In order to equip Dutch users of fast e-bikes (S-EPAC) with a suitable helmet, a NEN-project group has developed NTA 8776 which sets out the requirements for such a helmet. NTA 8776 is now available at NEN, the Dutch standardization institute.
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. Member states can decide for themselves which type of helmet must be used on a moped. Usually, this means that S-EPAC users have to wear a moped helmet (in compliance with ECE R22).
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. For your information, Belgium allows S-EPAC users to wear a bicycle helmet provided it offers additional protection to the back and sides 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, which could then be adopted by other member states..
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. The mark of approval will be included in the NTA 8776 before the 1st 2017 when the new type-approval procedure definitely enters into force.
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 en TNO.
NTA 8776 is freely available for perusal. To view NTA 8776 register freely at NEN Connect:https://www.nen.nl/NEN-Connect-9/Free-NEN-Connect-account.htm. NTA 8766 is also available for purchase in the web shop.
For further details on NTA 8776, please contact Robby Veders, Consultant Industry and Safety, tel. 0031 15 2 690 1380 or e-mail [email protected]