Mr. Richard J. Quigley
5886-b Fernflat Road
Aptos, CA 95003

Dear Mr. Quigley:

This responds to your request for an interpretation of whether a drawing you provided would meet S5.6.1(e) of Standard No. 218, Motorcycle helmets, that specifies motorcycle helmets be labeled with the symbol DOT. The answer is no.

Your drawing, approximately 2 cm. high, consists of three figures that you believe are the symbol "DOT." For the letter "D," the right side of the letter is not curved, but is formed by a series of jagged lines at the top and bottom of the letter that meet in a straight line parallel to the line that forms the left side of the "D". In lieu of the letter "O," your drawing depicts what appears to be a corporate logo, with a cartoon eagle inside a circle, and the name of a company written on the circle. The letter "T" is formed like a conventional "T," with straight sides.

S5.6.1(e) of Standard No. 218 specifies the symbol DOT:

(e) ... This symbol shall appear on the outer surface, ... in letters at least 3/8 inch (1 cm) high, ... (Emphasis added.)

Because the symbol DOT constitutes the manufacturer's certification that the helmet conforms to Standard No. 218, there must be no ambiguity in the symbol. In your drawing, the corporate logo is clearly not the letter "O". Using the corporate logo in lieu of the letter "O" may confuse consumers and others as to whether the manufacturer has certified the helmet as conforming with Standard No. 218. Thus, the drawing you have provided does not meet S5.6.1(e) of Standard No. 218.

If you have any questions, please contact Ken Weinstein of my staff at (202) 366-5263.


John Womack Acting Chief Counsel ref:218 d:7/15/94