Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A thread in Canada-East brings up an important point: I believe that disabling factory air bags is a violation of various Canadian statutes. Of course we all know that it would be foolish to compete in a rally car with active airbags. Short of enabling them on road sections and disabling them for stage (which I think is foolish - we can infer a risk if a team forgets to disable) I don't see a way around this problem (forget the other ones we've talked about before: high watt headlamps and aux lights, removing factory belts, exhaust design, non-DOT tires etc.).

So my question is this: shall we just continue in flagrant violation of statute, or apply to the ministry of transportation for an exemption to various regs for any logbooked car driven by a competition-licenced driver (although my opening negotiation would not include the second part of that)?

Note that the airbag thing is just a good hook on which to hang this argument - the real purpose is to draw a distinction between legit competition and street racing before any legislation against modified cars comes down the 'pike. Also a tool to avoid hassles by local police, on event or off.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I think its a load of crock to begin with. There is a reason why its called "SRS" - Supplemental Restraint System . The key word is "supplemental " . The ironic part is that a rally car is most likely 10 times more safe on public roads than your average car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Well, the airbag issue could theoretically be treated the same way it is in pickups and some coupes, with a key used to disable the system when a kid is riding in the silly seat. AFAIK, this system only deactivates the passenger side bag, but theoretically could provide a loophole, as the drivers side never has a wheel with an airbag anyhow.

Another possability, recalibrate the sensor for no deployment below a closing speed of say, 300km/h.

But airbags aside, this is a good question, especially in the wake of the failed bill here in ontario regarding modified cars. The big question would be whether everything would need to be legislated. AFAIK, in Ontario, replacing stock seatbelts with an aftermarket harness is illegal, as instalation quality is not guranteed. Also, would the government allow all these competition cars to continue running while a set of standards was developed, and moreover, since liscencing and saefty are provincial issues, would people be willing to wait while each province made their own requirements, or would you potentially push for harmonization.

I don't know how big a problem this stuff is, or whether it is simply just a measure to show respect to local law enforcement. Have you ever been pulled over for loud exhaust, or non DOT tires.

As for rally cars with an experienced driver being safer. I have no doubt they are, but just like everyday driving, even a good drivers safety is limited by the idiots driving around him or her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
those are big and important issues...
i would include the insurance issue to all that...

I know that RSQ is working on the SAAQ in quebec to make some changes...but thats all i know..

Its going to be alot of work....and i dont think any body can work on that...we mite need some professional help...

Before Défie i was driving around my city to check if everything was ok on the car....and a cop car started to folow me ?

i stop to get some fuel...and he did the same ...
before i left, he came.... and told me(very nicely) that it was time to invest in a new mufler LOL ....i told him that there is noting i can do becose it a rally race car...and that i dont usualy drive it on the street...

he sead "Rally??! like on TV ? whit that litle thing ? " i told him ya...and somtime im on Tv too...he was very impress and wish me good luck...

I think we would need to fall on the worst " PIG " of all time to get in trouble...unless we act like idiot.....


but every time i drive in front of a cop car..in my rally car.....i kind of feel nervous... and i dont like it...:(

Alain Lavoie
24Rallyteam
http://www.abikeonline.com/24rallyteam/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
Now, where exactly does it say that we can't turn off the airbags? In the searching i've done, it seems to be OK to do so......


But the arguement remains, FIA certification means very little to the Gov't as to how safe seats and belts may be, and how well they were installed. But I DO see lots of interesting age-restricting loopholes in the paper i'm looking at, so i'll just stick to my strategy of running an older car and let you big dogs handle the litigation. ;)


/Edit for spelling (Yah, that's it, we're licensed under AIF...x( )
 

·
Who would JVL ban!!!!
Joined
·
127 Posts
I think PAddy is right about no law existing about the air bag removal. As far as I know that car manufacturers are not required by law to have air bags in their cars in Canada but install them as standard equipment to sell cars. As a matter of fact Ford trucks and GM trucks I believe have shut off switchess for the passenger sides so that you can have a baby seat in the front seat.

Where the issue is that no one wants to disable them (mechanics) for a customer and also the MTO (Ministry of Transportation) will not give written permission to a car shop to disable the bags for a customer that has weak bones or is a very small person and I think this is due to liability. If they do and someone gets killed who gets sued. I believe if you disable them on your own (ie. find a mechanic that will do it, as they can be dangerous if you do the wrong thing) that you can not get fined.

One more thing to note is that an air bag is not listed on the Safety Certificate as an item that has to be present or that is required to be operational in order for a car to be registered. This is based on my knowledge of the law unless it was changed recently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
In terms of belts and seats, wouldn't it have to do more with how they are installed than the actual safety of the product. The authorities have no idea if you installed it properly or not. Then who is responsible if it fails. Its all legalities the way I see it... (just installed items) OEM saftey items in a car have all been tested for the gov to see. FIA doesn't have that light on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Jorge

Hello guys,

I do not pretend to have the answers to everything or that I am expert in Traffic Act Rules but all I know is what I learned by my experience trying to import and register the rally car I own.

If there are no regulations in Canada against disabling airbags then I have to ask myself why both officers at Transport Canada and Provincial Transport were so adamant to allow the inspecting shops to pass the car?
In fact we were totally honest with them about the fact that the car has racing seats and 6 point harnesses and they said "that was ok"

By the way, I tryed certifying the car at two different certification shops and both had the same results, the first one was a well known car dealership who's service shop is run by a very "rally friendly" guy since he is a competitor himself, he was unlucky.
The second shop spent a long time on the phone with authorities trying to convince them to let him pass the car since it was a special case being a "rally car" where, in his view, "it was safer not to have the air bags in in case of accidental deplosion"

Maybe both shops were talking to the wrong guy every time?

May be the officers they where dealing with were having a bad day and wanted to give both shops a hard time? (very coincidental)

Maybe the problem is just in Alberta ? (although Transport Canada rules are for everyone)

or may be some people base their opinions on folklore? I have not read the entire Hiway act and I am not a lawyer, I honestly don'd know the true answer to all this, if there is one.
What I know is what I learned through my experiences and that does not make me very confortable since the Transport Canada officer reminded the second shop that they "do random checks on passed cars to see if all is realy within the rules or it was just passed by a friendly mechanic" (not a confy feeling)

By the way, Paddy; You are right when you say the Goverment cares very little about FIA certification when it comes to safety of belts and seats.... however, that is not what I implied when I wrote the column on the Canada East forum.

What I meant is that we can use the log books as proof that these are modified cars for the purpose of sport competition as oposed to street lawlessness when we ask the authorities for excemptions.

Why the log book? because if you read carefully the Transport Canada importation rules there is a little used section regarding the importation of "competition vehicles"
In this section the government, in order to define a race car and not be fooled by people pretending to import a Porsche Supercoupe with decals and numbers on it as a race car, has the following requirements


The vehicle is considered a competition vehicle if it "is accompanied by a signed declaration indicating that the vehicle is a competition vehicle and is for use exclusively in closed-course competition. This signed declaration MUST come from a racing sanctioning body, i.e. FIA, AMA, CART, etc."

That is in the Transport Canada Act and for that reason I thought it would be a wopnderful idea to use the log book which is sanctioned by ASN Canada to also separate the real competitors from the bogus ones in the street... it is kind of using their own wording, can they argue that?
Sure we could try getting a signed declaration from FIA, which would be better but that would be like asking a bear to poop in a toilet.

ACP tell me what is your opinion on all this from a legal point of view.

Cheers to everyone
Jorge
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
803 Posts
>
> he sead "Rally??! like on TV ? whit that litle thing ?
>" i told him ya...and somtime im on Tv too...he was very
>impress and wish me good luck...
>

Alain,

You are in Quebec, right .... everyone likes rallying there ;-)

I remember going to the Montreal airport to pick up Suzanne for one of the rally's. Van-trailer and rally car. The security guy saw the rally car and said you can park right over there (in the no-parking zone) and I'll watch it for you. Then as we left, through the construction area, they stopped everyone to let us go and people waved and said "make a good rallye".

Great place! Love it and miss it!

Shawn

ps. I know some of the CARS board members are working on these legality issues and would appreciate any info anyone has for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Important note to everybody discussing this issue: This is a large and complex issue that has to be dealt with both at the Federal level and with each of the provincial ministries across Canada.

CARS representatives (and ASN Canada FIA reps, too) are diligently working on this issue with several jurisdictions to resolve the problem right now.

The last thing we need is for some "vigilante" (forgive my choice of words but I couldn't come up with a better one) who thinks they should, could, can and want to go into their ministry of transport's office and start raising the issue on their own. We need to have a united, coordinated front to handle the problem correctly, and see it through to a successful conclusion. One wrong step on anybody's part could set a precedence in this country that could perhaps not be overcome, or at least not without a tremendous amount of extra work in damage control.

If you are thinking about doing anything (even so much as sending a letter), please contact Terry Epp at the National office, or your regional rally director FIRST before doing anything. You don't want to jeopardize the whole thing by trying to help.

If you really want to help, offer your services to your regional rally director.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
By the way, air bags are covered under Federal law, so the laws are the same in all provinces. You can fill out a declaration form to get permission from the feds to deactivate your air bags, but there must be a valid acceptable reason for it.

"Because I want to" and "Because it's a rally car" are not acceptable reasons.

Go to the Canadian Government's website, find the Transport Canada website, and do a search on "air bag". You'll get lots of reading material to look through.
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>Why the log book? because if you read carefully the
>Transport Canada importation rules there is a little used
>section regarding the importation of "competition vehicles"
>In this section the government, in order to define a race
>car and not be fooled by people pretending to import a
>Porsche Supercoupe with decals and numbers on it as a race
>car, has the following requirements
>
>The vehicle is considered a competition vehicle if it "is
>accompanied by a signed declaration indicating that the
>vehicle is a competition vehicle and is for use exclusively
>in closed-course competition. This signed declaration MUST
>come from a racing sanctioning body, i.e. FIA, AMA, CART,
>etc."
>
>That is in the Transport Canada Act and for that reason I
>thought it would be a wopnderful idea to use the log book
>which is sanctioned by ASN Canada to also separate the real
>competitors from the bogus ones in the street... it is kind
>of using their own wording, can they argue that?

The problem with that is the wording "...is for use exclusively in closed-course competition." which means that the car is never driven on the road, and never has to be road-licensed. This is an out to allow true (track) racing cars, a lot of which were never built with road regulations in mind, to be imported for the purposes of racing them. The moment you try and extend that to cars that have to be licensed for the road, you open a huge can of worms.

Adrian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
On of the biggest stupidly in North American Rally is fact that majority people who are involved in Rally love to look for the problems. They are giving rally opponents "meat to eat" and than?crying, yapping and discuss. Grow up boys, choose between rally or desire to rally. It is still safer to buy rally video game. Nothing will deployed.. Maybe with the exception of your wife hitting you with pillow at 2.00 am..Than you can feel like what happened when you forgot turn off the "air bag"

I basically have had to stop rally Prius because there was growing concerned about safety of people, marshals and you?rally drivers.

Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
From what I understand, to operate a vehicle with no or disabled airbags isn't illegal. The main problem comes when someone like my buddy here in Manitoba, who is currently in BC looking for a stage rally car tries to reregister it in Manitoba. Depending on the age of the car and whether or not in was fitted with airbags from the factory, depends on whether or not we have to re-install airbags in order to obtain a current safety cirtificate for it. That could prove pretty costly, and I must say I think it's a load of garbage
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Jorge

Here some quick answers

Adrian; I never said to use that clause as a mean to import an Evo 6,7 or 8, I Just suggested that clause in the Transport Canada Act as a platform to use when we (CARS) requests several exemptions (like safety equipment, airbags, performance equipment, etc.) to be applied on a rally car. When CARS negotiates with the proper authorities, it might be smart to have an easy and doable solution for how the average government employee can differentiate between a rally car and some joe Shmoe of the street claiming his car is a rally car while trying to get off a ticket. We have to put ourselves in the shoes of these officers in order to convince them to do something for us.
Either my english is getting worse or people are reading to quickly through my postings.


Alain; Nice story about your encounter with that cop at the service station.
In the early 90's when I was driving the Open class RX7 I knew many police oficers in the area where I had my restaurant, one night at about 3:00 AM one of this oficers challanged me to a drag race on John Laurie Blvd. he wanted to see what his cruiser could do against the RX7...
Most oficers I know are great people that love cars... but that still does not prove that what we were doing was legal and just like you said your self; it would take one "PIG" to give you a ticket for your loud exhaust or the drag race at 3:00 AM it will also only take one police oficer to nail someone for an air bag violation if we all think it is legal to remove it.
As Dave said; The air bags are afederal law and one must have a real good reason for disableing them... so far, as I found out, a rally car is not one of them (for now)

Dave; (re; vigilantes) As far as I am concerned I don't discuss anything with any official unless it directly involves me as in the case of my rally car and even then I talked first with CARS, our regional director, then Paul Westwick and only then, once I found out that the organisation has not done anything concrete on this issue and I was not stepping on anyone's toes I aproached the proper authorities.

Scottie; Before you go spending money re installing air bags, check with a knowledgeable mechanic, there is a way to fool the system so that it thinks there are operational airbags in the car. I will not post here how it is done but a good mechanic should be able to figure it out.

Cheers everyone
Jorge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
if it is any consolation,

I have had to deal with road registration in a bunch of countries for rallying lately - and also when Ive run rented cars etc

it is the same everywhere I have been except in Australia where they have an actual 'rally' class of registration. That is the only place I have seen where the rally cars are actually and truly registered without fear of someday getting in some kind of doo-doo. Everywhere else everyone is dealing with foreign VINs, cars inspected prior to caging etc etc

everywhere else everyone has to deal with (and sidestep) similar issues we face

the efforts to get a national registration classification would be a boon

we would probably see a lot of cdn registered rally cars down south !

-pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Pat,

You are absolutely right, we are not that different from most countries.
Besides Australia, I believe Greece also has a special plate for rally cars, at least they had for sure in the 80s, I am not sure if they still do but I don't see why they would stop that, The sport of Rally is bigger than ever there.

Cheers
Jorge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Pat;
Is there any kind of follow-up investigation into "rally registered" cars in Australia?

What I mean is, if I was 16-year-old street-racer-Bob and I wanted to get around the laws in Australia, I could say my car is a rally car, and put all my performance stuff in the car. Then, I never show up at a rally with the car, but just go out and illegally street race the car on Saturday nights. Do they check up on rally cars somehow?

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Jorge;

I don't have a problem with how you went about it. You talked to CARS, your RRD and the CARS Technical Director FIRST before you went in on your own. That's great; that's all I'm asking everybody to do.

I just don't want to see people going off half-cocked and completely uninformed and stomping into a transport ministry's office, causing all sorts of "noise" and having the authorities come down on all the rest of us as a result.

So, what's the current status of your car?
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top