U.S.D.R. MESSAGE BOARD / U.S.D.R. Race talk / Archives / 08-05-2011 / BLM Scrutinizing Dirt Bike Racing

Topie: BLM Scrutinizing Dirt Bike Racing
August 19th, 2010 06:58 PM
CaptainSlow http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/08/19/california.racing.deaths/?hpt=Sbin

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Federal officials Thursday barred the promoters of last week's deadly off-road race in Southern California from holding future races on public land while an investigation is under way.

Saturday night's crash in the desert east of Los Angeles left eight people dead and nine injured when a truck taking part in the 200-mile event crashed into a crowd of spectators along the track. The driver won't face charges in the accident, the California Highway Patrol announced Monday, but the federal Bureau of Land Management is investigating whether sanctioning body Mojave Desert Racing violated any safety regulations.

According to its permit, Mojave Desert Racing had five more races scheduled for 2010. The company has not responded to repeated calls for comment since Saturday's fatal crash.

"BLM has suspended any future permitted events of MDR Productions while the investigation is underway," the agency announced Thursday.

In addition, another promoter's upcoming motorcycle race is under new scrutiny, and future events "are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis," BLM said in a written statement.

The agency said that off-highway races are a popular activity and that its investigation "will be aimed at ensuring the public safety remains our first priority."

Last weekend's race was part of an amateur series on a course in the Lucerne Valley area of San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles. Mojave Desert Racing urges spectators to stay back 100 feet from the 50-mile course, but a California Highway Patrol spokesman said there were "no delineations" for the course.

Images from the night of the crash show trucks speeding within feet of spectators.

Brett Sloppy, the driver of the out-of-control truck, did not respond to repeated requests for comment but announced in a post on his Facebook page that he was devastated by what happened.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to all the familys and friends involved," he wrote. "Thank you too all my friends for sticking with me even thru these tragic times I love you all."

Keith Carty, a friend of one of the victims in the California crash, told CNN's HLN that races attract a certain type of person: someone who wants to participate as much as watch an event.

"It's not anybody's turn to baby-sit us. We're out there. We understand the risk. Everybody that was there understood the risk: the drivers, the spectators, everybody," he said.
August 19th, 2010 07:13 PM
CaptainSlow http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/ca/pdf/caso/johnsonvalley.Par.26891.File.dat/BLMStatement-reJohnsonValley.pdf

This weekend's Invaders MC is the event under scrutiny.
August 19th, 2010 07:33 PM
trac dave U.S.D.R. Round 5 is still going forward as planned.
August 20th, 2010 08:28 AM
Jays2nd This is a great blow to all of us and I hope and pray that people think about where they park or stand at any off road race. As we all know inertia is our best friend and our worst ememy.

We are an extreme group and love the edge, I just hope that any new or wannabe racers/spectators learn to never hang out below a known launch point.

Did it upset anyone else that half the news commentators refered to off road racers as "white Trash" or infered we were somehow a lower mentality group of Americans? Most of the group I ride with are Engineers or at least certified professionals. I encourage all of us to write letters and voice your opinions in ways that show that we are intelligent people, that enjoy living life like our Guardian Angels are on Steriods!
August 20th, 2010 10:43 AM
seanbo3607 With all this bad publicity, please remember to send an email to the BLM and all of our elected officials here in CA. All of their contact information is on the state website, and BLM website. Out here in Ridgecrest and other desert towns this not only affects we as racers, but our local business as well.
September 13th, 2010 01:03 PM
eatpasta I was able to chat with some of the BLM guys at the Lost Coyote race this last weekend. The general feeling is that they genuinely care about what happens in the desert and they dont want people to get hurt. One of the guys actually has several family members that are D.37 racers - so they aren't totally out of left field.