Question about a Proposed Rule Change for 2011

Which in my book is why it needs to stay a personal choice for now. WHEN and IF it becomes an issue we can always enact the requirement. The only place that was successful building something where something wasn't was Las Vegas. But that is the exception to the rule.
Probably not up to the agent we purchase from, and likely not even decided by the company he represents. It really comes down to the decisions of the underwriter. They will likely not offer a discount option'll become a condition of insurability. And it will happen time. Decided either by actuarial tables (not likely tho - not enough claims in racing coverage to create trend data my guess), or, more likely, perceived exposure. When the conditions of the club racing environment get to a point where a H&N device is a standard piece of safety equipment, and requiring its use is a commonly accepted practice, then count on the underwriters perceiving an exposure if we're not mandating them too. What we perceive is of no consequence, the underwriter makes the rules. So, we can either proactively institute use in the next couple years, or we reactively enact when we need to for insurance reasons. FWIW, I usually try to line up in the proactive chow line, but after hearing some of the arguments, changed my vote to hold off until the issue becomes necessary. BTW, underwriters will usually accomodate your our 'right to choose'. You just need to write a really big check. After all, the insurer isn't going to cover your a$$ just because you thought you'd just assess your exposure for yourself. Somebody's gonna get sued if it all goes wrong, regardless of your choices. Hence big corporations (their insurers, actually) paying big awards because the coffee was too hot. Your perception of logic and common sense doesn't always prevail, but the court's does.
It got voted down. One wonders how much a difference "HANS" had vs. a proposal with the relevant SFI/FIA wording. (Having said that, there is a thusly-worded proposal on the table for H&N restraints to be required as of 1/1/2012.)

Interestingly, the proposed rule change to update our rules to only accept SA2005 and up helmets got voted down, which means that your SA2000 helmet is good for another year. While I (with my SA2000 helmet) am pleased I don't have to buy both a new helmet AND new harnesses next year, I'm a little confused that the E-Board didn't automatically overrule that. Seems like our insurance carrier would balk at that, but apparently not.
Just as a reference point - as an advisory data point, the IRDC Competition Board Rep asked those of us in attendance to vote on whether we WOULD have approved the rule change if it had been written to include all SFI approved head and neck devices, not just the HANS. The result was just as heavily NO as the original vote. Clearly the membership felt that until there was a clear actual proven benefit to their fellow members that they would vote not to arbitrarily ignore their right to free will. Just as an aside - if there are about 400 licensed drivers in Conference and the average approved head and neck device is 600 bucks we would have been mandating the expenditure of about a quarter of a million dollars of their discretionary racing dollars for them to get into compliance. We need to be absolutely sure of the value of anything that we mandate that costs the membership that much money. That is a LOT of race entries.

The helmet issue is another thing. Imagine being a helmet manufacturer and knowing your sales are going to SUCK in 2009 because nobody wants to buy a helmet that is only going to be legal for 6 years instead of the 10 they will get if they wait six months.There must be a better way to assess actual manufacture dates on helmets and use those in conjunction with Snell rating standard dates to determine which helmets should go. Ten year old helmets? If you have raced much at all you probably are eager to get a non-stinky, sweaty, raggedy, stained, brain bucket by the time you have 10 years on a lid and probably before. On the other hand, if you bought a nice helmet just before the new Snell standards were about to go into effect you might still have a pretty nice 5.1 year old helmet that is now out of spec. I'm not sure there is an easy answer to this one, but a good helmet doesn't have the same level of cost vs percieved benefit factor that a HANS does. A 15 mile per hour accident in a car that has an unyeilding steel tube cage within reach of an unprotected head is just a tragedy waiting to happen.

SO to summarize my rambling blather? Rick is in favor of EVERYONE wearing a good servicable helmet and for leaving the head and neck restraints to the individual to assess his or her own percieved risk and act accordingly, at least for now.

(Also apparently Rick is in favor of speaking in the third person .....;-)
In regards to helmets, and belts...

It's a real shame that the focus is on a particular year's Snell/SFI/FIA rating instead of the actual year that the device was manufactured. The 'rating' is a set of standards that manufacturers have agreed to engineer, and build their products by (i.e. UL, CSA, so on) only to comply with those standards. The fact that every five years that those engineering standards change, is to allow (rarely to disallow) those eng/manu standards to accomodate new materials that have been evaluated and can then become a part of the manu. design, and build. Like states codes for buildings, and such.
So following our thought process of dis-allowing equipment previously rated for safety (IE: helmets, seat belts, etc) if we were to apply the same thinking to our homes and require an upgrade every time the code changes we would be gutting our houses, shops, work places etc to rewire, re-plumb, rebuild etc every few years.

Exactly Kyle. The ignorance is assuming that the ratings change 100% every five years. The manufacturer doesn't specify a warranty period in regard to use, only quality of build. So the regulations (our's/there's) use the date that the last set of standards were published. But those standards are for "subscribing" manufacturers to adhere too.

These sets of manu standards are written by Snell/SFI/FIA/NFPA to enforce compliance for manufacturers and although they may be amended, and updated regularly, they are apparently only re-published as complete every five years, or so. Can you spell NEC?

Then the new stickers are provided (for a price) to those manufacturers to apply to their products after they have been built, and before they are packaged and shipped.
Snell, and SFI, and the others sell these standards, and manufacturers pay a 'service' fee every year. Also, they may, or may not (don't personally know) have a representative of the standardization entity come out every so often, to inspect, and enforce those codes/standards. That maintains the ability for that manufacturer to use the compliance stickers on their product(s).

I have a UL inspector in my shop looking at our logs (UL stickers have serial #s) about every two months, or so many panels (# of stickers used), and he will look at whatever we have on the tables in the process of build to ensure that we are maintaining compliance to their standards (in our case UL 508A).

A Snell 2000 purchased in 2005 meets the standards 'as written' in that year. That is all that sticker means. When Snell publishes their latest-greatest in 2005, or whenever, it does not absolutely obsolete a helmet that is purchased two days before that document is published and sold to the manufacturers.

Just like the NFPA, or Underwriters' Labratories, Snell, SFI, and FIA make their living on the credibility of their engineering/testing standards. Once accepted they continue to maintain, and upgrade those standards as new materials are found and tested, and more manufacturers present their products for scrutiny/testing which then makes those products more marketable.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Ya, it's off topic, but this is a popular thread, so....
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Follow up-I see some peekin'


The Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.​

Shortly after William “Pete” Snell died of massive head injuries received
during an automotive racing accident, his friends and associates formed the
Snell Memorial Foundation. The goals of the Foundation were to investigate
and understand the mechanisms of head injury and to encourage the development
of truly protective helmets for use in automotive sports.

The Snell Memorial Foundation is a not-for-profit organization incorporated
in 1957 under the laws of the State of California. It exists solely for the
purpose of engaging in scientific and educational activities promoting the safety,
well-being and comfort of persons engaged in any type of travel or vehicular

Today, the Snell Memorial Foundation tests various kinds of helmets and
certifies them for use in prescribed activities. It currently publishes standards for
protective headgear for use in automotive racing, karting, motorcycling, bicycling,
non-motorized sports, harness racing and equestrian sports, competitive
skiing and skiing and snowboarding. The Foundation is interested in just about
every kind of headgear worn to protect against crash impact injury.

Helmet manufacturers submit their products for certification. If their
helmets pass the demanding series of performance tests, and therefore meet
the referenced standard, the manufacturers are invited to enter a contract with
The Snell Memorial Foundation which entitles them to use the Snell Memorial
Foundation name and logo in their packaging and advertising, and to purchase
certifi cation decals from The Foundation for use in their certifi ed products.
However, this contract also requires the certified manufacturers to maintain
their high standards for all of their certifi ed production and to participate in
the random sample test program. In this program, the Foundation acquires and
tests helmets to certify the continuing quality of the products. The Foundation
takes pains to see that these random sample helmets are drawn from the same
supply as those sold in stores; thus the Foundation is able to monitor the quality
of the helmets sold directly to the consumer.

Participation in the Snell certification program is strictly voluntary. Manufacturers
are not obliged to seek certification or to continue it, but while a manufacturer
does participate, the Foundation demands full compliance. Similarly,
the Foundation prosecutes all unauthorized use of the Snell name and logo to
the full extent of the law.

The Snell Memorial Foundation maintains a state-of-the-art testing
facility in North Highlands, California. There is a Board of Directors who
oversees the activities of the Foundation, and a salaried staff who conducts the
testing and performs the administrative functions.

And furthermore...

Read the SAH2010 Addendum
I refers to standards for manufacturers for the application of mounting hardware needed, or used with restraining devices.

Did you know?

That once a stickered device leaves the manufacturer (shipped to distributor/customer) the Snell rating is only to show how it was built. Any modifications to the helmet (painting, or mounting hardware for Head and Neck devices must comply with the Snell standards.

Any helmet that is SA2005 doesn't fall under the SAH2010 Addendum.

Anybody that is using a helmet that has been modified for a head and neck device, by any other than a Snell certified member/company to comply with this SAH2010 Snell Addendum, and legitimately stickered as such may not be compliant with the ICSCC regulations... but I'll defer that opinion to our Stewards/Competition Board.

Gettin' stickery yet?

Just sayin'...
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