Motorcycle protective clothing – outcomes from a pilot testing program
Submission Date: 2012
Motorcyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users, with riders 38 times more likely than car drivers to be seriously injured on the roads. One of the most effective ways for riders to reduce their risk of injury is to wear appropriate protective gear. Currently in Australia, helmets are the only protective equipment which riders are required by law to wear. Australian/New Zealand Standard AS 1698 provides a minimum standard for the protective qualities of helmets, but no such standard applies to other protective garments for motorcycling. In the absence of information on the quality of protective gear, many riders are basing their decisions on cost, branding and retailer advice, none of which provide an independent indicator of the protective quality of the garment. In this regard, an independent protective clothing testing program may have an important role to play. The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in partnership with VicRoads is currently investigating the feasibility of setting up a motorcycle protective clothing testing program and the potential dissemination of such results to the public. This paper will discuss some of the preliminary findings from the setting up of the pilot program and the initial testing of protective gear.