As an official, it’s amazing how much we miss. It just simply isn’t possible to catch all of it. We get a lot of “did you see that?! It was so blatant!!” after races with a lot of drivers. And we have to just say look we were looking where we thought there would be an incident, which is about the best we can do without 10 officials in the field!
Another thing these drop down bumpers creates is yet another officiating call we have to make. This distracts us from additional on track action. That may not seem like a big deal, but I would argue in some cases it further hinders the ability of our flag men and race director to watch the race as a whole on some laps, as now they are focused on a kart to see if the bumper has dropped or not, and what number it is, getting out the white board and administering a penalty. If you have 2-3 of these in a field at a time, sure we are penalizing people, but it sucks up time in execution.
I agree with you, Full width rear bumpers has created less flips…but it has also been a major factor for encouraging some of the aggression we see now. ~Shakes cane~ Back in my day, if you tried to punt someone, you better do it right, otherwise you ended up on your head, out of the race. It made people think twice about doing it, which usually meant they would just pass someone instead of run them over.