The Stackhat is designed to protect the skull and temple and is light, comfortable, colourful and streamlined. The 'hi-tech' graphics are designed to appeal to the youth market. Made from impact-modified and shock absorbent expanded polystyrene it is designed for use in sporting and leisure activities including cycling, cricket, equestrian and skiing.
Australia was the first country in the world to introduce uniform national mandatory bicycle helmet legislation, beginning in 1990. All helmets must comply with the Australian Standard 2063. The Stackhat is significant as it was one of the first helmets designed in Australia to comply with these strict standards.
Since then approved helmets have been required to be worn by bike riders of all ages. Early reports following the introduction of compulsory helmets indicated a reduction in the number of cyclist fatalities. However some reports also indicated that bicycle use declined in the years following legislation due to people's dislike of wearing helmets. The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority claims research has shown that a correctly worn helmet has the potential to reduce the risk of head/brain injury by up to 85%.
In 1991 the Rosebank Stackhat along with the Britax Integra were the market leading children's helmets. Both complied with the Australian Standard 2063.2-1990 and this type of Rosebank Stackhat was recommended as the first choice for children by Choice Magazine in May 1991. This helmet represents a popular helmet sold and used at the time bicycle helmets were made compulsory in Australia. It received an Australian Design Award in 1986.
This helmet also represents the contemporary social and political concerns of risk, safety, health and urban planning. Australia has led the world in legislating compulsion for use of seatbelts and bicycle helmets to change road safety behaviour. However some argue that cyclists may be less likely to have an accident if they are not wearing a helmet because they compensate for perceived risks by riding with more care. It has been argued that addressing the sources of safety risks to cyclists, such as motor vehicles and transport planning, would more effectively reduce injuries to cyclists. Compulsion to wear helmets creates a perception that cycling is a dangerous activity, when many argue that the health and environmental benefits outweigh the safety risks. With rising levels of heart disease, obesity and traffic congestion in 21st century Australia, cycling is being encouraged as a healthy form of transport, and the numbers of bicycles being purchased in recent years has grown.