MXA’S AMA RULE OF THE WEEK: WHAT LID CAN YOU SKID IN?
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his a safety rule, but it as milquetoast as it can get. At one time the AMA rule book required that all helmets used in competition be certified by the Snell Foundation. Then, someone pointed out to them, probably their lawyer, that if they specified that riders had to wear Snell helmets that they opened themselves up to a lawsuit if someone could prove that the Snell standards were too rigid for motocross. So, the AMA added “or DOT FMVSS 218” to the rule. Let’s be serious, Snell is a serious helmet certification process and DOT is a run-of-the-mill test program that every helmet sold in the USA must meet to be offered for sale (and that includes plastic helmets with Confederate flags on them). But, in our legal opinion, it took the AMA off of the legal hook by giving racers the choice between a serious racing helmet and the lowest common denominator. Of course, European helmets or Far East helmets made for Europe helmet companies have to be certified by ECE to be legally worn in European races, so the AMA folded them in the rule along with the British BSI and Japanese JSI standards.
As far as the second part of this rule goes. It gives a monopoly to the “Eject” system, which is a rubber bladder that lifts the helmet off the riders head without anyone pulling on it. Why doesn’t the AMA accept the quick release cheek pads that virtually every modern helmet comes with? Because the ambulance crews would have to know how to get every oddball cheek pad system out. By mandating Eject, they can give the EMT’s the little pump and not worry that they will do it wrong..