Helmond, the Netherlands, 2016-08-25: In order to equip users of fast e-bikes (S-EPAC) with a suitable helmet, a NEN-project group in cooperation with TASS International has developed NTA 8776 in which the requirements for such a helmet are to be found. NTA 8776 is now available at NEN.
S-EPAC's, also known as speed-pedelecs, are bicycles with auxiliary propulsion power, assisting the rider with pedalling up to a maximum of 45 km/h. According to the new EU directive (No 168/2013) on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles, the S-EPAC is classified as a moped. For the Netherlands this means that wearing a moped helmet (in compliance with ECE R22) is mandatory for S-EPAC users.
However, from 2017 it will also be allowed in the Netherlands to wear a helmet that complies with NTA 8776. This helmet looks like a bicycle helmet, but protects against higher impact speeds and covers a larger part of the head. In comparison with the bicycle helmet, the S-EPAC helmet offers particularly more protection for the temporal and occipital areas of the head.
In drafting the NTA, the project group made use of existing knowledge on head protection (a whole range of existing helmet standards, literature) and the results of tests performed on high-end bicycle helmets. Then, using EN 1078 as the base, the project group redefined its requirements towards the limits of the current technical possibilities in head protection. Next to the increased safety level, other important considerations in defining the requirements were that the helmet should be suitable for use in physical effort and should not impede the hearing ability of the S-EPAC user.
NTA 8776 has been drafted by an international project group with the ambition to turn NTA 8776 within three years into a European standard. The decision to publish NTA 8776 nonetheless, is motivated by the changes in Dutch law and regulations from the 1st of January 2017.
To be permitted to place a S-EPAC helmet on the market and to be able to use it on public roads, the helmet has to contain a mark of approval which can be found in Annex B of NTA 8776. This mark of approval is tied to an accompanying certification process. Both the mark of approval and the certification process are still in development. At least before the 1st of January the mark of approval will be inserted into NTA 8776.
The project group that has developed NTA 8776 consists of: ABUS, Accell Group, BBB Cycling, Belgian Road Safety Institute, Bell Sports, CONEBI, Gazelle, KASK, MET Helmets, Pon, RAI Vereniging, Riese & Müller, TASS International and TNO.