road legal 5/6 point?
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Thread: road legal 5/6 point?

  1. #1
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    Question road legal 5/6 point?

    Can anyone explain to me how a rally car would be road legal when 5 and 6 pint harnesses are illegal on public roads?
    thank you

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    I have heard that in Canada (?) there was apparently a court case where the judge ruled, that while rally seats and belts violated the non modification regulations, since rally seats and belts were many times safer than stock seats and belts (based upon evidence presented in court), he would not rule that the stock seats and belts that were less safe would be required. If this is true the system appeared to have worked to reach the correct conclusion.

    At one point many years ago for a safety check on one of my cars, the garage (unbeknown to me) asked a DOT inspector to attend and to rule - not on the front seats and belts but rather on the removal of the rear seats.

    Jim
    Last edited by Jim Stevens; 06-08-2016 at 07:56 PM. Reason: spelling

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    100 oversquare right bentmettle's Avatar
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    In the US, this varies from state to state. Maybe where you live, 5/6 point harnesses are illegal, but I don't know that to be fact here in Michigan. For instance, we have street legal side by sides, so it's pretty much a free for all in some aspects.

    In Michigan-

    (3) Each operator and front seat passenger of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this state shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt except as follows:


    So there are additional sections that try to clarify what the safety belt has to be

    257.710a Safety belts and restraining devices; standards, rules and regulations.Sec. 710a.
    No person shall sell, offer or keep for sale, or install for use in any motor vehicle to be operated on the highways of this state, any safety belt, safety restraining device, or attachments thereto as referred to in this section, unless of a type conforming to standards and specifications established by rules and regulations which have been established by the commissioner of the Michigan state police.


    The equipment inspection list for vehicle inspection only says "Safety Belts" here - so it sure seems like within MI, racing belts aren't prohibited, and most of the paperwork is so vague that researching if they meet this mysterious state police requirement is pretty difficult.



    Last edited by bentmettle; 06-09-2016 at 07:24 AM.

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    Agreed withbentmettle. In Florida, where I live now; there is not even inspections or emissions. So anything goes. All of my showroom stock cars, and my one street legal ITB car in New Hampshire however, where I grew up the stock seat belts had to be retained to be used on the street, and the harnesses had to be tied back against the cage with zip ties. If an officer pulled you over and the harness belts were not secured, you could be ticketed. However, that was 20+ years ago. I do not know what has changed over the years.

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    Here in Texas, we have to pass inspection once a year to keep the car registered. This includes pollution equipment. For a newish car, this means passing OBII. For cars like my 1995 Mustang, this means putting it on rollers and passing a sniff test. I always leave the stock seat belts usable so have never been question about that. I did have to argue one year about my 1985 SAAB 900 Turbo. I had no muffler since the turbo and cat absorbed enough noise to be legal. The inspector insisted the rules said there had to be a muffler. So I had to put a visible muffler. The inspector was wrong but he was still king.

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    L1 !!! HPR into HPL rallydave's Avatar
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    While I understand each state has their rules, DOT specifies only DOT belts to be street legal in the US. And then there is the airbag which is required to be removed per rally rules yet again the DOT requires the airbags be installed and operable. Don't forget federal emissions laws that require the OEM emissions equipment remain installed. Not sure who's law trumps who but, the feds usually have the upper hand. Also, most rally tires have on raised letters for competition use only not DOT approved.

    Face it guys, very few if any performance rally cars are street legal in the United States. Most authorities don't have a problem but, come up with one who does, you are driving on the street with a car that isn't legal.
    Dave Weiman
    rallydave at pobox dot com

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    Quote Originally Posted by rallydave View Post
    While I understand each state has their rules, DOT specifies only DOT belts to be street legal in the US. And then there is the airbag which is required to be removed per rally rules yet again the DOT requires the airbags be installed and operable. Don't forget federal emissions laws that require the OEM emissions equipment remain installed. Not sure who's law trumps who but, the feds usually have the upper hand. Also, most rally tires have on raised letters for competition use only not DOT approved.

    Face it guys, very few if any performance rally cars are street legal in the United States. Most authorities don't have a problem but, come up with one who does, you are driving on the street with a car that isn't legal.

    could it have something to do with weather you are on city/state funded roads or federally funded roads and whether its the highway patrol or the police who are governing it?

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    L1 !!! HPR into HPL rallydave's Avatar
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    No, Federal law covers the entire US. Since at rallies, police know about the rally and leave us alone but, they could make trouble if they want. Most risk is driving the car not on a rally or having an accident with a civilian on a Transit where the cop could cause issues if he or she wants to. Not sure what you mean by highway patrol or police as highway patrol are police and they all have the responsibility to follow the law. It's really like bringing a foreign car into the US. Doesn't matter where you drive it, you have to get the import approved by someone in the Federal Government and they rule over the locals.
    Dave Weiman
    rallydave at pobox dot com

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    100 oversquare right bentmettle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rallydave View Post
    No, Federal law covers the entire US. Since at rallies, police know about the rally and leave us alone but, they could make trouble if they want. Most risk is driving the car not on a rally or having an accident with a civilian on a Transit where the cop could cause issues if he or she wants to. Not sure what you mean by highway patrol or police as highway patrol are police and they all have the responsibility to follow the law. It's really like bringing a foreign car into the US. Doesn't matter where you drive it, you have to get the import approved by someone in the Federal Government and they rule over the locals.

    This is mostly inaccurate.

    FMVSS covers vehicles in the as manufactured condition. The federal government does not regulate the condition or performance of the vehicle after the sale by the manufacturer unless it's involved in interstate commerce.

    Within the individual states, road legality is up to the state.

    If what you had said was true, you'd see kids with bald tires in federal court.

  12. #10
    Shifting and drifting steve's Avatar
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    Not sure why we are discussing cutting off our own noses here.

    There are more exposure issues with lifted trucks, blacked out windows, painted over taillamp and brake lamps, and very poorly maintained and rusted cars on the roads than with safety harnesses and rally car modifications.

    Thanks to the information age, life on the edge is on borrowed time.

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