The ECE 22-05 testing that is in place for helmets in European countries has been in place for two decades now. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has a new testing procedure that it will put out. It’s called ECE 22-06. This upgrade to the testing procedure should help ECE become a better standard for testing helmets.
The impact testing of helmets will now be done at a wider range of velocities and at more points on the helmet. According to MoreBikes, the helmets will now be tested in 18 different areas. There will also be a slow-speed impact test to try to determine how helmets perform in smaller or secondary impacts. The visor impact test has also been made tougher by increasing velocity.
The ECE tests will also include a rotational test, which will measure rotating or twisting forces in an accident. I found this to be interesting because the Snell foundation told me in an interview I did with them that testing rotational force is extremely difficult to do accurately. With that said, Snell and ECE don’t really see eye to eye on many things. If you’re interested in Snell, then check out Jim’s article on visiting the testing facility.
Anyway, the ECE will also add modular and internal sun visor testing. Modular helmets will be tested with the chin bar in different positions. Sun visors have new light transmission tests. Additionally, Bluetooth communication headsets, internal speakers, and other accessories will now be tested on the helmet, too.
The new helmet testing is going on now or soon and ECE 22-06 helmets will be available by the end of 2020. It’s important to note, ECE has no legal standing in the U.S. That said, it can be a good indicator to buyers of a helmet’s capabilities. Also, it’s important to note that the ECE standards are part of the UNECE and not the European Union. This means Brexit will not come into play for helmet safety standards. For More info, check out the UNECE’s website.