LA Times on off-road disaster

The Los Angeles Times has this article on the accident in August in San Bernardino County. Among other things, it says:

Daniel Patterson … said the BLM in its report essentially admitted that the agency “lets the off-roaders run things” and that oversight has been nonexistent.

“We can see that when eight people are killed,” Patterson said. “If the federal government cannot control these events and protect the safety of spectators, and protect the land, then why is the government permitting these events?” …

Dave Earll of the Valencia-based U.S. Desert Racing, which promotes desert motorcycle races, said BLM ramped up its oversight of all races since August. More rangers are patrolling race courses, and permits now require more stringent safety precautions for both spectators and racers.

“The biggest change has been BLM’s presence at the race now,” said Earll, whose organization just held a race outside Ridgecrest. “I think they’re doing the right thing. It’s more work for us, but we’re all on the same page. You won’t see any more spectators get killed.”

It is clear now that the days of allowing racing associations to “run” races without much oversight are over. To what extent this will affect how races are run here in Parker, “the off-road headquarters of the United States”, remains to be seen.

One comment

  1. You can be assured that Best in the Desert Racing Association’s Casey Folks is way ahead of the curve when it comes to safety. There will be some changes but to the average spectator it will go unnoticed. Parker, Arizona will still be the most spectator-safe and friendly racing in the country!

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