When the calendar rolls over to a new year, many other things roll with it – a new set of rules may go into effect, or the season planning may take on a higher priority. But one of the most important may be the legality and safety of your helmet, and 2022 is no different.
As of January 1, 2022, all 2005-rated helmets from Snell and SFI (SA2005, M2005 or K2005; SFI 31.1/2005 or 41.1.2005 for example) as well as BSI are no longer allowed in SCCA activities — that includes Solo, RallyCross, Time Trials and Track Events. For the Road Racing program, SA2010 and FIA 8860-2004-certified helmets have also reached the end of their eligibility.
This year, there’s an additional important change to keep in mind — for the end of 2022. As of December 31 of this year, no ECE-rated helmets will be accepted in any SCCA program. It’s likely that this change only matters to a few, but keep reading if you’re interested to learn why these will not be allowed starting in 2023.
Reason for Disqualification
The reason for the disqualification of ECE-rated helmets is that the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) — similar to the U.S. Department of Transportation — does not require their certification labels to include a build date range, which help users and tech inspectors minimize participants using helmets with the natural — but unseen — performance degradation experienced over time. While Snell/FIA/SFI helmets display a manufacture date range on their certification labels and “age out” after no more than 15 years, ECE helmets with the currently accepted label may be more than 20 years old. There’s simply no fool-proof way to ensure the age of these helmets, making the safety of the equipment questionable. For this reason, they will not be allowed for use in any SCCA event beginning in 2023.
Not sure if your helmet is good to go for 2022 and beyond?
You can find program-specific helmet certification requirements at the links below. It never hurts to be 100 percent certain before you arrive, and it’s always a good idea to have the top safety-rated helmet you can get your hands on!