§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what evidence he has received about possible road safety dangers arising from the use of tinted visors on motor cycle crash helmets; and whether he is considering a ban on the use of such visors.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The evidence available on tinted visors from accident investigations is limited. The Birmingham 139W University accident research unit has recently completed an investigation of 197 motorcycle accidents where 205 riders were killed. The results of this suggest that there are very few accidents in which the tinting of the visor is a contributory factor and that a badly scratched visor is a much more serious cause of impaired vision. Tests carried out by the Department support the view that scratching is the more serious problem.
A total ban on tinted visors would not be justified on this evidence, but there is a need for better control of the quality of visors, both their resistance to abrasion and the degree of tinting. The Department has asked the British Standards Institution to include appropriate provisions in the relevant standard, and I shall propose changes to regulations as soon as a suitably amended standard is available.