ACT Lab, the independent ISO 17025 accredited laboratory that conducts safety and compliance testing for the motorcycle, bike and outdoor industries, has earned a repeat 5-year contract from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that is tasked with saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing vehicle-related crashes.
Under the agreement, ACT Lab will perform independent motorcycle helmet safety testing as outlined under the U.S. Government Code of Federal Regulations known as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 218. The tests, which include impact, penetration, retention, and environmental assessments, serve to audit motorcycle helmets that bear DOT certification stickers, and identify helmets that are fraudulent and unsafe.
“The number of fake motorcycle helmets sold to consumers is really quite surprising,” said Scott Huber, ACT Lab’s director of global operations and the lead contact with NHTSA officials. “It’s gratifying to work with NHTSA because we have a direct impact on improving consumer safety.”
Huber explained that ACT Lab purchases specific helmets identified by NHTSA through retail channels to eliminate any possibility of manufacturer sample selection, tests them, and provides data directly to the federal agency. This is the third 5-year contract that the testing facility has earned, dating back to ACT’s inception in 2008.
“Being in daily communication with NHTSA officials helps us stay abreast of trends and challenges that affect all helmet manufacturers, which in turn helps us to continually educate the industries we serve, raise standards, and educate our customers, all of which increases efficiency and safety overall,” summarized Huber.
The Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standard, FMVSS 218, is available for view on the Government publishing website. ACT Lab’s contract will be fulfilled at its headquarters laboratory in Long Beach, CA. Huber said that the workload of the NHTSA contract is fairly constant and will not affect the lab’s overall capacity.
ACT Lab additionally works with leading manufacturers in the bicycle, outdoor, and motorcycle industries.