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Side-by-Side Stupidity: Are More Rules Required, Or Just More Responsibility Training?

The CPSC doesn’t, apparently, know how many injuries there have been on SxSs, nor does it know if there is even a reason to impose more safety requirements on these machines, but it is certain there must be a problem. Oh, and the CPSC doesn’t know how effective any safety regulations it might implement would be.

stupidity-hand“…it is not possible to quantify this benefit because we do not have sufficient data to estimate the injury rates of models that already meet the requirements and models that do not meet the requirements. Thus we cannot estimate the potential effectiveness of the dynamic lateral stability and vehicle handling requirements in preventing injuries.”

The above is from a recent article quoting the CPSC about its new program to place yet more safety requirements on side-by-sides (SxSs) that have been on the market for the last few years. The CPSC doesn’t, apparently, know how many injuries there have been on SxSs, nor does it know if there is even a reason to impose more safety requirements on these machines, but it is certain there must be a problem. Oh, and the CPSC doesn’t know how effective any safety regulations it might implement would be.

Here is another case of higher-purpose people sticking their noses into something they know little or nothing about. Soon they’ll be demanding bubble wrapped vehicles and training wheels on our motorcycles. These are the same people who demanded that the OEMs stop selling the ATCs in the ‘80s. Because they played to the Chicken Little mentality, they won; but as a frequent rider of ATCs, I still believe this was a matter of an organization that had to be seen doing something whether it made any sense or not.

What they’re really saying is that they don’t have a clue, but they know better than we, the unwashed powersports community, and, as they’ve heard from the lady down the street about SxSs being very dangerous, then it must be so, and we need to be protected from these devil machines… Certainly SXSs can be dangerous, but so can a lot of other things. Have the members of CPSC ever even ridden a SxS? I’m sure that most of them have never even been near them, other than watching YouTube videos.

[pullquote]God help us if they discover that people sometimes trip and hurt themselves; they’ll demand airbags on all new shoes. It’s this kind of thinking that held that if we went more than 50 miles an hour, our lungs would collapse, that all women with black cats are witches, and Obama would carry both houses.[/pullquote]

From what I’ve seen, most of the problems stem from inebriation, or having riders not old enough to have the strength to handle these machines, or not wearing the seat belt. Is that the machine’s fault? Is that the manufacturer’s fault? Perhaps if we had people who thought about what they were doing or parents that were more responsible. Responsibility; now there’s a thought. Instead of creating a nanny state, we should teach responsibility…

The danger here is not from the vehicles themselves, but too many small minded people who have been given too much power. I’m sure that if one was to try hard enough, we could stop all injuries to anyone doing anything, but wouldn’t life be boring then? Wouldn’t that turn us into a nation of spectators, rather than a nation of doers? Because if you do anything, there’s always a chance that you’ll get hurt.

In this particular case, it’s not usually the machine’s fault but the supposed macho invulnerability of the riders themselves, or even, in many cases, just plane stupidity, and we all know that you cannot cure stupidity. Maybe the CPSC should concentrate on an anti-stupidity campaign…we know that there is no lack there; and would at least keep them busy and out of our hair for the next 1,000 years or so.

Anything so they’ll leave us alone.

 

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