CPSC's Bicycle Helmet Standard
The Final Rule, Published in the Federal Register
March 10, 1998.
This is still the current standard, with one slight modification of the language on projections above the helmet shell. At the bottom of this page we have links to the CPSC page for the official version of this standard.
[Federal Register: March 10, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 46)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Consumer Product Safety Commission
16 CFR Part 1203
Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets; Final Rule
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
16 CFR Part 1203
Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets
AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Children's Bicycle Helmet Safety Act of 1994,
the Commission is issuing a safety standard that will require all
bicycle helmets to meet impact-attenuation and other requirements.
The standard establishes requirements derived from one or more of
the voluntary standards applicable to bicycle helmets. In addition, the
standard includes requirements specifically applicable to children's
helmets and requirements to prevent helmets from coming off during an
accident. The standard also contains testing and recordkeeping
requirements to ensure that bicycle helmets meet the standard's
DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective March 10, 1999.
Applicability Dates: This rule applies to bicycle helmets
manufactured after March 10, 1999. Interim mandatory standards that
went into effect on March 17, 1995, will continue to apply to bicycle
helmets manufactured from March 17, 1995, until March 10, 1999,
inclusive. In addition, as of March 10, 1998, firms will have the
option of marketing helmets meeting the standard in this final rule
before its effective date.
Incorporation by Reference: The incorporation by reference of
certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of
the Federal Register as of March 10, 1999.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Krivda, Office of Compliance,
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207; telephone
(301) 504-0400 ext. 1372.
For the reasons given above, the Commission revises Part 1203 of
Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:
PART 1203--SAFETY STANDARD FOR BICYCLE HELMETS
Subpart A--The Standard
1203.1 Scope, general requirements, and effective date.
1203.2 Purpose and basis.
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.
1203.30 Purpose, basis, and scope.
1203.31 Applicability date.
1203.33 Certification testing.
1203.34 Product certification and labeling by manufacturers
1203.40 Effective date.
1203.41 Recordkeeping requirements.
Subpart D--Requirements for Bicycle Helmets Manufactured From March 17,
1995, Through March 10, 1999
1203.51 Purpose and basis.
1203.52 Scope and effective date.
1203.53 Interim safety standards.
Figures to Part 1203
Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2056, 2058, and 6001-6006. Subpart B is
also issued under 15
U.S.C. 2063. Subpart C is also issued under 15 U.S.C. 2065.
Subpart A--The Standard
Sec. 1203.1 Scope, general requirements, and effective date.
(a) Scope. The standard in this subpart describes test methods and
defines minimum performance criteria for all bicycle helmets, as
defined in Sec. 1203.4(b).
(b) General requirements.
(1) Projections. All projections on bicycle helmets must meet the
construction requirements of Sec. 1203.5.
(2) Labeling and instructions. All bicycle helmets must have the
labeling and instructions required by Sec. 1203.6.
(3) 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
Secs. 1203.7 through 1203.17.
(4) 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 March 10,
1999 and shall apply to all bicycle helmets manufactured after that
date. Bicycle helmets manufactured from March 17, 1995 through March
10, 1999, inclusive, are subject to the requirements of Subpart D,
rather than this subpart A.
Sec. 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.
Sec. 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.\1\
\1\ Although the draft ISO/DIS 6220-1983 standard was never
adopted as an international standard, it has become a consensus
national standard because all recent major voluntary standards used
in the United States for testing bicycle helmets establish their
headform dimensions by referring to the draft ISO standard.
(2) 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 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.
Sec. 1203.4 Definitions
(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
\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.
(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
(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
(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
(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 Sec. 1203.17(b)(1) to test the impact-attenuation test
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 0.22 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.
Sec. 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 Sec. 1203.17 of this standard. There shall be no
fixture on the helmet's inner surface projecting more than 2 mm into
the helmet interior.
Sec. 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
(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 cleaning information.
(6) Signal word. The labels required by paragraphs (a) (2) through
(5) of this section 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.
Sec. 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
Sec. 1203.8 Conditioning environments.
Helmets shall be conditioned to one of the following environments
prior to testing in accordance with the test schedule at Sec. 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 deg.C to 27 deg.C (63 deg.F to 81 deg.F), and 20 to
80% relative humidity. The ambient test helmet does not need further
(b) Low temperature. The helmet shall be kept at a temperature of
-17 deg.C to -13 deg.C (1 deg.F to 9 deg.F) for 4 to 24 hours prior to
(c) High temperature. The helmet shall be kept at a temperature of
47 deg.C to 53 deg.C (117 deg.F to 127 deg.F) for 4 to 24 hours prior
(d) Water immersion. The helmet shall be fully immersed ``crown''
down in potable water at a temperature of 17 deg.C to 27 deg.C
(63 deg.F to 81 deg.F) to a crown depth of 305 mm 25 mm
(12 in. 1 in.) for 4 to 24 hours prior to testing.
Sec. 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
Sec. 1203.10. Headforms used for impact testing shall be rigid and be
constructed of low-resonance K-1A magnesium alloy.
Sec. 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.
Sec. 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
(c) The center of the impact sites shall be selected at any point
on the helmet on or above the impact test line.
Sec. 1203.12 Test requirements.
(a) Peripheral vision. All bicycle helmets shall allow unobstructed
vision through a minimum of 105 deg. to the left and right sides of the
midsagittal plane when measured in accordance with Sec. 1203.14 of this
(b) Positional stability. No bicycle helmet shall come off of the
test headform when tested in accordance with Sec. 1203.15 of this
(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 Sec. 1203.16 of
(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
(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.
Sec. 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
Sec. 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 Sec. 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 Sec. 1203.17. Helmet 5 (ambient-conditioned)
shall be tested in accordance with the positional stability tests at
Sec. 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 Sec. 1203.17. Table 1203.13 summarizes the test
Table 1203.13.--Test Schedule
Sec. Impact tests
Sec. Sec. 1203.16 ---------------
1203.14 1203.15 Retention Number of
Helmet & Conditioning Peripheral Positional system Anvil Impacts
1, Ambient........... X ......... X X Flat 2
X Hemi 2
2, High Temperature.. ..... ......... X X Flat 2
X Hemi 2
3, Low Temperature... ..... ......... X X Flat 2
X Hemi 2
4, Water Immersion... ..... ......... X X Flat 2
X Hemi 2
5, Ambient........... ..... X ....... X Curb 1
6, Low Temperature... ..... ......... ....... X Curb 1
7, High Temperature.. ..... ......... ....... X Curb 1
8, Water Immersion... ..... ......... ....... X Curb 1
Sec. 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
Sec. 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
(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
(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
(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.
Sec. 1203.16 Dynamic strength of retention system test.
(a) Test equipment.
(1) ISO headforms without the lower chin portion shall be used.
(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).
(b) Test procedure.
(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 system.
(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 stop anvil.
(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.
Sec. 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 at 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 m\2\ (1.08
(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 the
specifications of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218,
Motorcycle Helmets, 49 CFR 571.218 (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
(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
(5) Impact anvils. Impact tests shall be performed against the
three different solid (i.e., without internal cavities) steel anvils
described in this paragraph (a)(5).
(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 this part).
(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 paragraph (a)(2) of this
section). The impactor shall be dropped onto the MEP at an impact
velocity of 5.44 m/s 2%. (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 Sec. 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% (20.34 ft/s
3%). (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 3%
(15.75 ft/s 3%). (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, Sec. 1203.41(b).
Sec. 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
(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. 2063(a)(2).
(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.
Sec. 1203.31 Applicability date.
All bicycle helmets manufactured on or after March 11, 1999, must
meet the standard and must be certified as complying with the standard
in accordance with this subpart B.
Sec. 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
(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
(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.
Sec. 1203.33 Certification testing.
(a) General. Manufacturers, as defined in Sec. 1203.32(b) to
include importers, shall conduct a reasonable testing program to
demonstrate that their bicycle helmets comply with the requirements of
(b) Reasonable testing program. This paragraph provides guidance
for establishing a reasonable testing program.
(1) Within the requirements set forth in this paragraph (b),
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 the standard in subpart A of this part.
(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 the standard.
(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 section
19(a) of the CPSA (15 U.S.C. 2068(a)), regardless of whether the
bicycle helmet has been validly certified.
Sec. 1203.34 Product certification and labeling by manufacturers
(a) Form of permanent label of certification. Manufacturers, as
defined in Sec. 1203.32(a), shall issue certificates of compliance for
bicycle helmets manufactured after March 11, 1999, 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 section 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 U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for
Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older'' or ``Complies with U.S. 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 ``U.S. 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; and
(7) The uncoded month and year the product was manufactured.
(c) Coding. (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:
(i) The person or firm issuing the certificate maintains a written
record of the meaning of each symbol used in the code, and
(ii) The record shall be made available to the distributor,
retailer, consumer, and Commission upon request.
(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.
(d) Placement of the label(s). The information required by
paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(5) of this section 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 U.S. CPSC Safety Standard
for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older'', or ``Complies with
U.S. 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 ``U.S. CPSC.''
(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 section 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,
(ii) There are records of such tests required by Sec. 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.
(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)(1) of this section--
examine the records supplied by the manufacturer to determine that they
comply with Sec. 1203.41 of subpart C of this part.
Sec. 1203.40 Effective date.
This subpart is effective March 10, 1999, and applies to bicycle
helmets manufactured after that date.
Sec. 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 section 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 48 hours.
(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 any
(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
(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; and
(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 From March
17, 1995, Through March 10, 1999
Sec. 1203.51 Purpose and basis.
The purpose and basis of this subpart 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).
Sec. 1203.52 Scope and effective date.
(a) This subpart D is effective March 17, 1995, except for
Sec. 1203.53(a)(8), which is effective March 10, 1998. This subpart D
shall apply to bicycle helmets manufactured from March 17, 1995,
through March 10, 1999, inclusive. Such bicycle helmets shall comply
with the requirements of one of the standards specified in
Sec. 1203.53. This subpart shall be considered a consumer product
safety standard issued under the Consumer Product Safety Act.
(b) The term ``bicycle helmet'' is defined at Sec. 1203.4(b).
(c) These interim mandatory safety standards will not apply to
bicycle helmets manufactured after March 10, 1999. Those helmets are
subject to the requirements of Subparts A through C of this part 1203.
Sec. 1203.53 Interim safety standards.
(a) Bicycle helmets must comply with one or more of the following
standards. The standards in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(7) of this
section 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 Headgear, respectively,
(3) Canadian Standards Association standard, Cycling Helmets--CAN/
(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-90S),
(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
(8) Subparts A through C of this part 1203.
(b) The incorporation by reference of the standards listed in
paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(7) are 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,
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
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Dated: February 13, 1998.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Acting Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 98-4214 Filed 3-9-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-C
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