Safety Harnesses - Legal or Not?

Got pulled in by ‘friendly’ Road Police today - for no known reason - think they wanted a good look at the Exige. One of them then tells me that the safety harness fitted to the car is not legal for road use - reason being - something about you have to be able to fasten it with only one hand…He then had a good look around the car (turned out to be a bit of a Petrolhead) and told me to be ‘on yer way my lad’. No action taken?Strange encounter but got me thinking? - is the harness legal for road use and if not could it be an MOT issue? Any advice appreciated guys. Think you will find that Safety Devices consider it street legal … I think its cos its got a push button rather than a rotary buckle.

well strictly speaking the buckles are EEC approved for road use, but MrPlod was correct that the harness’s are technically MOT failure items as they cannot be done up with one hand (I think you have to have a REALLY pedantic anally retentive MOT gimp to fail you onit…)Besides, having seen the aftermath of sevral rollover accidents where the occupants were saved by harness’s instead of being decapitated, I know my choice of strap…sod the MOT rules…)

Ilove that old MOT rule about doing them up with one hand - surely they are encouraging people to do up seatbelts on the move :0)legally, the only thing you need to worry about is that the harness has a small label stiched into it with a small circle with the Letter E and a number (normally2,3 or 4) - This makes it road legal and noone can touch you, regardless of the real practicality of the thingsSchroth (who are the actual manufacturers of the Safety Devices harnesses in Exiges)had to work bloody hard to get a belt with both marking for the road and FIA approval - think it is a unique harnessOne thng is for sure, no aircraft buckle belts are road legal and most push button belts are not FIA approved

Many thanks guys - had a word with garage that MOT’s my M100 - they’ve never heard of such a rule… reckon police just wanted a dec of the monster…

Ahh yes, the wonders of driving a plod magnet! [image][/image]Thought it sounded a bit lame from the boys in blue tho… can you imagine the complaints to all the dealers who’ve sold Exiges with harnesses!!Peter

quote:Originally posted by Mark Barrett:One thng is for sure, no aircraft buckle belts are road legal and most push button belts are not FIA approvedI have to disagree with this - having fitted 4 point harnesses with turnbuckles (I assume that’s what you meant when you said aircraft buckle) I really researched the subject before buying and spoke to some pretty authoritative people before taking the plunge. There is absolutely nothing not road legal about fitting them as an individual - the main issue is manufacturers cannot fit them for SVA or other type approval.Having left my old 3 point inertia belts in as well because i thougth the 4 points were too impractical for the road, I now find that the added comfort and sense of security (which does not translate to driving faster or taking more risks!) means i were them even for a quick dash to the petrol station 1/4 mile away.And of course there is nothing like them on the track - especially if you have upgraded the brakes and want to ring every last bit of performance out of them :slight_smile:

I know the odd Caterham owner who would also agree with stevegreen that the turnbuckles are road legal. I too thought the button was needed but they all seem to have had this discussion and come to that conclusion.Ian [image][/image]

Always prepared to be corrected :0)Are the turnbuckle harnesses that you have “E” marked - this is what I understood to be the defining thing as to whether a harness is road legal or not. If they are both E marked and FIA approved then I would be very intertested - twist buckles are definitely a preference if you really need to get out in a hurry

Mark,I think the legality issue of E marked or not only applies to Type approval or SVA - similar to the removable steering wheel - they’re OK as long as you fit them yourself. They will pass an MOT.Probably… [image][/image]CheersChris

I have been thinking of having another x2 points straps put into the car (being a big lad i do sometimes slip down when braking hard or mucking up a bend) and hence contacted Safety Devices via he link provided. Thank you Miniman.So i am now awaiting a reply from them re which items are road legal, the press release or the turn release buckles, onced received i will let you know. Does anyone have the extra x2 straps installed along with the turn buckle?

Well that was quick, here is their reply i am sure they will not mind me listing it, i have removed the persons name but will pass you on to them if you mail me direct. I have included the pirces for the 6 point harness extras if anyone is it would not be street legal. (The trun style buckle). The 6 point adapter is 11.60 plus vat in black sbass2/blsbass2 is the 6 point adapter that will fit in the bottom of the buckle �11 plus vat and carriage.

Just for another (less cheerful) view on crutch straps, I understand some circuits in the US have banned them as they have led to head injuries as the driver cannot slip down if the roll-cage collapses.Ian [image][/image]

Are you sure that it’s not can be undone with one hand rather than done up. That would make more sense - to me at least

On the safety front, obviously the roll cage should not collapse - thats why it is there! And if Jochen Rindt was alive today, I suspect he would be in favour of the crutch strap. For anybody that doesn’t know, he was found in the footwell of the car, his throat having been cut by the buckles of his harnesses on the way through. I don’t feel particularly secure even with a 4 point on the track anymore.Cheers

MarkI recall reading somehere that JR wouldn’t use the crutch straps for fear of damaging his ‘off track’ equipment.

Yes, thats true. Also on the day he was killed the 72 he was running was wingless which made it incredibly unstable at high speed. His team mate John Miles refused to prectice his car in state it was i.e. no wings and was having a small “chat” with Colin Chapman when the news came in about JR… [image][/image]

quote:Originally posted by MarkD:On the safety front, obviously the roll cage should not collapse - thats why it is there![Not wanting to be alarmist or particularly drag up an old debate but] not completely true - As you will see/read it is also there to take the impact out of a crash. If it did not deform your back could end up in a real mess.Still, I think the chances of getting of getting an Exige over is low and it’s better protection than most cars.Ian [image][/image]

IDG - That is not a roll cage. If a roll cage had been fitted, the roll over bar would not have been deformed like that, as it provides extra strength in this particular area.If you take a roll cage on a single seater, and it deformed by as much as that in a roll over, the driver would have no chance.Cheers

IanOuch!! - they are one hell of a set of photos - v v lucky guy (and gal!)- hope he wasn’t a tall fella, apart from deformation of protection bar Exige seems to have stood up to accident extremely well…Simon