Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Need ride. Please send money.
Joined
·
1,278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-

I just found out that sternum latches on harnesses are not supposed to be allowed in SCCA Performance rally, and havent been(according to the rules) for a few years.

Ummm... Why?

Seriously. :) I dont understand this. Can anyone help me understand? Is this only for sternum latches that are not part of the harnesses?(maybe the "other" brand "latch type" only are banned?)

I have been using them for the last 3 yrs in SCCA Rally & have not had anyone tell me I shouldnt be. Every NASCAR & Trans AM car /driver combo I have worked with would not drive without one (cracked sternums suck). The type of sternum straps I use are integrated with the harnesses (Teamtech Rampak -5pt camlock). Theses are not cheapo belts.

Although I DID have 1 person tell me the he was surprised we used them because they were a choking hazard(in an accident). This was at a rally but not from any official or tech person, rather an MTC worker during idle conversation.

I have never heard of anyone choking on a sternum strap or latch. If anyone did, I cant imagine the harnesses were being used properly.

Anyone?

JC
#595
www.gnimotorsports.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
I went and looked back through the 2003 rule book for the thing about sternum latches, and couldn't find it. So I guess this was just something that had been orally discouraged, at least locally; no one I know of around these here parts has used sternum latches, that I know of.

But you do ask some good questions. Why has the Performance Rally Department decided to first discourage and then ban the use of these? What are the pros and cons about them? I've never used them or seen them used before, so I don't know anything about them. Is it just one more thing to undo if you need to exit the car quickly? In that case, aren't window nets and head restraint nets the same sort of impedance? (Especially if the car is on its side and can't be exited from both sides.) Just some questions to add fuel to the fire....

:)

KT
 

·
Need ride. Please send money.
Joined
·
1,278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2004 Perf Rally rule book-
Article 5.3 item G

2. Sternum latches are not allowed

I will assume until told otherwise that the PRB means "sternum LATCHES", and not sternum straps as designed into the certified harness systems. There IS a difference, as sternum "latches" can slide up & down the belts(from the photos of them that I found).

edit- However, I still have yet to hear of anyone having them cause injury. I suppose it is theoretically possible, if the harnesses are not tight enough, and the "latch" can travel up & down on the belts.

JC
#595
www.gnimotorsports.com
 

·
R3 Slippy
Joined
·
79 Posts
Sternum LATCHES are outlawed in NASCAR as well - have been for a while. A proper lap belt and shoulder belt mounting should prevent spreading of the shoulder belts over the chest. Having any type of latch or hard object in that area can cause worse damage in a crash.

Chris Gilligan
#527
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
Neck Hazzard?

John,

I bought a harness with a "sturnum strap" from Simpson about 8 years ago. I'd been watching sprint cars crash (yikes!) and those guys use 'em. They take some serious abuse pretty well so it looked like a great idea to me.

But I'm 5'7" and VERY short waisted. Back then you could not specify WHERE the "sturnum strap" should be sewn on the Shoulder Belt. Simpson had a standard location above the latch they would not change.

After installation and adjustment it became obvious the sternum strap was located too high up for me. If I slid myself down like testing the crotch strap, the sturnum strap would get tight against my neck. I was too short waisted. I really liked how firmly it held my torso in, but didn't want to decapitate myself either and didn't use it. A person with a longer waist probably would not have had a problem.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>2004 Perf Rally rule book-
>Article 5.3 item G
>
>2. Sternum latches are not allowed

Interesting that this was not in the 2003 rulebook, was in the (incorrect) printed 2004 rulebook as "Sternum latches are not recommended" (5.3.H.2) and is in the (correct) electronic 2004 rulebook as above.

It went from nothing to a recommendation to a rule in two half-iterations of the rulebook, but is proposed as a rule change for next year. Process, anyone?

From a technical point of view, I assume there is a good safety justification for this, but it would have been nice to see that justification to be able to comment on it in an informed manner.

Adrian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
I suspect the process, reasoning, etc. will be found in the bowels of the Club Racing procedings of the last few years. These things usually originate from track experience and eventually find their way into the rally/solo rules if they are relevant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
The problems with sternum latches were identified in a Fastrack several months ago.

It goes with the move to 6-point and 7-point systems as well as 2-year harness replacement. This is in the Club Racing sections, but it carries over to rally. You should read the entire Fastrack if you have the time.

This is not some evil bureaucratic move; the FIA (or whoever) presented unrefuttable evidence to SCCA of all these various belt issues.

Unfortunately, it costs us money, but when it comes to safety, there should be no arguments.

Cheers.
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>I suspect the process, reasoning, etc. will be found in the
>bowels of the Club Racing procedings of the last few years.
>These things usually originate from track experience and
>eventually find their way into the rally/solo rules if they
>are relevant.

Joe;

I'm more concerned about the lack of justification supplied with the whole 'for comment' proposed 'rules' changes bulletin. If the national staff weren't at Pikes Peak, I'd have already talked to them about it.

Some of the justification is obvious, some less so.

In this particular case, I question why it needs to be a proposed rule change since it is already a rule.

Adrian
 

·
Need ride. Please send money.
Joined
·
1,278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RE: Neck Hazzard?

Thanx Rich. I hadnt considered someone short waisted...

I DID figure out it is a matter of sternum LATCHES though.

My belt set is ok.
Thanx


JC
#595
www.gnimotorsports.com
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top