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January 5, 2010

The Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

This is the fifty-second edition of the Foundation's quarterly newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry.                            pdf  version 

In This Issue

  1. 2010 Manufacturers Meeting
  2. Holiday Testing Schedule
  3. FIA 8858 and FIA 8860 Issues for SA2010 Standard
  4. SA2010 Effective Date
  5. SAH2010 Standard
  6. Snell Test Sercices in UK
  7. DOT Proposed Rule Making
  8. New Pretesting Information Sheet
  9. FIA Helmet Weight Limits
Comments and Suggestions

Who to Contact at Snell

2010 Manufacturers Meeting

The Foundation’s annual manufacturer’s meeting will be held from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon on Friday, February 12, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The address is One South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Telephone (800) 233-1234. A continental breakfast will be available at the beginning of the meeting. Snell certified manufacturers are invited. Other interested parties must contact the Snell office in California for details. Snell board of directors Mr. William H. Muzzy and Dr. Thomas Gennarelli will attend as will Ed Becker and Randy McCarty

Holiday Testing Schedule

The Snell Lab will be closed until January 19th, 2010 for calibration and maintenance. Testing services will resume on or about the third week of January 2010.

FIA 8858 and FIA 8860 Issues

SA2010 may not be compatible with FIA 8860, the FIA’s advanced helmet specification which describes the performance requirements for helmets currently used in Formula 1 racing events. However, FIA 8860 is compatible with SA2005. In fact, FIA 8860 certification requires also that the model be certified to Snell SA2005 or to one of the other standards in FIA Technical List 25. The Foundation will maintain SA2005 for as long as necessary to support the current FIA 8860. We look forward to working with FIA to revise the requirements of FIA 8860 and, possibly, to combine Snell and FIA test procedures for these advanced helmets to provide a simpler, more efficient certification procedure to the helmet industry.

SA2010 Effective Date

Certification testing to SA2010 is underway. SA2010 certification labels will be available to qualified manufacturers starting April 1, 2010. Helmets certified to SA2010 must not be available for sale until October 1, 2010.


An addendum to SA2010 concerning head restraint systems is planned. The addendum will follow procedures similar to those of FIA 8858-2010 which is expected to be in its final form this March. A separate SAH2010 certification label will be available for helmets certified to both SA2010 and the addendum.

Once the addendum is ready, all helmets submitted for SA2010 and equipped with appropriate tether mount hardware will be subjected to loading tests similar to those of the next revision of FIA 8858. Qualifying helmets will be eligible for a “SAH2010" certification assuring that the tether provisions have also been met. Helmets previously certified to SA2010 may be resubmitted for testing to the addendum.

Snell Test Services in England

H PE in Farnham, Surrey, can perform certification testing to Snell Standards. Manufacturers are welcome to arrange for testing there. If the manufacturer requests it, HPE will forward certification test results to the Snell Office here in California so that Snell certification can be granted. HPE will bill separately for their services but the Foundation will complete the enrollment of the helmets into Snell programs at no additional expense.

Contact information for HPE is as follows:


4 Farnham Business Centre

Dogflud Way,

Farnham Surrey GU9 7UP


Contact:Paul Walker

Tel:+44 (0) 1252 714920

Fax: +44 (0) 1252 737137


DOT Proposed Rule Making

In October of 2008, the Federal Government issued a “notice of proposed rule making recommending changes to the DOT motorcycle helmet standard.

The proposal dealt largely with two separate issues: helmet labeling and helmet compliance testing. The labeling issue proposed solutions to prevent misleading helmet markings suggesting that non-compliant helmets might meet DOT requirements. A number of responses objected that the solutions would also prevent labeling of some legitimate, DOT compliant configurations.

The testing proposals loosened impact severity tolerances on DOT compliance testing. The current tolerances require some tests be rejected as invalid increasing costs and causing delays. Snell and others objected that the looser tolerances would cause many helmets meeting the requirements of the DOT standard to be rejected unfairly.

New Pre-Test Information Sheet

A new Pre-Test Information Sheet has been posted on the Snell web site. Manufacturers submitting helmets to Snell for testing are encouraged to download this form and to fill out copies and include them with each submission. The laboratory receives many shipments of helmets. These Pre-Test Information sheets are essential to providing timely and accurate service.

FIA Helmet Weight Limits

Manufacturers submitting for FIA 8858 testing should be aware of the helmet weight limits in Annex L of the FIA driver regulations, available on the FIA web site. These limits are not specified in FIA 8858 but helmets exceeding them will be rejected for FIA homologation.

Your Comments and Suggestions

If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints about any aspect of the Snell programs or services, please contact Ed Becker

Who to Contact at Snell

Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.
3628 Madison Avenue, Suite 11
North Highlands, CA 95660
Phone: 1-888-SNELL99 (1-888-763-5599) or 916-331-5073
Fax: 916-331-0359

Editor: Hong Zhang, Director of Education

WebEditor:  Steve Johnson

copyright 2010, Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. - HeadsUp Issue 52