March 11, 2005 12:23 PM PST

Crash helmets take cell calls

HANNOVER, Germany--Bikers are now able to talk and ride by using a mobile-phone headset for crash helmets, demonstrated by Italian hi-tech accessory company Cellular Line at the CeBit trade show this week.

The headsets, which connect to a mobile phone by a wire, enable riders to answer the phone while wearing their helmets. It includes an answer/call button and fits onto the exterior of the helmet, usually on the left-hand side. The company says this enables riders to answer calls and hang up in "complete safety."

In the United Kingdom, it is an offense to use a cell phone when driving a car. This legislation, which came into effect in 2003, did not outlaw the pressing of buttons on a mobile phone by a motorcyclist as long as they weren't actually holding the phone.

However, the Department of Transport has warned that "hands-free phones are also distracting, and you still risk prosecution for failing to have proper control of a vehicle." Companies have been warned that they could face prosecution if they don't supply hands-free kits to staff that need them.

The headsets, which can be used with most helmets (full-face, open-face and flip-up), have audio capabilities at speeds up to 62 miles per hour.

Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from Hannover, Germany.

2 comments

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We don't call them 'crash' helmets
Neither the manufacturers nor the users of motorcycle helmets call them 'crash' helmets.
Posted by (1 comment )
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motorcycles + cellphone = accident waiting to happen
As a motorcycle rider, I really do not see the need to be talking on a cell phone while out on the road. Riding a motorcyle takes more concentration than driving a car. You always have to watch out for someone who doesn't see you. Holding a cell phone conversation would be too great a distraction. Having an accident on two wheels is a lot more dangerous than having one on four wheels. I live in Pennsylvania where there is no longer a helmet law. I believe in wearing a helmet no matter how short a distance I am going, but I really don't need to be talking while I'm doing it.
Posted by sarcasticmama (11 comments )
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