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Author Topic: Magnetic antenna mounts covered by DOT rules ?  (Read 1040 times)
KE4DRN
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« on: October 18, 2006, 05:38:15 PM »

Anyone know if their state has rules against using magnetic antenna mounts ?

I checked with the NCDOT and they had no rules against using magnetic antenna mounts in vehicles.

Not all magnetic mounts are created equal, you get what you pay for and quality magnets cost money.

with all the mag mounts out there if they were a big factor in wrecks and loss of life
one would think DOT rules would address them.

73 james
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DROLLTROLL
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Posts: 265




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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 08:35:08 PM »

<<with all the mag mounts out there if they were a big factor in wrecks and loss of life
one would think DOT rules would address them.>>


How many people have been killed or maimed by magnet mount antennas, and how does this scenario take place? Why just the other day I was wondering how many people were crippled for life by loose hubcaps sailing down the freeway. Ohhh the humanity of it all....won't someone please think of the children....;-)
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2006, 06:47:51 AM »

It isn't the DOT per se'. The NHTSA is indeed addressing the issue. For nearly two years now, the NHTSA has required fed funded safety officials to record the use of telemetrics with respect to vehicle crashes. The first full report will be out this next spring, and will be a real eye opener.

The preliminary information quite obviously focuses on cellphone use, and the distraction there of. Specific references to amateur radio use are also part of the report. Whether mag mounts are, remains to be seen.

The only data I have read with respect to mag mount antennas involved a crash in Ohio in 2003 where an elderly pedestrian was struck by one, and later died. This past week, there was a second report from New York, but there hasn't been confirming data that I can find.

Probably the most telltale is from the insurance industry. Most, if not all, require after-market devices to be securely, and permanently affixed to the vehicle. The only exception is trailers, but those are covered under other mandated rules.

One recent comment on the pages made reference to the aforementioned, that the odds were good enough for him, and he was going to use a mag mount, period. I don't know how you feel about all of this, but speaking only for myself, I won't take the chance, and never have.

I recently suggested to the ARC (http://www.accidentreconstruction.com) that they add mag mount antennas to their next crash session in Arizona. I have even offered to fund part of the cost if they would share the data. It appears they will indeed be doing so.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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WW5AA
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2006, 07:02:54 AM »

The key here is not state law; it all boils down to "case law". You may not get a ticket for an improperly secured load (mag-mount, hubcap or what-ever). It’s the million dollars or more civil judgment that might put a dent into that next radio purchase.

73, de Lindy
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WW5AA
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 07:21:37 AM »

And by the way, there is "case law" regarding suction-cup mount luggage racks here in Arkansas that cost someone big bucks which the insurance company refused to cover. I'm with Allen, use a good quality permanant mount.

73, de Lindy
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WW5AA
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 07:24:36 AM »

OOOpps sorry Alan (correct spelling)
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K5LXP
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2006, 09:14:17 AM »

Inasmuch as I agree with Alan on the technical merits of mag mounts, the safety thing is where he and I diverge.  One known, one possible fatality in 3 years?  You stand a much better chance of getting killed eating spinach.  In a wreck, there are lots of things that can depart from the vehicle, from wheels to contents of the trunk or passenger compartment, all of which are secondary, incalculable hazards.  It's a bit of a stretch to consider a mag mount to be a serious hazard, in my opinion.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


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CHRISDM
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2006, 10:50:52 AM »

"One recent comment on the pages made reference to the aforementioned, that the odds were good enough for him, and he was going to use a mag mount, period. I don't know how you feel about all of this, but speaking only for myself, I won't take the chance, and never have.

I recently suggested to the ARC (http://www.accidentreconstruction.com) that they add mag mount antennas to their next crash session in Arizona. I have even offered to fund part of the cost if they would share the data. It appears they will indeed be doing so."

Yes, I did say that I would take those odds, but in fact in that thread I had also asked that you suggest an alternative, which you did not.

Also, regarding the safety issue, which do you think has caused more injuries? A mag mount antenna, or someone trying to operate a motor vehicle while simultaneously trying to operate a mobile radio? Of course it's the latter, by some exponential magnitude. So would you suggest to the ARC to also consider the dangers of operating mobile radios while driving? This is of course a much greater potential safety hazard than the type of antenna mount used. Yet I have a feeling you wouldn't give up the use of your mobile radio for safety's sake, even though it is a potential hazard (and has surely cause many, many more deaths than mag mount antennas ever will).
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WW5AA
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2006, 11:54:02 AM »

Interesting note is that the manufactures of mag-mount antennas for XM radio, GPS systems and others have started placing accident liability warnings in their instructions.

73, de Lindy
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DROLLTROLL
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Posts: 265




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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2006, 02:39:34 PM »

<<Interesting note is that the manufactures of mag-mount antennas for XM radio, GPS systems and others have started placing accident liability warnings in their instructions.
>>


That's to let the morons know their new magnetic mount protuberence will add to the overall height of their vehicle, possibly causing overhead damage in multilevel parking lots, tree branches, low bridges, overpasses, etc.

Personally, I think "blue ice" falling off of aircraft have/will kill more people than magmounts ever will.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2006, 02:58:50 PM »

I actually saw a mag mount fly off the roof of a car and snap the attached cable, and launch itself into the rear window of the car ahead of it in a real, live crash.  I avoided the crash (making it a chain collision) by about 12 inches, or I would have added to it.  I had good brakes.

This was on the Garden State Parkway in NJ, and I was "caravan"ing with a few other hams on the way out to a dinner.  Several of us in line, but the guy ahead of me had a mag mount and the car in front of him stopped short unexpectedly.  The result was a tail-ender.  Nobody got hurt, there were some crumpled car parts and a few rapid pulses -- and one very airborne mag mount (2m whip, I think).

Thankfully, although the whip struck the rear window of the car ahead of it, it did not penetrate the glass and nobody got hurt by that, either.  But I can just about picture what it would have been like if the car had been going a lot faster.

It's amazing that RG58/U simply snaps and breaks under this kind of instantaneous stress.  I wouldn't have guessed that, until I saw it happen.

WB2WIK/6
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AB2MH
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2006, 01:38:18 PM »

I think we ought to pose this question to the Mythbusters.
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CHRISDM
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2006, 07:17:39 AM »

That's not a bad idea...
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KC2MMI
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2006, 08:48:23 AM »

"One known, one possible fatality in 3 years? "
 Mark, you must be using The New Math. The way I figure it, if magmounts have been in use for fifty years or so? That's one *injury*or*fatality*, only one incidence, in 50 years.
 And unless there are other injuries overseas...You see what I mean? We simply have no valid or useful statistics on this.

 ANY and EVERY unsecured object becomes a missile in a crash. That includes everything in the car, right down to sports equipment tossed in the back seat, or a "Club" steering wheel lock on the floor.

 At least the magmount is outside the car, reasonably isolated from the driver. Pedestrians? Yeah, anything in motion can hit them. I saw a pickup truck's bumper four lanes away from the truck one day, does that mean we need to ban bumpers too?

 Or perhaps, the folks who say "simply no magmounts" could come up with a reasonable *portable* alternative. Better yet, how about another US-DOT regulation requiring the installation of a fixed mount, no, make that two fixed mounts, in every new vehicle? That would solve the problem, too. (What, is there any other way to accomplish that safety goal? Really?)

 Come on guys, there's a certain point at which "safety" means living in a padded room, and "freedom" gets restricted to your choice of the color of the padding.
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DROLLTROLL
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Posts: 265




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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2006, 11:03:35 AM »

Walkie Talkies should be banned too. After all, you could accidently put somebody's eye out with that antenna.
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