The ACU have certainly been busy lately. Following the capacity changes that they made last week, it has now been announced that it'll be compulsory for all riders to wear suitable chest and back protection next year. Back and chest protection will be checked at both technical control and prior to starting each race, according to a statement, with riders possibly being turned away from the start line if not worn.
"We have been working on this for a long time and are fully aware of the recent fatal accidents resulting from chest and internal injuries," said Steve McCauley, the ACU Motocross Chairman, in a press release. "Following the change in the ruling by the FIM and FIME in 2017, we have decided to implement the same principal in measured stages. Consequently all riders/passengers must wear chest and back protection, but for next year we are allowing them to wear their existing items.
"In future, however, the specifications will begin to fall in line with the FIM and FIME, so it may be sensible for any riders looking to purchase a new chest and back protector to invest in something that will meet the future ruling," he continued. "I appreciate this may not be met with positivity from some riders who prefer to race without armour protection. As an ex-racer myself I am sure none of us would ride without helmets or boots etc. We need to accept that armour is also a critical facet of injury reduction and additionally, today's modern armour is so much less restrictive than it was twenty years ago.
"It's not just the rider that deals with injuries, our rider's families are often the ones left to pick up the pieces and must also be considered. I am hopeful that everyone will appreciate why we feel compelled to bring this measure in and if it saves just one rider from death or serious injuries then it will be well worth it," he concluded.