Some Danes Find New Standard Confusing
Summary: This is one Danish View of the CEN Bicycle Helmet Standard from back in 1996.
THE BICYCLE NEWS AGENCY 2/96
(A service of The Danish Cyclists Federation)
DANISH CYCLIST FEDERATION WARNS
NEW CE HELMET STANDARD IS CONFUSING
A new European CE-standard for bicycle helmets is "empty" and therefore
useless and confusing to the consumers warns The Danish Cyclists
By: Ernst Poulsen
Consumers have always had to stay on their toes when shopping for bicycle helmets.
And a new European CE-standard is absolutely no help.
Only a few countries in Europe have their own helmet standard. And even
fewer countries have legislation which require helmets sold in that
country to adhere to any specific standard.
However, the European Union has now issued a new "CE" helmet standard, and
as soon as the individual EU-countries have adopted this standard, all
helmets must carry the new EC-sticker. In Denmark all helmets are required
to carry the CE-sticker from 1997.
"This does however, not give consumers added protection against buying a
low quality helmet", warns the Danish Cyclists Federation, a consumer
advocacy group with 30.000 members.
In fact the new CE-sticker can be used on any helmet, which is approved by
any testing-facility in Europe. It is entirely up to the - often privately
owned - testing facility (or institute) to decide how to test the helmet.
Other helmet standards such as the Swedish "Konsumentverket", and the
American Snell, Ansi or Astm standards put the helmets through rigorous
and painstaking drop-tests before awarding the bicycle helmet with the
"We fear, that the "CE"-standard becomes a lowest-common-denominator
standard, which every helmet can pass regardless of its quality", says
Lawyer Flemming Funch from the Danish Cyclist Federation.
He finds it grotesque that the only strict part of the helmet standard
concerns the form, shape and glue of the CE-sticker itself. Otherwise the
helmet standard is empty, and only requires the helmets to be tested by an
approved testing-facility somewhere in Europe. There are, however, no
specific requirements to the testing.
"We have warned our members against the CE-standard. The best they can do
is ignore it, says Flemming Funch." He recommends that consumers only buy
helmets which carry stickers from Konsumentverket, Snell, Ansi or Astm.
Source of information
"Cyklister" 1/96, page 21. (Membership magazine of Dansk Cyklist Forbund).
Dansk Cyklist Forbund, lawyer Flemming Funch or
boardmember Ernst Poulsen, Roemersgade 7, DK-1362 Copenhagen K, Denmark,
Phone: +45 - 33 32 31 21, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faerdselsstyrelsen, Adelgade 13, Postboks 9039, DK-1304 Copenhagen K,
Denmark, Phone: +45 - 33 92 91 00.
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