact without
elongating more than 30 mm (1.2 in.) when tested in accordance
with § 1203.16 of this standard.
(d) Impact attenuation criteria.
(1) General. A helmet fails the impact attenuation performance
test of this standard if a failure under paragraph (d)(2) of this
section can be induced under any combination of impact site, anvil
type, anvil impact order, or conditioning environment permissible
under the standard, either with or without any attachments, or
combinations of attachments, that are provided with the helmet.
Thus, the Commission will test for a "worst case" combination
of test parameters. What constitutes a worst case may vary, depending
on the particular helmet involved.
(2) Peak acceleration. The peak acceleration of any impact shall
not exceed 300 g when the helmet is tested in accordance with
Sec. 1203.17 of this standard.
§ 1203.13 Test schedule.
(a) Helmet sample 1 of the set of eight helmets, as designated
in Table 1203.13, shall be tested for peripheral vision in accordance
with § 1203.14 of this standard.
(b) Helmet samples 1 through 8, as designated in Table 1203.13,
shall be conditioned in the ambient, high temperature, low temperature,
and water immersion environments as follows: helmets 1 and 5 -
ambient; helmets 2 and 7 - high temperature; helmets 3 and 6 -
low temperature; and helmets 4 and 8 - water immersion.
(c) Testing must begin within 2 minutes after the helmet is removed
from the conditioning environment. The helmet shall be returned
to the conditioning environment within 3 minutes after it was
removed, and shall remain in the conditioning environment for
a minimum of 2 minutes before testing is resumed. If the helmet
is out of the conditioning environment beyond 3 minutes, testing
shall not resume until the helmet has been reconditioned for a
period equal to at least 5 minutes for each minute the helmet
was out of the conditioning environment beyond the first 3 minutes,
or for 4 hours, (whichever reconditioning time is shorter) before
testing is resumed.
(d) Prior to being tested for impact attenuation, helmets 1-4
(conditioned in ambient, high temperature, low temperature,
and water immersion environments, respectively) shall be tested
in accordance with the dynamic retention system strength test
at § 1203.16. Helmets 1-4 shall then be tested in accordance
with the impact attenuation tests on the flat and hemispherical
anvils in accordance with the procedure at § 1203.17. Helmet
5 (ambient-conditioned) shall be tested in accordance with the
positional stability tests at § 1203.15 prior to impact testing.
Helmets 5-8 shall then be tested in accordance with the impact
attenuation tests on the curbstone anvil in accordance with §
1203.17. Table 1203.13 summarizes the test schedule.
TABLE 1203.13 - TEST SCHEDULE
§1203.14 §1203.15 §1203.16 §1203.17
Peripheral Positional Retention Impact Tests
Vision Stability System No. of
Strength Anvil Impacts
Helmet 1 X X X Flat 2
Ambient X Hemi 2
Helmet 2 X X Flat 2
High X Hemi 2
Helmet 3 X X Flat 2
Low X Hemi 2
Helmet 4 X X Flat 2
Water X Hemi 2
Helmet 5 X X Curb 1
Helmet 6 X Curb 1
Helmet 7 X Curb 1
Helmet 8 X Curb 1
§ 1203.14 Peripheral vision test.
Position the helmet on a reference headform in accordance with
the HPI and place a 5-kg (11-lb) preload ballast on top of the
helmet to set the comfort or fit padding. (Note: Peripheral vision
clearance may be determined when the helmet is positioned for marking the test
lines.) Peripheral vision is measured horizontally from each side
of the midsagittal plane around the point K (see Figure 6 of this
part). Point K is located on the front surface of the reference
headform at the intersection of the basic and midsagittal planes.
The vision shall not be obstructed within 105 degrees from point
K on each side of the midsagittal plane.
§ 1203.15 Positional stability test (roll-off resistance).
(a) Test equipment.
(1) Headforms. The test headforms shall comply with the dimensions
of the full chin ISO reference headforms sizes A, E, J, M, and O.
(2) Test fixture. The headform shall be secured in a test fixture
with the headform's vertical axis pointing downward and 45 degrees
to the direction of gravity (see Figure 7 of this part). The test
fixture shall permit rotation of the headform about its vertical
axis and include means to lock the headform in the face up and
face down positions.
(3) Dynamic impact apparatus. A dynamic impact apparatus shall
be used to apply a shock load to a helmet secured to the test
headform. The dynamic impact apparatus shall allow a 4-kg (8.8-lb)
drop weight to slide in a guided free fall to impact a rigid stop
anvil (see Figure 7 of this part). The entire mass of the dynamic
impact assembly, including the drop weight, shall be no more than 5 kg (11 lb).
(4) Strap or cable. A hook and flexible strap or cable shall be
used to connect the dynamic impact apparatus to the helmet. The
strap or cable shall be of a material having an elongation of
no more than 5 mm (0.20 in.) per 300 mm (11.8 in.) when loaded
with a 22-kg (48.5 lb) weight in a free hanging position.
(b) Test procedure.
(1) Orient the headform so that its face is down, and lock it
in that orientation.
(2) Place the helmet on the appropriate size full chin headform
in accordance with the HPI and fasten the retention system in
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Adjust the straps
to remove any slack.
(3) Suspend the dynamic impact system from the helmet by positioning
the flexible strap over the helmet along the midsagittal plane
and attaching the hook over the edge of the helmet as shown in
Figure 7 of this part.
(4) Raise the drop weight to a height of 0.6 m (2 ft) from the
stop anvil and release it, so that it impacts the stop anvil.
(5) The test shall be repeated with the headform's face pointing
upwards, so that the helmet is pulled from front to rear.
§ 1203.16 Dynamic strength of retention system test.
(a) Test equipment.
(1) ISO headforms without the lower chin portion shall be used.
(b) Test procedure.
(2) The retention system strength test equipment shall consist
of a dynamic impact apparatus that allows a 4-kg (8.8-lb) drop
weight to slide in a guided free fall to impact a rigid stop anvil
(see Figure 8 of this part). Two cylindrical rollers that spin
freely, with a diameter of 12.5 +/- 0.5 mm (0.49 in. +/- 0.02 in.)
and a center-to-center distance of 76.0 +/- 1 mm (3.0 +/- 0.04
in.), shall make up a stirrup that represents the bone structure
of the lower jaw. The entire dynamic test apparatus hangs freely
on the retention system. The entire mass of the support assembly,
including the 4-kg (8.8-lb) drop weight, shall be 11 kg 0.5 kg
(24.2 lb +/- 1.1 lb).
(1) Place the helmet on the appropriate size headform on the test
device according to the HPI. Fasten the strap of the retention
system under the stirrup.
(2) Mark the pre-test position of the retention system, with the
entire dynamic test apparatus hanging freely on the retention
(3) Raise the 4-kg (8.8-lb) drop weight to a height of 0.6 m (2
ft) from the stop anvil and release it, so that it impacts the
(4) Record the maximum elongation of the retention system during
the impact. A marker system or a displacement transducer, as shown
in Figure 8 of this part, are two methods of measuring the elongation.
§ 1203.17 Impact attenuation test.
(a) Impact test instruments and equipment.
(1) Measurement of impact attenuation. Impact attenuation is determined
by measuring the acceleration of the test headform during impact.
Acceleration is measured with a uniaxial accelerometer that is
capable of withstanding a shock of a least 1000 g. The helmet
is secured onto the headform and dropped in a guided free fall,
using a monorail or guidewire test apparatus (see Figure 9 of
this part), onto an anvil fixed to a rigid base. The center of
the anvil shall be aligned with the center vertical axis of the
accelerometer. The base shall consist of a solid mass of at least
135 kg (298 lb), the upper surface of which shall consist of a
steel plate at least 12 mm (0.47 in.) thick and having a surface
area of at least 0.10 sq. m (1.08 sq. ft.).
(2) Accelerometer. A uniaxial accelerometer shall be mounted at
the center of gravity of the test headform, with the sensitive
axis aligned within 5 degrees of vertical when the test headform
is in the impact position. The acceleration data channel and filtering
shall comply with SAE Recommended Practice J211 OCT88, Instrumentation
for Impact Tests, Requirements for Channel Class 1000.
(3) Headform and drop assembly-centers of gravity. The center
of gravity of the test headform shall be at the center of the
mounting ball on the support assembly and within an inverted cone
having its axis vertical and a 10-degree included angle with the
vertex at the point of impact. The location of the center of gravity
of the drop assembly (combined test headform and support assembly)
must meet FMVSS 218 S7.1.8. The center of gravity of the drop
assembly shall lie within the rectangular volume bounded by x
= -6.4 mm (-0.25 in.), x = 21.6 mm (0.85 in), y = 6.4 mm (0.25
in.), and y = -6.4 mm (-0.25 in), with the origin located at the
center of gravity of the test headform. The origin of the coordinate
axes is at the center of the mounting ball on the support assembly.
The rectangular volume has no boundary along the z-axis. The positive
z-axis is downward. The x-y-z axes are mutually perpendicular
and have positive or negative designations as shown in Figure
10 of this part. Figure 10 shows an overhead view of the x-y boundary
of the drop assembly center of gravity.
(4) Drop assembly. The combined mass of the drop assembly, which
consists of instrumented test headform and support assembly (excluding
the test helmet), shall be 5.0 +/- 0.1 kg (11.00 +/- 0.22 lb).
(5) Impact anvils. Impact tests shall be performed against the
three different solid (i.e., without internal cavities) steel
anvils described below.
(i) Flat Anvil. The flat anvil shall have a flat surface with
an impact face having a minimum diameter of 125 mm (4.92 in.).
It shall be at least 24 mm (0.94 in.) thick (see Figure 11 of
(ii) Hemispherical anvil. The hemispherical anvil shall have a
hemispherical impact surface with a radius of 48 +/- 1 mm
(1.89 +/- 0.04 in.) (see Figure 12 of this part).
(iii) Curbstone anvil. The curbstone anvil shall have two flat
faces making an angle of 105 degrees and meeting along a striking
edge having a radius of 15 mm +/- 0.5 mm (0.59 +/- 0.02
in.). The height of the curbstone anvil shall not be less than
50 mm (1.97 in.), and the length shall not be less than 200 mm
(7.87 in.) (see Figure 13 of this part).
(b) Test Procedure.
(1) Instrument system check (precision and accuracy). The impact-attenuation
test instrumentation shall be checked before and after each series
of tests (at least at the beginning and end of each test day) by dropping a spherical impactor
onto an elastomeric test medium (MEP). The spherical impactor
shall be a 146 mm (5.75 in) diameter aluminum sphere that is mounted
on the ball-arm connector of the drop assembly. The total mass
of the spherical-impactor drop assembly shall be 5.0 +/- 0.1 kg
(11.0 +/- 0.22 lb). The MEP shall be 152 mm (6 in) in diameter and
25 mm (1 in) thick, and shall have a durometer of 60 +/- 2 Shore
A. The MEP shall be affixed to the top surface of a flat 6.35
mm (1/4 in) thick aluminum plate. The geometric center of the MEP
pad shall be aligned with the center vertical axis of the accelerometer
(see § 1203.17(a)(2)). The impactor shall be dropped onto
the MEP at an impact velocity of 5.44 m/s +/- 2 per
cent. (Typically, this requires a minimum drop height of 1.50
meters (4.9 ft) plus a height adjustment to account for friction
losses.) Six impacts, at intervals of 75 +/- 15 seconds, shall be
performed at the beginning and end of the test series (at a minimum
at the beginning and end of each test day). The first three of
six impacts shall be considered warm-up drops, and their impact
values shall be discarded from the series. The second three impacts
shall be recorded. All recorded impacts shall fall within the
range of 380 g to 425 g. In addition, the difference between the
high and low values of the three recorded impacts shall not be
greater than 20 g.
(2) Impact sites. Each of helmets 1 through 4 (one helmet for
each conditioning environment) shall impact at four different
sites, with two impacts on the flat anvil and two impacts on the
hemispherical anvil. The center of any impact may be anywhere
on or above the test line, provided it is at least 120 mm (4.72
in), measured on the surface of the helmet, from any prior impact
center. Each of helmets 5 through 8 (one helmet for each conditioning
environment) shall impact at one site on the curbstone anvil.
The center of the curbstone impacts may be on or anywhere above
the test line. The curbstone anvil may be placed in any orientation
as long as the center of the anvil is aligned with the axis of
the accelerometer. As noted in § 1203.12(d)(1), impact sites,
the order of anvil use (flat and hemispherical), and curbstone
anvil sites and orientation shall be chosen by the test personnel
to provide the most severe test for the helmet. Rivets and other
mechanical fasteners, vents, and any other helmet feature within
the test region are valid test sites.
(3) Impact velocity. The helmet shall be dropped onto the flat
anvil with an impact velocity of 6.2 m/s +/- 3 per cent
(20.34 ft/s +/- 3 per cent). (Typically, this requires
a minimum drop height of 2 meters (6.56 ft), plus a height adjustment
to account for friction losses.) The helmet shall be dropped onto
the hemispherical and curbstone anvils with an impact velocity
of 4.8 m/s plus or minus 3 per cent (15.75 ft/s plus or minus
3 per cent). (Typically, this requires a minimum drop height of
1.2 meters (3.94 ft), plus a height adjustment to account for
friction losses.) The impact velocity shall be measured during
the last 40 mm (1.57 in) of free-fall for each test.
(4) Helmet position. Prior to each test, the helmet shall be positioned
on the test headform in accordance with the HPI. The helmet shall
be secured so that it does not shift position prior to impact.
The helmet retention system shall be secured in a manner that
does not interfere with free-fall or impact.
(5) Data. Record the maximum acceleration in g's during impact.
See Subpart C, § 1203 .41 (b).
Subpart B - - Certification
§ 1203.30 Purpose, basis, and scope.
(a) Purpose. The purpose of this subpart is to establish requirements
that manufacturers and importers of bicycle helmets subject to
the Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets (Subpart A of this Part
1203) shall issue certificates of compliance in the form specified.
(b) Basis. Section 14(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act
(CPSA), 15 U.S.C. 2063(a)(1), requires every manufacturer (including
importers) and private labeler of a product which is subject to
a consumer product safety standard to issue a certificate that the product conforms to the
applicable standard. Section 14(a)(1) further requires that the
certificate be based either on a test of each product or on a
"reasonable testing program." The Commission may, by
rule, designate one or more of the manufacturers and private labelers
as the persons who shall issue the required certificate. 15 U.S.C.
(c) Scope. The provisions of this subpart apply to all bicycle
helmets that are subject to the requirements of the Safety Standard
for Bicycle Helmets, Subpart A of this Part 1203.
§ 1203.31 Effective date.
All bicycle helmets manufactured on or after [insert date that
is 1 year plus 1 day after publication] must meet the standard
and must be certified as complying with the standard in accordance
with this Subpart B.
§ 1203.32 Definitions.
The following definitions shall apply to this subpart:
(a) Foreign manufacturer means an entity that manufactured a bicycle
helmet outside the United States, as defined in 15 2052(a)(10)
(b) Manufacturer means the entity that either manufactured a helmet
in the United States or imported a helmet manufactured outside
the United States.
(c) Private labeler means an owner of a brand or trademark that
is used on a bicycle helmet subject to the standard and that is
not the brand or trademark of the manufacturer of the bicycle
helmet, provided the owner of the brand or trademark caused, authorized,
or approved its use.
(d) Production lot means a quantity of bicycle helmets from which
certain bicycle helmets are selected for testing prior to certifying
the lot. All bicycle helmets in a lot must be essentially identical
in those design, construction, and material features that relate
to the ability of a bicycle helmet to comply with the standard.
(e) Reasonable testing program means any tests which are identical
or equivalent to, or more stringent than, the tests defined in
the standard and which are performed on one or more bicycle helmets
selected from the production lot to determine whether there is
reasonable assurance that all of the bicycle helmets in that lot
comply with the requirements of the standard.
§ 1203.33 Certification testing.
(a) General. Manufacturers, as defined in § 1203.32(b) to
include importers, shall conduct a reasonable testing program
to demonstrate that their bicycle helmets comply with the requirements
of the standard.
(b) Reasonable testing program. This paragraph provides guidance
for establishing a reasonable testing program.
(1) Within the requirements set forth below, manufacturers and
importers may define their own reasonable testing programs. Reasonable
testing programs may, at the option of manufacturers and importers,
be conducted by an independent third party qualified to perform
such testing programs. However, manufacturers and importers are
responsible for ensuring compliance with all requirements of this
(2) As part of the reasonable testing program, the bicycle helmets
shall be divided into production lots, and sample bicycle helmets
from each production lot shall be tested. Whenever there is a
change in parts, suppliers of parts, or production methods, and
the change could affect the ability of the bicycle helmet to comply
with the requirements of the standard, the manufacturer shall
establish a new production lot for testing.
(3) The Commission will test for compliance with the standard
by using the standard's test procedures. However, a reasonable
testing program need not be identical to the tests prescribed
in the standard.
(4) If the reasonable testing program shows that a bicycle helmet
may not comply with one or more requirements of the standard,
no bicycle helmet in the production lot can be certified as complying
until sufficient actions are taken that it is reasonably likely
that no noncomplying bicycle helmets remain in the production
lot. All identified noncomplying helmets in the lot must be destroyed
or altered by repair, redesign, or use of a different material
or component, to the extent necessary to make them conform to
(5) The sale or offering for sale of a bicycle helmet that does
not comply with the standard is a prohibited act and a violation
of § l9 (a) of the CPSA (15 U.S.C. 2068(a)), regardless of
whether the bicycle helmet has been validly certified.
§ 1203.34 Product certification and labeling by manufacturers
(a) Form of permanent label of certification. Manufacturers, as
defined in § 1203.32(a), shall issue certificates of compliance
for bicycle helmets manufactured after [insert date that is 1
year after publication] in the form of a durable, legible, and
readily visible label meeting the requirements of this section.
This label is the helmet's certificate of compliance, as that term is used in §
14 of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2063.
(b) Contents of certification label. The certification labels
required by this section shall contain the following:
(1) The statement "Complies with CPSC Safety Standard for
Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older" or "Complies
with CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age
1 and older (Extended Head Coverage)", as appropriate; this
label may spell out "U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission"
instead of "CPSC";
(2) The name of the U.S. manufacturer or importer responsible
for issuing the certificate or the name of a private labeler;
(3) The address of the U.S. manufacturer or importer responsible
for issuing the certificate or, if the name of a private labeler
is on the label, the address of the private labeler;
(4) The name and address of the foreign manufacturer, if the helmet
was manufactured outside the United States;
(5) The telephone number of the U.S. manufacturer or importer
responsible for issuing the certificate or, if the name of a private
labeler is on the label, the telephone number of the private labeler;
(6) An identification of the production lot;
(7) The uncoded month and year the product was manufactured.
(1) The information required by paragraphs (b)(4)
and (b)(6) of this section, and the information referred to in
paragraph (c)(2) of this section, may be in code, provided:
(d) Placement of the label (s). The information required by paragraphs
(b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(5) must be on one label. The other required
information may be on separate labels. The label(s) required by
this section must be affixed to the bicycle helmet. If the label(s)
are not immediately visible to the ultimate purchaser of the bicycle
helmet prior to purchase because of packaging or other marketing
practices, a second label is required. That label shall state,
as appropriate, "Complies with CPSC Safety Standard
for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older", or "Complies
with CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age
1 and Older (Extended Head Coverage)". The label shall be legible,
readily visible, and placed on the main display panel of the packaging
or, if the packaging is not visible before purchase (e.g., catalog
sales), on the promotional material used with the sale of the
bicycle helmet. This label may spell out "U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission" instead of "CPSC."
(i) the person or firm issuing the certificate maintains a written
record of the meaning of each symbol used in the code, and
(2) A serial number may be used in place of a production lot identification
on the helmet if it can serve as a code to identify the production
lot. If a bicycle helmet is manufactured for sale by a private
labeler, and if the name of the private labeler is on the certification
label, the name of the manufacturer or importer issuing the certificate,
and the name and address of any foreign manufacturer, may also
be in code.
(ii) the record shall be made available to the distributor, retailer,
consumer, and Commission upon request.
(e) Additional provisions for importers.
(1) General. The importer of any bicycle helmet subject to the
standard in Subpart A of this Part 1203 must issue the certificate
of compliance required by § 14(a) of the CPSA and this section.
If a reasonable testing program meeting the requirements of this
subpart has been performed by or for the foreign manufacturer
of the product, the importer may rely in good faith on such tests
to support the certificate of compliance, provided:
(i) the importer is a resident of the United States or has a resident
agent in the United States,
(2) Responsibility of importers. Importers that rely on tests
by the foreign manufacturer to support the certificate of compliance
shall--in addition to complying with paragraph (e)(l)of this section--examine
the records supplied by the manufacturer to determine that they
comply with § 1203.41 of Subpart C of this part.
(ii) there are records of such tests required by § 1203.41
of Subpart C of this part, and
(iii) such records are available to the Commission within 48 hours
of a request to the importer.
Subpart C - - Recordkeeping
§ 1203.40 Effective date.
The recordkeeping requirements in this subpart are effective [insert
date that is 1 year after publication] and apply to bicycle helmets
manufactured after that date.
§ 1203.41 Recordkeeping requirements.
(a) General. Every person issuing certificates of compliance for
bicycle helmets subject to the standard in Subpart A of this part
shall maintain records which show that the certificates are based
on a reasonable testing program. The records shall be maintained
for a period of at least 3 years from the date of certification
of the last bicycle helmet in each production lot. These records
shall be available, upon request, to any designated officer or
employee of the Commission, in accordance with § 16(b) of
the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2065(b). If the records are not physically
available during the inspection because they are maintained at
another location, the firm must provide them to the staff within
(b) Records of helmet tests. Complete test records shall be maintained.
These records shall contain the following information.
(1) an identification of the bicycle helmets tested;
(2) an identification of the production lot;
(3) the results of the tests, including the precise nature of
(4) a description of the specific actions taken to address any
(5) a detailed description of the tests, including the helmet
positioning index (HPI) used to define the proper position of
the helmet on the headform;
(6) the manufacturer's name and address;
(7) the model and size of each helmet tested;
(8) identifying information for each helmet tested, including
the production lot for each helmet;
(9) the environmental condition under which each helmet was tested,
the duration of the helmet's conditioning, the temperatures in
each conditioning environment, and the relative humidity and temperature
of the laboratory;
(10) the peripheral vision clearance;
(11) a description of any failures to conform to any of the labeling
and instruction requirements;
(12) performance impact results, stating the precise location
of impact, type of anvil used, velocity prior to impact, and maximum
acceleration measured in g's;
(13) the results of the positional stability test;
(14) the results of the dynamic strength of retention system test;
(15) the name and location of the test laboratory;
(16) the name of the person(s) who performed the test;
(17) the date of the test;
(18) the system check results.
(c) Format for records. The records required to be maintained
by this section may be in any appropriate form or format that
clearly provides the required information. Certification test
results may be kept on paper, microfiche, computer disk, or other
retrievable media. Where records are kept on computer disk or
other retrievable media, the records shall be made available to
the Commission on paper copies, or via electronic mail in the
same format as paper copies, upon request.
Subpart D - - Requirements For Bicycle Helmets Manufactured
17, 1995, Through __________________
[insert date that is 1 year after
§ 1203.51 Purpose and basis.
The purpose and basis of this rule is to protect bicyclists from
head injuries by ensuring that bicycle helmets comply with the
requirements of appropriate existing voluntary standards, as provided
in 15 U.S.C. 6004(a).
1203.52 Scope and effective date.
(a) This Subpart D is effective March 16, 1995, except for §1203.53(a)(8),
which is effective [insert date of publication]. This Subpart
D shall apply to bicycle helmets manufactured from March 17, 1995,
through [insert date that is 1 year after publication], inclusive.
Such bicycle helmets shall comply with the requirements of one
of the standards specified in § 1203.53. This requirement
shall be considered a consumer product safety standard issued
under the Consumer Product Safety Act.
(b) The term "bicycle helmet" is defined at § 1203.4(b).
(c) These interim mandatory safety standards will not apply to
bicycle helmets manufactured after [insert date that is 1 year
after publication]. Those helmets are subject to the requirements
of Subparts A-C of this Part 1203.
§ 1203.53 Interim safety standards.
(a) Bicycle helmets must comply with one or more of the following
standards, which are incorporated herein by reference:
(1) American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z90.4-1984,
Protective Headgear for Bicyclists,
(2) ASTM standards F 1447-93 or F 1447-94, Standard Specification for
Protective Headgear Used in Bicycling, incorporating the relevant
provisions of ASTM F 1446-93 or ASTM
F 1446-94, Standard Test Methods for Equipment and Procedures
Used in Evaluating the Performance Characteristics of Protective
(3) Canadian Standard Association standard, Cycling Helmets -
(4) Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) 1990 Standard for Protective
Headgear for Use in Bicycling (designation B-90),
(5) Snell 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling,
including March 9, 1994 Supplement (designation B-9OS),
(6) Snell 1994 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Non-Motorized
Sports (designation N-94), or
(7) Snell 1995 standard for Protective Headgear for Use with Bicycles
(8) Subparts A-C of this Part 1203.
(b) This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director
of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and
1 CFR Part 51. Copies of the standards may be obtained as follows.
Copies of the ANSI Z90.4 standard are available from: American
National Standards Institute, 11 W. 42nd Street, 13th Floor, New
York, NY 10036. Copies of the ASTM standards are available from:
ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.
Copies of the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CSA-D113.2-M89 standard are
available from: CSA, 178 Rexdale Boulevard, Rexdale (Toronto),
Ontario, Canada, M9W 1R3. Copies of the Snell standards are available
from: Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc., 6731-A 32nd Street, North
Highlands, CA 95660. Copies may be inspected at the Office of
the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West
Highway, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, or at the Office of the Federal Register,
800 N. Capitol Street NW, Room 700, Washington, DC.
Figures to Part 1203
[Insert Figures 1-13]
[BHSI Note: See below]
Dated: ________________________, 1997.
Sadye E. Dunn,
Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission
End of CPSC Text
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