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Malaysia to ban half-shell helmets in January 2009

Half-shell helmetRoad Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh says his department is working on plugging a hole in the law that did not define what a proper motorcycle helmet is. As a result, many people are buying half-shell helmets, which Datuk Suret says are illegal and are not approved by Sirim.

These helmets are bowl-shaped and are lighter and more comfortable compared to normal proper helmets, and some even consider them to be fashionable because of their unique bowl-like shape. It is also cheaper than normal open-face helmets. Datuk Suret likened wearing these to not wearing any helmet at all as half-shell helmets do not offer adequate protection, and may flip up with strong winds because of inadequate support behind the head.

Not only will the laws defining what a proper helmet is be revised to properly define what can be used, the RSD is also working on banning the sale, and distribution of these half-shell helmets, and this ban could come into effect as early as January 2009.