ECE Regulation And Helmet Safety In India
The implementation of newer European helmet safety regulation rules in India will make helmets safer and will be a great support to curb the growing number of road accidents
Photo Credit : Siddharth,
ECE R22.00 certification for Helmets
According to a report published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), India had 467,044 road accidents recorded in 2018, a rise of 0.5 percent compared to the 464,910 accidents in 2017. In another survey conducted in 2018 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), India has 1 percent of the world's vehicles but accounts for 6 percent of the world's road accidents. There are two major reasons behind the increase in road accidents: a) Lack of seriousness towards road safety and b) lack of safety gear (especially in the case of road accidents involving two-wheeler riders). When it comes to two-wheeler riders, a cause of grave concern is the quality of helmets which ensured by the safety standards marked by ISI. But sadly, standards for safety mentioned under ISI certification requires certain improvement in relation to the road safety needs for today. An amalgamation of Indian safety norms and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) is the need of the hour to ensure the safety of each and every individual.
The Indian helmet market had been regulated according to ISI assurance parameters but now India is also adopting ECE regulations for improved framework and safety of the Indian riders. ECE standard motorcycle helmet certification, R22.05 is the most widely used in the world. It is accepted in over 62 countries worldwide. ECE stands for Economic Commission for Europe created by the United Nation (UN), and earlier it was coined as ECE R22.00. The ECE certification ensures the safety of consumers by putting its helmets and equipment through various tests to protect the drivers from severe head and brain injuries.
ECE R22.06 is now mandatory and it comes with the set of guidelines and precise testing procedures. It will be put into effect from June 2023. It consists of following helmet tests:
- Impact Absorption Test to determine the impact energy that a helmet can absorb when dropped from a fixed height onto an anvil.
- Rigidity Test to evaluate the ability of a helmet to withstand compressive loads by applying a quasi-static, compressive force.
- Dynamic Retention Test to determine the dynamic displacement and residual displacement and to test the efficiency of the helmet retention systems.
- Retention Test/Roll-off Test to determine the ability for the helmet to be retained on the head in a dynamic event
- Quick Release Mechanism Test to determine the detachable force of micrometric buckle and the easy functioning of release mechanism after an accident.
- Luminous Transmittance Test which measures the amount of light passing through a transparent visor.
The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, an arm of the ECE, is responsible for the multilateral agreements of 1958, 1997, 1998 which states the various safety measures necessary for the production of wheeled vehicles and their accessories. Timely monitoring of vehicle standards and sustainable approach is also their prime motto. In June 1972 the first helmet according to the guidelines given by the ECE was manufactured and was called ECE R22.00.
The European standards are beneficial for both the companies and customers in terms of cost savings, efficiency enhancements and health enhancements. ECE is also responsible for design approval, sun shields, visor quality and the chin strap. There is also a sewn logo of ECE R22.05 on the chin straps. This label is required on the helmet to be road legal in Europe. There are different marks for the different helmet styles,
1) J stands for jet style helmet (helmet without lower face cover)
2) P stands for the full-face helmet (protective lower face cover)
3) NP stands for non-protective lower face cover
Similarly, there are different approval E-marks for European nations. Hence, the new proposed revision which is ECE R22.06 will also add new checks and design criteria, such as additional reflectivity, rotational test, modular helmets double code (P/J), new speed and limit for high and low energy impact, oblique impact test method to measure rotational acceleration, the introduction of new possible extra impact points and high-speed particle test to verify the performance of visor. The ECE R22.06 standards ensure the perfect balance at both higher and lower impact. The shell or body will be made stiffer resulting in zero shock absorption quality, hence protecting the skull. The New ECE regulations will look upon the tints of the visor, which will be reduced from 50% to 35% light transmission. Both ISI certification and ECE norms are similar in nature catering to the safety of people, but ISI standard norms need to be improved by cohering with the current scenario.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house