IOM TT ban ? - volvoman
Been reading the David Jefferies thread and felt it was worth creating a new thread on the subject of banning the TT. The truth is that I don't know if it should be banned - let's face it there are many dangerous pursuits people decide to participate in of their own volition. However, from memory it strikes me that this event has a very poor record for fatalities and I wonder why more pressure hasn't been brought to bear on the organisiers in the past to either dramatically improve safety around the circuit or terminate the event.

I can't help thinking that if as many F1 drivers were killed there'd be an uproar. If as many boxers or London Marathon runners were killed, likewise. What is it about the IOM TT then that makes it a special case and seemingly exempt from the attention of the authorities ?
IOM TT ban ? - THe Growler
The UK nannies might have a job on their hands. Legislation in the IOM is handled is it not by the Tynwald, its own Parliament.
IOM TT ban ? - volvoman
Yeah, but the fact that they may be dealing with a foreign jurisdiction doesn't preclude our 'nannies' from having an opinion on or even interfering in all sorts of things does it - escpecially when so many UK citizens are involved. Don't get me wrong Growler, I don't know if it should be banned - we could ban everything couldn't we - I just wonder why this event seems to be treated so differently. I can't think of another sporting event, anywhere where so many people seem to get killed so regularly yet nothing is changed.
IOM TT ban ? - Martin Devon
They're adults. Leave 'em alone.

IOM TT ban ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
Participation in the IOM TT races is completely voluntary and there is no reason to stop it, in my view. At the moment I cannot find any statistics but, for the number of people involved and the number of miles they cover in practice and racing, I would not have thought that the figure was too bad, although any death in sport is very regrettable. Many people are killed falling off mountains and hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers or RNLI money is spent every year rescuing climbers, boating folk and other people who expose themselves to risk in the name of recreation. I am not sure that any death in IOM costs the British taxpayers anything (without trivialising the discussion). On the basis of deaths and danger we should close the roads in Lincolnshire where 31 people have been killed this year!
IOM TT ban ? - THe Growler
I think they have a Governor-General or something who reports to HM, but that's largely of the regimental sword and scrambled egg on the epaulettes variety I believe, rather than anyone with any authority. Didn't I learn once that the Tynwald is the world's oldest sitting parliament? Since they've had more experience at it maybe they could teach those flakes currently infesting the H of C something :-)

My initial reaction is the participants know the risks, by participating they have made a decision to accept the consequences, they are experts at what they do, and to usurp their right to race in an organised event would be yet another gross infringement of personal freedom in the name on the nanny-knows-best agenda. If it was a question of innocent bystanders being put in harm's way that's something else, but surely the IOPM authorities are not so irresponsible as to allow that.

Apart from the fact the IOM's tourist industry would probably vanish. Oh, sorry, no. Whitehall would provide subsidies at the taxpayer's expense.
IOM TT ban ? - andymc {P}
I would hate to see road-racing banned, but I also hate the loss of people like David Jefferies, Joey Dunlop and many others. I seem to recall that the death of Ayrton Senna prompted a huge amount of research and investment into protecting the drivers in F1. I don't know why there can't be an equivalent drive for improved protection in bike racing, whether on track or on the road.
If I can draw a parallel with another sport where similar debates arise from time to time, boxing, I would support the argument for all boxers being required to wear protective headgear, as they do in the Olympics. Have to say that watching boxing matches where this is implemented has never taken away from the excitement and enjoyment I get from them. A boxing match should be about skill, strength, determination, stamina and agility - just like most sports. Putting people at *additional* risk of brain damage by not having head protection does nothing to increase the appeal of the sport for me.
There have been a few F1 crashes recently where drivers have just walked away, or been stretchered away with a broken leg. Commentators have remarked upon the fact that ten years ago, they simply would not have survived. This does not take away from my enjoyment as a spectator. Rather, it is a source of relief.
So no - there's no need for a ban on bike racing, no more than on F1. But equally, there's no reason to oppose moves to improve the safety of the people who entertain us. In fact, such changes would probably eliminate the calls for a ban. Can't think of anyone trying to justify banning F1 on safety grounds nowadays.
IOM TT ban ? - THe Growler
(slightly TIC but not altogether) but isn't that why F1 is so boring now?
IOM TT ban ? - andymc {P}
Don't think so. I think it's improved again since the concept of overtaking was re-introduced! Like I said before, skill and agility are key elements in most sports. For a long time, these were taken out of F1, but that had nothing to do with crumple zones and safety cells.
IOM TT ban ? - SteveH42
It is dangerous, but it's a one-of-a-kind event and a real spectacle. I've driven the course during the GP weekend (in a car) and I couldn't see a lot more that could be done to improve safety. The riders have to give the course respect, but accidents can always happen.

One thing to consider is that the loss of the TT and GP would totally kill the Manx economy. They are only just recovering from losing the events during the foot and mouth scare, losing it permanently would have dire consequences.
IOM TT ban ? - Tom Shaw
The question really is whether people should have the right to decide the extent they are willing to risk their own safety in persuit of their goals, or whether government should step in and regulate every aspect of our lives.

If we want everything banned that causes fatalities then the IoM TT would be a long way down the list, behind tobacco, alcohol, bicycles, motorcycles and cars, and many other activities too numerous to mention.

We'd all be a lot safer, but would we want to live in a stifling society like that?

IOM TT ban ? - THe Growler
That was what I wanted to say and you did it way better. Thanks.
IOM TT ban ? - Marcos{P}
No one forces anyone to compete in the TT so it is up to individuals to decide as to wether they want to compete.
It is always very sad when people lose their lives competing in any sports or events but no one forces you to climb Everest, walk single handedly across the poles or compete in the TT.
They do it because they love it and it is part of their lives and while they are competing they are the happiest people around.
You can't take away peoples freedom anymore, it is restricted enough already.

IOM TT ban ? - Daedalus
This should be down to the persons who compete and should have nothing to do with any one else, governments least of all.

IOM TT ban ? - Steve G
I think the comparisons with F1 are relevent.
The emerging details of Jenson's accident (HANS device cracked,cockpit protection cracked) really highlighted how if his accident had happened just a few years ago his injuries may have been life threatening.
There seems to be no attempt to address the safety aspects of the TT which is surprising considering the number of deaths.
One reason might be that making the riders feel safer may lead them to taking bigger risks ? Some F1 drivers have been accused of reckless driving in the past which many have put down to the drivers feeling too safe.
You can never get away from the fact motorsport- particularly motorbike racing is extremely dangerous and those taking part have a great appreciation for this and for a lot of them the enjoyment comes from beating the risk element.
Sadly, I'm sure one day it will be banned just like the other great road races.

IOM TT ban ? - James_Jameson
I have a feeling that the riders are aware of the risks and are able to make an informed decision as to whether or not they race there.

Banning it for the riders' own good would obviously be yet more tiresome nannying.
IOM TT ban ? - volvoman
Apparently James Hunt once said that people watched F1 to see all the crashes, not the driving.
Is that a big part of the appeal of the IOM TT and the reason why certain obvious and basic safety improvements aren't carried out ?
IOM TT ban ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
On a 37+ mile course you would be very unlucky to see a crash, even if that was what you wanted to see. I think people go to see highly powered versions of the machines that they can buy and ride themselves; at least the Suzuki that races on the IOM looks something like a bike that can be bought in a showroom, even if the racing versioncosts 10 times as much! I also think that people go to admire the skill and bravery of the riders who race there, for pitiful prize money and great kudos within the world of road-racing enthusiasts. At least the commercial and very technical aspects of F1 have not filtered down to a sport that members of the public still enjoy almost for free.
IOM TT ban ? - volvoman
But surely the bravery element is a function of the danger - more danger = more bravery = more excitement ?
IOM TT ban ? - volvoman
= more spectators = more money ?

Is it in the interests of certain parties to maintain a 'dangerous' event because by doing so the crowds, publicity & ££££'s are guaranteed ? If so, are the riders being exploited even if they don't know it ?
IOM TT ban ? - Tom Shaw
The overwhelming majority of those who attend the TT are dedicated bikers, and they turn up to the Island every year as much to be part of the event as to watch the racing. No fan of any motor sport turns up to see the crashes - that is the preserve of the casual viewer. Indeed, it is the reason I make sure I always watch the start of an F1 GP, a sport I otherwise find incredably dull. I may be warped, but at least I'm honest about it.

There is in any case little that could be done to make the TT safer. Bikes are not like cars, the riders cannot be surrounded by protective shells and any course that uses public roads has to put up with trees, kerbs, walls and all the other hazards one will find on any road. These cannot be removed for a fortnight and put back again.

All who take part are fully aware of the risks involved, and if they dedicate a large proportion of their lives to making sure they get there, who has the right to prevent them?
IOM TT ban ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
I don't think there is that much money involved Volvoman. There are stands at the pits/start/finish which I imagine you pay to occupy and for the rest of it you leg it off into the open country with your flask and butty-box and watch for free. Obviously visitors stay in hotels or B&Bs or camp out and they buy food and drink but the cash is spread across the economy and lots of people benefit a little.
IOM TT ban ? - andymc {P}
"Bikes are not like cars, the riders cannot be surrounded by protective shells"

A few years ago on one a tv show (Driven? TG? TW??) I saw a biker jacket which was designed to inflate just like an airbag by means of a type of ripcord attached to the machine which would automatically trigger if the rider was thrown from the bike. It provided a bigger safety cushion along the entire length of the spine and a massive collar around the neck for extra protection against spinal cord injuries, but inflated around the rest of the torso as well, thus protecting all vital organs. It might not be much at high speeds, but it's an awful lot more than what's currently available.

I don't understand why something like this couldn't be brought into use, for everyday riding as well as racing. To my mind, the difference in terms of additional protection this could provide would be akin to wearing or not wearing a seatbelt in a car.
IOM TT ban ? - peterb
Apparently a day or two before the racing starts, spectators with sidecars are encouraged to take local handicapped kids around the course at speed.

The kids, of course, love it. Can you imagine the outcry if something similar happended in the UK...
IOM TT ban ? - SjB {P}
Prophetically, in June's BIKE magazine the late David Jefferies answered as below to the question "In a safety-obsessed culture, wht changes will the TT have to make to secure its long term future?"

"It's a very valid point that. One day some lovely beaurocratic gentleman will decide that driving your car with a t-shirt on will be too dangerous and you'l have to wear a fireproof suit or something. Any extreme sport will come under scrutiny in the long-term - but I can see the TT lasting quite a long time because of its following. Yes, it's dangerous but nobody forces me to go. I go because I want to and that's it. You look at horse riding or rugby statistics and they're dangerous too, but they are society sports so nobody suggests that they should be banned."

I agree with him totally, and believe that an important part of living a fulfilled life is to give rational, intelligent, informed people the chance to take some risk if they wish to.

Why do I like parachuting?
Why do I like riding sports bikes?
Why do I like class 1 kart racing?
Why do I agree with my physically disabled brother and his single handed ocean endeavours?

Because activities like these, conducted with careful planning and awareness, are what satisfy a basic human need in many people that no legislator can suppress. In my own case, this keeps my brain sharp and alive, in good humour, and well motivated to do all the mundane tasks in life. After 300 miles (sweltering!) in full leathers on the bike this weekend, with legal exhaust pipe to minimize my noise intrusion, 'making progress' where safe and sensible, but certainly not behaving like a lunatic, I feel that life just couldn't get better. Sure, statistically I just did the most dangerous thing I'll do this week, but it's all about intelligent balance.

As much as I can within a balanced (that key word again) society, I wish to be able to make my own choices, as much as my friends and colleagues for whom a trip to Tescos is their chosen peak of excitement wish to make theirs.

Likewise, long may those who wish to race in the TT be able to make their choice, too.
IOM TT ban ? - Baskerville
Not too much money actually changing hands on the course Armitage, but think of the advertising and the kudos attached to winning or doing well that may get a rider into a professional outfit. The incentive is to take life or death risks and money is the big motivator at that level, not the love of racing. You can bet it's not the guy who fixes his bike on the kitchen table who benefits most.

Didn't Barry Sheene refuse to take part on the grounds of safety and state that he thought the TT and GP should be banned? You could hardly describe him as nannying.

IOM TT ban ? - Hurman
The progress made in race suit and helmet technology over the past 10 years has been massive. However, at 160 mph anything solid, especially telegraph poles, will kill you.

Before the 'nannies' start on well organised and historical events they should look at joe public. A fall from a scooter at 30 mph with shorts and T shirt on can be just as devistating as a 100 mph slide down a race track in full leathers, if not more so. I cringe every time I see a motorcyclist with no more protection than a helmet (the only protection required by law) on a hot summers day. They have obviously never experienced the delight of a moist crutch after a good days ride in full leathers!!

Professional and amateur racers understand the risks they are taking and do all they can to protect themselves if anything should happen. Gaz on his Peugeot zinger needs help!
IOM TT ban ? - Thommo
I am a biker and TT enthusiast. The death of David Jefferies is a tragedy, made more real for me as I shook his hand once (he had just set the speed record for the course).

The TT averages about 6 deaths a year, 2 on track by professionals and 4 bikers doing something silly, or meeting someone silly coming the other way. It is dangerous merely to ride on the IOM roads during TT week and riding the course the 'wrong' way when its open as a normal road can be leathal, as I have personally witnessed.

But God it makes you feel alive...
IOM TT ban ? - SjB {P}
>>> Didn't Barry Sheene refuse to take part on the grounds of safety and state that he thought the TT and GP should be banned? You could hardly describe him as nannying. <<<

That's exactly it.

Barry Sheene excercised his choice by not riding (though sadly exercised another one by smoking), and David Jefferies made his in the opposite way. That they, in recent times Joey Dunlop, Daijiro Kato, and then countless others beforehand are no longer with us is a loss to the world of biking, but the important thing is that choice existed, within which they could decide where to place their personal emphasis on risk.


Value my car