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Cage & Helmet - Street Legality

Old 05-06-08, 02:25 PM
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Cage & Helmet - Street Legality

Ok, so, I'm debating on the route I want to go for roll over protection\chassis reinforcement for my vert and was curious. Does anyone know if it is illegal to drive a caged car while wearing a helmet on the streets?

I know I've seen plenty of people driving around in cars with cages on the street, but I've never seen anyone wear a helmet while driving one of these cars on the street, which would probably be smart.

I had been toying with the idea of just putting a full cage in my vert with some nice seats and 5 or 6 point harnesses and wearing a helmet whenever I drive it, track or street. Theres not much info that I've been able to find on this subject as to whether or not this is legal. Common sense dictates that this should be a no-brainer and that taking measures to protect oneself should be legal. But sometimes common sense and laws just don't quite match up.

Obviously the car will stick out like a sore thumb when driven with the top down with the cage fully viewable along with my helmet clad dome. Cops around where I live have nothing better to do than mess with people, so I want to make sure I'm all legal.


FWIW, I got a speeding ticket a couple years ago and went to traffic safety school so it wouldn't go on my record. The instructor during the boring *** 4 hours of lecturing told the "class" that if we wanted to improve the safety of our cars to put in roll cages and 4-6 point harnesses with appropriate seats. Yes, bizarre coming from a Traffic Safety instructor isn't it? So since a Traffic Safety instructor has recommended this theres probably nothing illegal about driving a caged car with harnesses on the street around here, but he never mentioned the use of helmets to protect oneself from the actual cage.
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Old 05-06-08, 03:56 PM
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If you're worried about it, make sure the helmet is DOT approved (in order to show the cops that it's road legal) as well as Snell SA2000 or SA2005 rated (for safety reasons).
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Old 05-06-08, 04:04 PM
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If you have a enclosed car and wear a helmet the cops WILL pull you over. (Been there done that, got a warning)
They give you a spiel about restricting your visibility, and then go on a harangue about driving a race car on the street.

IF you have a vert, and you do the Mazxatrix route where you remove the windshield, and a significant portion of the un-needed interior.

THEN I can see justifying a helmet... because you have no windshield.
Sorta like the old school cars with the guys wearing leather helmets, and gomer goggles.


I did get pulled over by a cop for not having a hood on my RX-3 one time. I had a blow through turbo setup on it, and the works stuck up past the stock hood. So I was out testing it.
Oh and it had a downpipe that exited behind the right front wheel. (He didnt like that either)
He tried to tell me I was illegal for not having a hood.
I then tossed out the T-Bucket, and Roadsters that have no front fenders, or hoods or anything dont get tickets!!
He bitched and moaned.. and made me start it to decide if it was too loud etc.
I revved it slow and never got on boost, and it wasnt that bad with the throttle barely cracked.


SO yeah.. I would say.. Full cage in a vert with a helmet.. TICKET.
Full cage in a vert, low front hoop, Helmet, No Ticket.
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Old 05-06-08, 04:14 PM
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They will find something to give you a ticket for just because you will look like you're trying to be a race car.

These are the same cops that don't care if you have a helmet riding a motorcycle.

You can design a cage that will be out of your way when belted in by a real harness and skip the helmet. It will be tight at the top of the windows but you can put padding that is softer than your top frame or window frame and be fine.

The vert is already about 200 lbs heavier than the coupe and is pretty stiff. Is it worth the extra weight on a part time track car? I can show you a pic of a vert race car from our shop with no windshield if you want ideas.
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Old 05-06-08, 04:36 PM
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OH yes.. that is a very sweet car!!

I have admired it on many a visit to the track. /nod

Very nicely done John.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:41 PM
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OP, get yourself a stock, POS daily driver. Drive it with a helmet on and play the safety card when you get pulled over. After this happens 3+ times, sue for harassment.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:27 AM
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As discussed in another recent thread, most racing harnesses are not DOT legal and should not be used on the road. Unless you want to run around with a HANS-type device in addition to that helmet.

If it's both a daily driver and a lap-day car, put a good roll-bar in it - see George Samuel's (aka Attila the Fun) 20B vert for an example. Put some good, high density SFI padding on it anywhere near your head and call it done.

-b
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Old 05-07-08, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrewe
They will find something to give you a ticket for just because you will look like you're trying to be a race car.
These are the same cops that don't care if you have a helmet riding a motorcycle.
Yeah I sorta figured that.

Originally Posted by jgrewe
You can design a cage that will be out of your way when belted in by a real harness and skip the helmet. It will be tight at the top of the windows but you can put padding that is softer than your top frame or window frame and be fine.
The vert is already about 200 lbs heavier than the coupe and is pretty stiff. Is it worth the extra weight on a part time track car? I can show you a pic of a vert race car from our shop with no windshield if you want ideas.
The mazdatrix convertible? Seen it. Like it. Not the sorta route I wanna go though. I want to keep the windshield. My original plan and what I will most likely do is have a rollbar setup built similar to what RX-Heven & Attila the Fun have in their cars.

Originally Posted by SPiN Racing
If you have a enclosed car and wear a helmet the cops WILL pull you over. (Been there done that, got a warning)
They give you a spiel about restricting your visibility, and then go on a harangue about driving a race car on the street.
So they basically give you the same **** as to why you can't have fuzzy dice hanging from your rear view mirror or tinted windows then. Wonderful.

Originally Posted by Black91n/a
If you're worried about it, make sure the helmet is DOT approved (in order to show the cops that it's road legal) as well as Snell SA2000 or SA2005 rated (for safety reasons).
Good idea.

Originally Posted by Eggie
OP, get yourself a stock, POS daily driver. Drive it with a helmet on and play the safety card when you get pulled over. After this happens 3+ times, sue for harassment.


Originally Posted by wrankin
As discussed in another recent thread, most racing harnesses are not DOT legal and should not be used on the road. Unless you want to run around with a HANS-type device in addition to that helmet.
If it's both a daily driver and a lap-day car, put a good roll-bar in it - see George Samuel's (aka Attila the Fun) 20B vert for an example. Put some good, high density SFI padding on it anywhere near your head and call it done.
I plan to run a schroth street legal harnesses. I've seen George's setup I will be doing something similar.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:37 PM
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I just thought I'd say that personally, I don't feel that ANY 4 point harness is safe (well, significantly less safe than a 3 or 5+ point system). The Schroth ASM is better than most, but it's still got a very serious design flaw, the load paths are all wrong.

In an accident your torso will be pushing against the shoulder belts, which in turn pull up on the lap belt, which pulls it into your gut, potentially causing internal injuries as it gets pulled into your gut. THAT's what a sub strap is really for in an upright seating position like is found in a road car, it's to keep the lap belt in place and provide a load path for the shoulder belts.

If you want harnesses, I'd just run 5+ point ones and put the stock 3 point over top for legality, or just use 3 points on the street, since there's really no point to having harnesses on the street (if you're driving fast enough to need them, you deserve to be arrested). Besides, they'll make it impossible to reach things like the radio, and will hamper your ability to make proper shoulder checks and so on.
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Old 05-09-08, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a View Post
I just thought I'd say that personally, I don't feel that ANY 4 point harness is safe (well, significantly less safe than a 3 or 5+ point system). The Schroth ASM is better than most, but it's still got a very serious design flaw, the load paths are all wrong.

In an accident your torso will be pushing against the shoulder belts, which in turn pull up on the lap belt, which pulls it into your gut, potentially causing internal injuries as it gets pulled into your gut. THAT's what a sub strap is really for in an upright seating position like is found in a road car, it's to keep the lap belt in place and provide a load path for the shoulder belts.

.
yep, my friend got those for his car, they arent cool at all
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Old 05-09-08, 12:31 PM
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having a helmet on while driving on the street will just give attention to the cops to want to go after you, because its going to lead them to believe you are up to no good
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Old 05-09-08, 12:44 PM
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Yeah I had read about the 4 points issues. My alternative was a 5-6 point cobra harness. I'll probably end up going with that and keeping the stock belts in the car.

stev3, thats pretty much what I think will happen as well. I just wanted to know if its legal or not.
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