Delay in helmet safety standards continues

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Issue 1116, Page 2
Word count: 384
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Macau currently has no standard specification for motorcycle helmets sold in the local market, and the motorcycle industry is urging the Government to introduce the related regulations as soon as possible in order to protect drivers’ rights and interests.

The process began in 2007 when the then traffic department of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) staged a public consultation in 2007 for the enactment of the “Regulations for the Recognition and Use of Helmets of Light and Heavy Motorcycle Drivers and Passengers”.

However, the process seemed to have halted as three years on, Macau’s motorcycle drivers are still able to buy and wear a helmet in whatever style they want, even with no safety standards.

When contacted by the Macau Daily Times yesterday, the Transport Bureau (DSAT) responded that it is arranging an official to meet the media “face-to-face” to explain the situation with “more accurate details”. The spokeswoman did not comment further or provide a date for the official meeting.

The Road Traffic Law that came into effect in 2007 stipulates that the related department is required to draw up supplementary regulations to specify the standard specification for helmets.

According to the draft announced in 2007, a list of technical requirements has been proposed.

The helmet can either be full or half face, but must come with a strap and a lock so that it can remain secured on the head in case of an accident, and can reduce helmet movement due to wind or vibration.

The eye shield of a helmet must be made of clear plastic, with no colour or reflective finishes.

In addition, the production, import and sale of helmets in Macau must meet the technical specifications stated in the related annex of the draft.

Helmets sold in the local market will also be necessary to go through the recognition of trademarks and product models.

The motorcycle industry practitioners said that the draft has “basically gained the agreement” of the industry during the past three years, but after the 2007 public consultation no official regulations had been promulgated, the Chinese-language newspaper Macau Daily News reported.

The practitioners also urged the bureau to confirm the effective date of the regulations as soon as possible, so that the local helmet shops “can adjust the orders accordingly to minimise unnecessary loss”.

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